Introduction

Upgrade or replace the combo or SuperDrive.

Power down your Mac Mini, disconnect all of the cables, and flip it over. Insert the Jimmy into the crack between the aluminum top housing and the plastic lower housing.
  • Power down your Mac Mini, disconnect all of the cables, and flip it over.

  • Insert the Jimmy into the crack between the aluminum top housing and the plastic lower housing.

  • The Jimmy should reach a stop about 3/8" down.

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Gently bend the Jimmy outwards to pry the crack open a little larger and lift the lower housing up a small amount. There are several plastic clips on the lower housing that fit into a channel in the aluminum top housing. Your goal is to use the Jimmy to push these clips inward enough to free them from the channel, while gently pulling up on the lower housing. There are several plastic clips on the lower housing that fit into a channel in the aluminum top housing. Your goal is to use the Jimmy to push these clips inward enough to free them from the channel, while gently pulling up on the lower housing.
  • Gently bend the Jimmy outwards to pry the crack open a little larger and lift the lower housing up a small amount.

  • There are several plastic clips on the lower housing that fit into a channel in the aluminum top housing. Your goal is to use the Jimmy to push these clips inward enough to free them from the channel, while gently pulling up on the lower housing.

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Once you have the first side free, rotate the Mac Mini and start prying up on the front edge. Use the same prying motion to both bend the clips inward and lift the lower housing up out of the top housing.
  • Once you have the first side free, rotate the Mac Mini and start prying up on the front edge.

  • Use the same prying motion to both bend the clips inward and lift the lower housing up out of the top housing.

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You may need to move the Jimmy along the edge to pry up all of the clips. Be patient and do a little bit at a time. You may need to move the Jimmy along the edge to pry up all of the clips. Be patient and do a little bit at a time.
  • You may need to move the Jimmy along the edge to pry up all of the clips. Be patient and do a little bit at a time.

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Keep working around the perimeter, freeing the clips along the final edge. Keep working around the perimeter, freeing the clips along the final edge.
  • Keep working around the perimeter, freeing the clips along the final edge.

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Flip the Mac Mini back over and lift the top housing off of the lower housing. Flip the Mac Mini back over and lift the top housing off of the lower housing.
  • Flip the Mac Mini back over and lift the top housing off of the lower housing.

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In the next few steps you will be removing the AirPort and Bluetooth antennas (shown in red) from the internal frame. Be very careful, as breaking the brackets will require replacing the internal frame.
  • In the next few steps you will be removing the AirPort and Bluetooth antennas (shown in red) from the internal frame. Be very careful, as breaking the brackets will require replacing the internal frame.

  • We will first remove the AirPort antenna, located in the lower left corner of this picture.

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Slightly squeeze the two retaining arms toward each other and lift the AirPort antenna off its post. Squeezing the two posts excessively will surely break them off the internal frame. Work delicately.
  • Slightly squeeze the two retaining arms toward each other and lift the AirPort antenna off its post.

  • Squeezing the two posts excessively will surely break them off the internal frame. Work delicately.

  • During reinstallation, you will have to slightly squeeze the two posts together so they fit into the openings on the AirPort antenna board.

Spring loaded

bobonthis419 - Reply

Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
The two Bluetooth antenna boards simply lift off the internal frame. Grab the Bluetooth antenna nearest the port side of the computer by the edges of the board and pull it straight up off the internal frame.
  • The two Bluetooth antenna boards simply lift off the internal frame.

  • Grab the Bluetooth antenna nearest the port side of the computer by the edges of the board and pull it straight up off the internal frame.

    • Pull carefully, as it may offer significant resistance and release suddenly.

On mine, at least, a considerable amount of force was required to get the bluetooth antennas up off the posts. In fact, I ended up pulling so hard one one of them that when it suddenly came up, I broke the antenna cable. Be careful!

talarohk - Reply

They do need a fair bit of force. Best way for me was first finger and thumb underneath, either side of the post; and first finger of the other hand on top to prevent it "jumping". Then just move up in one smooth motion.

Brian -

Did you repair the antenna or just let it go? I broke my antenna too, and I can't tell if it's a 2-conductor coaxial cable or a single conductor that I could resolder.

Whiskeychief -

Note on re-assembly - there is a "pin" formed from the top of the internal frame which needs to go through the corresponding hole in the antenna assembly. Although the antenna will clip down without it being exactly in place, the antenna will not be "sprung" and will probably foul the cover when it is replaced, probably causing damage.

As you almost certainly wouldn't notice this as you replace the cover, do check that this "pin" is aligned and that the antenna is floating on the spring, before replacing the cover.

Brian - Reply

I realized, that it made it easier when I grab and squeeze just a little on the spiral thing under the antenna while lifting it up.

Sebastian A Dyhr - Reply

A more controlled way of remove the bluetooth antennae: lever them gently off. The closer you are to the centre pin, the more force you will exert there, instead of wasting it bending up the board. You already have the tools - the putty knife & the spudger.

Put the putty knife gently under the board on the side of your non-dominant hand, and then the spudger under the board on the side of your dominant hand. Gently lift the handle of the putty knife and apply constant pressure. Then gently push and wriggle the spudger under the other side with your dominant hand and push constantly forward. The further you push forward, the more upward force you will apply.The antenna will pop up before you get the spudger all the way under, and it will only rise a few mm when it does.

Tim - Reply

Be aware of cable and Bluetooth antenna board upon reinstall. I attempted to reinstall the board as it faced the incorrect direction, and the cable was improperly positioned. The result? Upon snapping the board in, the cable got caught and portion of it was shorn off near the solder. So, be aware of the board and cable positioning on reinstall.

Tomas - Reply

From what I've read elsewhere- the "spiral thing" under the antenna is a plastic clip that

needs to be pinched together with fingertips,to release the antenna from its post.

This should also be done when replacing it, to ensure the antenna will clear the case.

Seems like this detail was skipped in other instructions here.

myretoucher1 - Reply

From my point of view, it's not always necessary to remove those antenna : I left the bluetooth antenna in place and just put the top part of the Mac Mini close to the bottom, linked by the cable.

cochardp - Reply

Remove the antenna board near the front of the mini by pulling it straight up off the internal frame.
  • Remove the antenna board near the front of the mini by pulling it straight up off the internal frame.

  • If necessary, remove the piece of tape securing the antenna leads to the internal frame.

  • Be sure to keep track of the springs under each of the three antenna boards.

On my late 2009 2.53GHz C2D, there's no tape holding the antenna wire to the frame but it *does* sit in a "clip" formed off part of the internal frame. There's very little slack in the wire for this BT antenna and so it pays to drop the wire back into the "clip" and re-insert the antenna in one motion.

Brian - Reply

Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the audio ribbon cable connector up off the audio board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the audio ribbon cable connector up off the audio board.

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Remove the following four screws securing the internal frame to the bottom housing:
  • Remove the following four screws securing the internal frame to the bottom housing:

    • Three 6.7 mm Phillips #00 screws

    • One 9.5 mm Phillips #00 screw

  • The screw in the lower right corner of this image is recessed deep in the internal frame and longer than the other three screws. A flashlight and a thin screwdriver aid in removal.

Be careful. There are 2 LONG screws and 2 short ones. Mark which got out where as the short ones do not fit in the long wholes.

Patrick Mast - Reply

Quote from Patrick Mast:

Be careful. There are 2 LONG screws and 2 short ones. Mark which got out where as the short ones do not fit in the long wholes.

I found one long screw. It goes in the corner right next to the fan.

Also, I would recommend taking the audio cable off nearest to the cd drive and not on the audio board. It's easier to see if it is lined up when reconnecting it.

Desmo - Reply

The screw in the lower right is longer than the other 3

bay computers - Reply

6.7mm and 9.5mm screws are equivalent to what size? PH00....PH0 what? 6.7mm is this PH screwdriver and 9.5mm is this PH screwdriver. Please answer.

P.S. I have your 54 Bit Driver Set and least your Phillips bits are labled as PH0 or PH000 not in a mm lable.

Thanks

vikingsgy - Reply

Hey Vikingsgy! Looks like we forgot to say #00 in that step, but the tool required for this guide is a Phillips #00! The millimeter measurements are just for the screw lengths, to make sure they go back in the right spots!

Sam Lionheart -

Lift the internal frame off the bottom housing, starting at the rear edge, until you feel the concealed edge connector on the motherboard disconnect. Then lift straight off, minding the bluetooth and 802.11 antenna cables.
  • Lift the internal frame off the bottom housing, starting at the rear edge, until you feel the concealed edge connector on the motherboard disconnect. Then lift straight off, minding the bluetooth and 802.11 antenna cables.

  • When reassembling, the wifi antenna wire routes to the inside of the vent and then over the top of the vent.

Be VERY careful when reassembling that your wifi/bluetooth cables don't get caught between the internal frame header and its connector on the motherboard. They're so thin that you will hardly feel this (considering this connector requires a lot of pressure). If you then tighten the screws the connector and the stuck wifi cable will be severely damaged.

This damaged my mini's wifi cable and the connector that the internal frame plugs into. I was able to repair the connector by squeezing the plastic sides back together but it's never been quite right and my wifi cable was completely cut. I removed the wireless daughterboard completely now, as I didn't need it anyway and the mini is working again.

I know I should have checked but I didn't think of it. So this is just a word of warning to others trying the same :)

GekkePrutser - Reply

If you accidentally disconnect the antennas, see Mac mini Model A1283 Antennas Replacement to reconnect them.

eric - Reply

I second the comment about trapping wires on reassembly, particularly the WiFi one. The cable's natural tendency is to trap itself between the black plastic airduct section of the internal frame and the corresponding moulding on the base / port side.

In the absence of a third hand, I found that resting the WiFi antenna on top of the optical drive as you lower the internal frame back into position helps position the cable in the right place, rather than leaving the antenna outside the port area.

Brian - Reply

Very tricky to line up the longer screw on reassembly,. I found it easier to put all the screws in place in the plastic frame before carefully reassembling the internal frame with the outer casing. Just be careful not to disconnect the antenna wires, before tightening the screws.

wmdel - Reply

Use the tip of a spudger to remove the black electrical tape spanning the interconnect board and optical drive. Use the tip of a spudger to remove the black electrical tape spanning the interconnect board and optical drive.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to remove the black electrical tape spanning the interconnect board and optical drive.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the audio ribbon cable from the interconnect board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the audio ribbon cable from the interconnect board.

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If necessary, remove the yellow kapton tape covering the internal frame and the optical drive.
  • If necessary, remove the yellow kapton tape covering the internal frame and the optical drive.

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Remove the two Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the internal frame.
  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the internal frame.

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Turn the mini 180 degrees and remove the two Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the internal frame on the other side.
  • Turn the mini 180 degrees and remove the two Phillips screws securing the optical drive to the internal frame on the other side.

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Remove the two Phillips screws securing the interconnect board to the optical drive.
  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the interconnect board to the optical drive.

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Insert the flat end of a spudger into the crevice between the optical drive and the interconnect board.
  • Insert the flat end of a spudger into the crevice between the optical drive and the interconnect board.

  • Carefully increase the crevice to disconnect the optical drive from the interconnect board.

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Gently lift the optical drive out of the internal frame.
  • Gently lift the optical drive out of the internal frame.

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Transfer the four foam bumpers to the replacement optical drive.
  • Transfer the four foam bumpers to the replacement optical drive.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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4 Comments

I found that it's entirely possible to remove the optical drive without removing the whole subframe. You can remove the four screws on the sides of the drive quite easily, remove the other end of the audio cable then unscrew the two screws on the back of the drive holding the interconnect board to the drive (the only fiddly bit as it's hard to get a a good angle onto those two screws), then gently lift the front of the drive and pull it forward.

Marcus Bointon - Reply

Can anyone tell me now that I have replaced the optical drive, why if only accepts dvd's being put into it when I have first turn on the computer?? If I do it when the computer is already on, no matter how far I try and push in the DVD it doesn't grab it and pull it in properly. No trouble playing them once in.

Hannah - Reply

Please help! Can anyone tell me now that I have replaced the optical drive, why if only accepts dvd's being put into it when I have first turn on the computer?? If I do it when the computer is already on, no matter how far I try and push in the DVD it doesn't grab it and pull it in properly. No trouble playing them once in.

Hannah - Reply

Hi!

Is is correct about the optibay i need to replace a DVD up to SSD:

- the inside connector of this optibay is SATA 3 witch is compatible for a modern SSD, like this one - https://ru.aliexpress.com/item/Newest-Go...

- the outside that goes to a motherboard - what is it - i can't really understand - is it eSATA or it it mSATA or smth else?

Thanks for your reply in advance!

dv1977 - Reply

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