Mac mini (PowerPC) RAM Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This machine uses full-size desktop RAM.

Edit Step 1 Upper Case  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • You can skip this step if you bought your putty knife from iFixit. Putty knives purchased from iFixit come with pre-ground edges.

  • You'll need a putty knife in order to open the case. A 1.5 inch thin putty knife will work well, but you'll want to grind the edge down. Rub the putty knife's short edge back and forth on a sheet of all purpose rough grit sandpaper (100 grit will work fine) until it attains a beveled edge.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Place the mini upside down on a cloth and turn it so that the apple leaf faces you.

  • Insert the putty knife into the seam between silver outer case and the white plastic. If you have trouble, you can insert the putty knife at an angle or grind the knife's edge down further. Push the blade down until you meet firm resistance (roughly 3/8 of an inch).

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Pull directly back on the putty knife until the white plastics pops up. Don't worry about bending the putty knife too far or breaking the plastic tabs. Just continue to pull back on the putty knife until the case pops free.

  • Repeat this procedure on the other side.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Grasp the white lower case beneath the vent and rotate it up and away from you, pulling it free of the upper case.

Edit Step 5 Mass Storage Unit  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5 Mass Storage Unit  ¶ 

  • If your mini does not have Airport installed, then skip this step.

  • Grasp the Airport antenna board and lift it off of the two plastic posts holding it in place. You may need to push back the black plastic tab jutting through the lower left corner of the board.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the yellow tape securing the power button cable to the black plastic framework.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Remove the three black Phillips screws securing the plastic framework to the logic board and lower case.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Grasp the optical drive and mass storage unit in one hand and lift up enough so that you can see beneath it.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • If your mini has neither an Airport card nor a Bluetooth board, you can simply lift the optical drive up and away. Otherwise, you need to disconnect the Airport and/or Bluetooth antenna cables first.

  • With your free hand, pull the Bluetooth cable up from Bluetooth board and unplug the Airport antenna cable from the right of the Airport card. Caution: both of these connections are very small. When re-assembling unit after repair, you may want to remove the two screws holding the airport card to the assembly and lift the card up and out to re-attach the cables.

Edit Step 10 RAM  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10 RAM  ¶ 

  • Pull back the black plastic latches on either end of the RAM chip.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Grasp the RAM chip at the end opposite of the back ports, and pull directly up.

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

For more information, check out the Mac Mini (PowerPC) device page.

Required Tools

Anti-Static Wrist Strap

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Phillips #00 Screwdriver

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1.5" Thin Putty Knife

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Many thanks for giving me the confidence to do this, and the images make it soooo much easier.

My comment is that on my A1103 with Airport (but without the module above the RAM),I didn't even need to remove the HDD/CD assembly, thus cutting down upgrade time considerably. I was pleased to note that RAM replacement did not require the RAM module to be angled forward/backward as on some main boards,

Peter Garner, · Reply

Agreed. I didn't need to remove the assembly either. The RAM comes straight up.

Ryan Buckner,

So, Guys at iFixit, since you are making the beta thing, i have a lot of macs that i can make guides for. if you don't mind user created mac guides, i can make guides for the:

Powermac G4 Cube

Powermac G4 Quicksilver

Powermac G4 MDD

Powermac G3 B&W

iMac G3 (First Gen)

Apple 17" Studio LCD Display

Chris Green, · Reply

Quote from Chris Green:

So, Guys at iFixit, since you are making the beta thing, i have a lot of macs that i can make guides for. if you don't mind user created mac guides, i can make guides for the:

Powermac G4 Cube

Powermac G4 Quicksilver

Powermac G4 MDD

Powermac G3 B&W

iMac G3 (First Gen)

Apple 17" Studio LCD Display

BTW: The required battery is a CR2032

Kurt Gearhart, · Reply

Quote from Kurt Gearhart:

BTW: The required battery is a CR2032

Kurt Gearhart, · Reply

I just put in a 1G RAM chip that just came in the mail from iFixit. And though I followed every step this step (removing the HD, cooling fan, and drive unit) was not needed. I put the chip in, put everything back in place then removed and replaced the RAM with no problems. So it would seem that for a/my PowerPC Mac Mini (I have a 1.33 Ghz processor) it was not a needed step.

mbob518, · Reply

BTW, it took about 15 - 20 min even with my experimentation.

Quote from mbob518:

I just put in a 1G RAM chip that just came in the mail from iFixit. And though I followed every step this step (removing the HD, cooling fan, and drive unit) was not needed. I put the chip in, put everything back in place then removed and replaced the RAM with no problems. So it would seem that for a/my PowerPC Mac Mini (I have a 1.33 Ghz processor) it was not a needed step.

mbob518, · Reply

havin a hard time with step 9. i don't really see how I'm supposed to remove the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cables from the Airport card. They seem to be soldered in! is there a twisting motion involved? I just don't wanna mess it up more than i already did with my putty knife haha!

chris, · Reply

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