Mac Mini Optical Drive Bites the Big One...
Optical drive on macmini a1176 wouldn't give up the discs anymore. Found the solution on iFixit which was to drop in a hard drive using their caddy/enclosure and a 2.5" drive I had already.
Very smooth and most importantly, it worked the FIRST time. It helps if you've opened older mac minis before and it really helps if you've opened a lot of other computers as well but iFixit's instructions really helped. I couldn't have done it without them. Increased my hard drive capacity from 1.5 tB to 2.0 tB.
Advice? Some of the steps in your repair guide were unnecessary. They have you disassembling more than you really need just to get the drive in and out. Also, try to google macmini takeapart. There are other guides out there (OWC's videos are good) that have additional info that you will find useful. Big thanks to iFixit. Good job.