2018 Mac Mini RAM upgrade impossible, stripped Torx screw

wave-forms

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 12, 2014
13
9
Los Angeles, CA
I went the route of ordering my own OWC RAM upgrade for my mini. Just popped open the bottom cover to perform the surgery only to find that one of the three T6 Torx screws/posts that hold the cover on are completely stripped (from the factory). There's no way to get it out.

What is my best course of action here? Do I take this to the Genius bar and explain the whole situation? Or will they refuse to help if I am trying to install third party RAM? Is there another way to ask?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,525
2,298
Delaware
Those are TR6 security screws, not T6. Are you using the right tool?
It's always possible to remove stripped screws. But, if you can do that removal without other, collateral damage depends on how much screw you have left.
Have you tried a screw extractor - such as this ?
iFixit also sells a specialist plier that might do the job, if there is enough screw exposed. As you mention the "post" screws that the bottom cover snaps on, then the job might be quick and easy with this tool.
 

wave-forms

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 12, 2014
13
9
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks for the info! I am using the right tool, it's what OWC sells specifically for opening the 2018 Mac mini for this installation (and the driver works on the other two un-stripped screws).

I don't own any screw extractors, but I did try some pliers, which did nothing. Perhaps I need to find wider ones like the one you linked. I'm worried that I might leave a trace that I've messed around in there in case I ever need to get this computer serviced.

I could try getting extractors, but I'm afraid I'll just be spending more money on something that might not work, when this is something Apple could fix for free seeing as it's a defect. If I do need to get this computer serviced in the future, it's going to be a pain to get the old RAM back in there again as well.

As requested, attached is a picture of the stripped screw, as well as an unstripped one for reference.
 

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Duncan68

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2018
151
125
I agree with you, I think you should let Apple handle that rather than trying to get it out yourself. If Apple fixes it, you still have warranty, whereas if you damage something yourself they could use it as an excuse to void the warranty.
 
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wave-forms

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 12, 2014
13
9
Los Angeles, CA
I agree with you, I think you should let Apple handle that rather than trying to get it out yourself. If Apple fixes it, you still have warranty, whereas if you damage something yourself they could use it as an excuse to void the warranty.
That just leaves me with the question of how to bring this up to the Genius bar. I'm almost certainly going to have to explain why I'm trying to get that screw off.
 

Duncan68

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2018
151
125
That just leaves me with the question of how to bring this up to the Genius bar. I'm almost certainly going to have to explain why I'm trying to get that screw off.
Just tell them that you were upgrading the RAM, which is allowed and will not void the warranty.
 
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pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,603
That just leaves me with the question of how to bring this up to the Genius bar. I'm almost certainly going to have to explain why I'm trying to get that screw off.
No you don't. Tell them you noticed the screws are stripped and that you want them to correct the problem so that you don't have to worry about future warranty denial should you need it.
 

wave-forms

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 12, 2014
13
9
Los Angeles, CA
Just tell them that you were upgrading the RAM, which is allowed and will not void the warranty.
Well that is the truth, but I've been reading elsewhere that it will in fact void the warranty. Are you sure it won't?

No you don't. Tell them you noticed the screws are stripped and that you want them to correct the problem so that you don't have to worry about future warranty denial should you need it.
That's actually a great idea. I'm still curious if user-upgrading the RAM does or doesn't void the warranty, but I'll give this a try to be safe.

Many thanks for the help!
 

pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,603
Well that is the truth, but I've been reading elsewhere that it will in fact void the warranty. Are you sure it won't?



That's actually a great idea. I'm still curious if user-upgrading the RAM does or doesn't void the warranty, but I'll give this a try to be safe.

Many thanks for the help!
How long have you had it? Are you within the return window?
 

Duncan68

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2018
151
125

wave-forms

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 12, 2014
13
9
Los Angeles, CA
AppleInsider on upgrading the RAM:



https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/11/08/how-to-upgrade-the-ram-on-the-new-2018-mac-mini

Just tell Apple you went to upgrade the RAM, but had to stop as you encountered a stripped screw from the factory. At least, that's what I would do. I can't guarantee positive results, but I would just be honest.
That's super solid, thank you. I'd much rather just be honest, so that's what I will do. Now just to wait until there's actually an available Genius Bar appointment at my local Apple Store......
 

Ploki

macrumors 68040
Jan 21, 2008
3,854
1,201
mine had a scratch on the wifi antenna (i dont care about it) but apparently however is putting the the last part on doesn't care for it.
not that i could blame them... but that's a story for another topic
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,388
327
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Well that is the truth, but I've been reading elsewhere that it will in fact void the warranty. Are you sure it won't?
Upgrading the memory won't void the warranty. Damage done WHILE upgrading the memory, is not covered. So your risk is, do they decide that you caused the issue? I know you say you didn't, but theirs is the opinion that counts :)

Is the Mac within its return window? That might be your best bet.
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
988
NYC & Newfoundland
I’d like to know how a Torx screw can be stripped while being installed, successfully, for the first, and presumably only, time.

I don’t see how this could happen unless it was seriously over-tightened after it was in.

Are these screws installed by people or machines?
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,140
13,983
This just looks like a standard security screw to me. Grab a cheap security bit set and happy upgrading!
 

Ploki

macrumors 68040
Jan 21, 2008
3,854
1,201
I’d like to know how a Torx screw can be stripped while being installed, successfully, for the first, and presumably only, time.
by having the electric screw driver set to wrong torque during assembly?

as i said, mine had a long driver scratch on the antenna.
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
988
NYC & Newfoundland
Anyway, in this situation I would go to an Apple store and simply tell them that I was planning to install RAM, but abandoned the idea when I saw the stripped screw. I suppose it’s possible that the computer still has 8GB of RAM in it and the owner stripped an outer screw while attempting to unscrew it, but it isn’t very likely. This would appear to presume that the owner doesn’t know which way to turn a screwdriver, and persisted despite resistance.

Presumably, Apple techs will discover that it’s screwed in really tight when they remove it.
[doublepost=1548693814][/doublepost]
Those are TR6 security screws, not T6. Are you using the right tool?
TR is an informal designation used by some, but by no means all, makers of Torx tamperproof/security screwdrivers. Some of the best makers of screwdrivers use different designations, and at least one (PB Swiss) does indeed call its T6 tamperproof/security driver a T6, more particularly a T6 Tamperproof.
 
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Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,335
699
Never quite sure
Just a word of cation to the OP: I found that the motherboard Torx 8 10 screws were incredibly tight.
The diameter of the handle on my small T8 T10 screwdriver was too small to get sufficient torque.
Luckily I had another set around with a much larger handle.
EDITED for accuracy
 
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