be super careful when installing ram

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by sunandsurf, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. sunandsurf macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    just sharing my experience with the hope that it'll be of some help to someone who's planning on replacing the ram that came with their mac mini.

    it's really simple: just be very careful. why? cuz in my opinion, the clips that are used to hold the ram in place are designed to break.

    okay, i know some people can't wait to jump out of their chairs and say, "i've installed ram 10,000 times and i've never once broken one of those clips!" well, if that's true, then i'm happy for you but it did it for the first time late last night and it was a shock.

    getting the cover off was easy; okay, now time to undo the clips and remove the ram. i had watched at least two different videos on YouTube on doing this so it was very clear. i knew what i had to do. i did it and i did NOT put a great deal of force into it. of course not. the clips are so tiny. there's no need to and yet! snap! the left clip broke! jeez! what a cheap piece of plastic and metal!

    imho, it's designed to be fragile. just think about the simple ball point pen. you know the clip that's used to hold it to one's shirt pocket? that clip has to be 100x stronger than the clips in the Mac Mini! is it excessively thick? of course not. anyway, that's why i'm posting this; to warn anyone who's doing it for the first time so that you can avoid the hassle of dealing with a broken clip.

    after it broke, i did a search on the web and it's easy to find other people who have done the same. i just never realized it would be an issue.

    fortunately in my case, i booted it up and it's working perfectly. i checked and it recognizes 16 gigs of ram so i'm good.

    the clips are just an additional way to keep it place though when it snaps into place, it's pretty secure.

    i doubt apple will repair the broken clip for free since it was a user error but i'm just a bit frustrated that it's so flimsy.

    otherwise, the mini is working great :)
  2. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2012
    Las Vegas, NV
    Good to know. Getting ready to upgrade Ram on my new cMBP and my wifes new HP G4.

    I will be more careful now, and yes I also have done this for years!
  3. sunandsurf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    thanks for the polite comment. i just wanna warn other mac users. i love my mini but damn those clips are so weak! there are enough things to deal with in life; no need to add broken clips!
  4. iamsen47 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2012
    Kobe, Japan
    there was a similar thread a couple months back. the original person(s) who broke their clips managed to get it fixed without charge at the apple store. something about apple's fault for using weak clips I think.
  5. dasx macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2012
    Such a shame you lost your warranty. :(

    When installing my 16 gig I also found the clips to be pretty weak. I did just fine, but as soon as I tried to move the first one I realized I had to be extremely careful.
  6. limesmoothie macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2009
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I thought it was just me being cack-handed, but I found the clips to be a pain in the backside when upgrading the RAM. Had to be really gentle to avoid damage - the old clips in the MBP were so much better.
  7. Sir Ruben macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Jul 3, 2010
    Look thanks for the heads up OP, I am about to install 16GB today!

    I would never have considered this if it weren't for your post. One question, do you use your fingers on the clips or are they really small requiring something like the end of a pen to pop them open?
  8. sunandsurf thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    well, i used my fingers with terrible results! i assumed incorrectly that the clips would be able to handle the pressure and believe me, i was not pushing hard! that's the thing. with the little pressure i did apply, i never dreamed that the clip would break! it was only AFTER the fact that i realized how fragile they are.

    if you have fingernails that are long enough, i'd use your nails but that's just my opinion. others may have good suggestions for using something else.

    the main thing is to be patient and apply as little pressure as possible to ensure that you don't do what i did.
  9. Macman45 macrumors demi-god


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Are the clips used in the Mini different to those in say my MBP? I recently upgraded it to 16GB and the clips seemed solid and well made. OP you should be fine, as once the RAM is seated and recognised its not like a laptop that you are going to move around...Like you say, they are designed to be a tight fit.
  10. iamsen47 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2012
    Kobe, Japan
    I used my fingers, but then I have small hands being asian and all.

    I find the lower slot easier to insert into, the RAM just slides right in. The upper slot, took a little jiggling but once you get it at the right angle it slides in nicely.

    I also pulled on the clips slightly when locking the RAMs into place, I found the resistance from the springs to be rather intimidating when just merely pushing them in.
  11. propower, Nov 14, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012

    propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    I would still at least call applecare or visit a store to see what they would say. As the next post implies :)... Clip could very possibly have been stressed at the factory or had an inherent flaw. Not at all unreasonable. I have had very good luck when dealing with marginal issues in person at my local apple store.
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    well maybe just maybe it was broken at the factory. you opened the mini and went to put in ram and did not realized a tired shift worker did the damage. I have done 1000 plus and one time I did see a broken clip direct from the factory. just saying.
  13. Sir Ruben macrumors 65816

    Sir Ruben

    Jul 3, 2010
    Just installed mine. All went well. Didnt have a problem with the clips, I was expecting them to be plastic not metal. They appeared to be sturdy but I WAS super careful.
  14. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    I upgraded the ram in both my 2007 and 2011 Mac Mini's with no problem, and I wasn't anymore, or any less careful when I did it.. And yes, I've installed memory many times in both Mac's and PC's (laptops and desktops) It is possible the clip you broke was defective. I'd call Apple and tell them you did not put undue pressure on the clip that broke, and demand they take care of it under warranty. Maybe that will work???
  15. sebastienm macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2013
    Brilliant service from the apple store today! Both clips of Ram holder had snapped off DESPITE have been ultra careful and taken all precautions mentioned in previous posts above AND having changed the RAM in 3 other mac mini 2010 models- so having truthfully explained my predicament to the genius bar assistant they very kindly offered to replace the logic board at no extra cost! (yes the warranty was still valid!). It'll take 2-3 days he reckons, but so relieved right now... Apparently it's NOT a reported problem, but I really wish Apple would look again at the design of these clips before the next revamp! No way I'm going to install an SSD now if I have to remove the RAM again to do it!!
  16. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    The clips look to be the same ones they've been for years. needless to say, it takes only the most minimal of touch with your fingernails to make them release. It's distinctly possibly they were weakened at the factory or simply too much force was applied. When you're working in a mini, better to use too little force and fail than too much and destroy.

    Glad to hear the service was so good. Its a relief when it is.
  17. jlluna macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2010
    Holly Michigan
    This is a good thread. I just got my new Mac mini delivered from apple a few days ago, and the first thing I did was replace the memory and install 16db in. Even before turning the computer on for the first time. And when I started to try to clip them out, I thought the memory holders were very flimsy to. I was scared I was going to break them to.
  18. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    Unknown if its a fault at the factory, but I have changed out my MacMini memory four times now, and no issues. Will not be changing out the memory from now on but I to will be careful with the newer MacMini's I will purchase later this year or next.
  19. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    it's a fingernail touch that is sufficient. if you don't have a steady hand or lack a delicate touch, servicing the mini is always going to be a crap shoot.
  20. Giuly, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    There is probably some specification that states how many replacements of the RAM the clips have to withstand without breaking, and so this would be a manufacture defect and hence be covered under the warranty - if you can proove that you didn't use an excessive amount of force.

    Having said that, the retainer is screwed on and can be replaced, but don't ask me where to get the replacement part.
  21. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    I have a special hammer, it's rather small yet it makes quick work out of routine tasks like this.

    One swift wack & it's over. Next...

    jk :D
  22. michael_aos macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2004
    I had a bunch of issues related to RAM in my Late 2012 Mini.

    I wound up swapping RAM around a LOT.

    No issues the first few times, but at one point I did manage to bend one of the little metal tabs too far and it wound up getting stuck behind a piece of plastic.

    I got it back into place (magnifying glass and a dental pick), but it's over-sprung now.

    Still works.

    They are pretty flimsy.
  23. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    When removing or installing memory in laptops or mac mini's, bend the metal clips only enough to clear the memory. Any farther you are asking for trouble. Desktop memory clips are way more durable, even though they're are made out of plastic, at least on PC's they are....
  24. SoCalReviews, Mar 11, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012

    That's an old desktop PC method of repair. :D

    I had a friend who used to wack the side of his old Windows XP desktop PC when one of the internal fans would randomly get noisy. I told him that he shouldn't do that since it was really bad for the hard drive and I recommended that he should remove and oil the fan or replace it for about $5. He said he didn't care and didn't want to spend any money for a new fan because an occasional hard wack to the side of the case always worked. Then one day he wondered why his computer had trouble booting. His hard drive had failed. He had to shell out $80 for a new hard drive and have Windows and all of his programs reinstalled. Needless to say he also decided to replace the noisy fan at the same time. He finally accepted my original advice and doesn't wack the side of his PC anymore.
  25. iMas70 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2012
    I was careful and broke one of mine. RAM hasn't moved so it's all good!

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