Late 2012 Antenna Plate

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by phenetix, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. phenetix macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2013
    First time poster, long time lurker :p

    I recently bought a late 2012 Mac Mini and decided to update the RAM to 16gb and the HDD to 1TB. The only problem I have had with the instillation is getting the screws to align on the antenna plate. I can get 3/4 aligned and screwed in but the last screw just wont. I even bought a replacement antenna thinking I might have bent the old one (saw a post saying that could be the issue).

    Any suggestions as to how I might have screwed up or get all screws secure? I have searched but cannot find a solution.
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    The antenna plate is a really tight fit, you kind of have to wiggle it around and it almost "snaps" into place. Try tilting it slightly and insert the back edge first, kind of like how the RAM went in. When it seats right you will know it.
  3. jjk454ss macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    I could only get 2 back in, I couldn't get the 2 that hold the hdd. But it's tight enough it's not going anywhere so I left it that way.
  4. phenetix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2013
    Thanks for the replies. I am out of town currently, but will try to install the antenna like I did the RAM (sort of haha).

    I have the plate secure, but I am OCD when it comes to how the inside/outside of my electronic devices look.
  5. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    There is a back and a front to the antenna plate making for a tight fit around the housing.

    In order to get it in you might need the end of a skewer and then poke in the holes (only through the top layer visible) around the edge of the housing and slightly pull it up while the underside of the anttena grille is caught under the housing. Work from the outside holes inwards and keep a bit of pressure pushing the grille towards the housing. It will suddenly slip in.

    Harder to describe than it really is.

    And do yourself a favor - those rubber grommets holding the SSD / HDD are real fragile and when they get older they are easily damaged. Take a small piece of the antistatic bag that your drive came in and make two washers that go between the grommets and the screws. After I started to do that I have not had a single grommet getting damaged.

    Good luck.
  6. jjk454ss macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    I'm the same way, but I couldn't get them and gave up. Only with my Apple stuff though, if it was a Dell I wouldn't have cared:D.
  7. GsySaxMan macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2013
    Installed a Crucial M4 512GB SSD alongside the iTB Hitachi today using OWC kit, used CCC to clone HD adding a recovery partition to the SSD; apps and data so far all seem ok on new SSD except for Office for MAC which wants a new activation code, thinks its on new hardware I guess.

    All went well with the install until like you guys I just could not seat the wi-fi foil correctly and in the end had to leave one of the three fixing screws out, which meant of course that the bottom case does not close properly because those screws hold it on. In fact I didn't detach the wi-fi foil from the MB at all because the connector seemed very fiddly, I was just able to manipulate the foil out of the case with the MB when I pulled it out.

    Had one another major issue that is causing me some concern and that is the temp of the case now, which is very warm. Before the SSD was in the box the case was virtually cold to the touch.

    Should I expect such a large temp increase or do the Crucial M4s run hot, or do you think I have an issue with either the SSD or the casing now its partially open with that one screw not inserted.

    Not that impressed with the response of the SSD either, not half as snappy as I thought it was going to be.

    Thanks for any thoughts.
  8. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Some SSD's run hotter than a standard HDD, check the comparitive spec's to find out if your model runs hot.

    The 2011 and 2012 Mac mini's run a lot hotter than the 2010 models.

    If the bottom is not seated properly there will be more heat on the logic board and drive's since the air is not forced through the designed way.

    If you look at the edge of the antenna plate where it touches the housing you see it are two layers - one to slide against each side of the housing. It has been desigined to be a tight fit and initally it had me wondering why it would not go in. I used a skewer to lift the top part - one hole at a time until I found the little piece that stopped it from sliding in.

    Performance improvement depends a lot on what you are doing - a normal HDD is as fast when it are large sequential files (e.g. video) but it are the small random files that make a difference. It also depends on how much RAM you've got in the machine and if the RAM is able to cache all your data.

    For me the primary reason for SSD is the silence allowing me to concentrate.
  9. Freestar007 macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2007
    I don't think I saw this stated here -- look closely at the rounded edge of the antenna plate, it has a bit of a groove in it. The lip of the Mini's case ends up slotting into it. I agree with the suggestion to use a skewer or small Torx bit to work your way along the misaligned edge, lifting up gently at points until it pops in place. Mine took several tries but it will seat.
  10. GsySaxMan macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2013
    Thanks for your help guys.

    I have spent the whole afternoon trying to get this wi-fi foil seated correctly, as I was watching some HD streamed stuff and the Mini got so hot that it switched itself off so thought I had cooling issues as a result of the missing screw.

    Couldn't hear the fan kicking in either so thought I might have not seated its connection properly.

    So I stripped the whole thing down again, started from scratch and rebuilt the box - guess what exactly the same issue with the foil and its literally only out about a 1mm or so, juts enough so the fixing hole wont snap into its bed to enable fixing with the very short screw.

    Tried all I know to get the edges to seat, but may have bent the ruddy thing now!

    Tell you what wish I have never started this and just used the 1TB HD and and external SSD - life sucks sometimes!!

    It stills works now, but booting off the HD and will leave the SSD alone for now until I get this sorted; see if it gets warm when I am not even using the Crucial SSD.

    Think I will put it in the Apple shop and they can sort it, enough is enough!!
  11. phenetix thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2013
    Thanks for the help!

    Just as an update, I tried gently lifting the edges of the antenna plate and that secured it into position. I can finally put my OCD to rest with all 4 screws in place/tact.:D
  12. vandrv macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    The more of these threads I read, the more I'm leaning towards running an external SSD in a a USB 3 enclosure.
  13. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2011
    Or just take the hit, have apple install the 256GB SSD they offer when you buy a new mini, at least you know it will work. Thats what I did and never looked back.
  14. jjk454ss macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    I couldn't get the 2 screws that o through the antenna plate into the hdd to thread in, but its nice and tight and doesn't affect anything. Other than that, it was easier than I expected, I'd certainly do it again.
  15. iamsen47 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2012
    Kobe, Japan
    When you placed the HDD back, did you align the screws with the rubber grommets inside?

    I had the same problem too but slotting the screws in solved that. It also stopped the HDD from moving about.

    Still can't get the plate back in though.
  16. jjk454ss macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    Are you talking about the holes in the rear of the case? Thn yes, I did. It's so close, they just don't thread in. The hdd doesn't move at all though, so I'll just leave it. Thanks
  17. Gonzo3333 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Sure beats having "extra parts".
  18. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    The minis run hot and if the antenna doesn't fit you should fiddle with it more because they fit properly provided that you get the hard drives in properly first.
  19. GsySaxMan macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2013

    When I got the mini in January it ran and did run virtually cold with just the 1TB HDD installed, including i7 intensive app such as High Def streaming of movies.

    However, when I installed the SSD suddenly runs hot with High Def streaming so thinking its the SSD or the changed airflow pattern or the missing screw and imperfect seal that's now causing the issue.

    As Titanium81 said should have gone the Fusion route let Apple do the work, pay the premium and get on with my life - couple of fast SSDs in an external USB 3.0 enclosure would deal with the rest.

    I have never encountered such a poorly designed piece of kit, makes me think that like the HDMI issue Apple builds these in deliberately, after all with a decent HDMI output we would all be using using TVs as monitors rather than the absurdly expensive TB displays Apple offers; I know I tried with my mini but like a lot of other folk the HDMI output sucks.

  20. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    Every mini since the g4 has run hot under load. If it wasn't hot, it wasn't under load for more than a few moments. Streaming a high def movie isn't really a heavy load. Handbrake would put it under a load. My media mini is always cold, it's rarely under a heavy load. My main mini is warmer when used and hot under load.

    You may have put yours back together wrong, it's possible that might impact heat flow. Adding a second disk invariably added to the heat. But a change to the level you're describing just isn't likely. Your mini is made out of aluminum primarily to disperse heat better than other materials. It's basically a big heat sink.

    On the unrelated issue of HDMI, many many people have their minis connected to TVs for media consumption. They don't use them for monitors because TVs don't have even close to the same pixel density as good monitors.

    honestly, I don't know anyone who uses a TB display for home use on a mini. I really doubt Apple is designing defects to pressure you into buying a TB display. I can say that the 2011 minis handle HDMI and TB to HDMI very well. I've seen plenty of 2012 minis that have 0 issues. I tend to assume that most of the complaints regarding monitors are from folks who got their minis very early on or they didn't download updates before complaining. It seems like the tech savvy people here have expressed experiences that are in line with my understanding.
  21. DiscoStu75 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2014
    Hi I had similar problems placing hte plate correctly, but finally managed to do so. I am, however, still struggling with the two hex screw that fix the plate to the aluminum chassis (not the ones that hold the hard drive in position. They simply will not thread in. They don't seem damaged, because they do thread in when the plate is removed. I also checked that the plate is perfectly flush with the chassis.

    Thanks for your help!

  22. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    I had the same problem when I put in a SSD some years back and didn't put the screw on the extreme right back in. It has worked fine without it.

    But reading this thread made me look on YouTube and there was a video there which, overall, wasn't very helpful. However it also made the point which was made in posts #5 and #11. That is, you need to lift the curved part of the plate which makes contact with the body and manipulate it slightly until the tabs on the extreme left and right of the plate fit perfectly in the slots on the chassis meant for these tabs.

    I did this using a small screw driver, using it to lift the plate - never poke down into the plate - and it worked. As mentioned in posts #2 and #5 above, it's a bit strange - you don't feel like anything productive is happening and then when it gets to the right point, it just slips in. Doing this slightly mis-aligned where one of the two inner screws goes so I used the same screw to re-align it. I screwed in the inner screws, put the cover back on and it works.
  23. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I had the same problem with one of the minis I upgraded with a Fusion drive. I unbent part of a large paper clip to create a skewer and used the same process you described, and it worked.

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