Mac Mini (HDMI) HDD Upgrade Tutorial Request

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ATHmathieu, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. ATHmathieu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Roger Williams Park - Rhode Island
    I'm getting my new Mac Mini delivered today and would like some assistance with upgrading the HDD. I've only worked on ThinkPad laptops and Dell desktops and never on an Apple system so I'm quite nervous.

    Can someone who has already upgraded the HDD in their Mac Mini (HDMI - NON SERVER version) please post a tutorial with some pictures and adivce?

    I and many others I'm sure would greatly appreciate it!

    Thanks :)
  2. ATHmathieu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Roger Williams Park - Rhode Island
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Has the sensor issue been resolved yet? There was an unknown as to whether Apple had an extra internal sensor or the HD or not. Doesn't make sense to me but you never know.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  5. CRRobert macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2010
    Does anyone know if the faster HDDs would put a strain on the power supply? Was wondering, if put in faster HDDm and required more power, if that could create any problems. I would guess that 7200 rpm would be ok since in the server version.

  6. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2009
    it has 2 7200rpm drives but lacks the super drive, how do you know the power supply hasn't been beefed up, lol, should be fine the newer 7200s should be more power efficient.
  7. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2010
    Lawton, OK
    I've done it. No photos or video, but use iFixit's teardown photos as a reference. It took me about 35 minutes to replace the disk and memory. No cables were disconnecting from logic boards. Mostly taping, screwing/unscrewing, and wiggling. All you need is a T6 and T8 torx driver and a non-metallic spudger.

    1. Unscrew the base and set it aside, upside down. Use it to hold screws you remove.
    2. Remove the DDR3 SO-DIMMs. You will need this space later to wiggle out the hard disk.
    3. Unscrew the exhaust fan (3 screws). Set them aside in the base. You do not need to unplug the exhaust fan's power cable.
    4. Unscrew the wireless cowling (4 screws) and set those screws aside. You will need to wiggle it considerably, and you may want to emply the use of a non-metallic spudger, but it wiggles loose. You do not need to disconnect the wireless antenna cable. Set the cowling towards the top of the unit.
    5. Unscrew the black exhaust fan cowling on the left side of the chassis (2 screws). Wiggle it loose then set it aside.
    6. Use two Torx drivers or a logic board removal tool, and insert them into the two blind holes in the logic board. These will touch nothing but the other side of the chassis. Gently tug both together, until you can pull the logic board out by 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
    7. You can now wiggle the hard disk drive (which was underneath the wireless cowling) out. You can use a non-metallic spudger to remove the temperature sensor. It should still be sticky enough to attach to the new drive. If not, use a single drop of a gel-based superglue. Remove the SATA cable from the left side of the drive. You'll need to remove 4 strips of electrical tape from the drive, and a plastic covering.
    8. Follow steps in reverse order. When putting on the wireless cowling, you may need to separate the "ridge" that hugs the chassis a bit with a spudger or a flat screwdriver since it fits very snugly. Also, two of the screws that secure it actually screw into the hard disk. Since the hard disk otherwise floats around freely, you can use a Torx driver to easily realign it as you reassemble.

    It's a LOT easier than most people anticipate. Now, replacing the optical drive? That would be a PITA since you have to remove the logic board entirely. But for an HDD replacement there's only 9 screws, 2 cowlings, a memory and the fan to remove (and partially pulling the logic board out 1.5 - 2 inches), plus some re-adhering of electric tape to tidy up cables.

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