Opening a Core Solo Mini. Never again!

Hugh

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 9, 2003
840
5
Erie, PA
Okay I shouldn't post this but I had to. I just took my Mac Mini Core Solo apart to fix a dead hard drive. That was not easy! I watched the video that OWC has on their site.

He makes it look so easy, cracking the thing open wasn't a joy. I had a hard time getting the putty knife in and the credit card in between the inter and outer casing. I ended up scratching the inter casing a bit and nicked the outer in two spots.

Then taking those screws out wasn't a joy. Too tight turn and not much room space to work in on getting those out. Not mention getting those little babies back in. I has to skip a screw just because I couldn't get back in. Too tight for me to get the screw lined up with the hole to screw.

When it came to replacing the hard drive, that was easy except taking the foam off the old drive and putting it back on the new drive. What is this do? In the video this foam had to be put on the new drive. Either buy by its self or glued back on. What kind of glue should've used if the foam wouldn't stick to the new drive?

Okay hard drive replaced...DONE. Now the hard part, putting the drive block back in the case. The damn Airport cable/antenna in the way from the drive block back in and still be able to put it back on it's post. This drove me bonkers trying to figuring out what the problem was. I figure it out but the video was no help to me on that. It just seem that it went into the right place for him...

Then there those screws again like I said earlier. I had to leave one out because hole was too big to line up the screw. Me and my roommate thing they might has assembled wrong from the factory. Because in the video he says the long screw is front right. When I took mine part the big screw was the left back..... Anyways I gave up on that screw and hope it will not hurt any thing. :eek:


I've read about you people saying that they take their Mini apart 6 times or 8 times with no trouble. I guess I'm not one of those lucky ones.


Just as a side note I had a person who is totally blind helping me! :D

Hugh
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
I opened mine and it wasn't so bad. The first putty knife was too thick so I bought a thinner one. Patience and a steady hand is key.
 

tamasvarga67

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2007
108
0
I opened mine - upgraded the HDD and RAM - without any problems just printed and followed the iFixit tutorial.
 

Hugh

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 9, 2003
840
5
Erie, PA
Upgrading Core Solo

The core solo was the first intel based mini. Also had a socket based CPU so you could upgrade to a core duo.
You know after a year I had the thing I thought i was going to upgrade the processor in it, because it is socketed. But after going though all that just to replace a hard drive and I don't think I will be doing the processor upgrade. :eek:

Although I must say the video did make it look like that replacing the DVD-ROM drive is real easy. That is if you can open the Mini in the first place. LOL

Hugh
 

Hugh

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 9, 2003
840
5
Erie, PA
Sharpen putty knife

I've had mine open 4 times....relatively easy and no scratches....did you sharpen the putty knife like Apple recommends?
No I didn't. I didn't know that Apple recommends that the putty Knife to be sharpen. If I knew it had to be sharpen, I would have bought the sharp version of the putty knife I bought. :/

Hugh
 

KeriJane

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2009
578
0
ЧИКАГО!
Hello.

That little piece of foam is an important air deflector that makes sure the airflow through the Mini cools everything as intended. if it's missing, air can bypass its usual route.

If the glue loses its stickyness, a dab of rubber cement seems closest to the original adhesive.

So far as the screws, you probably want to use a magnetized #1 phillips screwdriver to get them in place.

Mac Mini repair- a test of dexterity and patience! ;)

Have Fun,
Keri
 

scottness

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2009
1,370
3
Room 101
The core solo was the first intel based mini. Also had a socket based CPU so you could upgrade to a core duo.
How difficult is that? I've got an old core solo that I use for winXP. Opened it up once to upgrade the ram... Couldn't believe it was as difficult as it was.
 

ibglowin

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2005
216
2
No such thing as a Core Solo......

Its a Core Duo.

And they are a piece of cake to open unless you have two left thumbs.....
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,566
276
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
use a pizza cutter to open the case

I find a small rotary (3" disk) pizza cutter works better than the putty knife for opening the Mac Mini case without damage.

-howard
 

WardC

macrumors 68030
Oct 17, 2007
2,728
207
Fort Worth, TX
The first Mac Minis were actually Core Solo 1.5GHz before the Core Duo Mini came out, and then the Core 2 Duo Minis came out with the 1.83GHz models. Before the first Core Solo minis were the G4 Minis.

Here is one of the Core Solo Minis on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MA205LL-Intel-Drive-DVD-ROM/dp/B000EPWDTC


1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor with 167 MHz system bus
512 MB DDR2 SDRAM (expandable to 2 GB), 60 GB hard drive, and slot-loading Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
One FireWire 400 port; four USB 2.0 ports
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,017
New York City, NY
I had a heckuva time taking apart my Mac mini the first time I tried, too. But it has gotten easier over time. I guess things get "loose" the more times you take it apart.

In regards to upgrading the CPU, it's not hard. Just be careful with the nylon thingys holding the heatsink in place. When I upgraded my CPU, I broke two of them. Now, I have nuts and bolts holding the heatsink in place.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,017
New York City, NY
Thanks for that, I don't remember reading that in the guides I found. You may have just saved me a lot of work.
As long as you have some spare nuts and bolts around that fit in the holes, it's not a problem. In retrospect, I should've just used nuts and bolts for all four mounting holes.
 

Time Clock

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2004
95
0
Hemet, CA
I thought the putty knife was easy enough, but I may try this when I do the processor.
To be honest, I didn't have a putty knife when I upgraded my Mini, but even if I had the putty knife option, a pizza knife sounded safer to me, so I went that route. I have to say that there are some pretty creative ways to open the old Mini.
 

rprebel

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2010
399
0
Where the bluebonnets bloom
To be honest, I didn't have a putty knife when I upgraded my Mini, but even if I had the putty knife option, a pizza knife sounded safer to me, so I went that route. I have to say that there are some pretty creative ways to open the old Mini.
Whatever works, right? I just love the look on people's faces when I say "I can do that, but I'll need a business card and a putty knife." Okay, I've only gotten to say that twice, but it was priceless both times.:D:D
 

Time Clock

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2004
95
0
Hemet, CA
Whatever works, right? I just love the look on people's faces when I say "I can do that, but I'll need a business card and a putty knife." Okay, I've only gotten to say that twice, but it was priceless both times.:D:D
I can imagine what their faces would be like... probably like my sisters' faces when they saw me sticking the pizza cutter in my computer to perform "surgery":D
 

MacHamster68

macrumors 68040
Sep 17, 2009
3,252
3
The core solo was the first intel based mini. Also had a socket based CPU so you could upgrade to a core duo.
not only to core duo, the core 2 duo too still the same socket up to 3ghz ;)

so cheap way if you buy a 1.5 core solo pick up a 2ghz or even higher core 2 duo cpu cheap at ebay (and fit it in that little bugger )

btw i am just looking into that because one of my mentally challenged mates (windows user ) :D wants to have such a nice little mac mini afer seeing my G4 mini ,but wants windows on it , so i thought about getting him a 1.5ghz core solo how good are they really , ok i mean more ram is a must as the 512 mb are just not much especially with shared graphics , i know my MSI wind with 1.6 single core atom runs quiet good , but is it comparable
i mean in generall websurfing and youtube @480p and such things , will the mini 1.5ghz core solo good enough or should i better go straight ahead and transplant the 3.0 ghz core 2 duo out of his dell pc (socket LGA 775) never had a intel pc since the p4 always AMD powered :)