Scared to self upgrade your 09 mini's ram? I finally took the plunge!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by beatmonkeytwo, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. beatmonkeytwo macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2009
    Okay I'm writing this for anyone who feels the same as I did about doing this and is unsure whether or not to do it. Maybe it can help someone :)

    Last night I finally got round to upgrading my mac mini to 4GB of crucial memory using a 1.5" putty knife, mini screw driver set, pizza cutter, bright LED torch and towel. And boy was I pooooooping it during the whole process! :eek::eek::eek:

    But don't let that put you off :D as if you do your research, take your time, double check everything you do, then double check again, have all the tools by your side and you are not a clumsy oath then you should complete it with out any problems.

    My main concern is how much pressure you have to put on parts to remove them, compared to how easy they seem to come off on the vids I've watched. And how easy they seem to put the frame and memory in and out. As this is certainly not the case for a newbie!

    The main outer casing for a start takes a lot of force and you are not quite sure how far down to put the putty knife. You think your going to damage the clips or case, but it seem really robust, you just have to trust it and do a little bit a a time working your way around the base.

    The 2 small antennas seemed like they were going to snap on removal, really where attached well. One more than the other which caused me some stress :eek:

    The bigger corner antenna, comes of okay, just don't squeeze the clips in to hard, as I did and managed to bend one in to much so when re-fiting I had to bend it out so it locked into place.

    The next bit - the screws... make sure you have plenty of small screw drivers, all the ones I had were not small enough, so had to make a quick trip up to the DIY store half way through the job! :eek: The screws are impossible to get out unless you have a magnetic screwdriver, I could only get one out, left the other 3 un-done but still in the frame

    The ribbon cable came of easy taking my time with a small screwdriver. After all this the whole frame came out giving me access to the ram - this took some jigging, be careful of the antenna wires and the ribbon.

    Ram came out easy, but the 2 sticks I put in were not so easy. I could not see exactly where they had to go in, and took some force to get them in. Think it's all about getting the right angle though.

    Everything went back pretty easy apart from the frame, this was a bit awkward getting it to fit exactly, but eventually it popped in to place.

    I now have 4GB and intend to do the same process again when I can decide on what hard drive to buy to replace the 120GB internal :D:D:D + I am going to do my brothers. :D

    Overall I am very happy I have saved my self money doing it myself, and learnt about the inside of a mac mini. :cool::cool:
  2. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    I opened mine up before I even turned it on. It was the 3rd mini I've upgraded though. Just like he said, take your time and do be afraid to use a little force when necessary. Everything works out great.
  3. elcid macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2007
    I was going to post my own story but yours sums it up well.

    One thing I would like to add...once you get done you are never going to want to do it again. Make sure you have your HD and RAM selected and ready.

    I used a 320gb 5400rpm drive my my MB with the intention of upgrading it later on to a 500gb 7200rpm. I am not sure if I am going to do that now.

    All thing considered it was a good experience, but it seemed to take an eternity to post...prolly just me though.
  4. sngx1275 macrumors regular


    Jan 27, 2009
    I opened mine before I booted it the first time too. This was also my first opening of a Mini. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Use the iFixIt guide, but as a reference, not as a bible.
    2. The putty knife shouldn't scratch anything terribly, if it does, perhaps its too thick.
    3. The putty knife doesn't go in all that far, 3/4" maybe? Stick it in until it stops, and then start prying out, do both sides first, then you can start pulling when you get back to the first side. If you have your screwdriver handy it is a good time to stick it between the frame and your IO ports when you get one side up a bit.
    4. The antennas came out of their holders easy on mine, but it appears others aren't so lucky. Just take your time and lift both sides of the antenna platform at once.
    5. Be sure to undo that tape holding one of the antenna wires.
    6. Pay attention to the bronze looking ribbon that is behind the DVD drive (I think thats where it is.. going off memory). This step I believe is missing in the iFixIt guide and it gave me a bit of greif. You'll want to pry that up carefully with a flathead screwdriver or something similar. When you go to put it back on, push it with your thumb until it clicks. Failure to do this results in no sound.
    7. The RAM comes out the same way it goes in, at an angle. Once its seated it can be pushed flat.

    I think thats about all of my advice on it. Its pretty simple. I've opened mine up 3x trying to deal with the sound issue I mentioned in step 6. I didn't even notice the ribbon the first time and therefore didn't realize it was actually connected to something, I thought maybe it was a heat sensor and just 'floated' there. Silly me.

    Oh almost forgot. I don't recommend opening it up before booting the first time, even if you are intending a HD swap. If something doesn't work when you boot it after you've opened it you don't want to be stuck wondering if the problem was caused by you or if it came broke.
  5. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    My 4GB of RAM came in first and I didn't want to wait so I went ahead and opened it so I could install it. Next week when my Seagate 500GB 7200RPM hard drive arrives I will open it up again to install that. I have been working on computers and networks for a long time so upgrading my Mini was no big deal. The only Mini I opened prior to this was a G4 two years ago for a RAM and hard drive upgrade. If someone is proficient with tools and working on computers I don't see why they wouldn't be able to perform the upgrade themselves.
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    The old G4 minis were easier (at least all the ones I worked on) and did not have antennas (this was before WiFi was std) and a bunch of taped down stuff. The techies here will most likely be fine but a lot of folks would find this too difficult. Already there are several users who've disconnected the audio and broken antenna connectors.

    Besides, the time it would take me to carefully do it was better spent watching a movie while someone else installed it for $80.

    Assured me it would be done w/o a failure by authorized service ctr, helped a local vendor, thereby stimulating the local economy and keeping an American job filled right here at home.

    Just doing my part as a loyal American! :)

  7. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    I found process easy. Just make sure your 0pt screwdriver is long and skinny. I think the one used for eye glasses would be fine
  8. wbe858 macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Greensboro, NC
    Hate to be the one negative guy in here but something happened to my sound about a week after i upgraded...and its not that little ribbon cable either checked that many times. Apple says it was my soundboard going out. Havent gotten it back from them yet. Oh the genius said because there are no "user-serviceable" parts on the mini changing anything voids the warranty on the whole thing. Now he said this time he was going to "forget" i said anything and replace the soundboard because it was working when i put it back together, he also said i sounded like i knew what i was doing and didnt go in there just ripping things up and the way in which the sound went out sounded like a soundboard problem (which by the way is the place where that little ribbon cable connects to).

    Anyway i wish you guys better luck than me with your mini, i loved mine with the 4gb.
  9. beatmonkeytwo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2009
    If you use a pizza cutter to open a slight gap then insert the putty knife and take your time you will not mark the case. My case looks like it's never been opened :D

    This is the video I used

    + I read the fixit guide many times.
  10. Henrik85 macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2009
    I finally upgraded mine to 4 GB as well :) I used a cheese slicer to open the case :) Everything went pretty smooth. Putting in the new memory was the hardest step for me, since you need to find that right angle to push it into, and then push it kinda hard (I was afraid to damage the socket).

    Still, everything worked out just fine :)

    I'm already experiencing a HUGE difference in performance :D
  11. Smacky macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    I found it amusing that ifixit recommend using a spudger to remove the black electrical tape
    Just rip it off!
  12. beatmonkeytwo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2009
    I did my brothers ram upgrade for him last night. Took about 15 minutes compared to the 1 1/4 hours it took to do my mini the first time. I'd say the 2nd time around it's easy :D

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