SSD in Late 2012 Mac Mini "Lower" Location!

cap2587

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Original poster
Oct 12, 2010
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I have a standard Late 2012 Mac Mini. I proceeded to upgrade the hard drive to a Samsung Evo 850. I took out the Apple drive from the lower bay and proceeded to struggle for hrs to put in the SSD into the same spot. I had trouble moving the motherboard, therefore just proceeded to put the drive in. For some reason I cannot get this drive to fit in properly. It is sitting up a little high and everytime I push it down more, the connector to the Motherboard becomes dettached. The cables on the right side of the drive seem to get in the way and the drive doesn't click into place where the drive screws fit into the correct position. Now the two screws the go into the WiFi grate to not tighten up. In the current position it seems like the HD connector won't dislodge as the drive is so tight and can't really move. However, I am not happy that I could not get this into the right position. Any ideas would be much appreciated.
 

v1597psh

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2014
238
386
London
I believe you are trying to install 9.5 mm SSD instead of 7 mm. That's why it doesn't fit. I suggest you remove the logic board and try installing it again
 

cap2587

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Original poster
Oct 12, 2010
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Thanks for the reply to my post. The perectionist side of me wants to get this drive in the way it is suppose to fit. The cautious side to me does not want to open this Mac Mini back up as it is working as it is in now.

I tried to wedge the motherboard towards me to allow more space to get the drive in, however it just would not budge. I now have the drive sitting in the space, tightly and a little on the higher side. It seems like the only way the connector to the Motherboard pops out of its place is if I push down with some force on the SSD drive. It seems like the drive is very snug and that this connector probably won't come out of place. Is there any other negative to the way it is fitting into position right now.

I am giving this Mac Mini to my Dad as a gift tonight, therefore very hesitant to work inside this again as I don't want to break a connector. Appreciate your insight.
 

bopajuice

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Mar 22, 2016
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Dark side of the moon
I assume you followed the directions at:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+Mini+Late+2012+Hard+Drive+Replacement/11716

You really have two choices. Install a 7mm drive, or leave it as is. The only other thing I can think of is the cover is binding somewhere. I would never "force" something into place. If it works as is I'd leave it. Can't tell you how many times I wanted something to be "right" just to mess it up.
 

cap2587

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Original poster
Oct 12, 2010
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I did try and follow the directions, but the motherboard wasn't budging. I do not want to mess anything up as I have done that before trying to make things right. My only concern is that the connector (see diagram) that attaches the SSD with the Motherboard becomes detached (at the motherboard end). I do think that this will not happen if I leave everything as is.

upload_2017-5-4_13-5-20.png
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
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Honolulu HI
My 850 Evo's (250GB), 3 of them, are 7mm, the current 2TB is listed as 7mm as well. Maybe an earlier 850 Evo was larger, but I don't think so. Did you use the tool used to pull out the motherboard? I think the only you can fix the cables that are in the way is to pull out the motherboard.
 

cap2587

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Original poster
Oct 12, 2010
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I did not have the tool to take out the motherboard. I used two thin srew drivers, but it did not work. The SSD drive must be sitting higher than what it is suppose to. The machine is working fine, therefore tha cable is seated properly on the motherboard. I guess I am worried that this connection will dislodge or there might be another side effect of my drive not being positioned properly. Thanks for the information.
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
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Honolulu HI
In looking at the instructions in the link in post #4, I noticed that it wasn't the instructions I used maybe 3-4 years ago. The instructions in post #4 is an easier way to replace the drive than basically taking the whole computer apart. I guess it works a lot of the time - I haven't tried it. So in the instructions in post #4, in step 16, how far were you able to pull out the logic board? In the picture, it looks like less an an inch or so. If you can't get it out that far, then either you really need the tool or something's obstructing the logic board. I've used the tool when I've done work on both the 2012 and 2014 Mini. It didn't seem like it was absolutely necessary but not having tried it without the tool, I don't know.

If you could pull out the logic board a little but couldn't position the drive correctly, then you should probably follow the instructions in:

https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+Mac+Mini+Late+2012+Dual+Hard+Drive+Kit/11713

These are the instructions I believe I used. If you notice in step 16, there's a power cable that needs to be removed from the logic board for it to come out. If the power cable is what was obstructing the drive, you might be able to reposition it without having to go further down the instructions. Otherwise, you may have to go through more of the steps to get everything in place.

I also presume the Evo 850 you have is 7mm, yes?

(Obviously since you're not adding a 2nd drive, ignore references to a new cable and hardware in the instructions above.)
 

munakib

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2011
493
42
I struggled putting in the SSD too, had to be patient for over an hour and keep sliding it as close to the top side as possible as there are those two holes where the screws sticking out from the SSD fall in. I saw the video where they use a business card to slide it in, but my SSD was slimmer and that didnt work out for me - just kept trying and finally it worked after an hour or so.
 

Celerondon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2013
679
123
Southern Cal
I struggled putting in the SSD too, had to be patient for over an hour and keep sliding it as close to the top side as possible as there are those two holes where the screws sticking out from the SSD fall in. I saw the video where they use a business card to slide it in, but my SSD was slimmer and that didnt work out for me - just kept trying and finally it worked after an hour or so.
Wow.
It sounds like you have good hands munakib! If I understand correctly, in the end your mini worked fine with no broken sensors, power LED, or infra-red sensor and you never had to remove the motherboard. Is that right? Congratulations on your successful upgrade!

Still, there is no way that I would want to be stuck at one step for an hour or more like you or cap2587. These 2012s are special. For most users, an SSD allows the 2012 to reach its full potential. But it would be grim to cripple any aspect of a cherry 2012 with a DIY repair gone wrong. :(
 
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cap2587

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 12, 2010
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I think I am going to leave well enough alone! My drive is firmly in place and my connector is attached to the motherboard. Is there any possible way that my SSD drive is sitting exactly where it should be and I am just over thinking this. I guess not as the two screws coming down from the WiFi grill are not tightening. The Mac Mini is running great with my new Samsung Evo 850 SSD Drive. Thanks for all the great insight in this post.
 

munakib

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2011
493
42
Yup same situation, where the grill would not sit properly until the SSD is in the right place (which I eventually managed to get done without breaking anything!). But I will take Celerondon's advice and leave it alone! Even the connector to the SSD is so fragile, enjoy that 2012! :)

I think I am going to leave well enough alone! My drive is firmly in place and my connector is attached to the motherboard. Is there any possible way that my SSD drive is sitting exactly where it should be and I am just over thinking this. I guess not as the two screws coming down from the WiFi grill are not tightening. The Mac Mini is running great with my new Samsung Evo 850 SSD Drive. Thanks for all the great insight in this post.