What will I need?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by hallux, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I ordered a base model refurb Mini yesterday. My intent is to use it as a media "server", replacing a gaming desktop that I built and will sell to offset the project. I'm pulling every drive from the desktop and selling it with no storage devices. One of those drives is a 120 GB SSD that I plan on installing in the Mini and making it the boot/apps drive.

    What will I need for installing the SSD? Should I just grab the kit off ifixit.com? I have no problem taking it apart, I'm actually an ACMT, I've just been focused on the laptops as I don't need to support Minis at work.
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    You need at minimum a torx T6 and T8. There are a couple hex screws but the torx bits work for those too. It is also useful to have or make the logic board removal tool.
  3. hallux thread starter macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Thanks, but what will I need in terms of additional hardware? The videos I've seen about this have indicated screws and grommets, will I just need to get a kit from someplace to install the drive?
  4. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    If you are pulling out the original hard drive and replacing it with an SSD, then the mounting holes are all the same and no additional hardware is required. However, if you want to add the SSD in the second hard drive slot, you need an additional hard drive cable, grommets, and four screws to secure the drive in place. The easiest way to get these parts is in a kit, like this one
  5. VirtualRain, Aug 17, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    This is correct, but there are different kits (different SATA cables) depending on which drive bay you're fitting the new drive into. You'll have to open your Mini up and look through the perforated WiFI shield to see if your factory drive is installed in the lower bay. If it's not visible, it's in the upper bay. You need the cable kit for whatever bay is vacant ("Lower" is visible through the perforated shielding from the bottom - "Upper" is not visible from the bottom as it's where the optical drive use to be in earlier models).

    EDIT: according to the OWC website, you can determine the drive location through Disk Utility...

    Here's their kit for adding a drive to the lower bay...

    Here's their kit for adding a drive to the upper bay...
  6. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Besides the bay issue be careful that "cheaper" cables may lead to problems with a modern SSD. Those cables can't handle SATA-6G correctly. Mitigation strategy could be to connect the spinning HD to the new cable and the SSD to Apple's original cable. Or just get a more expensive cable/kit where SATA-6G is officially supported.
  7. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    I got a cheap kit of Ebay, and it works great.
    Things that I did not use:
    - MOBO removal tool
    - Grommets
    - Screws

    Just slide in the SSD after removing the wifi antenna, and if you like, put it in tight by adding a SSD spacer on top (often in the SSD package).

    Thing missing from every kit (including iFixit ones): a 2mm hex bit. They suggest to use the mini torx for the hex screws. You will get things done with it, but it is a bit of a dirty trick.

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