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Use this guide to completely replace your mini's hard drive.

  1. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Bottom Cover: step 1, image 1 of 2 Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Bottom Cover: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • Place your thumbs in the depressions cut into the bottom cover.

    • Rotate the bottom cover counter-clockwise until the white dot painted on the bottom cover is aligned with the ring inscribed on the outer case.

    • You do not need to apply much downward pressure while turning.

    This took a lot of force on my Mac mini. A lot.

    nh3 - Ответить

    I agree. It took a crap ton of force from my thumbs to twist the bottom off.

    sleeve -

    I accidentally broke the little things that hold the cover to the case. Is there a cheap replacement to the cover? Those clips are held onto it very weakly.

    Jacob Halton - Ответить

    Don't just use your thumbs... Use your whole palm to twist it, with maybe a thumb in one of the recesses, applying slight downward pressure.

    markbart - Ответить

    Wish I would have read this comment before I did it!

    I found that what markbart said works best. one palm one thumb (and my knees) My thumbs would do it. It was a bit at a time.

    Same difficulty getting it back on.

    Would be handy if this (difficulty) was mentioned in the guide

    Also would be nice to mention the safe practice of pressing the power button for a few seconds after disconnected to rid the system of any residual power, working in a clean static free environment & they say on the crucial website to touch a metal surface of the machine before touching the RAM

    Nancy -

    I think it depends, I have seen some that are very difficult to open and some super easy. But I see them everyday. I wish there was a tool that fit in the holes.

    Justin Weathersbee - Ответить

    When seating the bottom RAM chip you may have to apply a little extra side force to get it to seat properly. I put in the new RAM and just got a beeping sound upon starting. I then put the old RAM back in and got the same result.

    Here is the solution I found on the Apple discussion board.

    "Take a small flat head screwdriver and after you put the memory in slot 0, put the screwdriver between the top of the mac mini and the memory then turn the screwdriver a little to exert pressure on the memory into the slot. Do it on both sides of the memory."

    This worked for me.

    littlemas2 - Ответить

    I remember this when I was changing my memory ... I realized (after opening) that more you push, more force it take to open the cover. As you push down you force the cover "to rub" the casing and possibly other things inside. If you "lightly" hold the cover it comes right off ... Remember: less is more! :-)

    Have fun!

    Radek - Ответить

    We found it hard to use the thumbs but if you put the casing on a carpet and one person is holding the case while the other is using his palm of one hand to turn the cover it comes off quite smoothly and without much downward pressure.

    Alexander - Ответить

    If you're upgrading to an SSD, before you even take this first step, I'd recommend putting the SSD into an external drive case, using USB and format the SSD first before trying to swap your existing hard drive or implementing a fusion drive. The external drive case will come in handy later so you can use the old drive as extra storage anyhow.

    Once that SSD is internal, the Mac errors out during the formatting process. Once it was formatted externally, then installed inside the Mac again, there was no problem.

    Orange Girl - Ответить

    The first time I did this it hurt! The second time my mac mini 2012 had been running so was warm. VERY EASY WHEN WARM. No fun when cool!

    Nancy - Ответить

    Forget about those 2 circle indents. if you consider the 2 marked dots (open and close) as position 12 o’clock, place your thumbs at 11 and 1 o’clock on the outer rim of the cover and rotate from that position.

    juicer52 - Ответить

    No way was I getting the back off. So I made a tool. Took a large wrench longer than the Mac mini. Superglued 2 rubber feet on the wrench at the same location as the thumb indents. Put the Mac on the ground, between my knees and used my body weight to turn the cover. Worked like a charm.

    Mark - Ответить

  2. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 1
    • Tilt the mini enough to allow the bottom cover to fall away from the outer case.

    • Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.

    I have a late 2012 Mac mini, but it must be an earlier version than this late 2012 Mac mini in this description, because removing the hard drive is much more complicated than described here. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

    sandyfacebook - Ответить

    This applied to me as well. The iFixit article was good and lots of helpful information in the comments but my mini was different and required more dismantling. The video sandyfacebook posted was very helpful in taking me the rest of the way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP...

    Erik Heerlein -

    My HDD replacement procedure took 2 jours of research, one night sleeping on it and 30 minutes to perform…

    Rene Girardin - Ответить

  3. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Fan: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two 11.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the fan to the logic board near the antenna plate.

    On my mini, the fan has a 3rd screw on the bottom right of its housing just out of sight on the step 3 photo. I believe it was in the hole later referred to as the 26 mm T6 Torx standoff in step 14.

    benjamin - Ответить

    Remove a third screw at the opposite end of the fan near the DRAM

    Craig Foster - Ответить

    Not necessary to remove that screw at that point to get the fan out. It is only a post at that point.

    Remove it in step 14.

    Craig Reilly -

    I needed a T7 for this, and had to remove all three screws before I could take the fan out.

    mackrell - Ответить

    The fan has in fact, 3 screws that need to be removed before you can lift it out.

    FinnCrisp888 - Ответить

    That screw is a post at that point. I removed it at step 14.

    Craig Reilly -

    The 3rd screw needed a T5, for me.

    Martin Cleaver - Ответить

    All of mine have 3-T6 screws.

    Kadah Coba - Ответить

    I can't, for the life of me, get the left screw out of the cowling. Had to pull both out together. Now having a very hard time getting the cowling back in to replace the fan.

    Elvin Lucic - Ответить

    I can’t remove the left screw to separate the fan to the cooler. Impossible to put back the fan and the cooler.

    Jérôme Rosat - Ответить

    One of my fan screws don't come out, even though I keep trying to unscrew the screw. I tried a lot of things ranging from pulling the fan up to just trying to shake it out, please help me out with this

    cooldude20128 - Ответить

    Only two screws as stated above need to be removed but as people have found out, the one in the cowling can bind into the post below it and it’s the post below that unscrews instead. So you end up with the screw+the post+the fan all together as one. That assembly can be worked out, and then with two pairs of pliers the post and screw can be separated.

    The lower right T6 fan screw is a standoff (that also secures the logic board). This can be loosened and kept with the fan, or (since it is friction captured in a grommet on the fan), the fan can be lifted off, being careful not to dislodge the grommet.

    John - Ответить

    IMPORTANT: there’s a spring under the post which could go anywhere when the post comes out with the screw.

    John - Ответить

    Hi… Hi… Good. I have a query, I want to change my internal hard drive from my Mac Mini (mid) 2011, and my query is whether to remove the fan screws and other parts, which from what I was informed is the Torx T6 screwdriver. And my question is: to remove it I need a Torx T6 screwdriver with a hollow point or the Torx T6 with a flat tip will work for me. From what I have read, that the hollow point Torx are called Precision Torx or are identified with an "H" after the number in this case: "T6H". The same query is to remove the cover where the WiFi is, should I use a Torx T8 hollow point or does the flat point work for me? From now on I thank you get me out of this doubt, before doing something wrong. Thank you very much and greetings. Image (Augusto)

    Augusto - Ответить

    After having a look on YouTube at various methods I found it was not necessary to disconnect the fan or the antenna plate. I rotated the antenna plate out of the way and secured it with a piece of masking tape. I also found that I didn't have to move the logic board either. I lifted the HDD connector (gently) with a spludger . The original HDD came out easily once I managed to grip the plastic PCB cover (which isn't needed on the SSD) . Fitting the new SSD was easy using a masking tape 'handle' in the shape of an upside down 'T' . funnily enough the hardest part was getting the little plastic shroud on the left to sit nicely but even that was easy once I had used the masking tape 'handle' I'd used on the SSD. I always think the less you have to mess with the less chance of anything going wrong. Oh, and buy a antistatic wriststrap !

    Andy Dacosta - Ответить

  4. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the ear of the fan nearest the RAM up off the standoff secured to the outer case.

    • Removing the standoff screw is not necessary to remove the fan. You need only raise the fan enough to lift it off the standoff screw.

    Contrary to the instructions, I had to remove the fan screw

    radonr - Ответить

    Same for me, couldn't get it to move without feeling it was going to break so I just removed the screw.

    warrencox -

    Ditto re: standoff screw

    turkeyneck -

    Better to remove the 3rd bolt here, making it easier to remove the fan. It needs to be removed anyway in step 14.

    Bas Meijer -

    Mid 2011. I too had to remove the standoff screw. It seems to be a T5.

    lsbf - Ответить

    You will have to remove this screw in step 14, so why not now ;)

    mpalma - Ответить

    For me it was no prob to remove the fan just pulling carefully upwards.

    Timpetou - Ответить

    Mid 2011 Server, I had to remove the fan screw

    garzov - Ответить

    Mid 2011. The "yellow screw" from step 14 is captive in the fan and has to be removed in step 4.

    eric - Ответить

    Also it is much easier getting the fan correctly aligned on the stand of rubbery bit if you have the screw removed.

    aron - Ответить

    It’s no need to remove the screw

    fatych - Ответить

    I ended up removing the complete stand off post.

    Peter Stockwell - Ответить

    My whole fan connector just broke when reconnecting

    Vince lolol - Ответить

  5. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 3 Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 5, image 2 of 3 Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 5, image 3 of 3
    • Lift the fan out of the mini for enough clearance to access its connector.

    • Grab all the wires at once and gently pull straight up to disconnect the fan from the logic board.

    • Do not pry at the socket, or you may rip it from the logic board.

    • Remove the fan.

    You actually don't need to disconnect the fan. You can just let it hang on the side while working. I accidentally killed my connector trying to pry it loose. It's being held together now by some tape, after spending hours trying to reconnect it and figuring out pin outs.

    Nick Michielsen - Ответить

    Did it just as Nick suggested, hang the assembly to the side.

    David Chan -

    Agreed. It is much better to leave the fan connected. The only thing you actually need to disconnect is the hard drive.

    ablack3 -

    Absolutely. just dangle it.

    Chuck Lin -

    110% agreed: you don’t have to remove the fan. Those wires are delicate, as is the connector. Just move it off to the side. Do the same for the antenna plate. The fewer connectors you touch, the fewer things you break!

    Chris Belanger -

    These instructions are used as a prerequisite for many other repairs where the fan simply has to be removed in order to continue. (For example, fan replacement.) I would not recommend leaving the fan dangling from the board during a repair, as that’s a hazard all by itself. If you insist on leaving the fan connected, secure it to the chassis with some masking tape to make it a little less dangerous.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    The fan has some slack cable on it. Once you have unscrewed the fan, you should see that the connecting cable is wrapped around two hooks. CAREFULLY move the cable around the hooks to free it. You can then move the fan to one side out of the way while you access the hard drive bay. On reassembly, thread the cable back around the hooks before screwing it back in.

    Ritchie Swann -

    Be careful to LIFT UP on the fan connector cable. Using a spudger tool helps here. I mistakenly thought that the connector would slide off the logic board and tried to remove the connector this way. I ended up lifting the connector off of the logic board, thus ruining my logic board and requiring a $350 logic board replacement at the genius bar. The second time I did a HD/SSD replacement, everything worked fine.

    Matthew Wagner - Ответить

    Yeah, I did the same thing by following someone elses "shortcut". Now I am going to shell out 289 for quad core i5 board, and a new fan BTW. . . . . . Oh well never a dull moment :) and it gets an upgrade as well!

    rob Stewart -

    That's probably the must tricky part of the replacement. I did the same thing, i just pull on my cables and the connector stays on the board. Tried many times to switch cables into but any order i try is not the good one.

    The avoid this, now, when i want to pull out my fan, i just use a plate screwdriver and lift up the connector. That's work perfectly.

    ayottepl - Ответить

    I've just pulled out the connector that's soldered to the logic board because I used a pry tool. Be careful at this point to just pull gently on the four cables that go to the fan.

    No Name - Ответить

    The CAUTION in step 13, "Make sure to pry up from beneath the wires and not underneath the socket," applies to this step as well, for removal of the fan wires.

    lsbf - Ответить

    I screwed it too... Not reading carefully enough, I accidentally removed the whole socket from the board. This happened with the IR connector too. When re-assembling the parts, the socket wouldn't stick to the board, now I know why. I don't want to buy a new logic board, because I can't afford one, so I'm trying to find someone to solder it. Seems hard to find someone able to repair logic boards these days. Hope I'll be successful, otherwise this is an expensive upgrade to my mac...

    Floffrob - Ответить

    Don't remove it with your fingers, use a tool for that. And underneath the wires!

    sebcthiebaud - Ответить

    Followed all the instructions, everything went well, but now my mini fan won't turn off. It starts as soon as I boot up. I've tried every fan control software out there, and nothing works; the fan just constantly runs. I was very careful when I disconnected/reconnected the fan cable, and it looks fine. What else can I do?

    Ben Dunkle - Ответить

    The problem is most likely a disconnected or damaged temperature sensor, I had this problem when reassembling a 2007 Mac mini. It can't read the temperature, so assumes the worst and sets the fan to maximum.

    patronics -

    I broke the fan wires from the connector plug. Impossible to repair. I have ordered a new fan. Is there a correct orientation to plugging in the new connector?

    ronhixson - Ответить

    For heavens sake please DON'T remove the fan. It's really really hard to reconnect it properly. And besides that you don't have to remove the Logic Board for just changing the HDD.

    Greg Kollmann - Ответить

    It’s very easy to reconnect if you know how. Position the connector over the socket as shown in the photo, and press it down. As long as it’s not upside-down or anything, you’re done in 5 seconds.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    Does anyone know how to solve the full RPM fan issue? My computer guy couldn't solve with fan control software

    J beneventi - Ответить

    I removed the fan and everything worked fine, but it’s good to know that it’s a “push-down“ connector, took me some time to relize that, all I needed to do was to press down the connector over the pins, see the picture for more details.

    Jan Igerud - Ответить

    SO glad I read these comments first.

    I changed the directions to read:

    “Use a Spudger to carefully pry the fan cable connector UP out of its socket on the logic board.“

    You guys DO know you can edit these, right?

    Brian - Ответить

    The direction you “ gently pull” to remove the connector is all important. You have to pull upwards, vertically away from the board. If you pull more downwards parallel to the board, you may end up wrecking the connector by pulling the wires out of it as I did. Fortunately the socket was okay so it was just a case of buying a $10 replacement fan (complete with new connector).

    David - Ответить

    DAGNABBIT! Broke it! Now I have a fan blowing on the open case while it’s operating. What can I use as a shield for dust but still allow for airflow?

    william8248 - Ответить

    OMG, please change this instruction to NOT remove the fan. What a nightmare trying to reseat it.

    Donald Braman - Ответить

    You need to position it over the socket as shown and press straight down. If it takes you more than 5-10 seconds, something’s wrong.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    really wish i would have seen these comments before I ripped out the fan from the logic board.

    frankie messinja - Ответить

    I missed the word UP and instead pulled the wires straight out, which ended up with me holding the wires but leaving the plug behind in the socket. I just ordered a replacement fan from ebay, since ifixit is out of the one in the correct amperage for this unit.

    I then edited the guide to capitalize and bold the word “UP” and hopefully that saves somebody else a bit of hassle.

    Any step with a lot of comments is one people have trouble with. It might be useful if ifixit were to make it more obvious we should read the comments, at least for those that have a lot of them. It would save a lot of people a lot of hassle.

    James Vasile - Ответить

    Just for emphasis on this point, I did exactly that - I ripped the fan connector right off of a perfectly good logic board. I used a plastic pry tool and was attempting to follow OWC video for replacing the drive. So beware! Trust me, it is not that hard to rip this thing off the board.

    Neal Sosdian - Ответить


    Put it to one side.

    Curtin Architecture - Ответить

    Here’s a video showing how this is done: https://youtu.be/KlR-RWtqzis

    glennbecker - Ответить

  6. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Cowling: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink.

    in Step 6 — Cowling ; " Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink", does it mean that it is the same T6 Torx screw for the cowling and the heat sink ?

    In fact at the end, I mess this T6 Torx screw !

    cegondaireun - Ответить

    Uhh I can't get this to go back in? Not sure what is going on...

    David Inman - Ответить

    Note that when you are replacing this cowling you are putting the screw back into what looks like another screw that holds the heat sink to the logic board. Disconcerting but correct.

    thrint - Ответить

    Thank you!

    I kept looking at that screw and wondering why I was trying to screw that screw into another screw.

    I've done removal and reinstalling a couple of days apart and I don't remember everything about what happened and where things came from. You're not wrong that it's disconcerting!

    Andrew K -

    Note That the arc of the cowling does not butt to the edge of the chassis. But slides in below it. Once the two screws on the heat sink are aligned with the cowling holes, it's good to go.

    imtimrob - Ответить

    used a T7 head to get this one out.

    patjmccarthy - Ответить

    Does this screw have a spring attached to it?

    martinknowsbest - Ответить

  7. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Lift the cowling from the end nearest the antenna plate.

    • Rotate the cowling away from the outer case and remove it from the mini.

    Look very closely at how this is set. Take a photo. Because when I put mine back together it took 45 minutes just to get the fan and this cowling to fit in place next to each other.

    sandyfacebook - Ответить

    The cowling has a notch close to the midpoint of the flange that goes under the outer case, which slides onto a standoff screw attached to the logic board. I used a Sharpie marker to put one "alignment mark" on the inner edge of the outer case. I put another alignment mark from the midpoint of the cowling notch out onto the visible part of the cowling. This made it much easer to reassemble, especially since my standoff post provided a tight fit, which, when I did this the first time, felt like "it doesn't fit . . . again?" It also helped to insert the end of the cowling closest to the heat sink first, which acted as a "fulcrum" for the cowling to "click" onto the standoff post.

    Carrick - Ответить

    On reassembly, if you're having trouble lining up the cowling with the screw holes, you can try pulling the logic board out a tad and set the cowling in place. Just try not to damage the cowling or the inside of the outer case when sliding it back in!

    Drew - Ответить

    This is one of the few problems I had when reassembling because I didn’t realise at first that the cowling goes just under the lip of the outer case rather than just butting up against it; once done, it’s easy to line up the screw holes.

    eggs - Ответить

    I am working on a late 2012 Mac Mini (A1347) and there are two T6 screws on the cowling. On towards the WIFI as indicated, and another towards the back by the SD card slot.

    Roman Sturgis - Ответить

    this is for the mac mini 2011. for mac mini 2012, see here: Mac mini Late 2012 Repair

    Gray Greensheim -

  8. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Antenna Plate: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following screws securing the antenna plate to the mini:

    • Two 6.6 mm T8 Torx screws

    • Two 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screws (either screwdriver will work)

    • When putting back together:

    • It can be difficult to get the hard drive seated correctly such that the antenna plate fits in place correctly. If the screw holes don't line up with those on the hard drive, make sure that the two pins that are in the back of the hard drive are properly seated in the holes at the back of the case, above the housing for the second hard drive.

    • The antenna attaches directly to the hard drive (red markers), therefore attaching the antenna can move the hard drive around and loosen the connection of the hard drive cable to the logic board.

    When reassembling this aerial plate, it may take a very strong force to align the side lips with the screw bays. The circular edge on the body is meant to slot into the plate by less than 1mm. I followed the rule of thumb, which is, if it takes an unusual force, stop and think it out to avoid a disaster! Then, I hit on using a paper clip to get around this problem. Make a paper clip L-shaped to loop through a hole close to the edge of the plate, where the slotting is not deep enough. Gently lifting the paper clip, slide and push the aerial plate in place. This worked like a charm without using a strong force.

    al dente - Ответить

    Worked like a charm, saved my day!!!

    David -

    @Al Dente’s approach worked for me, but at first I didn’t understand what he meant. Basically the antenna mesh has a tongue and grove relationship with the mac mini shell; it is hard to see, but along the curved edge has a concave grove which needs to be widened. You can widen this concave grove with a paper clip and then it will fit perfectly.

    Ife Nkechukwu -

    Wow! I struggled with this for at least 1 1/2 hours. Then I tried this suggestion and it worked with ease and immediately. Genius suggestion. Thanks!!!

    Kbwood -

    My only real problem in the whole process was putting back the antenna plate. Couldn't get both side screws to align. Ended up leaving one out but might try the paper clip trick now

    andrewarwas - Ответить

    I had a similar experience, but when I realized the two 5.0mm T8 Torx screws were 2 of a set of 3 that also served to hold the cover on, I wasn't comfortable with only securing the cover with 2.

    UNSC Jon 117 -

    DO NOT BRUTE FORCE the reinstallation of the plate. In my case, the top lip of the antenna plate has a notch which aligns with the edge of the opening was preventing the perfect fit. All I did in my case was use the spudger to pry open the notch a little more to give me a little bit extra space so that edge of the aluminum enclosure fits into that notch on the top of the antenna plate. Hope that helps. :)

    chicosy - Ответить

    I did this too. Worked like a charm.

    ablack3 -

    Thanks for the tip: I did the same thing and it worked like a charm

    Zitoune7 -

    I was installing an SSD in my mini and when I got to this step, an issue came up. The two 6.6mm screws on the antenna plate screw into one side of, and secure, the hard drive. The problem was the SSD was thinner than the original hard drive, so when I tried to reassemble, the hard drive sat too low for the screws to reach it.

    Here's how I got around the problem. I loosely attached the antenna plate to the hard drive, leaving plenty of wiggle room between the plate and the drive. I also left the two stand off screws on the logic board off to give me more wiggle room there.

    With the SSD attached to the antenna plate, I carefully connected and stowed the Bluetooth cable. Using the antenna plate as a handle, I was able to guide the SSD into the hard drive mount. Once in place, I tightened the 6.6mm screws more, which raised the SSD to the proper level.

    After insuring that the screws all lined up, I installed and tightened the logic board, then the other antenna plate screws.

    yourgenius - Ответить

    I was able to achieve the same result with an slim SSD disk by simply turning the computer around with the access hole down so that gravity would pull the SSD towards the antenna plate.

    Mikael -

    I attached the SSD to the antenna plate FIRST. Then I connected the RF and the HD connectors during the antenna plate installation.

    Robert Reid -

    After trying these suggestions with a thinner SSD and couldn't get anywhere I used a bent paper clip, L-shaped, to act as a hook. One end I was able to simply hook under the drive and pull it up to install that ends screw loosely. The opposite end I inserted the paper clip through the antenna grate, again pulled up on the drive, installed the screw and carefully pulled the paper clip out.

    Tony Visconti -

    I used a spudger to lift the SSD so that it reached the screws. Not the best solution as the spudger applied some force on the board but it worked.

    vlada -

    The SSD was obviously thinner than the old HDD it was replacing so the screws didn’t contact the threads.

    As “Mikael”^^ said… flipped it upside down and it worked a treat!!! Cheers dude :-)

    Also the paperclip trick came to the rescue to get the antenna plate back on, couldn’t quite get it to sit correctly otherwise!

    Thanks all :-)

    Oliver Fox -

    The "engineering tolerances" are definitely tight for the AirPort antenna plate. I would recommend trying to replace it as soon as it's removed for the first time, in order to work out the (precise) alignment of it.

    Nothing I tried (including the suggestions here) seemed to help me during reassembly. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get the holes for the two 5.0mm T8 screws to line up. Eventually, I had to resort to CAREFULLY and SLIGHTLY re-bending the curved edge of the antenna plate.

    UNSC Jon 117 - Ответить

    REATTACHING grate - al dente's trick helped me.

    The tiny perforations on the grate rest ON TOP of the lip of the case, while the remainder of the grate slides UNDER the lip. It is very hard to see - I used a magnifying glass.

    To get it into place, create a tiny hook on the end of a paperclip. Moving along the edge of the grate, lift a perforation with the hook to help it slip into place. Keep moving along the edge until entire grate is shifted into place.

    Chris 1000 - Ответить

    I had several 2-terminal connectors that went to what appeared to be temperature sensors on several components including the hard disk and optical drive. I accidentally pulled the wires out of one of these connectors. Lucky for me, they came out clean and I was able to just re-insert them into the connector

    Kyle Jurick - Ответить

    On a Mini bought Jan 2014, Red screws were T-9 and orange were 2mm Hex, T-8 didn't work in either one. T-9 didn't work in orange.

    michael - Ответить

    As everyone else has noted during re-assembly, seating the antenna plate is tricky. For me, what ended up working was to attach the hard drive screws first. After this, with just a little wiggling of the plate, the 2 5mm screw holes lined up perfectly.

    jonathansturges - Ответить

    Aligning the drive holes with the ones on the antenna grate was easy – just take the pointy end of the spudger. Also, for getting the circular part of the grate set correctly, I had to bend down the outermost part a tiny little bit and then used curved tweezers to lift the grate once it was near its final position to get it slide in the last millimeter. Frustrating at first, but it worked after a few tries.

    Julian - Ответить

    Has anyone had any trouble getting the two 5.0mm screws back in place? I can't seem to get them in, as they just keep on turning. I thought the thread may have been damaged but I then removed the plate and could screw them in position okay. It seems the depth of the plate is causing the screws to not go down far enough. I've had to leave these off at the moment (obviously not great as this means the bottom cover is loose. Any ideas?

    alan - Ответить

    I had the same problem but only on one of the two screws. Then I realized there's a little tiny "o-ring" underneath which is acting like a nut. I lost one of them in the process of upgrading. If I could find out where to buy a new one I would!

    lyleberman -

    @lyleberman Where are these O-rings? Under what? :)

    I figured I’d wasted the thread on the screws here, and was about to buy new ones at an absurd cost, but this is exactly what’s happening to me! I’ve currently ‘secured’ the antenna plate at the sides with duct tape. But this leaves the machine’s lid loose.

    I’d love to hear more about this, so I can get rid of my ghetto solution!

    Darren Black -

    The antenna plate seems to give most people problems. Somewhere along the line I found reference to "a wiggle here and a wiggle there" and that seemed to work. Shy away from the brute force - it's the surest way to damage something.

    Steen Rancher January 12, 2015

    Steener - Ответить

    If 5.0 mm T8 holes don't line up with those on the body, you should hook the antenna up a bit.

    manwe - Ответить

    Despite all the efforts, I couldn't manage to insert both side screws for the antenna plate. I ended up only using a single one (the one nearest to the HD connector), hoping it will hold the weight of the SSD.

    ngt - Ответить

    Same issue with that antenna plate - take a look at it from the side and you will see the incredibly tight gap which the lip of the case needs to slot into. I assumed it simply butted up against the case, but no.

    I used a big paper clip as suggested here, putting in one screw and then lifting through the perforations while applying a little pressure to the plate. Turned out there was one point misaligned and after a few tries it popped back in.

    Andrew - Ответить

    The thickness of your hard drive or SSD plays a part here, I think. With a thicker SSD (Crucial M4) in the upper slot I found the antenna plate very hard to re-install. After replacing this with a Samsung Evo 850 it was much easier, I think because the lower drive has more room to breathe. With the thinner SSD I didn't have to remove the power supply, either – a major plus.

    Charles Butcher - Ответить

    For those having trouble reinstalling the Aerial Plate, it is probably a matter of alignment. The recessed edge of the plate slides all the way up under the lip edge of the case. I used my iFixit bent tweezers spread and inserted through a couple holes to lightly pull up on the grate while pushing on the flat edge. No hard force was required. It just snapped right in. You'll know when it is home because it will be a snug fit to the edge of the case inside the arc of the opening.

    imtimrob - Ответить

    I would also add that during the reassembly process, make sure the drive stays firmly seated in the grommets. There's a tendency for it to come out or partially out. I kept nudging on it to make sure it was fully seated. Then the antenna screws line up nicely. Some of the problems I read about getting the screws in I suspect arise form the hard drive not being fully seated.

    Robert Meppelink - Ответить

    Al Dente and Chris1000 provided the key for me. I used the logic board tool to help lift the cutout sections into place on the top part. Once I did that I slid in to place so easily I almost pulled it out of place trying to adjust it.

    jesscoker - Ответить

    Hilariously, I was trying all the tricks, with the paper clip, and putting the drive screws in first, nothing working for me to get the case screw holes aligned. I ended up saying “one screw might just have to do it”, so I put the first case screw in, then I tried putting the second one in from an angle into the misaligned hole, and screwing it in, and that caused the plate to pop into place!

    lukejoz - Ответить

    What finally helped me was to check things one at a time. To check the tongue-and-groove fit, I installed the antenna plate by itself, with the hard drive removed. I used a spudger to pry open the groove on the antenna plate, since I had closed it a bit by forcing things. After the antenna plate was going in by itself, I focussed on the hard drive. At first, I was pre-attaching the hard drive to the antenna plate, but this makes it hard to see if the hard drive is going in as far as it should. Getting the two protruding screws on the hard drive into their holes is tricky (I found turning the Mini upside down to use gravity helped), but for me it was some wires at the side of the hard drive space that were getting under the drive and making it sit up high that was the problem. Once I got the hard drive in, and then the antenna plate, I could get the last two screws which hold the drive to the plate to catch by turning the Mini upside down and tapping it on top to bring the hard drive close to the plate.

    Duane - Ответить

    So, what they mean by the “paper clip” trick is that you need to lift away the round edge where the wire runs, to be a little further away from the plate. Then it will fit without forcing it.

    Agnes Riley - Ответить

    In order to put back correctly the 2 Torx T8 6,6 mm in the hard drive through the airport grid, I used a pick (to play guitar) to lift up the hard drive in order for the 2 screws to reach the hard drive holes.

    I inserted the pick in the little space left between the mother board and the hard drive. Then, by leaning the pick against the motherboard, it lifted up the hard drive against the grid. Then it was super-easy.

    Hope it might help…

    BAN JI - Ответить

    The flush screws holding the hard drive to the mesh plate are actually T9 torx. The other little screws on the left and right edges of the mesh plate are T8.

    Nathan Barnett - Ответить

    No I disagree with all of this … this is plain and simple extremely difficult bordering on impossible and I now have to take the mini to professionals and pay them to see if its salvageable .. so moral of the story I wasted money and time trying to go DYI and I learned the hard way.

    Jay Kassabian - Ответить

  9. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 2 Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 9, image 2 of 2
    • Slightly lift the antenna plate from the end closest to the RAM.

    • Carefully pull the antenna plate away from the circular rim of the outer case.

    • Do not remove the antenna plate yet. It is still attached to the AirPort/ Bluetooth board.

    Here's where it started going south on me because the two T8 screws aren't really attached to anything because my hard drive is on the top of the case where the DVD drive used to be.

    jpmist - Ответить

    The top curved part of the antenna plate has a thin lip on the bottom edge, but is very flexible. During reassembly when sliding the antenna plate back into position, if the 4 holes do not exactly line up, then try bending that lip downward a bit and the antenna plate should then line up perfectly.

    Eric Demopoulos - Ответить

    Actually, curved edge of antenna has a groove into which an edge of aluminium body should slide in. In my case a vary slight lift by putting tip of tweezers into one of the antenna top holes made a good help - antenna popped into correct position.

    Jurgis R - Ответить

    Thank you! Helped me in my 2012 mini.

    Edmar Herrero -

    On reassembly, I could engage either one of the two ears, but not both at the same time. _Lifting_ the antenna plate slightly with a paperclip bent into an “L” and inserted through one of the holes close the the center of the curved edge did the trick for me.

    Andrew Black - Ответить

    Adding 2nd drive to Late 2012 2.6GHz i7 Mac mini

    This is as far as I had to go with disassembly.

    Disconnected & eased out original 1TB HD. Removed the two grommets on its side and switched the 1TB HDD with the new 2nd drive cable (not quite the same as the one illustrated here – mine consisted of just the cable and no cradle ). Eased that HD back in and attached it to the previously spare drive socket on the logic board (with drive at the top, right-hand looking down). Screwed 2 grommets into my new 500GB (7mm) SSD, attached old drive cable and eased the SSD in on top of the old drive. Connected that drive to the first logic board socket.

    Took a while aligning the antenna plate and the 2 inner screws didn’t seem to line up with the new SSD so in the end I left them out. Everything seems secure, though. Cowling slipped back in place with no problem and that was it.

    Currently cloning the old HDD onto my new SSD with Carbon Copy Cloner. So far, so good. Can’t believe how easy it was – just 10 steps rather than 37!

    Roger Houghton - Ответить

  10. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully pry the antenna connector up from its socket on the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

    steps 10 11 13 14 15 16 not necessary …

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 17 only needed to change hard drive …

    radioman - Ответить

    You were right.

    kurtsaban -

    yep worked for me too

    kate henderson -

    Worked for me too.

    ablack3 -

    Absolutely correct. Thanks. The wide-head screws holding in the antenna plate may be used on the upper side of the HD (SSD in my case) to help hold the side of the HD that slips under the case -up- so the two side mounting screws in the drive may be seated properly in the case. This is easier to do than to describe. (Others have noted this, as well and I followed the advice.)

    barryjaylevine -

    This, agreed. Do as Radioman says. Far less complicated and I had everything apart and back together within 10 minutes.

    Chris Belanger -

    Step 10 is different for late mini Mac 2012

    The antennaplug is different (round)

    Josse - Ответить

    That s why it is easier to leave it on the logic board at all times

    There is no need to remove it.

    Carefully let it follow the logic board assembly when you take that it out completely in the nex steps.

    Bas Meijer -

    Agreed. I just rotated the antenna plate out of the way.

    barryjaylevine -

    unless, of course, you are here to replace the logic board

    maccentric -

    I skipped steps 10 and 11 but had to do the rest to get the drive out. My system had a second drive so that may be why the logic board had to be removed to have enough room to get the drive out past the DIMM sockets.

    Craig Foster - Ответить

    On the Late 2012 model the antenna connector is hidden under the case, so unlike as indicated in step 10 you can not see the connector and definitely not remove it until the Logic Board has been eased out an inch. Note how the cable makes a loop under the case as it is removed. Remember to reconnect the same way with the loop and connected before the logic board is pushed in all the way.

    Indy - Ответить

    The antenna connector is underneath a black flap. I just lifted the flap slightly with a spudger and used my fingers to disconnect.

    FinnCrisp888 - Ответить

    ...in the latest delivery of the mac mini they had changed something. The antenna plug is hidden under a plastic cover and some tape on it.

    You have to push up the cover and remove the tape...not really difficult, it was formed so you can put up easilly.

    Tom - Ответить

    If your machine came with a 7mm drive and you are replacing with a 7mm drive you do not need to move the logic board. I installed an Intel 335 240GB drive which is a 9.5mm drive and to get that drive in I did need to bump the logic board out to clear the memory slot brackets. I did not need to remote any other wires or connections as the logic board only needs to move maybe an 1/8" to get the drive to clear the memory bracket.

    klaubscher326 - Ответить

    When removing the wifi antenna make sure you use a plastic spudger and lever up underneath the wire. I used a metal screwdriver and levered up from the side opposite the wire and ripped the pico-ITX connector right off the board! Fortunately I only use my mini via Ethernet, but now I have no choice!

    Kevin Broadey - Ответить

    Did you actually break it? It pops out easily and can actually be plugged back in easily too with tweezers or small needle nose pliers. I did the same thing with no permanent damage.

    Steen Rancher

    January 12, 2015

    Steener -

    I skipped this step with no problems.

    manwe - Ответить

    I have a late 2012 Mac mini, but it must be an earlier version than this late 2012 Mac mini in this description, because removing the hard drive is much more complicated than described here. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

    sandyfacebook - Ответить

    I think sandyfacebook is speaking about the mini server with the second drive this guide is about replacing the primary drive.

    BTW, I agree with radioman: it MUCH safer if you do not need to remove the logic board to replace the HD. Just stop after step 12 and pull the drive out. The trouble starts when you try to put it back in because gravity is working against you: the drive has to hang in its slots about 1 cm above the top casing, which is on your table. The trick is to flip the mini up onto its front edge and after a couple of tries the buttons on the HD will engage their sockets.

    rsjrsj - Ответить

    Am unable to reattach the cable to its socket on the wireless board of my late 2012 (after installing SSD as second drive). Looks roughly the same as pictures here, but won’t attach. Anyone had problems attaching and figured it out?

    foosayer - Ответить

    On my late 2012 Mac mini, I could not slide out the lower drive without removing the logic board; the memory cards were in the way. Radioman’s suggestion may work for some disks, but not for mine.

    Andrew Black - Ответить

    Thanks sandyfacebook, I also had a 2012 Mac Mini (not the Server version) where the Primary drive was installed in the top (that is to say, lower when the Mini is upside down to be worked on) drive slot. This meant a complete disassembly was required, removing the logic board completely, along with the PSU and lastly the lower drive caddy. Unlike the drive shown in the pictures, the one underneath is secured into the caddy with screws and cannot be just lifted out.

    stuart.johns - Ответить

  11. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the antenna plate from the mini.

    There's no real need to disconnect the antenna. You can just lay the grill gently on its side and leave it connected.

    FinnCrisp888 - Ответить

    That is true if you do not need to remove the logic board (i.e. you are only replacing the drive in the original slot position).

    anonymous 3693 -

    You can leave the antenna plate attached and remove the logic board if you're careful while removing the motherboard.

    Dan Wilson - Ответить

    You might find the two silver screws (along the edge of the grill) will not attach. That's because the hard drive was installed a millimeter or two in the wrong place (or maybe the new hard drive has screw holes offset, in the wrong place). This happened to me. Rather than take it apart (again), I'll just secure the two screws that go into the tabs. No question this will keep things secure enough (just a question if I'll suffer noise or rattle). Extra screws are fun :-)

    scootz - Ответить

    You can gently use the tip of a screwdriver to align the antenna plate screw holes as long as your hard drive pegs are aligned. *DO NOT FORCE* as your hard drive may just not be in the right place.

    Drew - Ответить

    On my Late 2012 mini, the antenna plate connector is covered by part of the case. But, as FinnCrisp888 said, there is actually no need to remove the antenna plate at all; just carefully fold it back to expose the bottom drive.

    Andrew Black - Ответить

  12. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 12, image 1 of 1
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive connector up from its socket on the logic board.

    I have a late 2012 Mac mini, but it must be an earlier version than this late 2012 Mac mini in this description, because removing the hard drive is much more complicated than described here. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

    sandyfacebook - Ответить

    That link is dead. Here is the updated link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq4PGlPu...

    The original link can be recalled from here:


    maccentric -

    At this point I could remove the hard drive by gently pulling it. There is no need to remove the motherboard!

    Zitoune7 - Ответить

    Same here. I just place two of my torx head screwdrive tips in the holes on the drive and levered it out. Really easy and, well, created my own 12 step program. ;)

    Les Manthe - Ответить

    +1: Don't remove the motherboard, and don't buy the tool to do it. When it's time to slide out the logic board, just push gently on the inside of the metal air guide fins on the intake. This will "eject the motherboard out the necessary 1/2 inch. Be mindful of the length of wires going from under the RAM out to the front of the case, as you don't want to pull hard or disconnect these..

    scootz - Ответить

    I decided that there was a greater risk of breaking something by not removing the logic board than by removing it. The old hard drive comes out easily enough, but the new one would just not quite go in for me. Lining the screws on the outside of the new hard drive with the rubber grommets is so much easier with the logic board out. I used masking tape with pencil marks on the case and on the drive in order to line up the screws and the grommets with the case right side up. IMHO, by the time the antenna is off, removing the logic board is relatively easy.

    Robert Meppelink - Ответить

    Yes, this step is enough to remove the hard disk. No need to open the chassis.

    David - Ответить

    Stop at this step and gently pull off the drive.

    To align the new drive’s screws turn the Mac Mini in the air and just let the new drive lay on the case while pushing it to make the screws align with the holes.

    ernipiggy - Ответить

    Yes, if you have come this far just pull the drive out because removing the bluetooth connector and the motherboard is troublesome.

    If you just pull the drive out at this point the only difficulty is when you try to put it back in because gravity is working against you: the drive has to hang in its slots about 1 cm above the top casing, which is on your table. The trick is to flip the mini up onto its front edge and after a couple of tries the buttons on the HD will engage their sockets.

    rsjrsj - Ответить

    If your mini has 2 drives installed, you will not be able to slide the top drive out as it won’t clear the RAM slot due to the other drive underneath. You will need to scootch the logic board out a bit to get the drive out, and then back in. If only Apple had made these things .25” longer it would have been so much easier.

    maccentric - Ответить

    Can someone write the better version of step 12? I already see that steps 10-11 and 13-16 aren’t necessary as long as step 12 is done differently…Thank you!

    gina757575 - Ответить

  13. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 13, image 1 of 1
    • Use the tip of a spudger to lift the IR sensor connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

    • This connector can be very fragile—lift gently and evenly.

    You can remove the hard drive by lifting out after step 9, it's not necessary to disconnect the wireless, nor remove the system board.

    Zinger z - Ответить

    I did not remove the IR sensor. I attempted to and it was very difficult, (I felt like I was going to snap or damage the logic board). I would advise skipping this part since it's not necessary to removal of the hard drive, and it seems like a number of people have damaged their logic board while trying to disconnect the IR sensor. Skip.

    FinnCrisp888 - Ответить

    That third screw on the lower right hand side should be removed in the beginning when you remove the fan.

    FinnCrisp888 - Ответить

    You can skip this step with no problems.

    manwe - Ответить

    Agree with all the previous: this step is not necessary to remove the second drive (the one closer to the bottom of the case. The connector is VERY delicate.

    TerribleHacker - Ответить

    That is true! I just used the tip of a screw driver in the screw holes on the drive to help slide the drive out. The hard part is putting the new drive back in position, due to the 2 screws at the back have to fit into the 2 holes in the rubber at the back of the bay. I finally stood the mini on end, so the drive would fall down into position. Then I stuck a suction cup on the drive to then pull the drive towards me to get the screws and the holes in the rubber to line up.

    Wayne Renshaw - Ответить

    This was my first time taking apart my Mac mini. I wanted to upgrade my hard drive and RAM. However, when I came to this step I pulled the motherboard out a little bit to hard (after tugging on it gently a few times, but it wasn't coming out) and the wires came out. So I was wondering is this fixable? Thank you.

    Robert - Ответить

    I managed to lift the IR connector and the base it connects to... I tried to put it back without breaking the pins but failed. Fortunately, the IR sensor is the least useful part of this device for me, so no loss.

    art - Ответить

    I tried to reconnect this IR plug, but managed to crush all the pins on the logic board. I was gentle the entire time, but I simply could not see how the two fit together, and I still don't. I broke off all the dangling pins and removed them and will now leave the IR connector dangle. These instructions should provide a better visualization for this step. And by the way, I had to remove this connector because I was replacing both drives of a Fusion logical volume.

    Dave Kitabjian - Ответить

    After fiddling with a spudger and then two spudgers and not being happy at all with the direction of the forces I feel that the only safe way to do this, in my opinion, is to slide something under the wires of the IR connector (I used a narrow cable tie, but maybe a suitably bent paper clip would do it too). Make sure this is sitting as close to the connector as possible and then pull directly upwards (away from the board). The idea being to exert a force equally on all the wires at right angles to the board.

    Frank Puranik - Ответить

    straightened a paperclip, slid it under the wires, lifted, popped right out

    ebay - Ответить

    I accedentally broke the IR connector. How can I fix it?

    Chatr - Ответить

    If the hard disk is at the ‘normal’ position and not in the upper position, you don’t need to remove anything else to get the disk out.

    Finger-tighten two long screws that fit the two holes on the drive and use this to remove the old drive, and then screw them into the new drive and use them to properly align and insert.

    Here’s a picture of what I did and it was super-fantastically easy.

    Will Brokenbourgh - Ответить

    Sorry I wasn’t clear - - You use the long screws as handles to tilt and pull the drive out or to push it in and align it with the unseen rubber grommets.

    Will Brokenbourgh -

    &&^& you ifixit, because of you I damaged that connector, I should have skip it

    Really &&^& you

    c1sco - Ответить

    if the logic board is sticky to remove, you will pull too far and too quickly and the wires will pull out of the connector. Too late for me…but IMHO it makes a lot more sense to follow the directions and at least try to remove the connector as instructed.

    handemail - Ответить

    FINE UNTIL STEP 9 - then SKIP STEP 10 AND 13 and 14, 15 AND 16 - NOT NESSESSARY!!!!!!!!!!

    kenneth krabat - Ответить

    Confirmed here, but I’ve broke my IR connector before it. The rule of thumb, read comments before doing steps from guide…

    Mista Twista - Ответить

    The IR cable has some slack on it. If you have slackened the fan cable in the same manner (see above) and are careful, you can pull the logic board a short distance without the tension snapping the cable, which will give you enough space to access the drive bay.

    Ritchie Swann - Ответить

    Yep; broke mine off too :P. Definitely read the comments. Gots to get under the wires and pull up from there.

    Tim - Ответить

    Unfortunately you will need to do this if you have 2 drives installed in the Mini.

    maccentric - Ответить

    This step is not well explained. For some models of 2012 you need to disconnect this to be able to remove the motherboard and unscrew the hdd. However, this looks very fragile, and many people screw this sensor. If someone has been successful it would be nice if they can develop this. How to disconnect and how to re-connect it. thanks.

    daniel - Ответить

  14. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 14, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the following three screws:

    • One 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screw (either screwdriver will work)

    • One 16.2 mm T6 Torx screw

    • One 26 mm T6 Torx standoff

    The 26 mm T6 Torx standoff is actually part of the the third fan screw which was removed earlier in order to get the fan out.

    Craig Foster - Ответить

    If you skipped step 13, skip this one as well.

    manwe - Ответить

    Screws were in different spots on my model

    alex - Ответить

    Note: On my model, this was not a "pull up" cable that needs a spudger, it was a regular "slide" in connector.

    alex - Ответить

    Screws were in different spots on my model


    imoforpc imoforpc - Ответить

    It would help if you gave your model. Thanks.

    Gerasimos Christoforatos - Ответить

    • To remove the logic board, the two cylindrical rods of the Mac mini Logic Board Removal Tool must be inserted into the holes highlighted in red. Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may destroy the logic board.

    • Insert the Mac mini Logic Board Removal Tool into the two holes highlighted in red. Be sure it makes contact with the top side of outer case below the logic board before proceeding.

    • Carefully pull the tool toward the I/O board. The logic board and I/O board assembly should slightly slide out of the outer case.

    • Cease prying when the I/O board is visibly separated from the outer case.

    • Remove the Mac mini Logic Board Removal tool.

    You may not find it necessary to push out the logic board in order to slide in (or out) the hard drive. It helps to have the extra room to maneuver, but it can be done without.

    FinnCrisp888 - Ответить

    thanks for the tip, i didnt have to move the motherboard and it made my hdd switch much easier! this guide overall was super helpful and thanks to it now my mac mini is working like a charm with an SSD running it

    Maher M -

    I had read all the comments thet said the HDD can be taken out at step 12, besides I'm in France, so I hadn't bought the special tool. when I realised I had to remove the logic board after all, I managed without the tool but I'm not doing it again. I inserted 2 screwdrivers in the holes and tried to move them both simultaneously. It worked but instead of sliding out slowly, the I/O board came out all the way with a noise! The clips from step 16 had unclipped by themselves, causing the noise. For a second I thought I had broken everything. I really don't recomment doing this without the tool.

    Elica - Ответить

    Instead of the removal tool it is also possible to use two metal pins with 2,5mm diameter.

    Martin Born - Ответить

    I didn't have the opportunity to get the removal tool before starting my tear-down but when I got to the Removal Tool stage I used a pair of small allen keys, just big enough to fit through the holes in the logic board. You can feel them engage into the holes below the logic board. Easy, steady pressure on both does the job well. I think the main thing through the whole disassembly process is SLOW and Gentle.

    January 11, 2015

    Steener - Ответить

    If you are this far into a tear-down it's a good idea to pop the logic board and replace the battery - a 3Volt #2032. It's on the under side of the board below the antenna and HDD. May save having to come back this way again...

    Steen Rancher January 12, 2015

    Steener - Ответить

    This step may require more force than expected. I was very careful and pulled the remove tool out too early. You have to put a bit of will into it and push it at least 0.5cm (= 0.2 in), less won't do the trick.

    Wenzel Massag - Ответить

    If you have no such tool, just skip this step. You can pull HDD anyway.

    manwe - Ответить

    For this, I discovered that no special tool was needed. I simply pushed the logic board towards the back of the case where the ports are, slid out easy peasy.

    alex - Ответить

    Also, be sure to withdraw the special tool (or any substitute) before prying out the logic board more than just a bit. In my case, the tool restricted the board's movement, and it took me a while to understand why I wasn't getting anywhere.

    Gunnar Linn - Ответить

    I used two 2.5 mm drill bits, turned upside down. They worked like a dream. It took me a little while to realize that they needed to be lifted slightly from the underlying case in order for the board to slide out.

    aron - Ответить

    I put two small screwdrivers in these holes and pulled and had my son push on the far side of the logic board. It took two of us to get it to move.

    sandyfacebook - Ответить

    With a Mac Mini 2012 model, you DO NOT need the logic-board removal tool. I wish I had read these comments before I spent the ten dollars on the tool (I'm not criticizing ifixit here, but I wasted my money).

    scootz - Ответить

    You could always create your own logic-board removal by re-bending what's known as a "landscaping staple". It's just stiff steel wire.

    scootz - Ответить

    Same. I cut a metal coat hanger and bent it to fit with needlenose pliers..

    Roman Sturgis -

    One can remove the hard drive without removing/moving the logic board. Once the hard drive cable is detached from the logic board, one can lift the side of the hard drive closest to the logic board just enough to clear the RAM bracket and then carefully slide it out. It may be easier to remove it with the logic board pulled out but in my opinion the logic board (and CPU) should be left alone unless it is absolutely necessary.

    CG Hughes - Ответить

    Just use two iFixit screwdrivers and pull

    daniel - Ответить

  15. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 16, image 1 of 1
    • Simultaneously push the two plastic clips on the far left and right sides of the I/O board toward the middle of the I/O board and pull the I/O board away from the outer case.

    • Only pull the logic board assembly out of the outer case until the edge of the I/O board is about .5" away from the edge of the aluminum outer case.

    steps 10 11 13 14 15 16 not necessary …

    radioman - Ответить

    Really, not necessary.

    manwe - Ответить

    Confirmed not necessary at all!

    Paolo - Ответить

    Except when you are adding another HDD.

    Guastavo - Ответить

    In fact, not necessary, not at all! But I did it "strictly according to the instructions" at first and had some problems with the rubber sealing the power plug, which I hadn't seen when I slid the I/O board back into the aluminum case and nobody in the instructions mentions that the best way to do this is to use the spudger to press in the mounting clamps (right and left): then it's easy! But with me the insulating rubber of the 220V unit (female) got stuck between the aluminum housing and the I/O unit. It wasn't until I had already installed the antenna that I noticed that a tip of this rubber was sticking out of the housing and that the I/O unit was therefore not flush with the housing. So: disassemble everything again, antenna connector, mainboard connector, etc. Luckily I was able to fix it. After that I was smarter and asked myself why I had made all this effort and not just removed the old hard drive. Conclusion: afterwards you are always smarter and: read the comments!

    Preppers Delight - Ответить

  16. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 17, image 1 of 2 Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 17, image 2 of 2
    • Pull the hard drive away from the front edge of the mini and remove it from the outer case.

    Be careful when replacing the HD/SSD in this step. If you are not careful, you can mess up the rubber shock absorbers by misaligning the posts. If that happens, you will have a hard time getting the screws to line up when putting the perforated grille back on (wifi antenna grill).

    Matthew Wagner - Ответить

    Exactly ! The easy way that I found to do this properly is to turn upside down the mac mini in order to have the HD at the top of the mini and the 2 screws at the back of the HD perfectly up at the level of the 2 holes on the shock absorber.

    Rodolphe -

    I have macMini (late 2012) and buy a Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB to replace original 500GB Apple HDD. Your guide is OK, but in step 17 I have a big problem. HDD in my Mini was securing with two screws. So first I need to remove logic board and unplug the power connector. Then remove two screws from HDD side.

    Roman Pucko - Ответить

    Can anyone confirm that those "2 screw" holding HDD to plastic frame in step 17 are "T8 torx"?

    slodkijanek -

    I can confirm as well. I pried off the large connector off the main board to get to those screws. They t8 and were screwed on very tightly in my case.

    Johannes Deml -

    Yes, for Mac mini late 2012, the HDD is fixed with all 4 screws. I had to remove the Power supply and entire HDD tray to unscrew it. :D

    It was easy though. Thanks iFixit for the guide.

    mahesh deshpande -

    My MacMini (bought late 2013), had the HDD installed in the upper bay, so a complete teardown was required in order to change the driver.

    However, if you are planning just to add a second driver, there is no need for the doubler kit (only a new lower flex drive).

    Antonis Spanakis - Ответить

    If you are having a !&&* of a time trying to re-position the upper HDD - or just putting it back in - try putting the screws from the antenna grill back into the two upwards facing holes in the drive and using them as 'handles'. The drive has 2 small screws on the forward edge that need to line up with 2 holes in the outer case and as the drive flops around at first it is really hard to hold & maneuver it at the same time.

    January 14, 2015

    Steener - Ответить

    Yes. I used two plastic pegs to do this as well. Watch out for the wires running along the right hand side of the drive bay (as viewed when you’re putting in the drive) when you’re trying to lift up the drive to fit in the two recesses at the back of the bay so you don’t pull or stress them.

    Chris Belanger -

    This saved my GF a lot of swearing. Tilting the SSD using the screws worked like a charm!

    Casper -

    You can pull the HDD out without sliding the board at steps 15 and 16. Quite tricky, but you can.

    manwe - Ответить

    I had the same problem as Roman, I just figured I would add that those "two screws" are T8 screws and that there is a cable on the right side which you should be careful about while removing and reinserting the said screws.

    philippott - Ответить

    In my model, this didn't just slide out. It was attached to a caddy that required removal of the power supply (see other guides for how to do this) which was a nightmare to get back in the same spot.

    alex - Ответить

    I just did this upgrade and my HDD was secured with screws on both sides of the caddy. I actually think the caddy is really only designed to hold a single drive, kind of in the middle position, i.e., it's not the upper, or 2nd drive, position. In any case, this requires removal of the logic board, power supply, and caddy, entirely, in order to remove the existing drive. Tedious, but I didn't have any problems on reassembly.

    Keith Rogers - Ответить

    I could not remove my hard drive for anything. That's because these late 2012 Mac mini directions do not cover all late 2012 Mac minis. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

    sandyfacebook - Ответить

    I replaced my HDD with an SSD; the SSD is thinner, so lining up the two screws at the back was tough. In the end I found some foam and cut it in to two lengths for the SSD to sit on; I used double sided tape to stick it down. After this I was able to glide the SSD into position and because it is foam it has a little bit of play that helps with reassembly. I wish I could use a material better than foam because I guess that can cause static. Fingers crossed :)

    Ife Nkechukwu - Ответить

    Because an ssd is thinner, I put the flat end of a spudger in between the ssd and the logicboard to prop it up and let the 2 bottom screws of the antenna plates ‘grip’ the holes on the ssd so everything is nice and secure.

    2Dutch - Ответить

    2012 model - Had to remove (slide out) the motherboard assembly (disconnecting power cable from rear of mobo) in order to reach the two screws holding the HD in its plastic frame. Then the two rubber bumpers (when attached to the new SSD) didn’t want to go back into the mating holes in the frame. I trimmed off some rubber all around the bumpers until they fit. I expect the age of the mini plus all the heat hardened up the bumpers.

    The strange thing is that this 2012 mini is radically different (HD mounting-wise) than my old 2012 mini (that I no longer have). My old one was a snap to swap out the HD. Just glad this one (the one triggering this comment) went back together okay; I was not expecting the Spanish Inquisition. :D

    barryjaylevine - Ответить

    No one ever does!

    maccentric -

    As noted by sandyfacebook above, the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... is brilliant, and shows exactly what to do to get that second drive out. It’s impossible to do it otherwise.

    Michael Conley - Ответить

    Hi there, I’ve had an issue with this step. My HDD doesn’t seem to be mounted where yours is in this demonstration. It is in the lower bay so I’m unable to remove it with my fingers. Do you have any suggestions for how I can resolve this? Cheers, Ruari

    Ruari Graham - Ответить

    I think I meant the upper bay sorry.

    Ruari Graham -

    I had to completely remove the I/O board out or the case after I disconnected it from the power supply. Then I could unscrew the screws holding the hard drive in place. I dont know how anyone can get the hard drive out without doing this. I have a 2012 mac mini so there is this whole step missing in these instructions. I dont have any pictures yet.

    Janice Johnson -

    I had to completely remove the I/O board out of the case after I disconnected it from the power supply. Then I could unscrew the screws holding the hard drive in place. I dont know how anyone can get the hard drive out without doing this. I have a 2012 mac mini so there is this whole step missing in these instructions. I dont have any pictures yet. If you look at the instructions for Installing Mac Mini Late 2012 Dual Hard Drive Kit on step 16 & 17, you can see how to completely remove the I/O board, then you can look inside the case and see the hard drive screws that need to be removed so you can get the hard drive out

    Janice Johnson - Ответить

  17. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive Cable: step 18, image 1 of 2 Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive Cable: step 18, image 2 of 2
    • Remove the strip of tape connecting the hard drive cable to the hard drive.

    • Remove the hard drive cable by pulling its connector straight away from the hard drive.

    Remove the strip of tape connecting the cable connector to the hard drive.

    Kevin Butler - Ответить

  18. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 19, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the hard drive cable.

    • There may be a sticker connecting this cable to the hard drive. If so, remove the sticker before attempting to remove the cable!

    • Remove the two 6.2 mm T8 Torx screws from the side of the hard drive.

    Be careful with this step, and note if there’s a sticker attaching the hd cable to the hd. I failed to recognize this and tore the cable apart! Peel off or slice the sticker first.

    Al Deaderick - Ответить

    Good advice. “Remove the hard drive cable” sounded so easy. Not so. I pulled and pulled (fortunately not hard) - nothing moved. So I opened your comment - thank you. After lifting off the sticker, the connector almost fell off.

    Gerold Rosenbaum - Ответить

  19. Mac mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement: step 20, image 1 of 1
    • Carefully peel the hard drive cover off the hard drive.

    • Hard drive remains.

    • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

    How does one remove the apple fusion drive? The 2nd hard drive connector is in placer on the mother board

    Jerry Kornfield - Ответить

    To remount the SSD drive I used a gaffa tape (that stuff musicians are using to fix cables), did cut a piece of some centimeters and folded it, so that a open piece with the glue can be sticked onto harddrive. Gaffa tapes usually are around 4 to 5 cm wide so it is easy to maneuver the SSD with the two screws easily into the holes in front of the case. After things are in place and before remounting antenna I removed that tape from the harddrive.

    Maybe this helps others.

    robsmiler - Ответить

    The hard drive tape cover is there to protect the hard drive's exposed circuit board (remember this, the picture doesn't show it). You probably do not need it if your hard drive is totally shielded in a box, as many SSD devices are. That said, it's VERY easy to remove and replace the tape using the spudger (keeps your finger oil off the glue).

    scootz - Ответить

    Everything worked like a charm, though i didn't have the logic board removal tool. Instead i used 2 small screwdrivers. Disk was replaced by an SSD. Thanks.

    dimitris dimitrakopoulos - Ответить

    Is this cover necessary? I don’t have any tape to tape it back on.

    Vic Olivas - Ответить

    Is this cover necessary? I don’t have any tape.

    Vic Olivas - Ответить

    What is that black hard drive cover made of? I’d like to get one for my HDD that I’m using in my Fusion set up. Does ifixit sell it?

    scumti77 - Ответить

    To remount the drive, I’ve used the suction tool from the Pro Tech Toolkit.

    Vensan - Ответить


    i’ve done this before and replace the first(bottom, looking down from the service plate) HD with a 960gb ssd drive.

    is it possible and the same procedure to replace the hd above it? I would like to add a 2TB ssd this time is this possible?

    Anthony tomlin - Ответить


    SSDs are usually half the thickness of the original HDDs, so if you try to install one horizontally, it can sag into the leftover space making it difficult to get the heads of side screws to fit into their “sockets” against the front of the case.


    stand the MacMini on its “nose.” Now the SSD can be installed “vertically” and it’s easier to get the side screw heads to fit into their places at the front of the case.

    P K - Ответить

    I used this to install a 2GB Crucial SSD and it worked great for a while, then the drive would perform extremely slow after waking or reboots. Just wanted to let everyone know Crucial advised to turn off "put hard drives to sleep when possible" in System Prefs > Energy Saver and that fixed this: https://www.crucial.com/support/articles...

    Thorigol - Ответить


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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no need to remove the logic board! the disk comes out after step 12.

Also you do not really need to disconnect the antenna. Just be carefull no to break the wire.

robert - Ответить

i replaced 5400 rpm hdd with Samsung SSD 840 Pro

I did it Rober's way - thanks - no disconnecting antenna in step 10

Stopping after step 12 and replacing hard drive there without removing logic board

I put the sheet that was around the old hard drive over the new one - not sure if its needed?

After it is all done i did Command + R to do internet recovery and get OS X mountain lion on the blank drive

Last thing to do is go here to enable trim: http://www.groths.org/?page_id=322

royl123 -

Very helpful guide, thanks! As many have said before, I would not detach the fan or antenna, just move it out of the way.

One very trivial tip: slide a piece of paper over the logic board as soon as you've removed the fan, as a protection against accidentally touching the components with your fingers or tools.

I did not reinstall the plastic cover on the HDD. This is only to protect the logic board of the HDD, which ofcourse is very well protected in SSD's.

Hans Erik Hazelhorst -

Dismantling the Mini was simple, but the two hardest steps when installing a new hard drive were sliding the drive back in aligned correctly, and replacing the antenna grill.

Even with the logic board pushed out, I found it difficult to line up the screws on the hard drive and get it seated properly. As for the grill, it would not line up with the screw holes. I had to use the Mac Mini tool hooked into a hole in the grill as a lever to lift it up and in towards the lip of the rim it was sitting on. There was an audible snap as it settled into place.

FinnCrisp888 - Ответить

That is an AMAZING tip!!!

I've done about a dozen mac mini to SSD upgrades over the past few years but I've only owned a logic board removal tool for my latest upgrade.

I was struggling to get the drive pegs into the grommet, and the usual 'turn it upside down and giggle it around' trick just wasn't working for me.

I tried getting a spudger underneath the drive to lift it up into the grommet holes but there wasn't enough clearance to get any leverage.

I used the mini opening tool with one end underneath the drive, and the center portion sticking out perpendicular to the motherboard (I'll add a picture) to lift the drive up and into place.

I too heard the satisfying click and it was glorious...

THANK you so much for the idea to use the logic board removal tool. It's now a permanent fixture in my new iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit (which is TOTALLY worth the money btw).

Daniel Cassel -

Similar experience here - everything was easy peasy but dropping the new drive back in was tricky because I couldn't get leverage to lift up the left side. With both the antenna plate and the fan still attached, it was hard to hold the mini vertically to let the new drive drop in. I just unplugged the fan and set it aside instead, held the Mini vertical and then wiggled in the new drive. It lined up pretty easily and I was able to reattach the connector and then plug the fan back in and proceed to reassembly. The antenna plate slid back in the same way it came out and I applied minimal pressure to get the last screw hole to align and it snapped into place perfectly. Whole project took about 30 minutes - including having several colleagues come by my desk to chit chat and distract me. Thanks!

Code -

I can also confirm that the drive can be replaced at step 12, WITHOUT disconnecting the antenna. the hardest part was getting the new drive in correctly. I turned the unit right-side-up to get the drive to "fall" into place correctly.

intrusdave - Ответить

Great guide. Thanks! Upgraded stock 350GB with a 1TB and restoring from Time Machine as I type this.

John - Ответить

Excellent guide. The detailed pictures, and the crystal clear instructions, were vital. Used this to upgrade late 2012 MacMini to Crucial SSD. It went very well and took about an hour and a half (I did not want to rush it.)

I did get a little nervous trying to insert the new hard drive. There is a space for drive number 2 and it was a little difficult to get the new SSD into position as it sort of has to "float" in place, above the empty chamber, until the two screws are in place. It took several tries to get this right. (Possibly the instructions should be modified to include attaching the hard drive loosely to the the antenna plate, to assist in placement of the new drive.)

After that, restored OS, all settings, file and apps from old drive. Two hours later, back up and running. Bravo, Apple! With a Windows machine you'll be there for days doing the same thing!

Michael - Ответить

In the comments to the MacMini mid 2011 guide there's an excellent tip in how get the SSD in place, by first attaching it loosely to the antenna plate and then use the antenna plate to manoeuver the SSD into position (the two screws on the thin side of the SSD must fit into two rubber sockets). Then carefully loosen the screws again leaving the SSD in place, and finally resposition the antenna plate.

I also thought about using a plastic suction cap on the SSD to grip it, but I didn't have one.

Hans Erik Hazelhorst -

This guide left out some very difficult steps for me. The Mini has two hard drive slots, and this guide assumes that the drive is in the "upper" slot (closest to the antenna plate). On my machine (refurbished Mac Mini late 2012 purchased October 2013) the hard drive was in the "lower" slot, and was firmly screwed in to a holding post. In order to reach the screws the motherboard needs to be completely taken out of the machine, and you'll need a really long-necked or a really tiny Torx screwdriver. The drive is still held by two rubber stoppers; I couldn't find a way to remove the plastic mounting bracket, and the screws required a surprising amount of force and jiggling to free the drive. I couldn't find a way to re-secure those screws into the bracket holes, and just forced the drive into place. Unless you want to forego or modify the black cover for the drive, you need to replace the drive in the "lower slot" because the cover isn't cut to reveal the drive's upper screw holes. (comment 1 of 2)

Ledgem - Ответить

Removing the motherboard entirely isn't too difficult - just make sure that everything is disconnected (IR sensor, power supply line; I got away without disconnecting the wireless antenna, preferring to carefully maneuver it out of the case with the motherboard). Just be careful for a rubber covering around the power supply. Mine popped out when I removed the motherboard; it seems easy enough to replace, but when I closed up the motherboard for the first time, the rubber contorted and covered the power port. I had to remove the motherboard again in order to reposition the rubber.

Best of luck to you if your hard drive is in the "lower" position. Having done it once I can do it again, but I never want to. I've opened many Macbook Pros, but this Mac Mini is far worse... (comment 2/2)

Ledgem - Ответить

I just installed a Samsung SSD in a brand new MacMini Corei7. Surprise! It had the HDD in the lower (actually the upper) bay. And then you have to completely remove the logic board to get to the two screws on the side of the HDD. Just follow the steps for 'installing a second harddisk'.

Interesting detail: the two holes in the logic board where you have to put the 'logic board removal tool' are aligned with two plastic rings glued to the aluminum frame, so you actually use the tool as a lever to edge out the logic board.

One question remains: is the SATA cable for the lower position identical to that of the upper position?

Hans Erik Hazelhorst -

Check replacement drive dimensions - My original drive was a 7.0mm thick (Hitachi 500G) drive. While I did get a 9.5mm replacement drive (SSD) to fit, the shortness of the disk drive cable (mentioned in step 18) made it an awkward fit. I'd recommend 7.0mm thick drives in the future.

Phil Wood - Ответить

Thanks for this useful step-by-step.

My 2 cents about replacing the original hard drive with a Crucial M500 960GB ssd:

- Opening the bottom cover works much better if you apply the force on the whole surface with the palm of your hand, and then rotating, instead of just using your thumbs.

- You don't have to remove the fan connector, just put the fan aside during the whole operation. I would advise against messing with these very fragile connectors, unless you know exactly what you're doing.

- You definitely don't need to remove the logic board, when you've achieved the first 12 steps you can skip to 17.

- The two screws from the original hard drive are very important: you have to put them back in the same place on the new hard drive. Without them the new HD won't fit into the aluminium enclosure, there are two small holes designed for the screws.

Clement Simon - Ответить

- Putting everything back in place was pretty straightforward, except for the antenna grid. The only way to do it was to twist the grid a little, since you only need a fraction of a millimeter to get the two screws to fit.

Clement Simon - Ответить

Great guide, thanks!!

My experience when replacing the HDD:

- I didn't disconnect the fan, just moved it carefully around whenever it was in the way. However I had to unscrew the standoff screw - I just didn't understand how to move the fan without it

- Didn't disconnect the antenna plate either, just put it carefully aside

- I was really hoping to be able to skip steps 13 to 16 like many user comments suggest, but I couldn't. My 9.5mm HDD wouldn't get past the DIMM slots. I was trying to lift it up while sliding it out and there was 1mm or so of thickness that wouldn't pass, so I had to remove the logic board. However once I had inserted the new disc I realised I had forgotten to put back 2 screws from step 19. Without those the disk is loose, not really holding in place, so I didn't have to remove the logic board again. What is weird is I also managed to put it back with the screws, just by tilting the mac a little. So now I don't really know if I could have actually managed to pull it out at step 12..

Elica - Ответить

I successfully completed this for a Mac Mini Late 2012 purchased at the end of Feb 2014, replacing the stock 500gb snail drive with a 500gb Samsung 840 Series SSD. No logic board removal was required, and the antenna could remain attached - there was actually a plastic cover over the antenna connector, meaning removal and replacement would've been a pain anyway.

This replacement was a breeze, and even though I took my time and was every careful, it was only a 20 minute job. The only thing that caused me pause was the removal of the tape holding the old drive's protective sheet onto the SATA connector... Trying to do that without tearing and creasing was not fun, though my iFixit spudger helped.

I just want to add that I think it's criminal that this very capable little Mac is still sold with the antiquated likes of a 5400rpm drive. My intention on the outset of purchase was to upgrade to an SSD, but I was shocked at how slow the stock drive made the Mac run, with countless slowdowns and lockups.

markbart - Ответить

Overall, a great guide. replacing the HDD was more difficult than i expected as the holes are hard to line up on the back surface. Turning the computer bottom side down helped. This also allowed better fitment of the antenna surface. Its worth noting that not all HDDs have a screw hole located on the left hand side, so mine is secured by only one screw.

I took the opportunity to pull the heatsink and replace the paste with Arctic Silver paste. So far my temp gauge (palm of my hand:)) says its running cooler.

Great work ifixit!

kennin - Ответить

I skipped steps 14-16 and was fine. I did disconnect the antennae grill, but it was likely not necessary.

davidebarta - Ответить

Great guide. Like some say it is probably not necessary to remove WiFi antenna, but it makes it easier (mine popped off anyway). One person says no need to slide out the logic board, there is no way the drive would have come out of mine without sliding out the logic board. It's easy so just do it. Unfortunately for me the new drive I was installing is about 1mm wider so won't fit in the correct way, but it fit at an angle.

It is difficult to get the drive back in, but I found if you hold the Mac right side up and slide the drive in that it will slide right in to the holes.


Sean Mann - Ответить

This was invaluable. And - sometime the disk come out after step 12. I had the Mac Mini late 2012 hardware, but the original disk I was replacing was mounted on the lower frame - therefore the logic board and power supply DID have to be removed to get to the drive and replace. Other World Computing had the same mistake - they insisted the hard drive would just fall out without removing logic board and power supply and that was not the case.

This is a complete set of instructs, thanks much for the work - I used two small screwdrivers in place of the logic board removal tool and that worked just fine. Closest instruct video at OWC is the late 2012 Mac Mini Server video.

Doug Munsinger - Ответить

Confirmed and worked perfectly. At step 12, the HDD comes out with no effort and no need to unplug the antenna.

I replaced the HDD with an SSD. The Mac mini flies now! Boot time : 20 sec (as opposed to 59 sec with the HDD). Word starts up in 1 sec!

I cloned the HDD to the SSD using SuperDuper! and a SATA-USB adapter.

Don't forget to activate the TRIM afterwards.

emilioimparato - Ответить

I can also confirm that you can remove the hard drive after Step 12. For me, it was a bit hard, as my SSD was 9.5mm and was on the upper bay. With a little bit of force, I did successfully get it out. In the process, for me at least, I ripped off the black paper casing entirely, and the sticker covering the SATA connector, but everything survived.

o355 - Ответить

That antenna plate is a royal pain in the you know what, but replacing the hard drive with an SSD otherwise went nice and smooth. Clear concise instruction. I can also confirm removing the logic board and the antenna plate are unnecessary. For the antenna, just carefully move it aside.

Kieran O'Hagan - Ответить

Excellent, excellent description of steps needed. I used the process to successfully replace a HDD with an SSD. I agree that the antenna plate could have been set aside, however it was easy enough to remove and reattach. I did order a complete toolset prior to attempting this process, which made it that efficient. Thanks for the excellent write up - worked great in my experience!

Jason Jaszewski - Ответить

When replacing the HDD with a SSD, is there any temperature concerns with sensors like the older core2 mini's? If I just swap these out will the system fan peg?

Kelco Computers - Ответить

My hard drive is at the bottom and is held down by plastic bar with no visible screws on it and I can't pull out the harddrive...

Stan strum - Ответить

Very easy fix with the detailed instructions. My HD came out after step 12 as well and no need to disconnect the antena cable either. Connecting the new SSD was very easy and reattaching the antena plate was too putting the screws that secure the SSD to the plate with the plastic prier before setting it to it's place completely.

Thanks for the guide!

Carlos VG - Ответить

nothing about a fusion drive. The bottom drive was simple to remove. The top drive, the spinning drive, I haven't a clue!!!

Jerry Kornfield - Ответить

The first SSD upgrade I did, did not require me to pull the logic board. The second did however.

I guess its just the luck of the draw.

One comment about that, the screw that comes from the yellow highlight hole is actually removed when you take out the fan assembly.

Martin Hunt - Ответить

I've done a couple of these so far (out of a dozen) and have failed totally to get the vertical screws to secure the SSD to the antenna plate. Are there any videos anywhere?

nstjh - Ответить

Check out the comments on Step 8. I don't know of a video, but lots of folks have shared tips on how they did it. ;)

Jeff Suovanen -

Yes everything is clear and easy no for7 min but I have one question:!How to instal the new software on new ssd disk ? Is it possible to see like some video or something like this one steep by step

Thanks for understanding

dejangorgievski - Ответить

The Seagate 15mm high 2.5" ST5000LM000 fits perfectly with a Samsung 850 EVO SSD and a dual drive kit from OWC in my Mac Mini. You have to exclude the mounting screws in the plastic frame, and remove the logic board, power supply and plastic frame to fit the disk in first. The HDD must go towards the top of the case and the SSD towards the base, and the cables will only fit if the SSD is going to end up on the first SATA port (/dev/sda in Linux), but it works perfectly, temperatures have been stable and the disk + SSD work well with ZFS.

bitwisecook - Ответить

This was great and it was much easier than it looked. The only issue I ran into was this. I had purchased a refurbished Mac Mini and since this guide was written they have changed how the hard drive is held in place. The two silver screws on the top of the antenna cage are just decorative now. You have to unplug a cable from the logic board, it's just one very simple plug, no tools. You then slide the logic board out completely and you will see two torx 9 screws holding the hard drive in place. The one on the right is a little bit hard to get up but otherwise it's dead simple. I did take photographs but I'm not sure how to pass them on beyond putting them on imgur and posting a link.


Also if anybody's curious low-voltage memory seems to work fine, I bought 1.35v ripjaws SODIMMs, a total of 16 gigs. No issues. The 2TB firecuda is happy too.

Lesley Pellerin - Ответить

I have to replace the fusion drive in mine. My understanding is that there is an SSD AND a Spinner in there (two drives), and I have bought replacements for both. But this set of instructions doesn't seem to say anything about how to remove the second drive.

Quincy Q - Ответить

Okay, I've gotta chime in here and bring something bigly up. If you have the "fusion drive" version - it's actually 2 drives. The this guide only covers the replacement of the top, easy to get to one. You'll have to go deeper into the rabbit hole if you want to replace the other, or spare, or spinner drive.

It wasn't until I had to change out my IR sensor that I realized I had a drive just $@$*!&%& there... I used the "IR Sensor Guide" to get the job done:

Mac mini Late 2012 IR Sensor Replacement

I guess you can use the "Dual HD Kit Guide" if you want to "upgrade" or "install" the "kit."

Installing Mac Mini Late 2012 Dual Hard Drive Kit

Giovanni - Ответить

I ignored steps 10 and 11. I performed step 12. Ignored steps 13 to 16. Step 17, put the mini mac upright that the existing hd can go down with a little help.

Only dificult was when return to step 9 to 8. The holes was not paired. So I put the torx tool in the hole and do a little leverage and then.. Clip ! perfect!

Flavio - Ответить

I also discovered I have the "fusion drive" version with the hd in the lower slot. Mac mini Late 2012 Power Supply Replacement helped me enormously.

No need for logic board removal tool, just move it outward.

What I didn't find out is if you could just pop in a second drive on top and leave the old one in there; is there another caddy required?

ursbraem - Ответить

Quelques remarques :

1) Les 2 vis torx de l'étape 19 trouve un centrage au fond du boitier. Cela assure l'isostatisme du HDD. Sans un bon position des 2 vis dans leur trou, le HDD est en mauvaise position et il ne sera pas facile de repositionner sa nappe sur la carte mère, ni de le fixer à l'antenne qd celle-ci sera remontée.

2) A noter que concernant la grille d'antenne, celle-ci doit prendre en sandwich le boitier. Forcer est inutile. Il faut juste bien prendre en sandwich le boitier et les 2 vis oranges de l'étape 8 se retrouve normalement en face de leur trou sans avoir à appuyer ou quoi que ce soit.

Phil - Ответить

I found out the hard way after wrong breaking the IR sensor from the logic board that there no need to got past point 12 to the the hard drive out. NO NEED to go past point 12 . from my point of view this guide is misleading. Cost me my logic board.

Albert Attoh - Ответить

My 2012 Mini was different than the one shown and required much more disassembly. This video was very helpful in getting me through it all the way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP...

Erik Heerlein - Ответить

You should update the instructions, to take out the steps involving moving the logic board. It adds an unnecessary complication to the instructions. the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool is not needed, to replace the hard drive.

In fact, when I got to the step that required the logic board removal tool, I was a bit dismayed, as I didn’t have one handy. But then, it occurred to see if I could remove the hard drive anyways, and found to my surprise, that I could.

Gino Lee - Ответить

Guide should be re-written to omit steps 10 thru 16. I was able to replace my HDD with an SSD without disconnecting anything but the SATA socket or fan sink. The only time it should be necessary to remove the logic board is if you have the server edition or an aftermarket double drive riser.

Ehren - Ответить

Should also note that outside of mirroring the drive itself, the swap took about 20 minutes start to finish. The hardest part for me was getting my ham hands to reconnect the fan socket.

Ehren - Ответить

If the hard disk is at the ‘normal’ position and not in the upper position, you don’t need to remove the fan connector, wifi connector or IR/power light connector to get the disk out.

Finger-tighten two long screws that fit the two holes on the drive and use this to remove the old drive, and then screw them into the new drive and use them to properly align and insert.

Here’s a picture of what I did and it was super-fantastically easy.

Will Brokenbourgh - Ответить

Just replaced the mechanical drive with a SSD. This guide was a good reference, but found I didn’t need to do anything with the logic board. I did remove the fan, antenna plate, and cowling. I felt it was good for me to disconnect the antenna plate and fan to make it easier to get the drive to fit into the two holes inside of the case. The most difficult part of the reassemble was getting the antenna plate back in. The two side screw holes wouldn’t line up. I could get one, but not the other. I found there is a grove in the rounded part of the plate that needs to fit into the thin edge of the case opening for the plate. So, I used a small screwdriver that fit into the small holes of the plate, carefully lifted up the front rounded part of the plate, worked it around until the edge of the case slid into the plate. At that point all the screw holes of the plate lined up.

smorg27 - Ответить

The Mac Mini 2012 needed a Torx 9 screwdriver. Torx 8 was too small. I agree, no need to do steps 10 and beyond. Also, no need to do step 5 (remove the fan cabling). I see step 5 as a dangerous move that can damage the socket esp if the solder underneath has weakened. I merely set the fan away from the area where I needed to work on the hard drive.

Bernie - Ответить

Replacing the Antenna Connector was quite a hassle! What’s more, the Antenna Plate wouldn’t properly fit, this solution was quite helpful:

Difficulty in re-installing Antenna Plate

Also, Step 4, you do need to remove the standoff screw. That way you don’t have to take it out on Step 14

EuroRemi - Ответить

Worked as a charm, keep the logic board on, you can stop once the antenna cover is gone. Might be wise to disconnect the antenna. Make sure you insert the disk with the Mini up side down for the pins to align in the holes. 10 minute job (and I am not an expert).

Christian Poortvliet - Ответить

Right. I have a 2012 Mini with a 1 TB fusion drive. Recently, the spinny drive just kicked the bucket. I’m going to have a go at trying to replace it, but am unsure what to replace it with, and whether I need to be concerned about its symbiotic relationship to the puny 256 MB SSD drive.Any recomendations on which drive(s) to buy, and if I should watch my during this adventure?

Norman Hathaway - Ответить

Apple’s Fusion Drive is indeed a “symbiotic” fusion between the SSD and the HD. Unlike “hybrid” drives, where the most used files are kept on the SSD in their ENTIRETY for speedy access, the Fusion Drive only keeps the most used PARTS of files on the SSD. In short, your files are spread over both disks in a way you can’t control.

So with the HD part of your Fusion Drive dead, you have to install new drive(s) and re-install your data from your backup. I did this and tried to re-install the Fusion Drive, which requires a special version of OS X, but failed several times and gave up in the end.

Instead I configured my Mac Mini with a 500 GB SSD primary drive and a 1 TB HD as a secondary, but of course you could put two separate up to 4 TB SSDs in the two slots, depending on your needs and how much you want to spend.


Ole Henriksen - Ответить

No doubt, putting all your system and application files on a SSD is the best and cheapest way to dramatically improve overall speed. Putting data on the SSD has less effect because most data aren’t that big or speed sensitive (photos and video excepted).

Two separate internal disks are not a natural fit with OS X. There are no A:, B:, C: etc. drive designators like in Windows, so the secondary, internal drive appears more like an external USB drive, except it works at full SATA speed, of course.

I have moved my music and all other user data except photos from my user folder to the secondary drive and use symbolic links to point to them, but if you use a large SSD as primary, that’s not necessary, and you may want to use the secondary drive in a different way.


Ole Henriksen - Ответить

Or leave that slot empty to keep things simple if you don’t need the space. The 1.12 TB Fusion Drive was a way to get affordable SSD speed back in 2010-12. Nowadays, we can buy 500GB SSDs for less than £100 and 1TB ones for less than £200.

BTW: It doesn’t matter if you put your primary drive in the upper or lower position; you can boot from either. Oh, and just FYI: the “lower” position is the one closest to the bottom of the computer. You sometimes see this called the “upper” position because it is on top when the computer is upside down, as it is when you take it apart.

Have fun :-)

Ole Henriksen - Ответить

Oh, don’t forget to activate TRIM after installing an SSD. If you don’t, it will get slower and slower over time. The reason is that OS X’s file system does not tell the disk to release space freed up by erased files until it wants to re-write in that space. That works fine with hard disks, but it slows down SSDs.

This is a good discussion of the issue:


Ole Henriksen - Ответить

Thank you for this. I looked up the specs for the Crucial BX300 I installed, and sure enough it has TRIM support, so I enabled it.

madejustforthis -

This was incredibly easy to do. It took me all of 10 mins. Like others have already said, you don’t have to do anything past step 12.

FWIW, my antenna connector had a black plastic tab over it making it a tad tedious to remove/reinstall the antenna.

Don’t bother with Apple’s ridiculous method of preparing a bootable USB drive in Terminal (why they STILL don’t give us an easier way to do it I’ll never know). Save yourself the frustration and use a utility such as Diskmaker X.

madejustforthis - Ответить

Actually, looking back I didn’t even need to remove the antenna.. yet another unnecessary step in this guide.

madejustforthis -

What is that black hard drive cover made of and does anyone know where I can get one? I don’t want to install a secondary HDD without it.

scumti77 - Ответить

The IR connector is SOLDERED to the board, don’t remove it as this article advises or it will just break off and IR won’t work until replaced. No need to pull logic board out either.

andrewlong3000 - Ответить

I need a confirmation. Can Mac mini late 2012 can accommodate DDR4?if yes, 16 or 32 GB? I’m trying to upgrade from 4gb to 16/32. please help me.

Kumar Battula - Ответить

FINE UNTIL STEP 9 - then SKIP STEP 10 AND 13 and 14, 15 AND 16 - NOT NECESSARY!!!!!!!!!!

kenneth krabat - Ответить

This was considerably harder than what’s posted here if you have the different later model. Most useful posts for me were from Ledgem - on 11/11/2013 (so thanks for your informative posts!). You do need to take the mother board right out and the plastic chassis that holds the hdd in. Be careful when taking this out as it needs to unclip from the power supply side at the front. It’s a bit of a PITA to get it back in, but just be patient! Also, right at the beginning, the screw closest to the back when taking the fan out needs to come all the way.

ledbye - Ответить

What is the max thickness of SSD/HDD’s that can be placed in the two drive bays. Recommended replacements dead 1tb factory drives? The 1tb in lower is declared S.M.A.R.T dead, and with the age and level of usage think I should probably replace both. I want to maximize storage. already have 4tb externals using all the usb on the system.

kevin - Ответить

Perfekte Anleitung, sogar für Wurstfinger wie meine machbar.

Jetzt sind 2x 1TB SSD drin, das soll wohl eine Zeit lang reichen. :-)

Nur als kleiner Tip, falls dies hier überhaupt erwähnt werden darf/soll:

Statt des Tools für das Ziehen des Boards aus dem Gehäuse kann man auch zwei dünne Schraubenzieher oder ähnliches verwenden. Doch auch bis runter zum Gehäuse anstehen lassen und GLEICHZEITIG anfassen und nach hinten ziehen. Funktioniert wunderbar.

Danke nochmals, das hält mich wieder einige Zeit vom Kauf eines neuen Mac Mini ab….

xandl - Ответить

Bravo and Thank you to share the process to change a native HDD to SSD of the Mac mini Late 2012,

In such visual and clear description .

I made it and succed , thanks to you.

I now have a Mac mini Late 2012 back in business.

And had to express my gratitude to you all !


Dominique St Marc From Paris ;-)

Dominique Saint Marc - Ответить

I’ve read some were that the original HDD has a fan sensor. What happen is I remove the original HDD and place a SSD instead?

Thanks for you comments.

Miguel - Ответить

Recently my old fusion drive (1T HHD + 128G SSD) on my 2012 late Mac mini might have issues. The system is very slow and has some read errors when I tried using CCC to clone it. Anyways, I managed to copy some necessary files to another external drive and am trying to replace this fusion drive with one 2TB SSD and do a clean install. Do I need to split the fusion drive before I take them out of Macmini if I want to use them as two separate external drives later or I could just remove them without the split and format them later as two external drives? And what is the maxmium SSD capacity this mac mini could handle? I thought 2012 Late Mac mini could only support up to 2TB but not 100% sure. I knew it is quite a hassle to remove the 1TB HD (upper bay). Could I just replace the 128GB SSD with the new 2TB SSD and keep the HD not touched. The total will be 3TB. But would it work? Thanks.

Richie Kao - Ответить

Hello All, I’m about upgrade the hard drive to a SSD drive on my 2012 late Mac min, However several weeks back I attempted to extend my display using a 2nd monitor screen. I’ve done this before in the past with no problem - but this time I noticed the “Arrangement” tab is missing from my display settings. I attempted a number of different procedures from Apple’s Support blog however nothing works. Additionally my Mac can only upgrade to Mac OS 15.10.7 - unable to move to Big Sur 11. After I complete upgrade of the HD would it be wise to just re-install the OS to remedy both of these issues? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Darius Williams - Ответить

Yesterday I replaced my Mac Mini late 2012 HD (500GB) with a Samsung EVO 870 SSD (500GB). Didn’t have to disconnect the antenna, as others have mentioned. My HD was in the upper bay so I aligned the SSD with the two slots using a piece of Scotch tape temporarily attached to its upper side. The antenna easily snapped back into place after some careful maneuvering.

First I installed a fresh macOS Catalina on the SSD. It took 3+ hours to complete so I did it overnight. Restoring from TimeMachine backup didn’t go as expected. I don’t know what the incompatibility is but the system was stuck with the boot progress bar at 100% for a very long time. After several failed restart attempts, I decided to reinstall the OS and to recover individual files as needed. Another 3+ hours of wait time…

Troo Don - Ответить

OMG my computer is blazing fast now! Used to take 15 minutes to boot and be usable, now in seconds!!! My OEM HDD was in the lower bay and had 2 screws in the front, so I had to slide the mother board completely out to access the last two screws, but no biggie.

Don Hoying - Ответить

I managed without removing the logic board or disconnecting either the fan or the antenna plate. Like others, I found it fiddly getting the new hard drive pins to line up with the holes in the case (especially with the logic board still in place) and the antenna plate didn't want to go back without a lot of fiddling about.

mail - Ответить

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