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

Note that some of the connections in this Mac are more fragile to disconnect and more difficult to reconnect than in other Macs. This guide is thorough in explaining how to remove each part that's in the way of the hard drive, but experienced repairers may be able to move the fan and the antenna plate out of the way without disconnecting them to save time.

  1. Mac mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement, Bottom Cover: step 1, image 1 of 2 Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  2. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  3. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  4. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  5. Mac mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 3 Mac mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement: step 5, image 2 of 3 Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  6. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  7. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  8. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  9. Mac mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 2 Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  10. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  11. Mac mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the antenna plate from the mini.

  12. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  13. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  14. Mac mini Mid 2011 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

    • 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.

  15. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  16. Mac mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement: step 17, image 1 of 2 Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  17. Mac mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 18, image 1 of 2 Mac mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement, Hard Drive: step 18, image 2 of 2
    • Pull the hard drive away from the front edge of the mini and remove it from the outer case.

    • During reassembly, there are two pins on the inside edge of the hard drive that fit into the case. The holes have rubber grommets around them, so it may be difficult to tell when you have seated the hard drive correctly.

    • There are two pairs of holes in the case. Insert the pins into the holes closest to the bottom of the case.

  18. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

  19. Mac mini Mid 2011 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.

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

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Walter Galan

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Just a note, the OS X Install Guide is for 10.5 Snow Leopard. Maybe also include a install guide for 10.6 Lion?

Sherman - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

That's right, steps 10-11 and 13-16 are not necessary.

It suffices to rotate the antenna plate out of the way without detaching its cable.

And after disconnecting the hard drive you can wiggle it out of the enclosure

without dealing with the logic board. Muc less hassle, and much less intimidating.

machobbes - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

This is great advice! It worked fine for me, thanks!

Ken Van Hoeylandt -

This also worked for me. Follow machobbes advice - whole process took about 10 minutes. Easy peasy.

The one difficulty I had was getting the new SSD (or HDD) to lock back into the fixings inside of the casing. Best solution if you are having this problem is to turn the Mini upside down, ensuring that the antenna cable isn't stretched too far, and aided by the wonderful powers of gravity, get the new HDD unit fixed into place properly.

Adam Bull -

Good advice. I too just moved the antenna plate to the side and the drive was easily accessible.

Ron Lockhart -

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