Mac Mini Mid 2010 SSD Installation

Replace your Mac Mini Mid 2010's hard drive for more storage space and an increase in speed.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Time required: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Use this guide to completely replace your mini's hard drive. Completing this guide requires rubber cement to stick the old thermal sensors to your new hard drive.

Some drive bays have a height of 7 mm, while others have a height of 9.5 mm. Depending on the size of your drive bay, you may need to use a spacer to make your SSD fit properly.

Sections
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Step 1 Bottom Cover  ¶ 

  • 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.

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Step 2  ¶ 

  • Tilt the mini enough to allow the bottom cover to fall away from the outer case.

  • Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.

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Step 3 Fan  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 11.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the fan to the logic board near the antenna plate.

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Step 4  ¶ 

  • Lift the ear of the fan nearest the RAM up off the standoff secured to the outer case.

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Step 5  ¶ 

  • Lift the fan out of the mini for enough clearance to access its connector.

  • Carefully pull the fan cables upward to lift the fan connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Remove the fan.

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Step 6 Cowling  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink.

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Step 7  ¶ 

  • Lift the cowling from the end nearest the antenna plate.

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

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Step 8 Antenna Plate  ¶ 

  • 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 will work)

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Step 9  ¶ 

  • Slightly lift the antenna plate from the end closest to the RAM.

  • Carefully pull the antenna plate straight 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.

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Step 10  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully pry the antenna connector up off the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

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Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the antenna plate from the mini.

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Step 12 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three screws:

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

    • One 16.2 mm T6 Torx screw

    • One 26 mm T6 Torx standoff

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Step 13  ¶ 

  • Carefully pull the wires for both hard drive thermal sensors upward to lift their connectors up and out of their respective sockets on the logic board.

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Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both the hard drive and optical drive connectors up out of their sockets on the logic board.

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Step 15  ¶ 

  • For enough clearance to remove the hard drive, the logic board must be slightly removed. To accomplish this, two cylindrical rods must be inserted into the holes highlighted in red.

  • Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may severely damage the logic board.

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

  • If you don't have a Logic Board Removal Tool handy, you can use two tools having a maximum diameter of 2.5 mm instead. Just insert one into each of the highlighted holes.

  • 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.

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Step 16  ¶ 

  • 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 slightly away from the outer case.

  • Pull the I/O board/logic board assembly out of the outer case a maximum of 5 mm. Pulling the assembly out further may damage the IR sensor connector (highlighted in red in the third picture).

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Step 17  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive from the edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the mini, minding the RAM socket and any cables that may get caught.

  • When reinstalling the hard drive, be sure the two T8 Torx lugs on its far end are inserted into the two rubber grommets highlighted in red in the second picture before sliding the logic board back into place.

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Step 18 SSD Installation  ¶ 

  • Remove the strip of tape covering the hard drive connector.

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Step 19  ¶ 

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

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Step 20  ¶ 

  • Remove the piece of tape covering the thermal sensor attached to the edge of the hard drive.

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Step 21  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the thermal sensor off the end of the hard drive.

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Step 22  ¶ 

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

  • Transfer these screws to the new SSD.

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Step 23  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the hard drive cover off the hard drive.

  • Transfer this cover to the new SSD.

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Step 24  ¶ 

  • For 7 mm SSDs, you'll need to apply a spacer to ensure a good fit.

  • Peel the backings up off the adhesive strips mounted on the spacer.

  • Press the spacer onto the SSD as shown; proper orientation will ensure the spacer does not cover any screws or screw holes.

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

For more information, check out the Mac Mini Mid 2010 category page.

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