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Is it possible to replace the hard drive of a MacMini (latest model) with a SSD?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes. I recommend the guide from iFixit.

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.

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.

Step 3 — Fan

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

Step 4

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

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.

Step 6 — Cowling

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

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.

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)

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

Step 10

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

Step 11

  • Remove the antenna plate from the mini.

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

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.

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.

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 two tools having a maximum diameter of 2.5 mm into the holes highlighted in red. Be sure they make contact with the outer case below the logic board before proceeding.
  • Carefully pry the tools 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 two tools.
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thank you!..... – Jason May 16 '11 at 1:14
You're welcome. Don't forget to mark the question as answered. – Graham May 16 '11 at 1:22
Can you please put the info in your own words in the post, or at least copy and paste a summary of the relevant parts? Answers that consist only of a link are bad because we can't guarantee that the link will still work in the future. – Shinrai May 16 '11 at 14:33
@Shinrai No problem. I copied the relevant info from linked site. – Graham May 16 '11 at 21:43
Awesome, thank you. – Shinrai May 16 '11 at 21:44

There's a special SATA cable (sold separately) that can add second SATA drive to single-drive models of MacMini (2011 & 2012). I'd recommend adding additional drive using special ifixit toolkit (did it by myself)

Tutorial for MacMini 2011, Tutorial for MacMini 2012

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Could you please at least summarize one or both of those tutorials here? Links are okay, but you should always post the information here as well. – DanteTheEgregore Oct 22 '13 at 19:12
Edited, thanks for pointing – Thomas Oct 22 '13 at 19:24

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