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Noisy or poorly-performing fan? Use this guide to replace the fan, or remove it for cleaning in your Mac mini Late 2014.

  1. The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.
    • The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.

    • Pry near, but not right on the screw posts.

    Read Me First: I purchased an SSD drive directly from Crucial and, of course, it came uninitialized. After going thru the entire tear down, installing the new drive, and rebuilding the mini, it refused to recognize the new drive. So, of course, I had to re-tear it down, remove the new drive, insert it into an external housing and format it using my Macbook. After that the mini recognized the new drive. A word to the wise: format the new drive before installing it.

    tom - Responder

    How were you installing the OS? I am planning on booting into a USB drive with a copy of OS High Sierra on it, and I assume I will be able to format my new Samsung SSD using that?

    Simon - Responder

    On my Samsung EVO 850, mac mini download system automaticly

    Stefan Repac - Responder

    Pre-formatting is not necessary if you make a USB boot installation drive with macOS installer. During boot up, hold down the option key until the mac boot into the USB, formatting can then be done using disk utility running off the USB drive.

    SBR249 - Responder

    I had the exact same experience as tom. I installed a brand new 2TB Samsung 850 EVO and it was not recognized by the Mac Mini. I booted from a portable USB drive with a bootable copy of macOS High Sierra but the 850 EVO SSD I had just installed was not shown as an option. I tore down the Mac Mini again, formatted the 850 EVO, rebuilt the Mac Mini, and booted off the same bootable High Sierra USB drive, and sure enough the 850 EVO was recognized.

    maxim - Responder

    diskutil list

    diskutil erasedisk [filesystem] [drivename] /dev/disk[disk number]

    Paul Rodgers - Responder

    My drive (Evo 860) was also not initialized. I started in recovery mode and went to disc utility and from there selected the drive. I then was able to use the “erase” function on the drive. I just left the settings as default and as soon as it erased then the drive was ready to go.

    Nathan Cooper - Responder

    Just completed this upgrade a few days ago, having purchased the 1 TB SSD kit from IFixIt. The kit arrived quickly and the tools and drive worked perfectly. The step by step guide posted here is pretty much flawless, but do pay attention to the specific comments from users on certain steps - they really help. As far as ensuring that the new drive will reboot and install MacOS, I watched 1-2 videos on YouTube about re-installing using the Internet Recovery tool and that worked perfectly. My MacMini is performing WAY better than it used to, for only a $200 upgrade kit and about 3 hours of work, all in. Thanks!

    Joshua Rednik - Responder

  2. Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac mini. Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac mini. Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac mini.
    • Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac mini.

    I used some wooden toothpicks instead of the opening tool. This worked flawless for me.

    mhomscheidt - Responder

  3. Lift and remove the bottom cover. Lift and remove the bottom cover.
    • Lift and remove the bottom cover.

    I taped the "Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool" to the flat part of the antenna plate before sealing everything up again. I mean, where else am I supposed to store it without forgetting where it is? I'm pretty sure it won't cause any problems there.

    Richard - Responder

    That’s a brilliant idea, @mrredwood!

    Dan Moore -

    I would suggest you wash the underside of the plastic as mine after 3 years was covered in dust.

    John Errington - Responder

    I couldn’t get mine to snap back on

    David Yutzy - Responder

  4. Remove the following TR6 screws from the antenna plate:
    • Remove the following TR6 screws from the antenna plate:

    • Three 4.1 mm screws

    • Three 1.9 mm screws

    Had a T7 security screw driver [and didn't want to wait to have the T6 version shipped to me], so I gave it a whirl. I lined up the driver with the screw socket, pressed down a bit to make sure the driver would get enough grip, and slowly [but forcefully] rotated the driver and got these screws out. BE CAUTIOUS not to strip the screws. May not work for everyone.

    KevCoStudios - Responder

    As TR6 screwdrivers were sold out all over Germany and I wanted to exchange the HDD THIS friday, I took a VERY fine dental milling tip (0,8 mm head diameter) for my proxxon and milled away the little dots in the center of the the TR6 screws. After that I could open the case with a regular T6 screwdriver. All went fine, MM is closed again + working like a charm with it's new SSD. NOTE: For this task I used my loupe glasses (3x) ;)

    Martin Gerner - Responder

    On the whole screw thing. I just used a tiny dremel drill bit and drilled out the security pin. I hate those screws. I don't see the point in locking the them with those. they should have left the screws alone.

    That Mac Guy - Responder

    That worked for me, thanks for the trick!

    Arroba -

    great trick!

    James Almeida -

    I used the T7 very carefully. No problems.

    randywardak - Responder

    I just had success using standard pliers to remove the longer screw posts, and then I used standard needle nose pliers to press down and grip the tiny screws. Please note that this method may/will cause scrapping of the aluminium cover.

    Barrythetech - Responder

    Northern Tools sells a set of 13 Torx Security Keys for $28.99 that has the TR6 size.

    Gary Craig - Responder

    On my 2nd drive replacement (swapping out to an SSD this time). Could not find my logic board removal tool. So I made another one from a metal coat hanger. So, here’s my tip, when you put it all back together: the logic board removal tool fits around that small black circle antenna perfectly and you can replace the large black cover over the top snuggly. No rattles or anything.. So, next time: I’m guaranteed to find my logic board removal tool.

    Andy Milne - Responder

    The three longer screws could be removed with pliers.

    The three shorter once I drilled out with a sharp 3 mm drill.

    First put tape across the ventilation opening and carefully vacuum cleaned before taking of the antenna plate, though.

    Don’t you hate it when the manufacturer does things like this, though??

    ernstcline - Responder

    My set of drill bits contained a T6H but no TR6 (I don’t know the difference). That worked too without problems

    Claus - Responder

    I can recommend the Tekprem tools for this. That %#*@ security dimple foiled me until I got these. check Amazon ratings before you buy any tools, a lot of them that come from China are made with cheap pot metal rather than properly hardened alloys and will strip out very quickly. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)

    MrSpiral - Responder

  5. Do not completely remove the antenna plate; it is still connected to the Mac mini by an antenna cable. With the I/O ports facing you, flip the antenna plate to the right to allow access to the antenna cable connector.
    • Do not completely remove the antenna plate; it is still connected to the Mac mini by an antenna cable.

    • With the I/O ports facing you, flip the antenna plate to the right to allow access to the antenna cable connector.

  6. Remove the single 3.4 mm T6 screw and washer from the antenna cable.
    • Remove the single 3.4 mm T6 screw and washer from the antenna cable.

    • Be careful not to lose the washer when removing the screw.

    This is a pain in the arse to get back on. Lock the screw down first when reassembling.

    Jim Allen - Responder

    No need toremove this. The cable squeezes out of the gap under the case with enough length for the antenna plate to be out of the way.

    cheongi - Responder

    Not necessary to remove just be careful and don’t stretch the cable.

    peter Tucker - Responder

  7. Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card. Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card.
    • Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card.

    Is this really necessary? The antenna is no where near the SSD drive....

    mike - Responder

    This was the most tricky part for me when remounting the Mac Mini. With my bad eyes, I’ve spent 10 minutes inserting this tiny round antenna plug in the hole. I’ve decided to put the screw back without tighten it too strongly and then it was easier.

    afajner - Responder

    I have been having wifi issues ever since I changed the drive. I don’t know if this connector is the cause or not.

    Simon - Responder

    I have been having wifi issues ever since I did this upgrade. Don’t know if it’s this connector or not.

    Simon - Responder

    Afajner great rip. Worked great. Thx

    Milton - Responder

    Afajner, your tip worked great. Thanks.

    Milton - Responder

    This is a very fiddly connector. Afajner’s tip is recommended. Make sure the connector is in securely. It will not wiggle or make a ticking sound when pressed when it is seated correctly.

    maxim - Responder

    I had trouble at this point too. My experience: Loosen the screw a bit and than center the antenna plug over the pin. In my case I heard a click when I plugged it in correctly. Don’t forget to tighten the screw afterwards.

    Matthias - Responder

    Is this really necessary? The antenna is no where near the SSD drive....

    mike - 06/25/2017

    UP! is it?

    sandro.vezzali - Responder

    Not strictly necessary for SSD access, no—just allows you to detach the antenna plate and get it safely out of the way. You can leave it in place if you prefer, but be careful to support the antenna plate and make sure the cable doesn’t get strained or yanked accidentally.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    Wenn nur die M.2 gewechselt werden soll, empfehle ich, den Antennenstecker nicht abzuschrauben und den Deckel einfach vorsichtig beiseite zu legen. Es ist dann allemal genug Platz zum Wechsel der M.2.

    Das Ausstecken dieses Steckers ist hier wirklich nicht einfach, da die Anschlüsse winzig und mit bloßem Auge kaum zu erkennen sind. Hat bei mir gut 20 Minuten gedauert, bis ich das Teil wieder drauf hatte. Eine Lupe kann hier wirklich helfen. Auch das vorherige Fixieren mit der Schraube macht es ggfs. etwas einfacher. Der restliche Ausbau/Umbau/Zusamenbau war nach einer knappen halben Stunde erledigt und ist für jeden mit etwas Geduld machbar.

    Des weiteren aufpassen mit der winzigen Schraube, die beim Zusammenbau leicht verkanten kann und dann sehr schnell abreißt.

    Hermann Röttger - Responder

    In trying to remove the antenna connector pin from its socket on the airport card the socket came away from its location on the airport card completely, together with the cable and connector pin. Rather than replace the airport card (that would have a new socket) and a new connector/pin for the cable, I decided it would be worth trying to solder the connecting pin to the (now exposed) contact points for the socket on the airport card.

    Best time to do this is during the re-build _after_ replacing the hard drive, when the antenna is still unattached to the airport card. After the re-build (with no further problems encountered) it was quite easy to solder the connector pin with attached remains of the socket to the airport card's contact points - there's enough space for easy solder access without other sensitive components nearby.

    I had thought that my Mac Mini's wireless connectivity might be affected, but it wasn't.

    Now very happy with a fast SSD machine with wireless connectivity.

    David Paul - Responder

    this was the most fiddly part of the reassembly operation for me too. Old eyes, despite good lighting, led me to try this multiple times before I finally got that satisfying click. I am surprised that people find securing the screw first to be helpful, as I didn’t have nearly enough room to move the cable around if I tried that. Also, while it is theoretically possible to do this entire operation without removing the cable, I would never chance it… It’s way too easy to damage something by yanking on the plate. I had a lot of peace of mind when I was able to set the entire antenna plate aside.

    MrSpiral - Responder

    After I reassembling, my bluetooth no longer works. The antenna connector is definitely seated properly as I heard the click, and it was fully secured when I tried to wiggle the wire. Did anyone else have this problem?

    Sean Dickson - Responder

    Update: when I disconnected the antenna cable, OSX retained my keyboard and mouse in the bluetooth device list, but it had apparently forgotten they were paired. I bought a usb keyboard and usb mouse to figure this out. Deleted the devices from the bluetooth list, rediscovered them, and now it’s working fine.

    Sean Dickson -

  8. Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case. Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.
    • Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.

    Use tab that the screw goes through to align the connecter more easily.

    Rob Speight - Responder

  9. Remove the antenna plate from the Mac mini.
    • Remove the antenna plate from the Mac mini.

    To save time and effort, note that you don’t need to disconnect the antenna cable from the radio module. Just carefully lay the antenna plate / cable assembly over to the side and perform the SSD switch.

    clinton - Responder

  10. Remove the two 12 mm T6 screws from the fan.
    • Remove the two 12 mm T6 screws from the fan.

    • Loosen the 27 mm T6 captive screw.

    That 27mm screw should be very loose, since it attaches the motherboard to the case. When you’re trying to remove the motherboard, if the AC connection side of the board is not moving back easily, you need to make sure this screw is fully backed out from the case.

    There’s no danger in removing it completely.

    marklfarley - Responder

    I suggest removing the 27 mm tool, otherwise Step 23 will not work.

    Arvin Bhatnagar - Responder

    Actually you don’t need to remove 27mm from the fan. I was able to tilt a little when I take the logic board out in Step 23. I also didn’t take the fan cable too. When you pull the logic board out, put the fan on the back of logic board as you pull it out.

    Kenneth Z - Responder

  11. The fan connector is trapped under the edge of the fan and cannot be disconnected until the fan is moved. Do not attempt to remove the fan entirely. Lift the fan straight up to free the captive screw from its hole in the logic board.
    • The fan connector is trapped under the edge of the fan and cannot be disconnected until the fan is moved.

    • Do not attempt to remove the fan entirely.

    • Lift the fan straight up to free the captive screw from its hole in the logic board.

    • Pull the fan away from the SSD until you can easily access the fan connector.

  12. Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board. Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.
    • Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.

    When I did this the entire socket came off the logic board. What do I do now?

    Tyler - Responder

    I broke off the connector. More photos of the connector may help. I lifted it but the pins broke off. It took me awhile to find points on the board to solder the wires to. I got 3 of 4 wires and the fan operates.

    Beryl Sachs - Responder

    I would suggest NOT using the point end of the Spudger but the wide end. Place behind connector (wire side) and twist gently.

    If I may be so bold as to also suggest that a torch be used for those small components/connections.

    TisMise - Responder

    I also broke the socket off. I don’t have the ability to solder little $@$* like that. I’m sad.

    Daniel Rackerby - Responder

    broke it… how bad is the no fan option?

    Kris Chu - Responder

    @TisMise you’re right thanks a lot! ;)

    Stefania Izzo - Responder

    You don’t need to disconnect the fan cable to take out the logic board. When you slip the logic board out, put the the fan behind the logic board as you push it out.

    Kenneth Z - Responder

  13. Remove the fan from the Mac mini.
    • Remove the fan from the Mac mini.

  14. Remove the captive screw from the rubber grommet in the fan screw hole. Remove the captive screw from the rubber grommet in the fan screw hole.
    • Remove the captive screw from the rubber grommet in the fan screw hole.

Conclusão

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

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Sam Goldheart

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Had a problem with a noisy fan. Apparently the blades were scratching its housing, so i just bend the aluminium housing a bit and spin the fan to see if its still had a contact. It works like a charm.

Syahmie Ramley - Responder

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