Mac Mini Dissection

A few people have posted on blogs about how to open up a Mac Mini and install parts, but here’s my take on it.
Working inside the Mac Mini is a lot trickier than making changes to a PC tower, but if you only need to change the RAM chip or clean the dust out, then don’t be dissuaded, the notes in this post might help.

DISCLAIMER: This post is meant as a guide only, I am not an authorised Apple representative or repair technician. Use these instructions at your own risk. I will not be held responsible for what you do to your own property (or anyone elses). What else… I make no guarantee that this guide is fit for any purpose.

Opening the Mini

Most blogs talk about using a putty knife or two to pry open the mini case, I found that a single small metal ruler did the trick, and a thin butter knife might do the trick also.

  1. Unplug everything from the Mini
  2. Flip the Mini upside down
  3. Insert your prying tool in between the white plastic and aluminium case on any side (this is the tricky part).
  4. Once in, carefully lever the plastic up and out of the metal case (you will feel/hear a click as the plastic tabs release)
  5. Now work your way around the Mini inserting the tool and levering until you have released all 3 sides (the back does not require prying)

Replacing the RAM

Mac Minis will only support up to 1 GB of RAM, and it only has a single DIMM slot, so if you are going to buy a Mini, you may as well just get the 1GB chip from the start (I didn’t, so I learnt that the hard way… or the fun way… depending on your view of compuer hardware maintenance 😉 ).

The RAM is fairly straight forward to replace, just open the levers on either side of the DIMM as far as permitted by the surrounding components and firmly pull the DIMM out.

Inserting the DIMM requires firm downwards pressure (not too hard). Make sure that the levers are back in the fully upright position with the tip of the lever locked inside the divet of the RAM chip.

Closing the Mini

Closing the Mini can be as tricky as opening it. The tricky part are the metal fins along the back top. You can use your prying tool to push the fins in as you close up the case.

  1. Line the case up with the Mini
  2. Press down on front and sides till plastic tabs click back into place
  3. Use you prying tool to push the metals fins in at the back while you close that final gap

That’s it!! Too easy right?
Have fun, and good luck!

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