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Mac Mini 2012 SSD upgrade advice needed

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Post time: 2014-02-09 18:11:11 |Show all posts
Expanding the Mac mini,  Using the Mac mini
Hi all,
I have my brand new Mac mini on order now, and plan to swap the HDD out for an SSD as soon as I get it. I already have the SSD in question, a Samsung 830 128GB, have done my research regarding the upgrade and think I can manage it, but do still have a couple of questions.
1) Do I really need to disconnect the fan, or is it enough to remove the screws affixing it to the logic board and then simply move it to the side where the RAM is located whilst still connected? This looks doable from the videos I have watched, and because so many people seem to have broken the connector, it seems easier to try and work with it still attached.
2) Same question as (1) really, but relating this time to the Wifi connector. Having dealt with those little connectors just recently, I am in no hurry to deal with them again.
3) As I am doing a swap of the drives, it seems that I should be able to remove the HDD and install the SSD all without moving the logic board, is this correct?
4) Is there any need to remove the IR connector at all? If the answer to (3) is yes, I assume removing this connector becomes redundant?
5) What's the best practice for removing and then reattaching the SATA connector? It looks easy in the videos I have watched, but I'm not 100% sure what sort of pressure, and from where, should be applied?
As you can probably tell, I am loathe to disconnect anything when I do not have to, especially where there is the risk of breaking something, hence my attempts to do the entire install with only one cable being disconnected (SATA). Any help or advice with any of this would be greatly appreciated, cheers.
        Mac mini, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3)

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Post time: 2014-02-09 23:56:17 |Show all posts
One additional word of advice, you may want to get a SATA->USB
adapter and either clone your internal or do a clean install on the
drive connected externally and thoroughly test it before doing the
internal install. Being USB it will be slow, but at least you can
satisfy yourself that there should be no issues when finally
installing it.

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Post time: 2014-02-09 22:16:00 |Show all posts
Thanks for the replies guys, I really appreciate your advice. The more I think about it though, the more I think that I might be best leaving this job to a professional. I was looking to go down the route of not disconnecting this and that, primarily because I have very little experience with this sort of thing. Aside from "building" an Intel NUC and doing SSD upgrades in a couple of laptops and a desktop, I am a total noob to be honest. And well, I dont want to break my brand new, rather expensive, device. Having upgraded all my other computers to SSDs already however, I think going back to a normal spinner will be too much to take. The whole thing actually now makes apple's price of £240 for the 256GB SSD upgrade seem almost palatable. I still don't need or want an SSD that big though, and I already have SSDs spare that would be perfect for the job, hence my initial wish to go DIY.
Anyway thanks for taking the time to detail the whole process for me, I now feel I at least have a positive way to move forward, which is to pay someone else do it. Then it's their risk! Now to find said professional, thanks for your help.

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Post time: 2014-02-09 20:34:33 |Show all posts
I just changed my HD to SSD in 2012 Mini. You need to remove the fan because the wire is too short to just rotate out of the way. The connector should be pryed straight up using a plastic spudger or very small flat head screw driver. Try not to pull on the wires because they are very thin. The wireless antenna panel can be left attached. Just remove the 4 screws and rotate to the left. The antenna connector is not in the way of the HD. The HD SATA connector will pull up and off. You can use a spudger or just your finger nail. It is not very tight. You do not need to remove the logic board however my HD had to be pullled forward and tipped to the left to clear the RAM modules. This tooked a couple of minutes of wiggling the HD . The new SSD slipped right in with no issues.

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Post time: 2014-02-09 19:12:49 |Show all posts
To answer both at once, having these dangle on their connections
is not as a good idea as a bump or slip could actually dammage
the connection (had an accident with one of those tiny RF connectors
on something else and cable pulled out of the connector) or onto
the logic board and damage something there. This could happen
especially when maneuvering the drives in and out. If you have
the right tools, popping the connectors should not be an issue.
I believe phiysically the 2012 and 2011 Minis are quite
similar, I had no issue replacing the top drive without
moving the logic board on my 2011 Mini Server. If your
drive is installed at the bay that is closest to the access
panel, it should not be an issue. However, I did either see
or read where the drive on the new Mini is in the bay near the
top of the case which would require complete disassembly.
Whether this is on all or just some cases is unknown.
Again, on my 2011 Mini Server, the only items I disconnected
were the fan and WiFi.
Watch the OWC video closely on the placement of the
tool. The force wasn't all that much and popped fairly
So, to me, having any items dangling off of those dainty
connectors and wires is asking for trouble unless they can be totally
secured from from any accidental tugging on the connections.
This is the thread where I saw the photo of the drive
installed in the bay closest to the top of the case.

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