Mac mini Late 2014 Hard Drive Replacement
By Sam Lionheart • Difficulty: Moderate
Introduction

Use this guide to replace the hard drive in your hard-drive-only or Fusion Drive Mac mini Late 2014.

This guide was made with a Fusion Drive Mac mini. If your Mac mini only has a hard drive, skip the steps about the PCIe SSD and its connector.

Step 1
  • The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.
  • Pry near, but not right on the screw posts.
Step 2
  • Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac mini.
Step 3
  • Lift and remove the bottom cover.
Step 4
  • Remove the following TR6 screws from the antenna plate:
  • Three 4.1 mm screws
  • Three 1.9 mm screws
Step 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.
Step 6
  • 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.
Step 7
  • Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card.
Step 8
  • Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.
Step 9
  • Remove the antenna plate from the Mac mini.
Step 10
  • Remove the two 12 mm T6 screws from the fan.
  • Loosen the 27 mm T6 captive screw.
Step 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.
  • Pull the fan away from the SSD until you can easily access the fan connector.
Step 12
  • Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.
Step 13
  • Remove the fan from the Mac mini.
Step 14
  • Remove the 2.6 mm T6 screw securing the SATA cable connector bracket.
Step 15
  • Remove the SATA cable connector bracket.
Step 16
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the SATA cable connector up off of its socket on the logic board.
Step 17
  • Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the IR sensor cable connector by prying it straight up from its socket.
Step 18
  • The following three steps only apply to Mac minis equipped with a PCIe SSD. Skip the next three steps if your Mac mini only has a hard drive.
  • Remove the two 2.6 mm T6 screws securing the PCIe SSD cable bracket.
Step 19
  • Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket.
Step 20
  • Lift the PCIe SSD connector up off its socket.
Step 21
  • Remove the single 16 mm T6 screw securing the logic board.
Step 22
  • To remove the logic board, the two cylindrical rods of the Mac mini Logic Board Removal Tool must be inserted into the holes highlighted in red. Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may destroy the logic board.
  • Insert the Mac mini Logic Board Removal Tool into the two holes highlighted in red. Be sure the rods make contact with the case under the logic board before proceeding.
Step 23
  • 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 removal tool makes contact with the opening in the rear case.
  • Remove the Mac mini Logic Board Removal tool.
Step 24
  • Pull the DC-In cable connector straight out of its socket on the logic board.
Step 25
  • Carefully slide the logic board assembly out of the Mac mini, minding any cables that may get caught.
Step 26
  • The AC-in socket is secured with a small metal retaining clip.
  • Use tweezers or your fingers to pull the clip away from the AC-in socket, and remove it from the Mac mini.
  • When replacing the clip, push it in until it stops—it should be secure even if there is no audible click.
Step 27
  • To free the power supply from the case, grab the AC-In connector, which acts like a latch.
  • Rotate the AC-In connector 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
Step 28
  • The AC-In latch should fit into the groove above it in the case.
  • During reassembly ensure the power supply is inserted far enough into the case that the latch will engage with the groove.
Step 29
  • Remove the 8 mm T6 screw securing the power supply.
Step 30
  • Slide the power supply out of the mini, minding any cables that may get caught.
Step 31
  • Remove the single 8 mm T6 screw securing the drive tray.
Step 32
  • Lift the drive tray up out of the Mac mini.
Step 33
  • Remove the four (two on each side) 6.5 mm T8 screws securing the hard drive to the drive tray.
Step 34
  • Lift the hard drive up and remove it from the drive tray.
  • During reassembly, be sure to thread the hard drive cable through the slot in the drive tray.
Step 35
  • Lift up the ribbon cable and carefully peel away the black tape underneath. It secures the SATA cable connector to the PCB of the hard drive. Failing to remove the tape will almost surely cause the contacts soldered to the flex cable to rip from the connector housing, as the retention force of the contacts in the housing is quite low.
  • Pull the SATA cable connector straight out of the hard drive.
  • Carefully peel off the two black, square-shaped sticky pads (one visible in picture) from the corners of the hard drive, and stick them to your new hard drive in the same locations.
Conclusion

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