Introduction

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

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 - Réponse

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 - Réponse

On my Samsung EVO 850, mac mini download system automaticly

Stefan Repac - Réponse

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 - Réponse

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 - Réponse

diskutil list

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

Paul Rodgers - Réponse

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 - Réponse

  • 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 - Réponse

That’s a brilliant idea, @mrredwood!

Dan Moore -

  • 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 - Réponse

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 - Réponse

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 - Réponse

That worked for me, thanks for the trick!

Arroba -

great trick!

James Almeida -

I used the T7 very carefully. No problems.

randywardak - Réponse

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 - Réponse

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

Gary Craig - Réponse

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 - Réponse

  • 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.

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  • 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 - Réponse

  • 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 - Réponse

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 - Réponse

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 - Réponse

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

Simon - Réponse

Afajner great rip. Worked great. Thx

Milton - Réponse

Afajner, your tip worked great. Thanks.

Milton - Réponse

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 - Réponse

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 - Réponse

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

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  • Remove the antenna plate from the Mac mini.

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  • 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 - Réponse

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

Arvin Bhatnagar - Réponse

  • 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.

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  • 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 - Réponse

  • Remove the fan from the Mac mini.

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

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Conclusion

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

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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 - Réponse

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