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Archive for November, 2009

November-10-09

Upgrading the Memory on an Apple Mac Mini in 26 Steps

Posted by Robert Alonso under Advice, Hardware

The Apple Mac Mini comes in a variety of configurations and price points. If you buy the base model, it typically does not have enough memory to handle the Adobe Creative Suite. You will definitely want to upgrade it. Although it It is relatively easy to upgrade the memory, it looks daunting when you look at the Mac Mini case. The case looks like a solid piece of plastic with no screws or openings. The trick is to pry the upper portion of the case off the body. The upper portion is the section of the Mac Mini that has the Apple logo on it.

I am providing 26 easy steps to upgrading your Mac Mini. I hope this helps you. Please remember to be careful and gentle. The case is delicate and it is better to spend a little extra time to get it right than to damage your case.

Step 1. Buy Memory and get a spatula, small flat head screwdriver screwdriver and kitchen knife. One of the technicians her at Alonso Consulting was able to forgo using a spatula. However, I think it is easier with a small, sturdy spatula. Before you proceed, unplug all cords from the Mac Mini and place everything on a padded surface. You can use cloth for this purpose.

1. Memory & Apple Mac Mini

Step 2. Start opening case by prying it open with spatula or kitchen knife. Be careful and take your time. You do not want to break any of the plastic tabs that grip into the sides of the Mac Mini case.

2. Apple Mac Mini Case Opening 1
Step 3. Use hands to pry the case off once you have popped off the sides.

3 . Apple Mac Mini Case Opening 2

Step 4. You can also use the small screwdriver to hold a side up so that it does not clip back into place as you work around the case.

4. Apple Mac Mini Case Opening 3

Step 5. You will start to see the bottom separating from the top of the unit.

5. Apple Mac Mini Case Opening 4 
Step 6. Continue to move around the case until you pry it apart completely. Apply pressure away from the upper section with your fingers. Be gentle.

6. Apple Mac Mini Case Opening 5

Step 7. Once this is done, you can  lift the bottom section off the top and see the insides of the Mac Mini.

7. Apple Mac Mini Inside 1

Step 8. You can place the bottom of the unit which contains the electronics on a flat padded surface.

8. Apple Mac Mini Inside 2

Step 9.  Locate the wireless antenna. It is in one of the corners. Remove it gently without separating the cable from the rest of the unit.

9. Apple Mac Mini Wireless Card

Step 10.  Remove screws that are found on each corner. Be careful about placing these somewhere in the order that they were removed. They are not all the same length.

10. Apple Mac Mini - Remove Screws

Step 11.  Now lift the electronics off the bottom plastic very gently.

11. Apple Mac Mini Lift Motherboard 3

Step 12. You can lift from the side using your thumbs.

12. Apple Mac Mini Lift Motherboard 4

Step 13. As you lift, you will see the memory sockets. There are two SODIMM sockets.

13. Apple Mac Mini Lift Motherboard 5

Step 14. Here is a better look at the memory.

14. Apple Mac Mini Memory Area 1

Step 15. Remove the installed memory and replace it with your two SODIMMS.

15. Apple Mac Mini Memory Area 2

Step 16. You should buy memory that will max out your Mac Mini so that you will not have to do this again. I installed two 2 GB memory modules for a total of 4 GB on my Mac Mini. Please note in the picture that the modules were inserted sideways under the electronics with a lot of gentle care.

16. Apple Mac Mini Insert Memory 1

Step 17. Here is a closer look at the memory modules in their slots.

17. Apple Mac Mini Insert Memory 2 
Step 18. In this step, the technician is putting firm pressure on the two memory chips so that they snap in place. You will hear a slight click.

18. Apple Mac Mini Insert Memory 3

Step 19. Set the electronics back into place in the plastic case.

19. Apple Mac Mini Closing Up 1

Step 20. Replace the screws that you removed earlier.

20. Apple Mac Mini Closing Up 2 
Step 21. Replace the wireless card that you removed. Make sure that it clips into place and is not sticking out. If it is, then you will have problems putting on the cover or getting wireless networking to work.

21. Apple Mac Mini Closing Up 3 Wireless 
Step 22. Here is a picture of the Mac Mini electronics ready to be put back together with the upper portion of the plastic Apple cover.

22. Apple Mac Mini Closing Up 4

Step 23. Start by placing the electronics into the case as pictured. Make sure you line up the back potion with the cable ports correctly. You will not be able to close the case any other way, so this should be intuitive.

23. Apple Mac Mini Closing Up Case 1

Step 24. Apply gentle, but firm pressure all around the case. Please note that a padded surface was used to avoid scratches on the case.

24. Apple Mac Mini Closing Up Case 2

Step 25. For the final steps, squeeze the upper portion of the case down around the back with the connectors. For some reason, this section required more pressure.

25. Apple Mac Mini Closing Up Case 3
Step 26. You are done. Relax, plug in your Mac and watch a nice movie on it from iTunes.

26. Apple Mac Mini Upgraded

The same steps can be used to replace the hard drive. It is located behind the memory in the electronic core. I hope this has been helpful.

Robert Alonso
Alonso Consulting

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