Mac Mini Mid 2010 Hard Drive Replacement, "Honest Trailers" version.

You can probably get this torx screw with a small flat-head screwdriver. Be sure to swear in the direction of Cupertino while doing so.
These two are probably stripped already somehow. Just grab the fan at the corner and pull up until the screw tabs snap off. Once you've done that, you can unscrew them by hand.

You won't be able to get this one out. Snap that too.
There's no way you're getting this fucker plugged back in so stop fantasizing about it.

Just throw this part away. Bluetooth is stupid and ethernet is less of a pain in the ass than wifi.
You'll have to wiggle the drive like a motherfucker but it will come out eventually. Some of those extra wires on the side are probably going to break but they don't matter.
To hold the drive in place: duct tape.

To hold the fan in place: some more duct tape.

The screw-hatch doesn't close tightly any more? You guessed it.

Oh yeah, make sure the fan is actually turning. Turn it right-side-up and shake it after taping things, then check again. That's what we call "quality assurance", that is.


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10 Responses:

  1. Ryan Finnie says:

    "Service addendum: None of this is applicable on any model Mac Mini built since planking was a fad. What are you doing with a "computer" anyway? Just go out and buy an iPhone."

  2. Chris Davies says:

    Coincidentally, I opened up my laptop today for it's probably too irregular getting the dust out of the fan housings servicing. There's an officially available service manual that tells me how to remove everything in the chassis and it's all held together with regular phillips
    head screws.

    This is the very minimum you ought to expect from a hardware company. Anything less and they're being deliberately consumer hostile. Why buy from a company that's already planning on screwing you for parts and maintenance before the computer even leaves the shop?

    • MattyJ says:

      I've had my Macbook Pro for over five years and have never needed any parts or maintenance. My average non-Mac laptop lasted two years tops before something broke, burned out or literally caught fire. I'm well beyond my hobbyist years, to the point where my time is my most precious resource, so I'll take this consumer hostile hardware now and until the day I die.

      Windows and Linux on the desktop are consumer-hostile software, so don't even get me started on that.

    • Glaurung says:

      I've never had any trouble finding PDFs of the official Apple service manuals for any Mac that I wanted to service. Apple might not like it, but they're on the net and available for free download.

      And let me say, they're significantly better than Ifixit guides. The person at Ifixit responsible for deciding that all they needed to do was say "reverse these steps to put it back together" needs to be taken out back and shot.

  3. Gary E. Miller says:

    JWZ would probably tell you it's about the OS stupid. And that seems to be the answer that a lot of people have.
    I agree with you though. I look at a computer, and the keyboard is weird and doesn't have delete and backspace (like god intended) and I shake my head. That, on its own, is enough for me to step away and go and look at the Lenovo Thinkpads, or the Dell, or whatever. But they are all going the awful route as well, soldered RAM, non-replaceable battery, etc. What are we to do?

    I don't care about Windows (I'll nuke and pave with some Linux or another anyway; the same as if I did buy a Mac I'd nuke and pave MacOS), but I do care that the hardware companies are actively user hostile.

    • jwz says:

      I certainly have issues with MacOS, but among the desktop OSes that exist, it's the only one I can tolerate. And honestly, among the server OSes that exist, it's also a very strong contender, and really its only downside as a server OS is hardware price.

      If I could buy off the shelf hardware that would easily run MacOS, I'd probably do that. But then, I'd probably want hardware that was tested and validated with the OS, so maybe even if that third party market existed in some plausible way, I'd still buy from Apple anyway.

      So yeah, in a world of less than ideal choices, 8-year-old Mac Minis are still a pretty solid option.

      Maybe the 5-years-from-now rev of the Pi will have a good enough GPU to make that a good alternative for doing things like "display this javascript-heavy web page on a 1080p monitor" or "play music videos and not fuck it up". But it's not there yet.

      • tobias says:

        I agree. Consumer options are dire at the moment.

        I think intel peaked 6-8 years ago. Thereafter their CPU's only doubled in performance every five years. You really aren't missing a lot from contemporary chips in terms of performance.

        Apple of course can drop support for a given hardware spec any year, with the dual optical drive grey towers now gone against the wall.

        Maybe Apple getting into the CPU market will move things forward, but that's two years away at minimum.

        • Elusis says:

          Given that Apple has fucked all my USB devices & dongles with its new laptops, and fucked my headphones with its new iPhones, I'm really hoping that my history of getting a lot of years out of my Apple devices holds up. :-/

  4. ark says:

    I've been through this multiple times when the HD on this bricked on OS upgrade.

    It's about the OS, but it's also about the fact that these were convenient little media PCs running that OS, the last of their kind with removable media drives, and the cheapest way to do MacOS development/debugging!

    FWIW: it goes together like a dream with a half-height drive, even with all the duct tape! ;)

  5. Troy says:

    When my 2006 Mac Pro got bricked by an OS update in 2014, the least worst of my options was going hackintosh on a new Z97 box. Worst case was I'd have a new Windows box for my hobby Unity development.

    I'd owned a IIcx, PowerMac 7500, G3, Dual G4, PBG4, Macbook Pro previously, but Apple's present offerings are starkly inferior to the Z370M / i7-8700K / 1070Ti / 960 Pro NVMe SSD / 2X 24" 4K monitors I'm typing this on now. does an OK job describing the process & ups & downs.

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