Taking it Apart

Taking the Mac mini apart is pretty simple once you get the case off.  An excellent video of doing just that has been circulating the net and the actual process is just as simple as the video makes it out to be. 

The mini is put together much like an iPod, with plastic latches keeping the base of the chassis locked to the outer shell.  Flip the mini over and use something like a thin putty knife to separate a few of the latches on each side, then just pull the two apart.

Once you're inside, there's still a little more work to do, but it thankfully requires no more prying, just a little unscrewing.  The slot-loading optical drive and 2.5" hard drive are contained within a single removable assembly.  There are four pegs that attach the assembly to the base of the mini, and three screws that need to be removed in order to lift it off (the fourth peg is just a peg, no screw in it).

After you unscrew those pegs, the assembly simply lifts up.  Apple employed a single PCB that interfaces with both the hard drive and the optical drive as you can see in the picture below:

You simply have to lift the connector out of its slot in order to pull up the entire assembly from the case.

The assembly also houses the only fan in the entire system, attached to a duct that helps draw air in through the inlets at the bottom of the mini:

The final member of the optical drive/hard drive assembly is the built-in speaker, which is actually pretty reasonable as an entry-level sound solution.  For someone who doesn't care about music too much, the internal speaker will suffice for whatever occasional audio that the user needs to hear:

Stability and Out-of-Box Software Completeness Taking it Apart, II
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  • pitdog - Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - link

    I am a computer guy and PC user for the past 20 years. I have worked in the industry for a little while (20 years). When I heard that MicroRedmond was going to sell anti-virus software it got my blood hopped up. Then I saw on Slashdot that Apple was going to sell stripped down versions of their Mac. Interesting, I said.

    Welp I went ahead and bought one. WOW...definately interesting. I was a mechanic doing data acquisition for CART teams. All Windows based. I have also worked on motorcycles for years.

    I boil it down to one thing. I have worked on Harley's for years. They hold their value and most people want them. There are more aftermarket parts for them than any other brand. But, I wanted a bike that worked. So I bought a Yamaha R1.

    The Mac Mini is the same darn thing.....it just works. I will be using Linux or my new Mac Mini from now on. Good stuff...

    p.s. of course when I want to hack a file or test a new game....the windows pc is still around...
    Reply
  • pitdog - Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - link

    I am a computer guy and PC user for the past 20 years. I have worked in the industry for a little while (20 years). When I heard that MicroRedmond was going to sell anti-virus software it got my blood hopped up. Then I saw on Slashdot that Apple was going to sell stripped down versions of their Mac. Interesting, I said.

    Welp I went ahead and bought one. WOW...definately interesting. I was a mechanic doing data acquisition for CART teams. All Windows based. I have also worked on motorcycles for years.

    I boil it down to one thing. I have worked on Harley's for years. They hold their value and most people want them. There are more aftermarket parts for them than any other brand. But, I wanted a bike that worked. So I bought a Yamaha R1.

    The Mac Mini is the same darn thing.....it just works. I will be using Linux or my new Mac Mini from now on. Good stuff...

    p.s. of course when I want to hack a file or test a new game....the windows pc is still around...

    pitters
    Reply
  • janmorren - Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - link

    Very good article Anand. It's objective, and I think (although I haven't touched a Mac mini yet) you hit the sweet spot with your article. I do think that not only the Mac mini is badly equipped with memory, it applies for every Mac running Mac OS X. Once you have the minimum of 512 MB RAM, you're in for a very credible platform. I'm working on an older (4 years) dual PM G4 500MHz, and 1GB RAM, and I'm not complaining (yet). Everything goes smoothly enough (I'm the IT guy here, and have to run everything).
    Also the comments on Pages, KeyNote and iLife '05 seem fair. Thanks for not being prejudiced.
    Reply
  • bjakuc - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    Two quick comments:

    1) Thanks for the straight forward, even keeled, unbiased look minus any religous overtones.

    2) As for iPhoto 5 not having built in ftp support, you could always create a folder hierarchy that matches your web site structure and attach a 'Folder Actions' script to each subdirectory (written in Applescript, perl , python, shell etc...) that will ftp anything dropped into it up to the corresponding subdirectory on your site. just type 'Folder Actions' into Apple help for a discussion on how to set them up.

    Cheers!
    Bob Jakuc
    Reply
  • bjakuc - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • hopejr - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    #176, I never said that it was secure, just that MS has made such a fuss about how much work they put into SP2 to make it "secure" and the stuff they put on the packaging, that would make the novice user think it was true.
    I also have a Windows box that has none of that stuff, and it's fine too, but, it sits behind a hardware firewall. If I put it in the DMZ, it would get hit like hell. I am a responsible user, and don't go downloading anything malicious (trust me, I know what to look for - I've been using PC's for long enough to know) and that is effortless. The only problem is that many people are noobs and don't know what to look for. BTW, that guy I was talking about is no noob, it was just that someone/bot had cracked into his computer through the "enhanced" firewall that MS built into SP2.
    I agree that OS X would have vulnerabilities, but at this time, who really cares? I'd only start to consider getting any AV software for my mac if I didn't have it behind the firewall and the percentage of users increased to 50% instead of the 3% it is at. Will that happen? I don't think so with the general mentality of much of the public these days toward anything "mac".
    I also agree that arguments such as these are absolutely pointless. So many people have their minds set a certain way, and are very difficult to change.
    Reply
  • matteh99 - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    #178

    The Celeron isn't one of "featured" dimension 3000 desktops. Instead of clicking on the featured 3000 desktops you have to click on the link above it that says "start shopping desktops". (great set up for the site eh?)

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.a...

    I would like to test a 3000 with a P4 but I don't have one. :-P. I might try to find a few other pc's to put it up against.. Also maybe test the 1.25 ghz mini.
    Reply
  • mino - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    #134 Actually I searched their home site www.grisoft.cz before posting.
    So, I'm happy You corrected me since I had no idea there is running such a project from Your link.
    Reply
  • RMSistight - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    #158

    SUPER LMAO
    Reply
  • msva124 - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - link

    Impressive results for the mini, but you might want to test it against a dell with a 2.8Ghz pentium 4. Looking at the dell website it doesn't seem like it is possible to buy a Dimension 3000 with a celeron processor anymore. Although, I could have sworn I went there a few days ago and I was able to. Reply

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