Richard Bucker

6 year old Mac Mini

Posted at — Nov 9, 2011

[uodate] I booted the machine and OSX failed to boot. ┬áThe replacement HDD was from an older MacBook (Intel) so I was not expecting great things, however, it was a 20GB upgrade of sorts. I put in my Leopard disk and tried to book via the ‘C’ key on my bluetooth keyboard. That did not work so I tried a USB keyboard. That did not work either. ┬áThen I tried to eject the disk. That did not work. So it is possible that the HDD was never bad but that the MOBO or related component gave up it’s magic smoke. That’s enough of that. Now I need a new file server.My Mac Mini is 6 years old and the HDD finally died. It’s been showing signs that it was going to crash for the last 6 months or so but I did not recognize them. I use this machine as my file server; usually headless and recently with a monitor in order to diagnose my problem.Typically the system would beach-ball when uploading or downloading a file. I initially thought that this was a network stack issue because I throttled network i/o at different times of the day/night. But when the machine hung yesterday I was at a loss. It was my local Genius who confirmed that it was the HDD.Sadly, Apple categorized this machine as “vintage” so they would not service the machine and they did not have parts. It did not help that I had previously upgraded the memory (myself). So now I was out of warranty too.So I proceeded to take the machine apart and look for the HDD. It was easy but not simple.1) the case2) the 4 screws on the CDROM3) the 3 screws on the CD/HDD frame4) the 3 screws on the fan5) the 4 screws on the HDD6) the socket that the CD/HDD plugged into7) the wires that were taped to almost every flat surfaceAnd after I took all of this apart… and put it all back together with no leftovers. I forgot to put the RAM back in. I’m about to boot it for the first time. Let’s see what happens. (I’ve built so many PCs over the years I’ve lost count. That Apple’s computers are less serviceable is probably a good thing.)