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Mini 1.66 Upgrading
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psychologist
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:44 pm    Post subject: Mini 1.66 Upgrading Reply with quote

Our 1.66 Core Duo Mac Mini's hard drive crashed hard, and it's time to replace it. Originally the Mini had the 80 GB, 4200 rpm and worked for five years. Threads here seem to indicate one can upgrade to the 7200 rpm internal hard drive and perhaps even upgrade the CPU when it's apart.

Any ideas on what hard drive and CPU to use for upgrading? The original hard drive had 56 GB free out of he 80 GB hard drive.

Thank you.
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HidariMigi
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Mini 1.66 Upgrading Reply with quote

psychologist wrote:

Any ideas on what hard drive and CPU to use for upgrading? The original hard drive had 56 GB free out of he 80 GB hard drive.Thank you.

I just went through a total upgrade of the same MacMini 1.66 model. It can be a bit nerve-wracking, because you basically have to disassemble every part of the machine. But definitely rewarding getting a speedy brain transplant!

The Mini uses a laptop (2.5") SATA hard drive. Prices have been fluctuating lately, but you should be able to pick up a 500GB for $75-$100. A 5400 (common) or 7200 (more expensive) rpm drive will definitely help. You'll get no benefit out of the now-standard SATA-II (3.0Gbps or 300MBps) as MacMini's are limited to 150MBps. The speediest (and priciest) storage option right now is to use an SSD (solid state drive) which some Mini owners have opted to use.

The processors you can upgrade to are limited to the Socket-M. The fastest of these are T7200 (Core2Duo 2.0Ghz), T7400 (2.16Ghz) and T7600 (2.33Ghz). So far as I know, none are manufactured still, so you're more likely to find them used. Not surprisingly, the T7600 is still much in demand, and pricey. I went with a T7400 which I was able to pull from another machine.

There's lots of info on how to take apart the MacMini, on here and on iFixit.com, but the hardest part is dealing with the heatsink -- because it is held on with nylon snap-pin fasteners which require needle-nose pliers to remove. Most folks (like me) end up breaking off the fastener's tip trying to get it out or back in. So it would be highly advisable to get a set of replacement nylon screws & bolts before attempting the processor upgrade.

I'd also strongly recommend bumping up the memory. One unfortunate aspect of the first generation Intel MacMinis (1,1) like the 1.66 is that it was (originally) limited to 2GB of RAM. In another topic, I describe how I reflashed the firmware to accept the second generation (2,1) -- which will recognize 3GB or 4GB of memory (yay!) After the firmware change, the max the machine will actually use is 3GB.

One more optional future-proofing upgrade a lot of folks overlook: the older Wifi card can be replaced with the newer Airport Extreme which includes 802.11n. I was able to salvage one of those out of an iMac. (They are also available in MacBooks/Pros.)
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add two things to HidariMigi's excellent response:

First - The replacement CPU must have pins(PGA) and not be a BGA part.

Second - The newer wireless cards have a Core 2 Duo requirement. Why? I have no iDea, but you can't upgrade the wireless connection if you don't upgrade the CPU to a Core 2 Duo.

SC
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[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

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Make sure it has pins!
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psychologist
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the responses. I found an appropriate CPU chip and am certain finding the appropriate hard drive will prove a simple matter. I only wanted a smaller hard drive, but larger likely won't hurt anything. Any advice on the brand of the hard drive?

The firmware issue proves quite different for me. I understand the instructions in here, but the instructions in the other threads and outside links prove highly technical.

First things first, before I did any firmware upgrade it looks as though I would need to install the new hard drive with the old memory and proceed from there.

Are there any real advantages to going with Lion over Snow Leopard?

Thank you for all responses.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would stay with snow . As for an hdd there are a lot to choose from.

on sale a huge improvement on what you have

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145447
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HidariMigi
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've stuck with Snow Leopard, as well; Lion adds some bells and whistles, but reports are it is slightly slower, and has some incompatibilities.

The firmware upgrade is really only for those who want to max out their Mini by getting more than 2GB of memory-- which is what you have right now. It's not necessary, although it may reportedly fix some minor issue with the Mac keyboard used on later models.

As for hard drives, Philip's right, that's a good deal for a 500GB drive right now. ($60 with promo code and free shipping.) I would normally recommend Mac-oriented One World Computing (www.macsales.com) but their comparable Hitachi drive is $97:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Hitachi/0A72335/
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psychologist
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the replies and the link for the hard drive. I appreciate saving $40, especially this time of year after all the holidays. I ordered the drive from Newegg and it should arrive by Friday according to them.

In reference to the nylon screws someone discussed, where would be a good location to get extra screws just in case they get ruined during the swap?

Thank you again.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a link give me a minute for the nylon



http://www.ebay.com/itm/Replacement-Mac-Mini-Heatsink-Pins-/150624400949#vi-desc
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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psychologist
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phillip,

Thank you for that link. I ordered two sets. Better safe than sorry. Are there any other suggestions you have to ensure the swap gets accomplished well?
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good light
good tools
a second computer to keep looking at photos or videos of installs while you do your install.

a camera take lots of photos.


NO BEER! OR WINE OR WHATEVER!

and send emails to this site if you get stuck. don't guess since quite a few have done the install some one has an answer.
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also recommend four thick (thickest you can get) toothpicks to help hold the heatsink in place when replacing it. Also some tape to tape over the existing nylon pins, so that when they release, the springs don't get lost.

SC
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Grumpy old man of computing.

[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

Make sure it has pins!
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HidariMigi
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:21 am    Post subject: cleaning the heatsink and preparing processor Reply with quote

As it hasn't been mentioned, you should also get a small amount of acetone -- ala nail polish remover -- to clean the old heatsink compound off. It's a thick "gunk" thats stuck to the heatsink that traditional cleaner isopropyl alcohol won't dislodge. You'll need to smooth the heatsink surface to make a good connection to the new processor.

You'll also need new thermal paste -- Arctic Silver is considered a high quality one, but requires precise application as it is conductive and can't touch circuitry. I used a cheap aluminum-based compound, which worked fine. You need just a very thin layer on top of the processor. Here's a good description of the process: http://www.techpowerup.com/printarticle.php?id=134

I should have also pointed to my my other posting where I noted that I have eight sets of the nylon screws/bolts/washers left over, because I had to buy a line-item minimum from a local specialty place.

These are the #4-40 1" nylon screws.

If anyone else is needing them, I'll sell them a bit less than the eBay listing -- $2.50/set of four + shipping (depending on how someone wants to get them.)
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope your not planing on running Lion!!!!

Remember Lion will have issues booting on a cpu upgraded mac mini.
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psychologist
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will get the paste and the thick toothpicks. Thanks to all the members for the advice and guidance.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psychologist wrote:
Thanks to all the members for the advice and guidance.


I noticed you joined the forum in 2005. Did you have the original G4 mini as well?

I'm impressed that you are going for the DIY CPU upgrade. I was expecting this thread to turn into a case of an abundance of advice which was well above what you requested.
It nice to see that the members of this forum often go above and beyond to give other members guidance. Most forums I visit simply tell members to use the search function.

Let us know how things go.
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