123Macmini.com
FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   GalleryPhoto Gallery   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Mac Mini 2011-2012 w/ Internal Superdrive : SUCCESS !
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> Mac Mini Upgrading
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
geeji
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:56 am    Post subject: Mac Mini 2011-2012 w/ Internal Superdrive : SUCCESS ! Reply with quote

UPDATE Mac Mini 2012 [4 November 2013] : ultrix, trial&error and maitai2214 all succeeded in installing a slim Superdrive or UJ-267 Blu-ray burner within a Mac Mini 2012 (running OS X Mavericks or Windows 7), at the price of 2 additional modifications : 1 capacitor has to be removed/displaced from the motherboard, and a SATA connector pin (#4) has to be removed from the ODD flat cable.

UPDATE Mac Mini 2011 [27 November 2013] : up to now I thought the removal of the SATA connector pin (#4) had to be performed only with the latest Mac Mini 2012, since I did not have this issue on my own Mac Mini 2011.
However, one guy mentioned on iFixit forum that he had to perform it for a Mac Mini 2011 too, when adding a UJ-267 Blu-ray burner.
So to be on the safe side, it seems prudent to perform this pin removal on the Mac Mini 2011 too, even thou some like me may not actually need it (you don't really want to disassemble your Mac Mini twice Wink ) .


When the latest incarnation of the Mac Mini arrived mid 2011, many Home Theater enthusiasts such as myself where frustrated by the lack of an optical drive BTO option.
Several people then attempted to put a Mac Mini 2011 motherboard into a Mac Mini 2010 case, including a Superdrive, and unfortunately discovered that it would not fit : the 2011 i5/i7 motherboard has more bulky capacitors on top, and because of that, would collide with a Superdrive when present in the case.
And that although the Mac Mini 2011 and the Mac Mini Server 2010 aluminum cases are 100% identical.
It was especially frustrating since the misfit is minimal : about 3mm...

BUT where there is a will, there is a way : the key to success is to replace the Mac Mini 2010 12.7mm Superdrive with a 9.5mm Superdrive (the same one present in MacBooks) : the 3 mm gained in height margin are enough to slide the 2011 motherboard without a collision !.
The opening of both 12.7mm and 9.5mm is located at the same distance from the top of the Superdrive, so the case opening is properly located in front of the Superdrive slot for both kinds of drives.
The fit is so tight however that you will need to make 3 small cuts in the plastic carrier for the Superdrive, and depending on the type of 9.5mm Superdrive you install, also 2 small cuts to remove some metal protuberances from the Superdrive case.
This is not nothing like major surgery, although this is a somewhat delicate tweak on fragile parts, and not recommended if you have 2 left hands...

Obviously, this modification will void your warranty, but since all those (minor) modifications are done SOLELY on the newly added parts, if worse came to worse, you could always properly put back the Mac Mini 2011 in its original state (keep the original parts !).



Below is the step-by-step process I followed.
All in all, being very careful and checking everything 3 times to be 100% sure, it will take you about 3-4 hours to "Build To Order" your Mac Mini 2011 with an internal Superdrive.
Making this tutorial took me much more time than doing the actual work...
The cost will vary depending if you have to buy a separate Mac Mini 2010 aluminum case and a new 9.5mm Superdrive, or just reuse one you already have. Worst case would be around $150-$200, depending on shipping charges and assuming you can get a bargain price for the case on eBay.
Note that for the same amount, you can get a nice external Blu-ray burner, such as the LG BP06LU10; safer, quicker but not as much fun ! Wink

Some skeptics may question the benefit of spending 3 hours and more than $150 "just" to get an internal optical drive back in your Mac Minis.
I suggest some answers (which obviously won't convince REAL skeptics) :
A/ To show it can be done (you know, same answer as from those climbing mountains : "because they were there !" )
B/ To become the proud owner of a collector item (AFAIK, I am presently the only one in the world owning such a nice and powerful Mac Mini Smile )
C/ To shame Apple for not offering that as a standard BTO option (yes, I know, that's very unlikely...)
D/ To encourage iFixit to offer a full easy kit so that you can install all this in less than 1 hour, with all parts supplied together and all cuts already made, just as they did for their great and highly successful "Mac Mini Dual Hard Drive Kit".

EDIT#1 : Since I did this modification in December 2011, Matshita finally introduced a 9.5mm slot load Blu-ray reader (UJ-167) and burner (UJ-267), so you are now able to use that internal drive with VLC or Macgo Blu-ray Player for Mac, thus making Blu-ray almost available for playback on Mac... Smile
Check the eBay links for the UJ-167/267 in the rest of this thread.
EDIT#2 : AFAIK, this modification should work as well with the Mac Mini 2012, although I have not yet attempted it myself.


+++LEGAL DISCLAIMER+++ : As usual, don't attempt such a modification if you have never done something similar or feel uncomfortable about it.
I decline any kind of responsibility, implicit or explicit, if you break or burn anything or are not satisfied with the result.
The instructions given below worked for me, and they may or may not work for you.
If you decide to follow that path, anything good or bad that happens hereafter is your full and only responsibility.
+++YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !+++

Enjoy
Jean-Jacques

I / Tools
======
You will need the usual tools to disassemble a 2010/2011 Mac Mini :
+ Torx T6, T8 and Phillips PH00 screwdrivers (also in "26 Bit Driver Kit" at iFixit)
+ Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool [to extract the motherboard from the case]
+ Plastic Spudger

And for cuttings :
+ A coping saw with a VERY fine blade
or (did not try myself)
+ A Flush Wire Cutter [to erase protuberances on optical drive]
+ A small vice


II / Supplies / Bill of Materials
=======================
Thanks to "We Love Macs" for the Mac Mini 2010 parts breakdown :

Apple Parts for Mac Mini (mid 2010) [A1347] :
+ 1x "Cable, Flex, Optical Drive, w/Tape" Apple Part #: 076-1361
+ 1x "Carrier, Optical Drive" Apple Part #: 922-9570
+ 1x "Screw, Optical Drive, Carrier, Pkg. of 5" Apple Part #: 922-9583 [will use only 2 screws out of 5]
+ 1x "Housing, w/Optical Drive Slot" Apple Part #: 922-9565 [NOT the non-slotted Mac Mini 2010 server, identical to the Mac Mini 2011 case]
I got my Mac Mini 2010 slotted case from eBay, for about half the Apple regular price (search for "New Apple Mini Mac PC Computer Intel Desktops Case Only")

Superdrive :
+ 1x 9.5mm slot load SATA Superdrive (eBay is your friend..)
If you don't already have one, here is a partial list of drives which should fit
Matshita UJ-867A/B (#)
Matshita UJ-868 (+)
Matshita UJ-897A
Matshita UJ-898A (+)
LG GS20F (#) / GS21N / GS23N (+)
Sony Optiarc AD-5960S (+)

I personally choose the Optiarc AD-5960S.
If you want a region-free drive, you need to check before buying that some RPC1 or AutoReset firmware is available for this exact drive. In the above list, the (+) tagged drives SHOULD have region free firmware available (depending on the hardware/firmware revision you start with).
Based on my own painful experience, flash the RPC1 firmware BEFORE mounting the drive, ideally on an other Mac with a slim SATA connector, so that you have not to do the (dis)assembly twice...
The Optiarc AD-5960S I bought had 2 small protuberances near the slot, which I had to cut to make it level with the rest of the opening. Based on some pictures I Googled, it MAY (?) be that some other drives in the above list (those tagged with "#") don't have this annoying peculiarity, which would be great since it would remove the need for the delicate cutting of those protuberances; unfortunately, those drives are the oldest in the list and not manufactured anymore. Let me know anyway if you find one for sure.



III / Step-by-step Instructions
======================
WARNING#1 : I modified a Mac Mini 2011 +++with 2.7 GHz i7 processor+++; at that point I do not know if regular Mac Minis with slower i5 processors have the exact same motherboard (capacitors sizes and places) or if they differ by more than the Intel processor.
WARNING#2 : beware of static discharges, ideally use a ground bracelet or at the minimum touch the case and the ground of any component before removing/inserting it ; avoid working over synthetic carpets or plastic surfaces; a cotton cloth on the workbench is a good idea (will keep small screws from rolling).
WARNING#3 : take your time, it is not a race; better be sure than sorry...

NOTE : in the following text, "top" refers to the top of the case when the BOTTOM cover is on top (the way you disassemble it on a workbench); so when everything is done, and your Mini is back at work, "top" becomes "bottom".

STEP#1 : disassemble your Mac Mini following the excellent "Mac mini Model A1347 Optical Drive Replacement" guide made by iFixit. You need to get the case completely bare. Don't mix the screws nor loose any ! I used multiples glasses to put them into in the order of disassembly.

STEP#2 : this is the MOST (and only) DELICATE STEP ! : cut the 2 small prominences on the drive, as shown on the pictures below. If the drive you have selected has none of those (?), you are in luck and may go directly to Step#2.1.
After cutting, the opening of the drive should be at the same level on its whole width on the slot side.
This is the most delicate part, since you must make 100% sure that no metal saw dust gets into the optical drive, which for sure would ruin it, as well as any disk you insert into it.
I managed to do it properly by putting adhesive tape on ALL openings of the drive before sawing, and by sawing vertically (opening towards the ground).
And by DELICATELY tapping down the drive after sawing to evacuate any residual saw dust.
Note that considering the thinness of the metal, a better solution could be to use some very fine cutting pliers, if you have some on hand.
BEWARE that to properly hold the drive while sawing/cutting, you will need to use a small vice, but you must NOT bend ANY part of the fragile metal drive case : the vice must be used to gently "hold it", without putting any real pressure onto it.



STEP#2.1 : you could probably ignore this step, but since the IR sensor overlaps by about 3 mm on one corner of the drive, I did also file this corner of the drive on a depth of about 1mm, and a width of 3 mm to ensure a perfect fit.


STEP#3 : cut 3 openings in the Optical Drive Plastic Carrier, according to the photos below. Those are necessary to leave place for the motherboard capacitors which would otherwise collide with it. Be VERY gentle with this fragile piece of plastic, you don't want it to break since it holds in their proper places the optical drive and the IR sensor within the Mac Mini case. Same remark on the proper use of a vice...


STEP#3.1 : you could probably ignore this step, but I added some piece of insulating adhesive tape on the optical drive, below Cut#2, just in case the capacitor body going into that hole is not grounded (?).


STEP#4 : present the motherboard on top of the Optical Drive Plastic Carrier, with the optical drive inside, but without putting everything back into the Mac Mini case yet. If all cuts have properly been made at the right places, the fit should be perfect without any bending. If it is NOT the case, then re-iterate STEP#3.

STEP#5 : unmount the IR sensor from the original HDD plastic carrier (1 small Phillips PH00 screw to unscrew). Then carefully put it back at the same place on the new optical drive carrier, and delicately route the small cables along the route reserved for them. Do not bend excessively, be gentle...


STEP#6 : fix, loosely at first, the optical drive with 2 of the 922-9583 screws on 1 of its side (the thickest one). You wont't be able to use 2 screws on the other side, since the 12.7mm drives holes are higher positioned than the holes for 9.5mm drives. Use instead 2 small squares (15x15mm, 0.6x0.6") of double sided "spongy" tape (the kind used to fix mirrors on walls) with a 2 mm (8/10") thickness, stuck on the flat horizontal part of the plastic carrier, one near the slot, the other at the back; in my case, I used 2 layers of 1mm thickness, back to back.
Do ++NOT++ make the adhesive stick until the drive and the bracket are exactly aligned on the slot side; THEN make the adhesive stick and at last tighten the 2 screws on the opposite (thickest) side.

STEP#7 : put back the optical drive, fixed to its plastic carrier, into the Mac Mini case : there are 2 plugs near the slot inside the aluminum case, which need to got into the corresponding holes in the optical drive plastic carrier. It is easier to insert them if you put the Mini case vertically, with the slot at the bottom.

STEP#8 : put back the power supply and use the 2 screws you got when disassembling to fix the power supply with the optical drive carrier on 1 side, and the optical drive carrier on the other side. Note that, contrary to the picture, the flat ribbon for the optical drive SATA connection should be ABOVE the plastic carrier.


STEP#9 : ++GENTLY++ push back into the case the motherboard, sliding on top of the optical drive + carrier. If you have done all the cuttings properly, there is NO NEED to force anything, just a gentle nudge turning a bit away from the power supply, then back straight.
You want to put the HDD back in place before you completely push the motherboard in its place, putting the HDD own 2 plugs into the corresponding Mini case holes.

STEP#10 : put back everything else into the case, in the reverse order you used for disassembly. Don't break anything...

STEP#11 : check everything works, including your new internal optical drive, and congratulate yourself !

STEP#12 : to show a slotted Mac Mini in the "About this mac" window, follow these instructions in MacRumors :
In the folder /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/, replace the original com.apple.macmini-unibody-no-optical.icns with a copy of com.apple.macmini-unibody.icns.
Then reboot.


Last edited by geeji on Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:03 am; edited 13 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SoundFX
New Member
New Member


Joined: 06 Jan 2009
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

now THAT'S what I'm talking 'bout!!! Great write up, but it won't be unique for long... Smile

but i still think it's too bad apple doesn't give us BTO options
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Am Yisrael Chai!
Member
Member


Joined: 22 Jul 2011
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, isn't it time to move on from physical optical media?
_________________
Proud Cube owner. Oh, I also own a 2011 2.7ghz i7 Mac Mini.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jb
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 694
Location: A large Island called Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am Yisrael Chai! wrote:
Wow, isn't it time to move on from physical optical media?

And what do you suggest I do with my 5000+ DVD collection?
Wait I know, rip them all to a hard drive,
whoops I forgot. that would require a "physical optical drive", and about 5 years out of what's left of my life.
_________________
"I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a man nailed to two pieces of wood"
-George Carlin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bandit Bill
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 5963
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jb wrote:
Am Yisrael Chai! wrote:
Wow, isn't it time to move on from physical optical media?

And what do you suggest I do with my 5000+ DVD collection?
Wait I know, rip them all to a hard drive,
whoops I forgot. that would require a "physical optical drive", and about 5 years out of what's left of my life.


Sell them for $1 a piece and subscribe to Netflix for the next 52 years Wink

You know I'm kidding JB... enjoy your collection.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
philiparcario
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 4573
Location: Howell NJ USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have access to 100,000 cds .

I ripped 2000 of them to hdds using a mac mini optical drive loaded them in apple lossless about 28000 songs. As for dvds I rent from netflix
_________________
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
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
HidariMigi
New Member
New Member


Joined: 25 Dec 2011
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject: Optical media "rot" Reply with quote

The big worry about all optical media-- CDs, DVDs and now Blu-Ray-- is that while generally stable, a number of discs develop "rot" which is a deterioration of the metallic media layer.

This can happen due to contamination during manufacturing, or chemical interactions afterwards or just aging of the plastics -- eventually some discs become unreadable.

See, for example this article on DVD rot:
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/01/31/1043804519345.html

and this one about Blu-rays:
http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/16/blu-ray-disc-coatings-starting-to-rot/

So its a good idea to make backups of your music, since that doesn't take up much space -- but I wouldn't invest in a huge collection of movies. Although I probably have about 200-300 DVDs, will probably get rid of most of them over the next couple years.
_________________
Upgraded MacMini (1,1) 1.66Ghz Core Duo -> (2,1) 2.16Ghz C2D, 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, Airport Extreme "N"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ben Tex
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 1451
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job geeji! An external does the same trick, but I always love mods. I probably wouldn't attempt this one myself though. Just because of the external options and expense of parts. What did it actually end up costing you?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bandit Bill
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 5963
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any pics of the finished product. I'd like to see how well you did in cutting The aluminum encloser. Are the cuts discussed above, exposed or internal?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smithcraft
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 3218
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would he need to cut the enclosure. If I read it correctly, you are stuffing a 2011 mini into the 2010 mini.

SC
_________________
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!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bandit Bill
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 5963
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:
Why would he need to cut the enclosure. If I read it correctly, you are stuffing a 2011 mini into the 2010 mini.

SC


I misunderstood this... "2 small cuts to remove some metal protuberances from the Superdrive case" as the Mac mini case.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
geeji
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben_Tex wrote:
Nice job geeji! An external does the same trick, but I always love mods. I probably wouldn't attempt this one myself though. Just because of the external options and expense of parts. What did it actually end up costing you?
A little less than $200, since I had to buy a new Mac Mini slotted case and a 9.5mm Superdrive, with $50 of those $200 due to additional shipping costs since I am not in the States.
Not competitive from a strict cost/benefit analysis, but I enjoyed doing it and I like getting in the end the Mac Mini Apple should have offered as a BTO.
It would have cost them about $30 (the only cost of the Superdrive + flex SATA cable), which they would have charged, as usual, around $100...

Bandit Bill wrote:
Any pics of the finished product. I'd like to see how well you did in cutting The aluminum encloser. Are the cuts discussed above, exposed or internal?
As Smithcraft already answered, and as explained in my post, I bought a slotted Mac Mini 2010 brand new case, so the finish is perfect.
I have not the tools to make a perfect cut, and I wanted a finished product which worked and looked as good as if it had been an Apple BTO.


Last edited by geeji on Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:19 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
geeji
Member
Member


Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is pushing perfection a bit far, but has anybody any idea how I could replace the non-slotted Mac mini picture in the "About this Mac" window by the proper slotted one (= Mac mini 2010) ?
I can do it in the first picture of this post using Photoshop, but that would be cheating... Wink

EDIT: Answered my own question, thanks to MacRumors ! Will have to change the first picture of this post, now inaccurate Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Smithcraft
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 3218
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep thinking about this, and I wonder if the slot loading BD drives are thin enough for this?

SC
_________________
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!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
SoundFX
New Member
New Member


Joined: 06 Jan 2009
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:
I keep thinking about this, and I wonder if the slot loading BD drives are thin enough for this?

SC


Me too!! Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> Mac Mini Upgrading All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



      

Shop:  Apple Store  |  Refurbished Macs  |  Refurbished iPads  |  MacConnection  |  Mac Mini Vault  |  Other World Computing

MK 1 Studio Mac mini Racks  |  Crucial Mac Memory  |  Top Free Mac Apps  |  Top Paid Mac Apps



123Macmini.com is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or approved by Apple Computer, Inc.
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners.
Copyright © 2011 123Macmini.com. All Rights Reserved.