Mac Mini hardware fix coming
#33 Henry, Wednesday, 06 January 2010 10:42 AM (Category: Hardware)
(Tags: macmini)

A year and a half ago, I bought a used Intel Mac Mini. I bought memory from Other World Computing to max out the memory in the Mac Mini. While installing the memory, I snapped a little wire off. There is a temperature sensor above the CPU and it connects to the motherboard. You have to disconnect this to open up the Mac Mini to get at the memory. The connector is a tiny thing, a flimsy thing, and one wire snapped off. I could have continued to run the Mac Mini, but the fan would have run non-stop and the Mac Mini would no longer be a silent computer. I put it aside.

I searched the Apple website and went round and round in loops trying to find where you could buy parts. I went to the local Apple store and when I started talking about opening the Mac Mini and breaking a wire, they backed away from me and said they don't do that sort of thing and they can't help me and I should phone Apple, as long as I have Apple Care on the Mac Mini. I don't, so I didn't bother phoning Apple.

I searched for replacement parts, but not diligently. Every now and then I would get enthusiastic and attempt to fix it myself. I even bought soldering gear late last year. Now, a year and a half later and the Mac Mini is going to waste, and it's the first week of a new year and I better do something about this. I pulled it out, got my soldering gear ready, and found that in the last year and a half, my eyes have deteriorated more. I can no longer see the damn connectors and wires. I have one of those Third Hand devices with a magnifying glass, but even that was difficult to use. After shortening the broken wire by an inch trying to remove the plastic sheath, I gave up.

I googled for the problem. It took about half an hour of refining my search terms before I found results pertaining to my situation. I found a discussion about breaking the wires which pointed to a source for a replacement - I ordered the part, it cost $45 including shipping, and it's already on its way here. I hope to be able to get this Mac Mini working again very soon. I regret not finding this replacement part a year and a half ago when I broke it.

Then I found this discussion about the broken wire with a good photo of the problem and suggesting that you could get replacement parts from Apple. Now why didn't I think of that - getting the replacement part from the manufacturer. I would still like to know how you get to Apple to order parts.