...Sometimes you're the windshield
Sometimes you're the bug...
Mary Chapin Carpenter
I followed the iFixt directions to Install a Mac mini Model A1176 Hard Drive; now my Mother's Mini has more capacity and is clunk-free too.. I boosted the memory to 2GB as well; that's easy to do on the way to a drive replacement.. Blew out a tone of dust when I had the top off.
The last was probably my downfall ...
"seemed to succeed - until I discovered my optical drive had broken. Disks do not mount, after some tries they eject. There was a LOT of dust inside my Mini, I think some got in the optical drive. A cleaning DVD and compressed gas didn't fix it. I wonder if it would be wise to seal the opening to the optical drive -- certainly before cleaning...
The Super Drives in this model of Mini have a high failure rate. I'm not sure how to replace it, but I'll find out.
- DVD sharing didn't work. I have no idea why. The 10.5.8 Mini couldn't see the Snow Leopard disk in my MacBook.
- Putting the MacBook into Target Mode (firewire link) let the Mini see the drive, but Snowie wouldn't install.
- Putting the Mini into Target Mode with 10.6 in the MacBook DVD worked ... until it froze. I have a hunch a locked user 'Applications' folder on my mother's mini  caused the installer to hang when it was all but done. This locked up both machines. I had to power cycle the Mini -- to my surprise it came up ok. I hand repaired the locked folder issue. My MacBook was stuck with a white screen; I had to restart it and hold down the mouse key to force eject the Snowie install disk (install disks are special - they don't pop out on restart).
- iFixIt understates repair difficulty (I knew that from my iPhone repair).
- At least if you're using MobileMe as your Facetime "address" you don't need Facetime running for it to answer.
- Facetime is less reliable than I'd thought; at her home it failed frequently in testing.
 So she couldn't accidentally edit the folder.
Update 4/23/11: The replacement for this drive is ... nothing. Nobody sells replacements at anything like a reasonable price. Bugger.
Update 4/27/11: Mayer of iFixit provided a list of substitute drives:
Just about any 12.7 mm ATA/IDE/PATA drive will work. So before you spend the bucks decide what capabilities will meet your needs. Here's one that iFixit has: 12.7 mm PATA 8x SuperDrive (UJ-85J)
Here are some that will work:
- 661-3887 24x combo
- 661-3888 4x super drive
- 661-4442 24x combo
- 661-4421 8x super drive
As of April 2011 the $90 iFixit drive is one of the few I can find, they have 1 left. SATA has replaced IDE.