I have been upgrading RAM in Apple computers since my first Mam, an LCIII, back in the 1990’s. I’ve pulled apart iPods to replace the battery, I’ve pulled apart iMacs with their glass screen and I’ve changed the hard drive and screens in macbook pro’s. But the hardest gig yet was changing the memory in my 2018 Mac Mini.
After my first attempt I rebooted my Mac to discover that one of the RAM modules was not working. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. I needed to pull the whole thing apart again give the RAM modules a jiggle and then reassemble the Mac mini. Read on to find out more about my experience!
Now to be fair, Apple does say this is not for the average user.
Apple have said this many times in the past but usually ‘No user installable RAM’ just means they’ve put a security screw on the case or you need special Apple compatible RAM. This time they actually mean it!
Apple could have made the RAM easier to replace by putting it in a different location or designing the case differently, but obviously allowing people to upgrade the RAM after purchase was not a priority for Apple in this case.
iFixit have a pretty good video about how to do it here. It’s a great instructional video but they make it look a lot easier than it is. The lady in the video skips over some small technical details and she has obviously practised some of these manoeuvres a few times to get them looking so smooth. There are a lot of little places that might trip you up along the way. It requires you to be thinking at each step of the way. Don’t just mindlessly follow the video.
It’s not technical in that you need to understand electronics or how to solder to replace the RAM. What’s needed is a physical dexterity and precision combined with some mechanical intuition that might be possessed by a watchmaker or jeweller. If that’s not you then I’d suggest you ask a friend to help you.
Here are some of the points that I found difficult.
The Mac Mini also uses TR6 (or T6H) Security Torx screws with a hole in the middle. I already have 2 security driver sets but none of them went small enough. To buy these in Dubbo I needed to buy another full $30 security driver set from Jaycar.