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Released on July 21, 2011. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Thunderbolt. This unit is also used to run the Mac mini Server configuration.

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Can a 2011 Mac Mini fit in a 2010 case?

Is it possible to put the 2011 2.5 i5 components in a 2010 slotted case and include a superdrive?

Update (07/22/2011)

Regardless of the cost, we still need an answer. As one person commented, some of us may have an existing case or 2010 mini. I noted a similar question posted recently as well.

Beantwoord! Bekijk het antwoord Dit probleem heb ik ook

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Did you successfully attempt this? I'm thinking about doing the same thing.


Keep in mind there is two case shells! One with the optical drive slot and the server one which does not!

That is why this is not possible as Nantroup has a server model. He will need a 2011 workstation case shell with the optical slot


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The mac mini 2011 does not fit in the 2010 case. After carefully moving the components to the old case I realized that optical drive bracket did not allow the logic board to slide in smoothly and required some angling to get in in. Then when I was closing up shop I made a second realization that the 2011 logic board simply does not have a place to connect the optical drive to the logic board. I considering doing some soldering but I did not want to risk it. I'm going to just buy an external optical drive and mount it behind my screen. Maybe oneday Apple will include an optical drive again, I mean what kind of desktop does not have an optical drive.

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Even if you can the cost of the old case is about $140 + the bottom plate at about $32


For me it's not about cost. I already own a mid 2010 model. I will do the replacement if it is possible. So the real question is does it fit or not? Dimensions, screws etc. I can even use glues instead of screws :) we just need to know if it is fits or not ;)


Sadly it is not possible to use the 2010 case on the 2011 system. You would need a 2011 workstation case shell to replace the server case shell.


@danj Fortunately it is possible, with some modification of the ODD holder plastic as I have already done this swap, and there is more detail on a thread I have already linked to below.


@Miles Raymond - Why go to such extremes?

I've swapped shells between the workstation and the server versions as well as logic boards, I don't see any benefit swapping out the case shell or body of a 2010 model.

Macmini5,3 - 2011 Server (no optical drive) with either Macmini5,1 or Macmini5,2 workstations (with optical drive)

And I've also done the same with the 2012 models as well. At most it took me 30 minutes to swap things around.


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I have done just this very swap. I started with

- a stock Macmini4,1 (Mid 2010 Mac Mini with P8800 2.66GHz Core2Duo, 320GB HD, SuperDrive) running 10.6 (for Rosetta) and 10.8 on separate partitions

- a stock Macmini5,2 (Mid 2011 Mac Mini with i7-2620M 2.7GHz i7, 750GB) running 10.9

Following the iFixit disassembly guide, in the process of swapping motherboards, I removed the optical drive tray and made the cuts as described in the thread. Two of the cuts aren't as necessary, as they can be shaved off a little and still fit with the 2011 motherboard. I also switched the HDs and swapped the SuperDrive for a Blu-Ray rewritable drive. However, I had later found out that the drive would not accept discs in the Mac Mini due to the Manufacturing Diagnostic pin in the optical drive power connector, and needed to be removed. While disassembling it again, instead of removing it, I just bent it in so that there would be no contact with the optical drive.

After this process, I ended with:

- a Mac Mini 2011 with i7-2620M 2.7GHz (and its Radeon HD 6630M), 750GB, UJ-267 Blu-Ray rewriter running 10.9

- a Mac Mini 2010 with P8800 2.66GHz (and its Geforce 320M), 320GB, no optical drive running 10.6 and upgraded 10.8 to 10.9 and sold it

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I should note that, thanks to LowEndMac, I am able to still run 10.6 on my Mac Mini 2011 for Rosetta, allowing me to continue to play older PowerPC-only Mac games like Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3.


Is it possible to do the same thing, except with late 2012 innards, and the 2.6Ghz Quad core i7? It's hard to tell from online pictures, but it looks like the heat sinks on the quad 2.6 are much larger, and would interfere with the space needed to fit an optical drive in as well.


Congratulations Miles !

That makes at least 5 of us who succeeded in adding a Superdrive or Blu-ray to a Mac Mini 2011-2012.

It is interesting that you used the same Mac Mini 2011 that I did, but that you also had to remove the #4 connector pin from the ODD SATA flat cable to make it work with your UJ-267 Blu-Ray writer.

Up to now, I thought this problem related only to the Mac Mini 2012, since I did not encountered it with my own AD-5960S Superdrive.

I have since added a comment to my original tutorial on


Thanks! After testing with several different drives, it seems to be that non-Apple drives are the ones with issues regarding the Diagnostic Pin. It seems that in your guide you used an Apple drive from a MacBook Pro, judging by the metal tabs that were cut off in the installation process. Most optical drives will not have these metal tabs that are used for mounting specifically in the MacBook Pro chassis. It also seems that many optical drives will need the strange About This Mac>More Info...>Storage shortcut to accept a disc if one wasn't present in the system a short time ago.


If the only thing holding you back is "will it fit," i'd say go for it! The internal components of the new Mini seem to have the same dimensions, though some of the mounting locations are different. With some minor tampering, it should all fit. I can't guarantee that the old optical drive will work with the new components, but if you really want to give it a shot, how could we say no? That's what the site's all about.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!


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Well it seems I often end up answering my own questions. I searched obsessively and found

that Waybackmachine had archived the now gone Forum.

It actually has holes in the archive. much is missing but the Thread by OP geeji can still be accessed

and on page 5 is the Modification to the Sata Connector Ribbon Pictured. Thank the Internet Gods!


There is a way to Modify that without cutting removing or otherwise damaging that cable at all.

I had some Film like Tape that is more rigid than black tape & cut a mm sliver that I placed in the

connector over the pin to be blanked out. Basically Insulating it from making Connection.

The Beauty of that is Nothing Invasive is done to any of the parts and can be easily removed if so

desired leaving the Factory Sata Optical Cable, Drive, Etc. Unmutilated!

Block Image

Block Image

Block Image

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Congratulations ssledge7 for retrieving the missing pages of my original post.

I apologize for not remembering your "pin#4 removal" issue, but it was almost 10 years ago...

Thanks to you, I have now archived all the pages, not only the first one :-)


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I posted a full tutorial in 2012 on in, but this site is unfortunately dead. That post was titled Mac Mini 2011 w/ Internal Superdrive : SUCCESS !.

I kept a save of this post and could possibly publish it again in iFixit, but reading your post and reading again (I forgot much ! :-) ) my original post, I am not sure it would help you any since I had no issue powering the drive once I fitted everything within the case. All my issues were mechanical. As mentioned above in my 27 nov. 2013 post, I used a Mac Mini mid-2011 motherboard board, not a Mac Mini end-2012 one.

BTW, I am still using this modified Mac Mini for Home Theater :-)

Update (01/17/2023)

I re-posted my old post on iFixit into :

I must have done something wrong since the images I inserted did not display ?.

May be somebody can help ?

In the meanwhile, I can send my original post through email, and I did it.

Hope this helps.

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I am interested, does this still work with modern macs 2015 and beyond? Can I fit them in the old 2010 Uni Body case with optical drive and get that running ?

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I'm not certain... while there is a single sata connector on the logic board, you would then need to use the ssd (pcie) connector and boot from it. I haven't attempted to see if the 2014 logic board would fit with the optical drive mount in the 2010 case. This really should be its own separate question.


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@Miles Raymond

Sorry I realize this is an old thread. But there is almost nothing else on this anywhere.

I have nearly completed this process with 2012 i5 board.

I had to relocate 1 Capacitor onto a pigtail so it would not be in the way and I ordered

an inexpensive GS41N 9.5mm but when i try to insert a disc it acts as tho the drive is not receiving power.

I'm assuming the diagnostic pin is the culprit. Thats why I am reaching out to you.

All the links in this article are dead I cant see what pin #4 is or what to do regarding it. Please respond.


Based on geeji's post that mentioned...

"Up to now, I thought this problem related only to the Mac Mini 2012, since I did not encountered it with my own AD-5960S Superdrive."

I thought about trying to order that drive if that one is not disabled by the diagnostic pin...

But would really like to have the Pin Removal info "Option" too!

Im long into this project and really cant bring myself to give up now!



Weirdly this forum puts some newer posts above vs below... See my post above^

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If you still have that information I desperately need it I have spent too much time and effort to give up at this point.

I am at most a step or two away from finishing this. But its so frustrating that site with your information is gone.

Please repost that guide or whatever info you had.


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NANTROUP zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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