Replaced hard drive, install OS, PROFIT!
30 minuten - 2 uren
After years of service as a family homework workstation, we started getting SMART alerts on the factory-installed drive. I nursed it along for long enough to get all the various documents and animated cat GIFs off of it onto a backup, but then mom overruled me and just flat-out replaced the mini with a shiny new - albeit sans optical drive - mini. This unit languished for months on a shelf, until I ran across the replacement guide here on iFixit.
The new drive (and tools required) arrived quickly, and in a fit of post-dinner energy, I applied myself to the repair. It went like clockwork; I'd post photos, but they would be redundant - the guide is that good. Some of the drive frame screws were a bit tough for me to put back in when reassembling, but that's just my big fat fingers.
Pay attention: if you are looking at this guide, you are trying to save an A1283. PLEASE BUY YOURSELF A MEMORY UPGRADE TOO. Once I had the Mini apart and the new drive in place, I began cursing myself for forgetting that my unit has only the factory-installed 2GB of RAM. So it's back to the storefront website for me, and I'll be prying the case apart AGAIN because I didn't think it through.
Other than that, you're gold. This was far easier than I expected.