As I already wrote in my last post, I was looking into upgrading my old late 2006 Mac Mini to extend it’s techinical live. Today I have successfully managed to upgrade the hardware of the old machine and it is running fine again. The steps I did were:
- Replaced the Core Duo 1.66Ghz CPU with a Core 2 Duo 2Ghz CPU
The exact CPU I purchased for about €25 through e-Bay was an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 SL9SF 2.0GHz/4M/667 Laptop CPU. To install it I basically followed the steps as in the iFixIT step-by-step guide to replace a MacMini CPU, which were pretty straightforward.
- Booted OS X from the MacMini’s USB harddisk while the machine was still open to install the MacMini2.1 firmware
As per this NetKas forum guide, the firmware must be updated before adding the additional memory or the Mac Mini won’t boot. The links to the firmware were broken, I actually downloaded them MediaFire and followed the steps from the French Mac forum post that linked to them.
- Replaced the 2x 1Gb memory with 2x 2Gb memory modules
Through Marktplaats.NL I acquired 2 used memory modules for only €35. As the machine was still open it was pretty straightforward to replace the memory modules.
- Replaced the 80Gb broken harddisk with a 60 Gb SSD Drive
I purchased an ADATA S511 60GB SSH Harddisk online for only € 39,00. Again installing it was straightforward as the machine was still open.
After all steps were completed, the Mac Mini was still working as before on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8) without problems. The extra memory did help, but as it was still booting from an USB Disk it was still very slow.
As extra bonus I noticed that the Mac Mini now supported the modern Mac keyboards (the flat iron ones) during the BIOS startup. Before this update I always needed the old (plastic) keyboard I got with the machine to be able to intervene in the boot process, but now this also worked with the modern keyboards :-).
Tomorrow I will look into upgrading OS X and see how that goes. So far so good, the machine is working faster already and for about €100 in total not a bad investment to keep using it.