Previous 1 2 Next 24 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2013 7:19 PM by Terry Otness Go to original post
  • click-gr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes the processor you are going to install does not have to come from a Mac computer as long as it is compatible with your motherboard (not only with the Socket). I do not know about which processors are compatible with your iMac, but they should normally use the same clock speed as your motherboard's system bus (667Mhz) and fit in your socket. For macmini late 2006  I know the compatible core2duo processors are the following three moblie intel models: T7200 (2.0GHz), T7400 (2.16GHz) and T7600 (2.33GHz).

  • pmlevere Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Peter (and others who have removed a cpu from one of these core duo iMac's)


    Thanks for the info.  I have my iMac pulled apart and am wondering the best removal process for the nylon bolts holding down the processor.  They seem to turn, but not unscrew.  I would think at this point i would try to pry or pull them up, but i don't want to break any of them.  Please let me know what was the best method that worked for you.  Thanks.

  • PeterHutnick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I have not replaced the CPU on an iMac.  Only on the 2006 Mini.  But I imagine they are the same in this regard.


    The heatsink is retained by four nylon pins threaded through springs (to ensure equal tension).  The pins are BARBED.  That is to say, you have to remove the board and gently squeeze the end in order to pass it through the board.


    As i mentioned in an earlier post, I HIGHLY recommend that you have a backup plan in case you break one of these pins.  I replaced mine with nylon bolts (machine screws?), nuts, and washers.  I have spares.  If you contact me directly I can set you up with a set.



  • pmlevere Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I managed to get the barbs and the heat shield off with almost no issues, but the cpu is so tight to the logic board that i can't seem to move it, I am prying on the corners amongst other things but all to no avail.  I'm wondering if you had any issues with this and how you managed to pry it up without messing up anything.  Was yours tight or relatively loose after you took off the heat sink?  Thanks again.

  • PeterHutnick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Oh, man, you're scaring me!


    It's some sort of ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket.  If memory serves, the Mini has a big screw head that has to be turned 90 degrees.  In any case, NO force should be necessary to remove the CPU.



  • jsdoc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    the screw tension is fairly stiff, use a good quality screwdriver (that fits well) and turn it 90 degrees (see the little lock / unlock icon on the socket).  The CPU will be completely free when unlocked correctly


    In case it's not been mentioned, careful cleaning of the CPU and the heatsink is necessary, the thermal "paste" is not good to reuse.  It must be removed with Acetone (nail polish remover).  The shiny center of the CPU is very fragile especially at the corners/edges, so be patient and pretty gentle 


    Get some CPU thermal compound (everyone uses Arctic Silver - like soft silvery toothpaste) and put a bb sized dollop on dead center before you reattach the heat sink.  And of course remember to relock the CPU socket screw before you do that with the new CPU.  The plastic retention clips are pretty fragile and you want a good seal with the thermal grease so line the holes up carefully, set the heatsink straight down and hold it still while popping the plastic pins back in, and be certain they "clip" on the other side or the CPU could fry.  If you can successfully do this then you are ready for the bomb squad...

  • jsdoc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the original post Peter - I've also succeeded in getting the Mini upgraded with your instructions. 

    However, since alot of us are probably only now finding a reason to upgrade the CPU on the mini since it runs snow leopard fine, and since we're by definition going to be using a newer / faster MAC to install Lion with, I  might suggest the following to possibly save time (plus I don't have a firewire cable), as well as be simpler for those of us who'd rather turn a screw than deal with the command lines and drive cloning (especially us Windows Expatriots) as I think this method would also work for a fresh install rather than upgrade if desired if you wipe the mini's drive before doing this:


    So my premise is that we're going to have the mini apart anyway for CPU upgrade, and since it takes literally a minute to get the hard drive out of a macbook: (remove battery, remove 3 screws from the shiny metal lining inside the battery compartment and pull on the little plastic tab and out she comes, just have to remove the drive from it's retention bracket - don't worry about buying some torx bit you'll never use again, just carefully loosen the retaining torx screws on the bracket with needlenose then a little flat screwdriver will spin them out just fine.  It takes even less time to get the drive out of the mini once you have it apart to change the CPU since it's just 4 "regular" screws to pop it out) You do have to carefully pull the foam off the top of the drive, but that's easy if you're gentle and it should readhere when you're done (not mission critical anyway).


    So anyway, I just popped the mini hard drive into the macbook.  Like your way, there's no drive cloning needed  etc., just boot up and install -- and no chance to screw things up on the macbook's drive that way either for us Mac noobs.  More importantly, you can peruse the Lion install a bit before removing the drive and ensure all is well before reassembly of the mini, thus knowing job's done before you replace everything.


    So about 5 minutes to swap hard drives and about 30 minutes for Lion to install on the mini's hard drive while it "borrowed" my 2.2GHz C2D macbook (presumably less time for those with newer hardware) and Voilla, edit the filename as you instructed, and pop the hard drive back in the Mini and Bob's your Uncle...  I'm not sure how long it takes with firewire, maybe not much longer, but I bet with the newer macbooks it would make short work of the install.


    Like you I should mention that in my case is that I had a clean and tidy version of Snow Leopard I wanted to upgrade on the mini rather than a clean install,  But I don't see why it wouldn't work just the same (and maybe even faster) with a wiped hard drive if you want a clean install. 


    Best of luck folks, always feels good to defeat Jobs' efforts to make me buy his latest toys, though I'm digging the low cost of these incremental OS upgrades and allowing us to use it on all our apple products -- wish Microsoft would take some ques from that.  But must admit it Irks me that they've got the price of the USB version of Lion so ridiculously high.  Also kind of perturbed that Airdrop doesn't want to work on the old stuff - the reason certainly isn't hardware related...   But since I have Mobile Me I'm rather interested to see how smoothly iCloud works. 


    I'd have even splurged for a new mini, but once again they blew it with the optioning and price points.  They keep forgetting the mini is supposed to be their entry level device...

  • patricksurry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm in the midst of this process too. I upgraded the CPU in my 2006 mac mini from 1.66 CoreDuo to 2GHz Core2Duo and will bump up memory to 3Gb (via 2,1 firmware update).  My challenge is how to install Lion.  I don't have any Lion install media, but do have a MBP running Lion that has 'recovery mode'.


    If I get a firewire 400-800 cable (why do they keep changing connectors to obsolete all my prior cabling?!), could I just boot Mac Mini in target disk mode, hook it up to the MBP, boot MBP in 'recovery mode' (from it's own drive), and then use that to install Lion onto the Mini's hard drive, upgrading the existing install? 


    Presumably at that stage the installer thinks it's installing on a MBP, no?  Then do I have to do something to the Mac Mini's install before it will boot or not? 


    Or am I confused - why is the USB drive necessary in the above?




  • PeterHutnick Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Your approach should work.  You will need to follow all of the steps, including renaming PlatformSupport.plist.


    If it doesn't work (for example, if it's "smart" enough to only install on the physical disk with the recovery partition), you can make a thumb drive installer from your MBP.  You should be able to easily find directions for doing so with a quick Google.

  • Terry Otness Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I have a few questions please.  Will the 2006 Mac-mini accept one 2 gig ram chip?  I've upgradet my cpu to a T-7600 and it operates very well.  The reason I ask if it will accept a single ram chip is that  years ago on this mini, I attempted to replace the Samsung OEM ram with some from a third party OWC rame to be specific.  This did not go well.  The machine refused to accept the ram and so I reinstalled the older ram chips.  So, I'm not interested in wasting my time with anything less than the OEM ram.  So I thought to order one 2 gig ram chip - if it will work, then order another when necessary.


    If the ram works, then I'll attempt to upgrade the 2006 mini's rom to 2,2.  I have a question with regard to flashing the rom.  How is this done?  I have the necessary data, but have no clue regarding how to flash the rom.  Any pointers?  The advice online appears to be scant.


    Finally, to remove the limitation prohibiting booting of my non-qualified mini, I just need to rename, (by selecting and typing?) PlatformSupport.plist to something like PlatformSupport.nlist?  Is it that simple? 

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