The Mac Mini Noisy Fan and the Elusive Fan Control Wire

Replacing my Mac Mini hard drive this weekend, and after following this great walkthrough, I only stumbled on one point – I couldn’t find the fan control wire.

The walkthrough I used, and most others indicated it was located at the front of the machine, but as you can see below, it isn’t there 😦

Missing Fan Control Wire
Missing Fan Control Wire

I did however find a trailing wire stuck to the hard drive which plugged into the SATA interface, I had to remove this to remove the hard drive, and thinking it was just a drive activity indicator, discarded it.

Upon rebuilding the Mac Mini with the new hard drive I find the fan is running full speed constantly. Anyway I suspect then that that wire I discarded may be important, retrieve it from the old hard drive and find that it’s only stuck to the hard drive.

I peel it off and reattach it to the SATA interface, rebuild, and find my Mac Mini back to it’s usual silent self.

The little black plugin, fan control cable, can be seen below, just to the right of the shiny gold SATA cable.

The elusive fan control wire
The elusive fan control wire

My Mac Mini is a late 2009 model, so I’m guessing they changed the internal architecture quite recently.

Published by

Phil Harding

SharePoint Consultant, Developer, Father, Husband and Climber.

8 thoughts on “The Mac Mini Noisy Fan and the Elusive Fan Control Wire

  1. I wish I had seen this before – I had the same problem, but the wires came out of the’holder’ itself. The fan is running constantly high, and I think I need to get a new cable! not easy to find…..

  2. OMG!!!!! I can not believe that it took me that long to find the right post. I kept finding older howtos like you found. Now here is the funny thing, my wire was left on there, cause I knew that was a temperature monitor. The problem was, I did not know where it was connected. With your help, I found it, and it was ever so slightly not plugged in. And by ever so slightly, I mean it was still in there, just not pushed up to the very top. grrrr.


  3. Thank you for this helpful post. Unfortunately my pins broke when reattaching the cable..not good….

  4. can you take the pictures again; ur pics are focusing on coffee mug & the mouse and nothing is clear on mac mini!!!!

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