replacing processor to Core2Duo
Where can I purchase a Core2Duo 2.0 procesor for the Mac Mini A1176 (late 2006)? I have the Core duo 1.66 at present.
1.5 Core Solo, 1.66 or 1.83 Core Duo, or 1.83 or 2 GHz Core 2 Duo processor
The repair isn't that hard. I have an A1176 Mac mini and the guide is pretty perfect for me - I followed it step by step and it worked fine. (No, I am not secretly from iFixit advertising their guides. :P ) I've never upgraded the Mac mini before and it went really well. I have done other computer builds/upgrades, but I have never replaced a processor, and I've never upgraded a Mac.
I used a processor which was marketed on Amazon.co.uk as a "Dell computer upgrade", but in reality was just a regular old Core 2 Duo (that was compatible with the mini!). If you're going to do the upgrade, be really careful with the heatsink pins - I broke one, but it's alright since I have two opposite corners in. Hopefully I'll be able to get some nylon screws to patch the hole up.
Also, don't pay attention to the people who tell you it won't go 64-bit. My Mac runs 64-bit applications now - although its EFI is still 32-bit, so I can't run Lion without hacking it - but if you look at this post on Apple Support Communities (ironic, huh?) there's a guide on how you can do it using another Mac and Target Disk Mode.
Hope it goes well for you!
I don't think the repair is terribly difficult. I do think the instructions are suboptimal in a number of ways, recommending disassembly of parts of the machine which do not actually have to be completely broken down to access the CPU or logic board reverse side.
However, I do think you'll need a fair bit of luck. The heatsink retention pins are fragile and there are several components which have to be _bent_ out of the way to reassemble the logic board and fan/drive carrier into the chassis. These things are not designed to be bent more than necessary to put the machine together in the first place, so it's possible to do fatal damage even if you're perfectly careful.
Nonetheless I've done a few of these with only one problem, failed heatsink pins on the second replacement CPU in the same machine. I definitely don't recommend doing that.