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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:22 PM   #1
SuperRob
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DIY Fusion Drive in 2011 Mini - SUCCESS

I just finished installing an iFixit second hard drive kit and set up a 128GB Crucial M4 and the stock 500GB Toshiba hard drive in a Fusion configuration. Overall, it was easy and successful. I did have one mishap, which was damaging the wires on the IR sensor, but as I had that disabled due to interference with my AppleTV remote anyway, it was no big loss.

Effectively there were two Terminal diskutil commands necessary, the one that puts the two disks in one logical volume, and the one that formats the space into the fusion setup. Incredibly easy to do, and Mountain Lion is installing now. Next step is getting the TRIM Enabler going, and then restoring from Time Machine.

Right now, my only wish is that I'd bought a 1TB drive, but I can do that later if need be. This was so easy it's kind of ridiculous. If I do get a larger drive, I may get a new HD bracket with IR sensor and be a bit more careful in that step.

I'll report back later on any other findings, but so far, it's been a piece of cake!
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 08:45 PM   #2
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Been debating this very thing with my mini... Glad to hear it was easy! I have the 2009 server, running Mountain Lion, on the 2x 500GB drives. I also have 2x 60GB SSDs from a former PC build. Does anybody know if you can use a smaller SSD than the 128GB Apple uses for Fusion? Has anybody tried it?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 10:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by js81 View Post
Does anybody know if you can use a smaller SSD than the 128GB Apple uses for Fusion? Has anybody tried it?
Yes, there is a Youtube video of someone using a 60GB SSD with a 2nd drive on a MacBook Pro and it works fine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA9HqtAK4dc

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperRob View Post
I'll report back later on any other findings, but so far, it's been a piece of cake!
Run BlackMagic and report back, I'm curious what speeds it shows. The Youtube video I posted above has slower than normal speeds for an SSD, but I would think the mini would feel the same in everyday use for normal things as just having the SSD in and not the Fusion Drive.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 02:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SuperRob View Post
I did have one mishap, which was damaging the wires on the IR sensor, but as I had that disabled due to interference with my AppleTV remote anyway, it was no big loss.
Was preparing to do this same installation; was wondering how you damaged the IR sensor and how I would go about preventing this from happening?
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 02:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ibizan View Post
Was preparing to do this same installation; was wondering how you damaged the IR sensor and how I would go about preventing this from happening?
I connected the cable too soon, and when I pulled the mainboard loose again to seat the hard drive properly (I was having some minor clearance issues), I forgot to disconnect that cable. It pulled three of the five wires out of the connector, but left the actual socket intact. I could probably fix it if I wanted to try.

So the short answer is ... make sure if you have to reverse steps, you don't skip over stuff.

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Originally Posted by cocacolakid View Post
Run BlackMagic and report back, I'm curious what speeds it shows. The Youtube video I posted above has slower than normal speeds for an SSD, but I would think the mini would feel the same in everyday use for normal things as just having the SSD in and not the Fusion Drive.
About 200MB/s Write, and about 500MB/s Read. Right about in line with specs for a Crucial M4. But I don't think it's going to be touching the hard drive at all with it's tests. All writes go to the SSD, and this test is so quick, the reads are sure to be coming from it as well.

I will say that it boots up lickety-split, which is a big bonus from a 5400RPM drive.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperRob View Post
I just finished installing an iFixit second hard drive kit and set up a 128GB Crucial M4 and the stock 500GB Toshiba hard drive in a Fusion configuration. Overall, it was easy and successful.

I'll report back later on any other findings, but so far, it's been a piece of cake!
Was there a particular guide that you used? I just ordered a refurb 2011 Mac Mini and plan to roll my own Fusion Drive with a 120GB SSD. I ordered the OWC disk doubler kit.

Since the refurb will likely arrive with Lion on it and I need Mountain Lion 10.8.2 for Fusion I am assuming I will need to create a bootable USB Install for 10.8.2 and use that to install once I have created the fusion drive? I am re-downloading right now from the app store my ML purchase so I believe that will come in at 10.8.2 rather than the original 10.8 that I purchased.

Sound about right?
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 11:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dadioh View Post
Was there a particular guide that you used? I just ordered a refurb 2011 Mac Mini and plan to roll my own Fusion Drive with a 120GB SSD. I ordered the OWC disk doubler kit.

Since the refurb will likely arrive with Lion on it and I need Mountain Lion 10.8.2 for Fusion I am assuming I will need to create a bootable USB Install for 10.8.2 and use that to install once I have created the fusion drive? I am re-downloading right now from the app store my ML purchase so I believe that will come in at 10.8.2 rather than the original 10.8 that I purchased.

Sound about right?
I used the iFixit Kit and Guide for the install. I made a bootable SD card with Mountain Lion 10.8.2, which worked great. Boot from that, and you should be able to access Disk Utility / Terminal, which has everything you need. The commands I use were below, your mileage may vary.

diskutil coreStorage create "Fusion Drive" disk0 disk1 (Watch the feedback and copy the UUID that is created for the Logical Volume.)
diskutil coreStorage createVolume UUID jhfs+ "Fusion Drive" 100%

(Yes, I named both the Logical Volume and the actual drive itself "Fusion Drive." In the second line, you could do "Macintosh HD" if you want to stick with tradition.)

One other note, I found out after about an hour or so that I did not have the fan cable completely seated. The Mac got hot, but not dangerously so. It's quieter with the SSD, but I knew it shouldn't be completely silent, so I pushed on it with the spudger tip that came with the iFixit tip, and that got the cable fully seated.

Last edited by SuperRob; Nov 22, 2012 at 11:20 PM.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 05:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperRob View Post
I used the iFixit Kit and Guide for the install. I made a bootable SD card with Mountain Lion 10.8.2, which worked great. Boot from that, and you should be able to access Disk Utility / Terminal, which has everything you need. The commands I use were below, your mileage may vary.

diskutil coreStorage create "Fusion Drive" disk0 disk1 (Watch the feedback and copy the UUID that is created for the Logical Volume.)
diskutil coreStorage createVolume UUID jhfs+ "Fusion Drive" 100%

(Yes, I named both the Logical Volume and the actual drive itself "Fusion Drive." In the second line, you could do "Macintosh HD" if you want to stick with tradition.)

One other note, I found out after about an hour or so that I did not have the fan cable completely seated. The Mac got hot, but not dangerously so. It's quieter with the SSD, but I knew it shouldn't be completely silent, so I pushed on it with the spudger tip that came with the iFixit tip, and that got the cable fully seated.
Awesome! Thanks.

I am still on the fence whether to do a fusion drive or manually manage the ssd and HDD. I have some thoughts about ssd over provisioning, garbage collection, and trim that may affect that decision. I will probably post those in another thread so as not to hijack this one
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dadioh View Post
Awesome! Thanks.

I am still on the fence whether to do a fusion drive or manually manage the ssd and HDD. I have some thoughts about ssd over provisioning, garbage collection, and trim that may affect that decision. I will probably post those in another thread so as not to hijack this one
Post a link to it though, I'm curious to read your thoughts. I've been planning to try this on my 2011 mini and my 2012 MBP, but just haven't had the free time yet.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 11:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cocacolakid View Post
Post a link to it though, I'm curious to read your thoughts. I've been planning to try this on my 2011 mini and my 2012 MBP, but just haven't had the free time yet.
Here is the thread I started. Feel free to chime in.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...1#post16351373
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 12:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dadioh View Post
Here is the thread I started. Feel free to chime in.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...1#post16351373
Thanks, some valid points there.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:24 AM   #12
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my DIY fusion drive notes and comments

Yesterday I finished my DIY fusion drive install. Some comments:

1. Used a 128 Gbyte 830 SSD and the OWC upgrade kit.

2. The plastic pry bar that comes in the kit was too large to get under the wires of the ir sensor connector on my 2012 Mac Mini. I used a curved dental pick that worked nicely. If you run into the same issue and don't have a dental pick a small nail or a bent paper clip should get the job done.

3. Before you remove the metal clip that slides under the power supply take a good look as to where it is and how it should be put back.

4. One of the T6 screws was so tight I couldn't turn it with the supplied OWC torx driver. I have a T6 torx driver from another set that gave me more leverage and that did the trick.

5. In the OWC instructions it doesn't show bending the ribbon cable that connects to the SSD before you put it in the holder. You will need to bend it along the dotted lines that are on the cable.

5. Putting back the top HHD into the two holes was a lot harder than I thought.

6. All of the connectors are removed straight up except for the power supply connector which is pulled out.

7. Boot from a cloned installation disk andI used this site to turn the two drives into a fusion drive:
http://www.macworld.com/article/2014...ion-drive.html

8. I shut down, removed my installation clone and booted with command +R held down. You get a spinning world on the screen and a recovery boot. I selected my time machine backup to restore my data and OSX.

Got to try it out this morning. Programs open much faster. I can see why once you go SSD you will never be able to go back.

Open issues:

My recovery partition is gone. I'll wait till they put 10.8.2 back up for download (or else we get 10.8.3) before I attempt to fix that.

TRIM... this is my first SSD and I know next to nothing about TRIM. I have 650 Gbytes on my machine so my SSD should be full (except for that 4 GByte buffer.

I need to find out if TRIM is useful (I have a 128 Gbyte 830 SSD) or is it a waste of time to add it and run it on this setup?
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 09:25 AM   #13
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"My recovery partition is gone. I'll wait till they put 10.8.2 back up for download (or else we get 10.8.3) before I attempt to fix that."

If you keep a fully bootable clone of the OS on a partition or backup drive, the recovery partition becomes superfluous. A bootable copy of the OS is far more useful.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 11:59 AM   #14
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I created a short tutorial for DIY fusion on the mini if anyones struggling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7ZYwLl8z0Q&feature=plcp

Cheers
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 01:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by damov2 View Post
I created a short tutorial for DIY fusion on the mini if anyones struggling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7ZYwLl8z0Q&feature=plcp

Cheers
Nice video.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 06:19 PM   #16
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I created a short tutorial for DIY fusion on the mini if anyones struggling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7ZYwLl8z0Q&feature=plcp

Cheers
Just finished installing my Kingston Hyper X 240gb that I got got a steal of a price on Amazon at $139.00 by using your video. THANK YOU!

Getting write speeds of 285, read of 500. Mid 2011 MacMini i5 w/8gb's of ram. Nice little bump.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:27 AM   #17
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Flagged thread for when my iMac arrives.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:49 AM   #18
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Flagged thread for when my iMac arrives.
iMac?
A 2011 iMac, correct? (the new ones aren't user upgradeable)
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:43 PM   #19
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Yesterday I finished my DIY fusion drive install. Some comments:

2. The plastic pry bar that comes in the kit was too large to get under the wires of the ir sensor connector on my 2012 Mac Mini. I used a curved dental pick that worked nicely. If you run into the same issue and don't have a dental pick a small nail or a bent paper clip should get the job done.
When disassembling a camera lens, I needed to get to a tight retaining ring - so I fashioned a pick using one of those fishhooks that has a lead weight formed onto it - bent the hook out - squashed the barb - and the lead portion acts as a perfect finger grip. Just don't lick your fingers as you go along if you try this approach.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 03:49 AM   #20
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I have a question on making my own fusion drive, how does OSX know which drive to use as the SSD and which one to use as the HDD? Does the order you type disk1 and disk 2 in the follwoing command line set this? " diskutil coreStorage create LogicalVolname /dev/disk1 /dev/disk2"
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:28 AM   #21
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I have a question on making my own fusion drive, how does OSX know which drive to use as the SSD and which one to use as the HDD? Does the order you type disk1 and disk 2 in the follwoing command line set this? " diskutil coreStorage create LogicalVolname /dev/disk1 /dev/disk2"
I put the SSD first and that worked just fine.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:51 AM   #22
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I put the SSD first and that worked just fine.
Yeah i figured it out, the fastest drive aka the ssd must be put in first.
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Old Feb 6, 2013, 08:53 PM   #23
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I'm concerned about TRIM with a DIY setup. If I tossed in an M4, 830 or 840 and the OS filled it way up, would TRIM enabler still work or even be useful?
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 07:30 PM   #24
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I'm concerned about TRIM with a DIY setup. If I tossed in an M4, 830 or 840 and the OS filled it way up, would TRIM enabler still work or even be useful?
TRIM doesn't in any way effect a Fusion setup does it? I just installed and setup a Fusion drive with a Samsung SSD and the stock HDD, just want o make sure TRIM Enabler won't mess anything up.
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