DIY Fusion Drive in 2011 Mini - SUCCESS

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by SuperRob, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #1
    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!
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #2
    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?
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    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

    ----------

    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.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    #4
    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?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #5
    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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    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.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canada Eh?
    #6
    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?
     
  7. SuperRob, Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012

    thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Canada Eh?
    #8
    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 ;)
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Chicago
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

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    #10
  11. macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    #11
  12. macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #12
    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/2014011/how-to-make-your-own-fusion-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?
     
  13. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    "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.
     
  14. macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2009
    Location:
    Cambridge, uk
    #14
  15. macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    #15
  16. MrM
    macrumors 6502

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Flagged thread for when my iMac arrives.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #18
    iMac?
    A 2011 iMac, correct? (the new ones aren't user upgradeable)
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #19
    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. :p
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #20
    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"
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #21
    I put the SSD first and that worked just fine.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #22
    Yeah i figured it out, the fastest drive aka the ssd must be put in first.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #23
    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?
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    jjk454ss

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #24
    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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