Migration to SSD on 2012 Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mr.thing, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hi All,

    I’m a bit of a noob in MacOS world, so have few questions on restoring my system/data after the installation of new SSD.

    Currently have Mac Mini 2012 with 1TB internal disk. Last week ordered OWC Data Doubler kit to install an SSD into Mac Mini. I will be buying 120GB Samsung 830 or Crucial M4, depends on price and availability or maybe will reuse my existing Mushkin Callisto 60GB (it’s SATA2, so maybe skip it).

    I will be making fresh install of OSX using Internet recovery. Current 10.8.2 build for 2012 mini as I understand is not available for download and burning to USB flash to perform offline installation.

    After fresh install of ML will be finished, I will get prompted by migration assistant with options to restore my data. I currently have Time Machine backup configured to go to my Buffalo NAS.

    Because the size of SSD will be a lot smaller than my current HDD, I just want to restore all the apps, user account ( that should include all my settings) and maybe few selected folders from “/Users/<User_Name>/” folder.

    So, question is…can someone, who had experience with the above, verify that my plan is correct and I will be able to restore selective parts from my Time Machine backup to make the system to the same state it was on HDD?

  2. macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    This plan should work. I would suggest one thing while you're adding the SSD drive: once the mini is opened up, go the extra step and remove the factory 1TB drive from its original position and place it in the second slot (so it will be now be connected to the logic board using the OWC SATA cable. The SSD drive should then be placed in the remaining "top" using the original Apple SATA cable.

    I, like several others, didn't do this the first time around and couldn't get the system to recognize/format the SSD, and had to reopen the mini and swap the drive positions. Internet recovery for 10.8.2 works fine after the switch. You will see the option for Migration Assistant at the end of the setup process. Good luck and don't forget to pull UP towards the ceiling to detach all the logic board plugs (except for the power supply).
  3. macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    That's how I have done it a few times. I usually have my data on an external though so the only step I'm not sure on is how to set your SSD as the boot drive since your HDD will still be bootable.

    I hadn't heard that about the HDD/SSD swap before. My m4 is in the add on location with the OWC cable and I have not had any trouble. I now have (3) m4's; a 512 in my Mini, a 512 in my MBP and a 128 in my wife's MBP. No problems so far, and the 128 is about a year old. The 512's I just got around Christmas.
  4. ibizan, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    For most people, the drive/cable swap isn't necessary. From what I understand, it's only recommended for those with the late 2012 Mac mini that comes pre-installed with the mini-specific build of 10.8.2 (I forget the exact build number).

    In your case, if you've already installed or cloned your system onto the external SSD: go to System Preferences and choose Startup Disk. Select the external drive icon and hit the Restart button. Your machine will then use the external as the booter until you specify otherwise.

    EDIT: Someone else will have to confirm whether the Mac will always boot from your external as I've never had two bootable drives on a single machine before.
  5. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you really need a "fresh" install of the system?

    I asked because the system you have right now (on the internal HDD) is pretty "fresh" as it is.

    Once you have the new SSD installed alongside the existing hard drive, do this:
    1. Download CarbonCopyCloner if you don't already have it.
    2. It's no longer "donation-ware", BUT, the downloaded copy can run in demo mode for 30 days
    3. Initialize the new SSD with Disk Utility, then reboot to see if it mounts on the desktop. If it does, re-open Disk Utility and test/partition it as needed
    4. Launch CCC from your old boot drive, and choose to do a full clone to the new SSD drive. I believe CCC will even clone the recovery partition for you.
    5. When done, do a "test boot" from the SSD, to be sure everything is as you wish.

    This circumvents the problem of not being able to easily download a working copy of 10.8.2 (for the Mini, that is) yet.

    And once the CCC clone is done, you should be "good to go" -- only now everything will be faster!
  6. macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    I did this for my wife's machine and it worked fine. It does create a recovery partition. However, the OP stated they have more data on their HDD than they have space on the SSD. Thus I think they need to do fresh install...
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    You could create a fusion drive and not worry about too much data.
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks everyone who responded. As was pointed by someone here before, size of my data is a bit bigger than the SSD I planned to buy, that is why CCC will not help me unfortunately and I need to go via "internet recovery" path. In any case, glad to hear that my plan will work :)

    I've just called few shops to buy an SSD and it looks like we run out of 128gb Samsung 830. They all now have 840 or 840 Pro models (840 as i understand have issues, 840 Pro is too expensive).

    If there anyone who used Mushkin Callisto Deluxe in their Mac Mini before It's SATA2 but I have it already, so may try this one.

    The other options I'm now considering are:
    Intel 520 (Sanforce controller?) or Crucial M4 (are there firmware issues with it?).
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Ok. Problem solved. Got Samsung 830 128gb model from brick & mortar shop for $110. They only had two in stock. Not a best price, but anyway...
  10. macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    Glad you found one. I was going to say I have (3) m4's running in Mac's and haven't had a single problem with them.
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks. They had M4 in stock, but reading this forum I found that majority of people are suggesting to get Sammy 830. Will see how it goes. Just need to Data Doubler kit from OWC to arrive in Australia ( maybe another week or two ).
  12. arvetus, Jan 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    Does creating your own fusion drive work as well as Apple says their fusion drives work (if you buy the upgrade from them :eek:)?

    Is logic built into the RAID to understand that the OS resides on the SSD part and applications or least used files reside on the spinner?

    I like the idea of building my own fusion drive as opposed to having two separate drives to manage and to keep an eye on the SSD so it doesn't get full. I'd rather just let logic handle it and take care of it. Just wonder how fool proof it is, or if it really matters...
  13. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    "As was pointed by someone here before, size of my data is a bit bigger than the SSD I planned to buy, that is why CCC will not help me unfortunately and I need to go via "internet recovery" path."

    This doesn't matter.

    In CCC (on the left-hand side), you can manually select what folders/files you wish to be copied.

    I believe that all are selected by default.

    Just DE-select the folders you don't want to copy (warning: make sure you do NOT de-select essential files, such as the system, library, etc.)
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks! I just did not know this option exist in CCC. May give it a try, as an idea of doing internet recovery via my poor 5Mbit ADSL link makes me feel bad :)

    Another option is to wait until 10.8.3 release and download it form AppStore. Hope Apple will make this build "universal" and it will work on Mini. Then I can download and make a bootable USB for "offline" re-install.


    btw, is it worth to attach SSD in USB2 enclosure and make clone first to test it (boot)? And after that install SSD inside the mini.
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Ok, after reviewing few options I think I will use CCC way to clone my HDD to SSD. Feeling lazy to do a clean install and then wait for TimeMachine restore. Also, a sI understand there is no real benefit of clean install on SSD comparing to cloning with CCC.

    I have about 180GB of data on my HDD and SSD I got is just 128GB. I can delete some 80-90GB of data form HDD easily and do the clone.

    So, the migration plan is now looks like this:
    1. Backup data to external HDD manually (selected files that will be deleted)
    2. Run time machine backup manually to have another full copy of system on NAS
    3. Backup selected files that will be deleted to another physical disk on NAS (just in case).
    4. Delete data to shrink used space on HDD to about 100GB
    5. Empty trash
    6. Reboot
    7. Run CCC to clone to SSD
    8. Reboot and manually select SSD as bootable disk (reboot holding option key)
    9. Check that system is functional
    10. Set SSD as startup disk in Disk Utility
    11. Reboot and test that it boots by default from SSD
    12. Delete/Erase old partition from HDD
    13. Restore required files from external drive (USB3 should be faster than via 1GB NAS)

    Now question about step #7, I cannot find an option in CCC (trial version) where I can create am image/clone of full HDD. When I select my HDD on source and any other drive/usb key on destination, it always shows me that "selected files will be copied....". Nothing about full bootable system image, etc... Is this normal? Can this be because I do not have a destination disk with required capacity and formated as MacOS Journaled plugged in?

    I foudn the following screenshot on the web, but I cannot get my version of CCC to show me the same:

    Whenever I select my HDD in the source, I'm always getting something similar to the screenshot below:

    Can someone please explain how to make a proper bootable clone of HDD to SSD using CCC 3.5.2?

  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Ok, finally all done. Installed Samsung 830 128Gb with DIY OWC Kit. All went well. Was a bit easier than I though it will be. for me, the hardest part was to actually put back the original HDD on top of new SSD. I spent about 30mins by aligning the pins and holes on the back of mini. Overall process took about 45mins if not that consider the time I spent with that HDD.

    Did selective cloning of HDD to SSD using Carbon COpy Cloner. It also created a recovery partition on my SSD. Formatted the HDD to be used as Data and restored my data on it. Replaced some folders with symlinks pointing to Data HDD in my "Home" folder. All looks good now.

    Speeds seems pretty decent, comparing to my old SATA2 SSD I used on PC before (almost twice faster).

  17. macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    Yeah, I did that to mine last weekend with a Crucial M4 256GB. It's at least 2x - 4x faster. Cold boot time is less than 20 seconds.
  18. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    "EDIT: Someone else will have to confirm whether the Mac will always boot from your external as I've never had two bootable drives on a single machine before."

    Never heard of it?

    You can have as many "bootable drives" on a single Mac as you wish. The systems should reside on either separate drives or separate partitions (on the same drive).

    On my iMac, I keep OS's 10.4.11, 10.6.8 and 10.7.5 available and bootable "on demand", and switch back and forth as desired.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    if I remember correctly, the mac will boot from the drive last booted to, but you can have as many bootables as you want, as Fishrman states...

    just hold the option key down immediately after you power on and you'll get a prompt to choose your boot drive.
  20. macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    It will boot to whatever drive you have selected in the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences, and that won't necessarily be the last one used.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    I don't have any of my USB external drives shown in the Startup Disk pane...I had to boot to them using the method mentioned above.
  22. macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    Correct. What I am saying is you plug in the USB drive then option key boot to it, and go to Startup Disk and select it as the boot disk. Then restart the machine, it will boot from the USB drive if it is present from then on. If you option key boot to the internal.. and after that reboot again it will go back to booting from the external because that is your selection in Startup Disk.

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