Two hard drives in a Mac Mini 2012

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jambzilla, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2013

    I bought a few months ago a Mac Mini i7 2.6GHz, and it came with a 1 TB 5400 RPM hard drive.
    As everyone, I would like to "upgrade" my system for a faster drive; but not with a SSD. I want to put a 7200 RPM 750 GB hard drive in the mini Mac (Seagate Momentus XT 750 hybrid SSD/HDD).

    1) I know that the server version of the Mac Mini holds two 5400RPM hard drives, and that it must work (obviously). Is there a problem if I put two hard drives of different speed next to each other in a so tiny Mac? Should I expect some heat or fan anomalies?

    2) Is 1) is OK, and knowing that the 7200 will be for the system and the 5400 for storage only, then which one of the hard drives should be on the top (near the Apple logo)?

    The hybrid hard drive comes from my 2 years old MacBook Pro, which I've upgraded with an 256 GB SSD. I have not use any migration for it because I wanted it as a brand new computer, and that's fine.
    I want the system and all the softs in the Mac mini; in the same drive as it was in the MBP i.e. the 7200RPM. I thought that it was just about putting the drive in the mini and tadaaaaa... But the technician from the Apple reseller told me it was a bit more tricky.
    I have done a Time machine of my 7200 while it was still in the MBP, and I've used the migration manager in the 5400RPM hard drive of the Mac Mini (both are Mountain Lion).
    So I have basically three hard drives with the same information:
    - the 7200RPM which wait in a box to be installed in the mini
    - the 5400RPM which is in the mini, and that I use just like I've used the MBP
    - the external hard drive which was the time machine of the 7200 and now of the 5400...

    Now that I've upgraded my MBP with a SSD and that I've received the OWC data doubler, I'm ready to open my Mini!

    3) Is there a way for me to "copy" the system from one disk to an other inside the same Mac, because I'm lazy and that I do not want to do the Migration procedures all over again...?

    Thanks :)
  2. macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    You can use 7200 and 5400 and sata II and sata III interchangeably. Any bay, upper or lower.

    Personally I would suggest a 7200 HGST 1 TB and an 840 pro 256 Gb in a fusion drive.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    I'm not familiar with the finer points of hybrid drives but as long as it shows up as a single drive under OSX, simply use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper to make an exact copy once both drives are hooked up. Then change your default startup disk to the hybrid drive. After you confirm everything is working fine you can use the 1TB drive for whatever you want.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2013
    Okay, let's open this mini then!

    That would be the best for sure but I would have 2 hard drives with no uses! And I'm greedy!

    Thank you for the answers.
  5. macrumors 603

    Feb 20, 2009
    My suggestion:

    Put the Seagate into a USB3/SATA docking station, and use it that way.

    You won't notice any differences.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2013
    Too late, I'm done: my 7200 RPM hard drive is in the Mini, in the upper bay. And I've actually manage to boot on it, and done a migration from the 5400RPM (which was in the same Mac). It was really convenient.

    It was working all day, without any heat anomalies. So I think that all my questions were not suppose to be...

    Thanks anyway :D
  7. macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2010
    What's Better - Buy with SSD or 1TB 5400?

    I'm going to buy a mini and add a second hard drive. Is it better to get it with the SSD from Apple and add a storage drive? Or get the 1TB drive and add the SSD?

    Option one seems to make more sense as you will have all the system stuff already on the SSD instead of having to try and migrate it.

  8. macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2012
    I have two Seagate 750 GB drives in my Mini. One is the hybrid.

    Works GREAT! The hybrid Seagate is my startup drive and I can be up and running in 25 seconds...

    I DID have to open Settings >>> Startup Disk and point to the hybrid as the startup drive (it is the only drive with startup scripts on it - the other only has movies on it). Once I did that I got the very fast startup times.

    Have fun!
  9. macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    If you can afford an Apple SSD then get it, otherwise get a Samsung 840 Pro.

    If you get a HDD, get a HGST 7200rpm 1TB, not the 5400.
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2013
    The second option is way cheaper. And it turns out during the installation of the second hard drive that it's really easy to migrate the system within the same Mac Mini (with the Migration assistant).

    Moreover, if you want a brand new system (clean boot I guess), once you have added the SSD, start the computer and then push the option button. You should then be able to use the recovery partition and to install Mountain Lion into the SSD. You have to use a TRIMM enabler software then and you'll good to go.

    In both case you will have to buy a Data doubler Kit from iFixit or OWC. You can also go to your Apple reseller and they can do it. Mine asked me 100€ for everything, including the migration. You should know that even if you do it in a Apple Premium reseller, as the disk you add is not from Apple, you'll lose the warranty.

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