2012 Mac Mini Adding SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by nidserz, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. nidserz macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

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    #1
    Is it possible to add an SSD in an 2012 Mac Mini and boot off that and then storage on the 1TB HDD it comes with? How would I go about shifting the boot from the SSD rather than what it originally comes with? Sorry for the noob questions. Thanks
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #3
    Yes, it is possible. After installing the SSD (See the link provided above, which is clearly the easiest way to go about it), just boot from your HDDs recovery drive and install OSX on the SSD.
     
  3. Kentuckienne macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

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    #4
    The procedure will be slightly different depending on if you want to create a Fusion drive or not. I didn't want to do that. I took my old laptop to the store when I picked up the new Mini and had them transfer everything over and download updates, etc. The Apple store has much faster internet than I do at home. Then I backed up the machine, installed the SSD, and then installed Mavericks on the SSD over the interwebs. I left the spinner in the machine because it was a pain to access things. Once the SSD was up and running and updated, I used the migration utility to move all my information from the old spinner drive to the SSD. Then I formatted the spinner and set it up for data. Moved all the big libraries, pictures, movies, etc. over to there but left all the apps on the SSD as well as some of the data - things I use a lot. It worked out well.

    I chose not to create a Fusion drive because, although I do back up regularly, the chance of both drives failing at once is slim. If just the data drive fails, I can hook up the backup drive and be good until I replace it. If just the SSD fails, I can boot off an external drive and be good until I can replace it. I keep old drives around for emergencies so YMMV. In a Fusion drive setup, if either of the drives fails I believe you have to replace and restore, so no way to limp along in the meantime.

    OWC does have very good videos, just follow their instructions and make sure you get the right kit depending on if your original drive is in the upper or lower bay.
     
  4. nidserz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

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    #5
    Thanks for the info. I don't want a fusion drive - just want to boot off the SSD and open apps etc because its much faster. And I want the 1TB HDD for storage of all my tv shows/movies (which is what I want to use the mini for).

    Sounds a bit complicated and I don't have enough time to follow tutorials, I would love to. There are a few Apple service centres around so I might ask them for a quote to see if they can do this.
     
  5. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a

    Wahlstrm

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    Dec 4, 2013
    #6
    Yes, and if you buy en extra sata-cable you can put two disk in it.
    I got 2x 256GB SSD in mine and when freshly installed I had R/W @ 900MB/s
    Quite nice for a cheap little Mac :)
     
  6. JamSandwich macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    #7
    So what's the best method for migrating all my app/media content to a situation with a smaller SSD boot drive + HDD? I'm looking in the 120GB/240GB range to speed up the system but I'm happy to keep most of my content on the hard drive.

    I've only ever restored from a Time Machine save to a new drive with a larger capacity, so this is uncharted territory for me.

    But the more I use my Air and my new work computer (a MBP), the more noticeable the issues of loading are with the traditional hard drive.
     
  7. nidserz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

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    #8
    Similar question.
    I got the 2012 Mac Mini with 1TB HDD.

    I want to install my SSD from my MacBook and use it to boot and then save all my movies/tv shows/data on the 1TB HDD.

    Will the Apple Store/service centre know or able to do this for me? I just am not sure how to go about setting up which drive to do what. I wiped clean my MacBook SSD and it has Mavericks installed.
     
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #9
    Its a relatively simple task, and there are a couple ways to perform that operation. Most any tech with Apple experience could do that for you, you don't have to use an Apple store service. I'm not sure if Apple will do custom stuff like this, but an independent shop can. They would probably clone the OS and apps onto the new SSD before installing it or just use the recovery method.. OWC in the US will install their drive doubler kit for you.

    ----------

    Think about installing the SSD and then boot into the existing HDDs recovery drive and install OSX on the SSD. Boot from the SSD and use migration assistant to move your user folder onto the SSD. Once that is working right, you can go back and clean out the extra HDD files.

    There are tutorials about that show you how to boot into recovery drives, install the OS, and run migration assistant. Don't have the links handy, sorry.
     
  9. nidserz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

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    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
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    #10


    Thanks. I just realized since my SSD already has OSX installed (taking from my MacBook - can't remember how I got it on there haha! I remember I did it myself 2 years ago. And now there is a recovery portion on it as well, so I was able to erase the SSD/fresh install Mavericks).
    Once I install the SSD I can just select the startup disk in preferences. Is this correct?
     
  10. Alfuh, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

    Alfuh macrumors regular

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    Mar 31, 2009
    #11
    I'm looking to do the same thing this week when everything arrives... I have a Mac Mini on the way with the 1TB HDD and I ordered the OWC kit and the 240gb SSD.

    Similar to what a few are asking I am looking to boot and run apps on the SSD and use the HDD for storage.

    I am moving things over from a 1TB HDD in an iMac that has everything on it. It seems a but more involved than a time machine restore, but not too bad.

    The idea of creating a fusion drive is kind of neat to me... Is this feasible with user installed parts? What would the downside be?

    Edit - I read a bit about the Fusion drive and what remains unclear to me is: is this something that is supported on the system level? I understand how to create a single volume for the two hard drives, BUT if it just means the SSD gets filled up first then spills to the HDD eventually it doesn't help much. I understand that the system will almost fill the SSD first in a fusion drive and THEN start to manage file location, but will a user made fusion drive still use the OS to automatically decide which files belong where - or is this solely in the Apple created systems?
     
  11. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #12
    Perhaps, but the mini and MacBook have different hardware and the OS may adjust to it during the install. When you boot from the SSD, the machine may complain. It won't hurt anything, its just you may have to start from scratch with the OS install.
     
  12. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    Northumberland, UK
    #13

    The DIY fusion drive works the same way as an apple created one. So the SSD will have frequently accessed flies and some spare area for random writes. I've not had any issues with mine since I created it 2 years ago. Given the poor 2014 Mac mini range I'll simply be buying a larger SSD when I next need an upgrade.
     
  13. Alfuh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #14
    Great, thanks for replying and confirming! I was pretty sure that this was the case, but didn't see it plainly stated in any of the guides I read

    So theoretically, once I put the drives together and get them recognized as a Fusion Drive I can just do a regular restore from Time Machine from my old iMac and have the system transferred over?
     
  14. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    Sep 12, 2008
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    Northumberland, UK
    #15

    yeah once you're ready for a restore the drive behaves no differently to a standard drive.
     

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