2012 mini SSD Install Question

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by narfcrunk, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. narfcrunk macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2014
    I'm buying a 2012 Mac mini tonight on CL with the following specs and wanted to run a few ideas by you guys to make sure I'm doing things right.


    I was going to upgrade the RAM to either 8 or 16gb which should be pretty basic, but I had a question about installing a 256gb SSD. I haven't found a guide as to what to do once I have physically installed it in order for things to function as a new in box fusion drive.

    I want to do a clean install and to hopefully have it work as a fusion drive when it's all said and done. I plan on wiping the mac mini, then following ifixit's guide below to install the SSD but past that, what do I do once I turn on the machine to get Mavericks to treat it as a Fusion drive?

  2. Elho macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2013
    I installed an SSD in my 2012 i7 mini with the 1TB that was already inside. Mavericks gave me the option to use it as a fusion drive while installing.
  3. narfcrunk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2014
    Did you switch the slots for the SSD and already installed hard drive?

    And what brand of SSD did you use? I've heard that it might be limited to Samsung 830/840.

    Finally, did you just turn on your computer and it prompted you to use it as a fusion drive? No booting into recovery mode or anything?
  4. Elho macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2013

    I used an Samsung 840 EVO and put it way back in the bottom (it was upside down, so this is the TOP of the mini) of the mini. I used a bracket and connector from iFixit. But be careful, it's a delicate job :)

    About the fusion drive thing, it's been a while, but this is something I've posted right after the installation:

    "After the install I did a reboot with an usb stick and the system suggested to repair to "fusion drive". First, i was not planning to do this, but i didnt know it was that simple to set up a fusion drive so i did choose that option."

    BUT, I remember I encountered some problems:

    "okaay, it was a little bit to early to celebrate.

    Halfway through the installation i received an error. "Mavericks couldnt install on this machine."

    Now i have one "fusion drive" but i cant install the OS !!!

    Already tried twice.

    What do i do ?

    Edit 1: For people with the same problem: How to unfusion a drive:


    I had to use the "un-fusion" method, and after that I abandoned the whole idea of the fusion drive. As suggested by others, i don't use the fusion drive option. My startup disk is the SSD, and all my software goes onto the SSD. All the rest (itunes, iphoto, ...) goes on the 1TB spinning drive :)
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Disk Utility asked if I wanted to repair the broken Fusion disk. I forget the details, but I believe it was when I'd booted from a recovery USB stick I'd made. (I was changing the volume name and reformatting the HDD). You likely won't be able to do this if you've booted from either of the internal drives.

    I highly recommend you put the SSD in a USB3 enclosure and set it up BEFORE you install. The time to ensure the SSD works and will boot is before tearing your mini apart not after.

    In the end I decided not to make a Fusion drive. I'm using a little over half the SSD space so didn't really see the point. YMMV.

    BTW you will need to do whatever the option command is to select the appropriate boot volume once you do the install. It'll remember the choice afterward of course.
  6. elolaugesen macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2008

    Load your SSD in an external drive first. I used duper duper to back it up on ssd and bootable. Tested it. Backed everything up once more on an old usb 2 drive. Thus three working copies.
    Each teste to make sure it worked.
    Then I installed the SSD. No other internal drives. Using external for extra files

    Good luck
  7. donlab macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2004
    put ssd in "upper" bracket and 1TB in "lower" that way when the 1TB fails its not such an undertaking to replace. My 1TB drive thats was part of fusion setup just died couple weeks ago after working flawlessly for a year and a half. It works well but make sure you have solid backups.
  8. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Depending on your cable kit. Some (cheaper ones) are not properly supporting SATA-6G connections, so with those you may experience slowdowns or reliability problems when connecting to a SATA-6G-SSD.

    To be on the safe side you could either use the kit cable for the spinning drive and connect the SSD to the original Apple cable (which then determines the position, as some versions of the 2012 Mac mini are said to have the original drive in the upper bay - unfortunately my recently purchased machine did not :() or make sure the cable kit you buy explicitly supports SATA-6G connections.

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