Added SSD to mini...whew...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gtstricky, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. gtstricky macrumors regular

    gtstricky

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #1
    Received my new mini on Friday and wanted to share my struggles with adding an SSD to create my own fusion drive (yes I wanted fusion).

    There seems to be a few differences with the currently shipping minis compaired to those used in the online videos showing the upgrade.

    First the antena clip is now covered by a small piece of tape. While it was fairly easy to peal it back and remove the connector it was easier to do once I had moved the mother board out an inch or so.

    The other big difference was that the 1tb stock drive was installed in the lower slot. If I had really thought it threw and paid attention I could have easily just installed the new drive without really taking too much apart.

    With the stock drive in the lower slot there were two screws that were in the center area of the anteanna mesh that typically attach to the drive. In this case they were not being used however they were being held in place by nuts. When I tried to put the anteanna back on it did not have the clearance with the new drive in. Took me about 20 minutes and a magnifying glass to figure it out (getting old ya know).

    I did break the IR receiver connector (wires pulled out). Probably need to replace the IR receiver if I want it but I am fine for now.
     
  2. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    #2
    Good to know. I'll be ordering a mini within the week, and was planning on the upgrade as well. I really hope I end up with the hdd on bottom now! It seems like that would mean just sliding the ssd in there and boom, fast computer!
     
  3. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #3
    If by chance it does, make sure you get the right HDD cable. The kits that are sold to add a 2nd drive to the mini include the bottom HDD cable, so if that is the case you'd have to find an upper one. From what I've seen minis with one HDD are shipped with the upper slot occupied (looking at it from the bottom).
     
  4. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    #4
    Sounds like you don't recommend bending and twisting!

    I already ordered the owc data doubler kit for the mini. If I can't make that round peg fit in my square mini, I'll let you know. Thanks for the heads up, tho. That wouldn't have crossed my mind before.
     
  5. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    #5
    Where did you get the "original" sata connector for the "top" hdd? I'm doing a quick search in case I run into this problem (blessing), and I'm coming up blank.
     
  6. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #6
    What I was getting at was if you ordered your mini with one drive, I'm 99% sure that the original hard drive will be located in the top slot. If you ordered the OWC kit you should be all set because it includes a cable for the bottom slot. Adding a 2nd drive on the bottom requires a few more steps than doing a simple top swap, due to the fact that the whole computer must be taken apart. I thought the instructions that came with the OWC kit are very good, so its nothing to worry about.
     
  7. gtstricky thread starter macrumors regular

    gtstricky

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    #7
    I was fine with the cable that came. It folds up and over when on the bottom and folds down and under when on top. Works either way.
     
  8. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    #8
    Thanks!
     
  9. Luap macrumors 65816

    Luap

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    #9
    I just put a Samsung 830 SSD in my 2.6 i7 mini today. Stock drive was on the bottom, where I expected it, so the 'upper' cable I had ordered worked fine.
    (Im in the UK, and ordered the cable from www.thebookyard.com )
     
  10. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #10
    I think you all need the be clear about the terminology of the drive bays as some of you are correct and some incorrect and its confusing.

    The hard drive that sits under the wifi grill is in what is called the lower bay. This is the traditional "one hard drive mini bay". The upper bay is the empty one that used to house the optical drive in the old 2010 mini for example. You have to remember you have the Mac mini upside down when you are working on it.

    To confirm what I have said go to system info and click on the drive and it will show the drive bay location.

    I say all this because some people order the wrong sata ribbon. There was a post a week back with the same problem. I provided the links for the screws for the lower bay drive if needed. By "lower bay" I am referring to the drive bay under the wifi grill.

    Just a final note, not even sellers can get this write so some sellers sell the sata ribbon for the upper bay and call it the "bottom hard drive".
     
  11. AC Rempt macrumors 6502

    AC Rempt

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #11
    Thanks for clarifying that. I was thinking the same thing, but then, OP says his drive was not in the same place as shown in the videos. That would mean it's in the upper slot that would be closest to the top of the mini.
     
  12. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #12
    That's correct. This is the second time in the last two weeks someone has posted that Apple is now doing this. What it means is that the standard 'second drive' kit doesn't work in these minis. And from what I have seen, there is no 'second drive' kit if the OEM drive is in the top bay. You need to search hard to find the two alignment screws for the bottom bay drive.

    See this post:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1570345
     
  13. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    SoCal
    #13
    i can't due this do to my bad eyesight so i had a buddy do this its ridiculous how hard to reconnect the wifi attenna is to me
     
  14. Elbert C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    AK, USA
    #14
    System shows my HDD as "lower" in "Bay Name" for my 2012 mini. That's the lower bay when my mini is right side up?
     
  15. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #15
    Yep. Your drive will be just under the wifi grill when you open up the base. That is the normal place for a "one drive" mini. For some reason so many people refer to this bay as the "upper" or "top" bay or drive.

    The point made in this post is that Apple is now putting OEM drives (in a "one drive" mini) in the upper bay now.
     
  16. AC Rempt macrumors 6502

    AC Rempt

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #16
    It would be interesting to see some pics of the difference since I can't help wondering what would prevent someone from simply moving the OEM to the bottom bay. Are the internals that different?

    The good news appears to be that someone found a source for the screws.
     
  17. Elbert C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    AK, USA
    #17
    Thanks!
     
  18. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #18
    Don't have pictures unfortunately. The bay sizes are clearly the same dimensions in terms of both accepting a 2.5" drive, however the upper bay drive has 4 torx screws will small heads that go through four grommets in the caddy into the sides of the drive. The lower bay has two headless aligning torx screws on one side and is attached to the wifi grill via two flat torx screws on the under side of the drive. Both bays use completelydifferent sata ribbons that are completely opposing to each other in the way they are folded and sit on the logic board. In otherwords, you cannot move the drive from one bay to another without a "screw and sata ribbon kit".
     
  19. OWC Larry macrumors member

    OWC Larry

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Woodstock, IL
    #19
    Factory bay flip

    We have confirmed that the cable we include in our Data Doubler Kits <http://eshop.macsales.com/Search/Search.cfm?Ntk=Primary&Ns=P_Popularity%7c1&Ne=5000&N=6922&Ntt=data+doubler+mac+mini> for the 2011, 2012, and later models is compatible for use with both lower and upper bay installations. We have purchased several units over the last few days and so far, all have had the 1TB drive in the 'normal' default bay. If someone here could email me owc at macsales.com or private message me here who has received one of these Mac minis with the drive location flipped - I'd really appreciate a couple details on a couple minor parts Apple may or may not be still leaving present in the other bay. namely the gromets.

    Further - the first person who reaches out to me who hasn't yet upgraded their Mac mini that we confirm has the bay flip, we'll install the drive of your choice in the Mac mini (you send us a drive you already have or can buy one from us) free of charge including the needed cable, labor, and freight both ways.

    Really want to see one of these factory units with single drive location flipped as so far units we've purchased and otherwise seen all have the same single drive location as always.

    Once we know exactly if grommets need to be installed (or already there) - we can do a proper installation support video for everyone as well.

    Thanks!

    - OWC Larry
     
  20. gtstricky thread starter macrumors regular

    gtstricky

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012

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