Adding a drive to a late 2012 i7 mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by arvetus, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. arvetus, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013

    arvetus macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2013
    #1
    I'm thinking of moving things around in my mini. I didn't order a SSD with my mini, but I'm thinking of putting a 256GB SSD in to host the OS on along with some common apps and 1 of my 3 VM's and then keeping my 1TB spinner as a second internal drive (I already have a 1TB USB external).

    Is it behoovant of me to move the drives around internally and do a fresh ML install to the SSD, or should I keep my current drive as the boot drive, move the OS over with CarbonCopyCloner, leaving the apps and data on the spinner and then making the SSD the bootable drive?

    Or I could just pull the current spinner drive and replace with the SSD and just have 2 externals???

    **edit**
    may have found info I'm requesting here. whoops :)
     
  2. takiv macrumors member

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    Moonville, SC
    #2
    I did a fresh install with internet recovery, once that was finished and booting correctly I reformatted/partitioned the original hard drive. Took a little bit of time but no big deal.
     
  3. arvetus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    How long did it take to do a fresh install via internet recovery and how fast is your connection?

    If I build the fusion using the disk utility in recovery mode, I should still be able to get to my time machine backup, shouldn't I? Or would internet recovery be better?

    I've got 3Mbps DSL ...
     
  4. MacFanBoi macrumors regular

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    #4
    At 3mbps it will take some time to do that install because its around a 4gb download. Last time i did a internet install it only took about 15-20mins but im on a 100mbit connection
     
  5. takiv macrumors member

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    #5
    Fanboi is spot on, basically it was several hours from the time I took my mini apart, until everything was finished. I do have a slow DSL connection.
     
  6. arvetus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Does creating your own fusion drive work as well as Apple says their fusion drives work (if you buy the upgrade from them :eek:)? Since I didn't want to shell out the extra at the time, 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...I can use a 256GB SSD as opposed to the 128 that Apple uses for about the same or a little less :)

    Is logic built into the RAID to understand that the OS resides on the SSD part and least used files reside on the spinner?
     
  7. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Chicago
    #7
    If you don't already have the SSD just buy a small one and save the money. The Fusion Drive software will move items back and forth and only keep what you use most frequently, along with the OS, on the SSD. There's no need for a large (250+) SSD with Fusion Drive.
     
  8. philipma1957, Jan 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #8





    not always wrong but wrong in many cases.


    the bigger the ssd the better. here is a long article explaining why.


    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6679/a-month-with-apples-fusion-drive
     
  9. arvetus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    so is the fusion drive logic in the RAID firmware that's built into the HDD controllers or in OSX ML?

    I'm just curious.

    Sounds like it should work the same or better than Apple's "factory built" or should I say, factory selected components.

    I think a 256G flash and a 1TB spinner should be fairly good for my purposes... while I do work IT for a living, I'm not a huge power user at home. Email, internet, music, etc., and the more often than not VPN into work to support end users after hours or finish server projects :) That's about it for me. Wifey does photography, so she may likely see a larger benefit than I.
     
  10. SFGREG12 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2013
    #10
    I'm getting ready to buy a MacMini (admittedly hesitant at first due to the graphics problems which seemed to be ironed out). The key remaining issue is to go Fusion/SSD (or neither). I was confused at first, if you went SSD with Apple, do they still provide the 1tb drive, and then read that they do.

    However, correct me if I'm wrong:

    1) Fusion.. you can buy a Fusion drive from Apple but they give you only a 128gig SSD (second drive as part of it). You have 2 drives, albeit one smaller for a $250 price tag.

    2) SSD - you opt for the $300 SSD drive (you still get the 1tb drive) and you can either use s/w to create a Fusion drive or leave them separate and manage the data yourself.

    3) SSD - you can go with a 3rd party to buy an SSD drive, http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Mercury_6G/ has a 240gig for $229, and you can pay $130 for them to add it (parts/service/kit) so this would add up to about $359. (or pay $300 more for a 480gig ssd drive).

    Questions:

    1- Is the above correct?

    2- Is there a "real plus" for Fusion? Seems that a single point of failure, only 2 partitions allowed, losing manageability of the data, all seem minuses, where the plus is that the system manages the data? I don't know, just installing apps to the ssd drive, and using the remainder to put files that you use frequently, or projects that you are currently working on that need quick response is straightforward enough.

    3- From above, at a cursory look, ordering a 240gig SSD drive (twice the size of Apple's SSD drive), and having 2 drives where you use the 1tb as data storage would be a win/win), and the only downsize is self data management.

    4- If you are gungho on having Apple manage it for you with Fusion, that is a s/w configuration, not anything done by a hardware meld of the drives.

    Thanks,
    Greg
     
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #11
    osx ml as you can do this in a 2011 mini with an ssd + hdd that runs ML
     
  12. arvetus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2013
    #12
    if the way I'm understanding is correct, SFGREG, the Apple software manages it whether they built it or you do.

    The biggest benefit of doing it yourself is getting a larger SSD partition for the same or lesser price.

    I just ordered me a 256G Crucial M4, so we'll see how it goes.
    I finally converted my external USB drive to HFS+ so I can use Time Machine and back up my system so when I meld the drives together, I should (in theory) be able to restore from Time Machine backup...
     
  13. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #13
    here is a screen shot of my 1.5 tb fusion.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. tomjleeds macrumors 6502

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    Manchester, UK
    #14
    It's handled by Core Storage (see "content" in above screenshots), which is Apple's logical volume manager, i.e. it's all OS X.
     
  15. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #15
    Apple's Fusion is a very clever compromise to get the speed of SSD and the capacity of Hard Disk at lower cost than having all SSD (best) in your computer. For most users, it will provide significant advantages in the "experience" of using their computer. You can DIY the Fusion environment yourself with any SSD and Hard Drive, and the larger the SSD, the better it will perform as more of your frequently accessed data can actually reside in the SSD for faster access.

    I usually build my Fusion drives with 256GB or 512GB SSDs plus whatever Hard Disk capacity I need. They work great!
     
  16. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #16
    bingo!
     
  17. arvetus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2013
    #17
    thanks for the explanations!
    looking forward to the Crucial m4 showing up in the mailbox!
     
  18. SFGREG12 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2013
    #18
    An interesting fact that I did not know...

    I went to the Apple store today. The Mac Mini comes with one of three options:

    1) 1TB drive - default
    2) Fusion - +$250 (this is the 1TB drive + 128gb SSD)
    3) SSD drive- +$300 (just a 256GB SSD drive)

    So, option 3 does NOT come with the 1TB drive apparently. I don't see why option 3 makes any sense, either option 1, and buy a separate SSD drive, and either use Fusion by s/w or have 2 separate drives, or option 2, if you feel that 128gig is enough, and the convenience of having Apple provide it is worthwhile.

    If option 3 came with the 1TB drive, it might have made sense, and if there was an option to get the 1TB drive at 7200 speed, it would have been worth paying a slight premium for. ($50-$100).
     
  19. arvetus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2013
    #19
    Exactly.
    Same with RAM too. You can get a 16GB upgrade for $300, or just buy the standard config and buy 16GB from Crucial for $85. Hello????

    Apple makes a GREAT product. But not so much better that I need Vaseline.
     
  20. elolaugesen macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2008
    #20
    HFG: Where can I find instructions for building Fusion drive??

    Cheers elo
     
  21. elolaugesen macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2008
    #22
    Thank you.. For the link.

    I assume that if this does not work (?). Then you just reformat the two drives again and restore?

    Never assume anything!!!!! Always verify recovery procedures...

    Cheers elo
     
  22. arvetus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2013
    #23
    Performing the process outlined in the link WILL format the drives.
    A restore WILL be necessary if you plan on doing that procedure to one of your current internal boot drives.

    if you clone your current boot drive to an external drive, you can always boot to the clone, perform the "fusion" of your internal drives and then clone back to the internal, newly fused drive array.

    Hope that makes sense...
     
  23. hfg, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #24
    There are many threads here on working with Fusion drives you may want to read.

    But ... in a nutshell:

    NOTE: both of these processes are destructive to you data (format). You must backup to another drive prior to attempting either operation, and then restore from your backup when you are finished.

    How to create a Fusion drive:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/2014011/how-to-make-your-own-fusion-drive.html

    The required commands are:
    (note: you can use diskutil list and diskutil cs list to obtain the volume ID's on your computer)

    diskutil cs create Fusion drive1 drive2 (where drives are SSD VolumeID and HD VolumeID)

    diskutil coreStorage createVolume lvgUUID type name size

    lvgUUID is the unique identifier you copied from the previous step.
    type use Journaled HFS+ (typed as jhfs+).
    name can be whatever you want to name the drive (traditionally "Macintosh HD"). Make sure you use quotes if there's a space in the name.
    size is how much of the "pool" that you want to make into a drive, using the following suffixes: B(ytes), S(512-byte-blocks), K(ilobytes), M(egabytes), G(igabytes), T(erabytes), P(etabytes), or (%) a percentage of the current size of the logical volume group.




    How to destroy a Fusion drive:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/2015664/how-to-split-up-a-fusion-drive.html

    The required commands are:
    (note: you can use diskutil list and diskutil cs list to obtain the volume ID's on your computer)

    diskutil cs deleteVolume < insert fusion logical volume ID here >

    diskutil cs delete < insert coreStorage logical volume group ID here >


    Look on page 2 of this article:
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/1...ining-doc-ars-tears-open-apples-fusion-drive/



    DiskUtil Manual Page from Mac Developer Library:

    http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Darwin/Reference/ManPages/man8/diskutil.8


    -howard
     
  24. elolaugesen, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    elolaugesen macrumors regular

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    #25
    Thank you ...... Yes have bootable backups of my mini 2012. Just covering all the stuff. I willnot order the parts for another month. Making sure my mini. Is still running.....

    Cheers elo
     

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