Additional had

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by philp101, May 22, 2012.

  1. philp101 macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011
    Hi all, first of all, sorry for the post as I know that there are a lot of threads out there already about this. However, I'm going to be adding an ssd in my 2011 mac mini in the next few days and I'm a bit stressed about the whole prospect. I've bought the necessary bottom flex cable from Vis and a Crucial m4 128gb ssd and the necessary torx screwdrivers etc. I've got the 2.5 i5 mac mini with the 6630 graphics card, with the stock 500gb 5400 hdd.

    Can I just check the following process is right.

    1. Fit the drive using this video as a guide:

    2. Boot up the mac mini in the normal way using the existing hdd and use disk utility to format the new ssd.

    3. Clone my existing hdd with super duper onto the new ssd.

    4. Use system preferences to set the new ssd as the start up disk.

    5. Reboot from the new ssd and then erase the existing hdd which will now be used for data storage.

    Is this the right way to go? Can anyone foresee any problems with this? Any thoughts or observations would be gratefully received, as I'm planning to do this in a couple of days and would love to head off any issues before I start taking the mini apart.

    Many thanks.
  2. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    i am in the same boat. But I have gone for 2 x 240GB ssd's. I don't have all the bits yet, so can't start it straight away, but I will let you know how I get on when I do.

    By the way, don't you mean you got the top sata connector? The 2011 model has the drive installed the lower bay by default so you need the connector for the upper bay. It's all very confusing because Apple have changed their naming convention regards what is an upper or lower drive.
  3. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    Personally, that's exactly how I would do it also.
  4. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
  5. philp101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I got the bottom flex cable for mac mini server (mid 2010), which is the one that everyone says I need. I guess I'll find out if it's the right one soon enough.

    On trim, I'm using a crucial m4 which apparently has some kind of 'garbage collection' function built in. Do you think I should enable trim in addition to this? Do you know of any potential problems with doing so?

    Once again, thanks for the help.
  6. Bunyak macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
    It's probably a good idea to not move the logic board if you don't have to. I may have pushed my logic board out too far. I tried my best to only push it an eighth of an inch but I definitely pushed it more than that, by accident.
  7. tienathlon macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2010
    You need extra grommets and screws to properly secure the bottom drive to its bay. The whole operation require nearly entire disassembling of the Mac mini. :eek: . Not just jamming the drives in like that.

    You should find out and buy the correct grommets and follow this instruction video from OWC
  8. RustyTank macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    I'm not so sure about this. Yes, with the grommets you can securely fix your 2nd drive, but the risk of damaging your logicboard connectors is so much bigger if you remove the board as shown in some video's. This forum is full of examples (including mine) with broken fan or IR connectors.

    I'm picking up my MM tonight with a new logic board from the store (it was still under waranty) and start over again, but this time I'll try it without removing the logig board or disconnecting the fan / IR cables.
  9. philp101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011
    hi - thanks again for all this. to be honest, i'm a complete novice about all this. i checked the iFixit video and found it very daunting. from the various other threads on this, it seems that quite a few people think that it's possible to add the drive without removing the logic board and everything else, which is good.

    i'm excited about having a nice new ssd in my mini but not very excited about the process of putting it in there, if you see what i mean! hopefully all should go well.

    i'll post again when it's done.
  10. philp101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2011
    success! fitted the extra drive, took it slow and followed the video to the letter and now i have a mac mini that flies like the wind.

    it turns out that you *do* need to pull the logic board out a bit, but not all the way. after about ten minutes of fiddling about and not having any joy fitting the ssd in to the space, i undid the screws holding the logic board in place and pulled it out about half an inch using two thin alun keys. after that the ssd slotted straight into place with no problem. i didn't use any screws or grommets, and the drive fits in very snug as the power cables on the right hold it in place. i think the thing with the grommets and screws is that they would be absolutely essential if you were fitting a second standard hdd as i can see that the way i've done it might lead to extra vibration in the chassis. however, as the ssd has no moving parts, this is not an issue, as long as you take care to refit the original drive back in its holes so as to ensure space between the two drives.

    once it was in i followed the procedure i described above to install Lion and my apps on the ssd and booted in and was amazed at the speed difference! my system now boots up in about ten seconds and closes down in about three seconds. i'm getting write speeds of around 280 and read speeds of around 590! nuts!

    i'm really happy, and recommend that everyone do this upgrade as soon as they can afford to get an ssd as it totally transforms the mini. and don't be scared of doing the upgrade, either. i am the world's most inept person when it comes to electronics (i find wiring a plug utterly baffling, for example). just take it slow and make sure you have the right tools (torn screwdrivers, etc).

    thanks for all your help.

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