Best method for replacing both drives in 2011 Mini server..???

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by taw5575, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. taw5575 macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    HI guys

    Some advice please. Having held out for the 2014 in the hope that the Quad CPUs will continue with a decent speed and two drives for the Mini server top end edition, I have cancelled my order with Apple and decided to do the proper thing - stick to user upgradeable Mac Mini Server mid 2011 (2 x 500GB, 2.0GHz i7, 16 RAM).

    I will replace the two 500GB HDs with:

    1 x 1TB SSD (Samsung SATIII)
    1 x 2TB HD (Samsung)

    (and upgrade the RAM to 16GB at the same time)

    My question is:

    **What is the quickest and safest way of doing both disks?**
    **Is there any risk of overheating?**

    I presume that the OS recovery is not somehow hardwired into the computer so if i replace both disks, there is no OS recovery. Am i right? Therefore:

    1. Can i access Internet Recovery or not?
    2. Should i create a bootable USB with Yosemite on - if so how would I direct the computer to it when it's first booted up?
    3. Should I do one at a time, rebuild and transfer the OS recovery to the new disk before unbuilding and replacing the final old disk and using the first disk to reformat the other upon boot up ...having rebuilt it again...(a long process I reckon)?

    Any ideas anyone? Thanks in advance (I can't believe the new Mac Minis are NOT user upgradeable.....!!!!!)
  2. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    I would look at the videos and tutorials at OWC and iFixit. Others should chime in if they have found something better, but those have fit my needs.

    Overheating is a much discussed and fabled occurrence; it does happen but getting hot, even to 100°C is not overheating. If the temp gets to a point that is dangerous to the CPU, it will shut down. Simply getting warm or hot is not overheating. Depending on what stress you put on the CPU it may or may not get hot and the if it does the fan will ramp up to deal with it. If you run HandBrake assume you will get to 100°C +/- quickly and remain there for the entirety of the encode.

    Depending on what OS you install the Recovery Partition will be loaded from a clean install. Carbon Copy Cloner will install it for you as well if the OS is supported and I am guessing other apps would do so as well.

    I would suggest not doing the USB install (assuming you mean something like a USB thumb drive) if you can avoid it just because it is slower than doing it from a higher speed media such as an internal or quicker external. The only reason I would consider it is if I had several to do, but even then I would work with other options: transfer the install app via Ethernet or put on an external drive.

    Oh, and it does appear the 2014 Minis ARE user upgradeable, just not as much as previous models, really with the RAM only. SATA and PCI drives only seem to need some aftermarket items do tinker with, which until we hear other wise just takes time for them to be prepped for market...similar to previous gear that didn't have all the parts built in.
  3. taw5575 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    Thanks Darby67 - super useful. So am i right that if I replaced both drives I could simply load the OS from a Carbon Copy Clone on an external drive? This seems like an obvious way forward, thanks. I've seen all the videos and step by steps guides so fingers crossed it's not the enigma code.

    Thanks again.
  4. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    Yes, but you might consider starting fresh...sounds like a good opportunity.

    You should also double check that you are using a recent version of CCC that will do the recovery partition. I own the most recent copy, and I don't think it is shareware any longer, so I would research before being surprised. Super Duper is also available and some people really like it as well, so I would suggest seeing if that fits your needs too.

    Enjoy your upgrade!
  5. taw5575 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    one last question (which I'm sure shows my ignorance!) - how would the Mac Mini find the external drive with the OS Recovery on? both drives would be unformatted as Mac OS Journalled when first turned on, so would the Mac Mini simply methodically search for a drive that is compatible and hopefully then find mine via the ethernet (or in fact via Thunderbolt)?
  6. taw5575 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010

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