Can you point me to an SSD install thread?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Kentuckienne, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Kentuckienne macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #1
    Sorry for asking something that I'm sure is already answered many times, but I've been searching for an hour and can't find the relevant info.

    I have a new late 2012 mini that came with Mavericks preinstalled, and they migrated my old PowerBook data over for me at the store. It has a 1 TB drive. I bought a 256 GB Mercury 6G SSD from OWC, and was about to install it, when I read the warning they include for systems with 10.8.2 preinstalled. The warning is that using Disk Utility to format the new drive will cause the OS to try to rebuild a nonexistent fusion setup and you'll lose all your data. I'm assuming I can ignore that, since I have 10.9.3, yes?

    There are all these complex and conflicting messages about installing the drive in an external enclosure, no just put it inside and do a restore, you should let disk util make a Fusion drive, you should not make a Fusion drive, etc.

    I now think a fusion drive might be OK, since I then wouldn't have to worry about managing it myself, and I'm going to back everything up all the time so what does it matter if one drive fails? It would be easier in the long run. I want to know:

    1. If I DIY a fusion drive, should I worry that a software update will cause some problems since Apple doesn't support DIY Fusion?

    2. Is there any good reason, other than the worry of losing data on both drives if only one fails, to NOT do a Fusion setup? Drives get cheaper all the time, and I'd just take advantage of the opportunity to get something bigger for cheaper and restore from a backup.

    3. Where is a good guide on creating such a Fusion setup? I wondering if I can go ahead and install the new drive while I'm home with all my tools, or if I should put it into an Firewire enclosure first for configuration/set up. I have an enclosure, but it's an extra hassle to take out the drive that's in it, put in the SSD, do whatever, then move everything around again. Would prefer to be lazy if there is a safe way to be lazy in this case. I just know how often I've caused myself extra work trying to be "efficient" ...

    Thanks if you know anything, I really can't find this info all in one place, there are some threads that seem applicable but have a hundred pages of posts ...
     
  2. evilsofa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    #2
    This article may make things more clear for you about when this applies and what to do about it.

    The key data-loss issue is this: "once you have both an SSD and a platter-based drive installed in your Mac mini, you should not use the Disk Utility in your Recovery Partition on those drives; it will see those drives as a 'broken' Fusion array and try to repair it, destroying your data in the process."

    On whether you can ignore that issue if you have later than 10.8.2 or Mavericks: the OWC staff replying in the comments to the article I linked are being cagey about that, saying "better safe than sorry, act as if it might". I agree with that attitude.
     
  3. Kentuckienne thread starter macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #3
    Thanks, evilsofa - I did read that article earlier today, and was hating the part where I would have to reinstall over the air because there's no more disc. I have internet via Exede satellite which isn't the fastest. I made a full backup to a USB drive using SuperDuper and verified it's bootable. Since this is a new machine...I have a backup .. and I still have the old machine so I could remigrate ... maybe I SHOULD let it rebuild the "failed" fusion link and restore from the copy in the USB drive... Worst case I have to reinstall the OS over the air after all, best case it works. I thought I read a post where someone did just that with success but couldn't find it later.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    If you buy a USB3/SATA dock, and use it to "prep" your SSD -BEFORE- you install it inside the Mini, you'll have no problem with the "auto-erasing, auto-fusion" problems some have reported when using Disk Utility from the recovery partition.

    In fact, the best course of action is to ALWAYS prep and then TEST the drive before installation. Can save A LOT of trouble later on...
     
  5. Kentuckienne thread starter macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #5
    I did it!

    I think my brain is going bad, because for some reason I had made myself quite apprehensive about doing something I've done scores of times. I went by the OWC handout, after watching their install video several times and noting any differences. It took me an hour and a half, but that was all in the back half of the process. Opening it up, removing connections, all that was cake. But when putting things back, for some reason I thought I had to slide the IR connector on instead of pushing it down, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why it wouldn't slide. Then I took forever to put the antenna connector back on because it's so tiny and my hands are so not tiny, and I couldn't see how it was positioned. Finally, it took me 20 minutes to get the stupid antenna grill back on. I couldn't line up both screws. Finally lifted the top part of the metal grill with an allen wrench, and it snapped right in.

    I had my own hex tools which really helped, and one of those spring-loaded grabbers for screws so I don't drop them. But what would have really helped me would have been some small tool, like a screwdriver say but with a flat disk on th end, which I could have used to press these small connectors in place. Does anyone know of any such thing?

    By the way - with 16 GB RAM and the Mercury 6 SSD from OWC, this thing FLIES. Boots in NOTHING flat. I was apprehensive about having to commit to "old" tech but no more. This machine is awesome.
     
  6. slippyr4 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    #6
    "iPod Opening Tool" aka "spudger" (the plastic ones)

    You get a set with every iPhone screen you buy from ebay, and they're very useful for all sorts of things. The plastic is quite soft and therefore it's hard to damage things with them.

    ----------

    Did you go DIY fusion in the end?

    I have (with a samsung SSD), and I'm very pleased with the result.

    I made a time machine backup, and manually backed up my important files before I did it, and then let disk utility in mavericks recovery do the job.

    I'm also using chameleon ssd optimiser (google it) to enable TRIM for my SSD - since its only on for Apple sad by default.
     
  7. Kentuckienne thread starter macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    No>me<where
    #7
    I'm a get me one. I love this description from the web page: "The pointed end of the spudger can be used to connect/disconnect components, hold objects for soldering, or poke something that requires poking." This would have saved me so much time putting my mini back together, because there was a lot of poking of tiny things that needed it.

    I actually didn't go Fusion, even though I figured out how to do it. And I don't really have much of a reason one way or the other. The SSD is 248 GB, so that's plenty to hold the majority of stuff, and I think I'll put the huge photo library and movies on the spinner for storage. I think in the end it came down to this: in the event of a failure of either drive, as long as I have a good backup I'd be fine. But if for some reason I don't have a good backup - with a Fusion setup it would all be gone, and with the separate drives I would at least have half of it.

    I took some movies before and after, and before I was thinking of taking this thing back because it was so slow. This morning it booted so fast I never even saw the spinner. Went from "chime" to "welcome screen" in fifteen seconds.
     

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