Choosing SSD as boot drive?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by oneinten, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. oneinten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    #1
    Hello,

    Does it matter which bay the SSD gets installed to in a 2012 Mac Mini?

    I was planning on using a 120gb Samsung 840 as the boot drive in the lower HD bay in a 2012 Mini. Once I've booted internet recovery and installed Mountain Lion onto the SSD how do I select the SSD as the primary boot drive? Or does it need to be in the Top drive bay?

    Thanks
     
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    It doesn't matter which bay you install the SSD in.
     
  3. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    #3
    You can boot from either bay. Just put OS X on it and go nuts. You may want to name the drive something different from your HDD if that also has an OSX partition, so you avoid any confusion.
     
  4. oneinten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    #4
    Does the recovery partition contain the mountain lion install files?

    What does the recovery partition actually contain?
     
  5. oneinten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    #5
    I've just read this on the OWC blog regarding adding an SSD:

    "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.


    Does this mean I should forget creating Recovery Partitions anyway and create a bootable USB or something?
     
  6. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #6
    You don't need either. OSX has Internet Recovery as well.
    Just attach the SSD on a USB port and format it. Clone the internal drive to the external SSD with CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.
    Put it in the Mini and go with the banana.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    If you have a Mini with an HDD in it,
    ...And you install a 3rd-party SSD,
    ...And you then boot to the recovery partition,
    then
    …. Disk Utility will see the presence of both an HDD and an SSD, then presume you have a "fusion" drive setup, and then automatically attempt to "repair" the two separate drives and re-make them into a fusion setup.

    DU will create a new fusion setup, but in the process of doing so, YOU WILL LOSE ANYTHING THAT WAS ALREADY ON THE HDD (shouting very intentional).

    So….

    If you wish to install an SSD into your Mini "alongside" the HDD,
    …And you wish them to remain "separate" drives (not "fused"),
    …DO NOT bootup via the recovery partition and DO NOT run DU from the recovery partition.

    You should either:
    1. Backup the contents of the internal HDD to an external drive, or

    - Install the new SSD alongside the HDD
    - Boot from the HDD (NOT from the recovery partition)
    - Use Disk Utility to initialize the new SSD
    - Setup the SSD as you wish (best way would be to use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the contents of the HDD to the SSD)

    …. and then enjoy your two "separate" drives….
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    After you get the new SSD setup and the OS installed, go to System Preferences / Startup Disk and select the new SSD as the boot drive.

    No, it is a 650 MB partition that only contains a small bootable image with a few utilities like Disk Utility. From the bootable recovery screen you can access Apple's servers to DL the 4.7GB OS X image and install it. The actual OS installer is not on the recovery partition like on some Windows machines.
     
  9. oneinten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    #9
    Thanks,

    How do I delete the recovery partition from both disks if I'm cloning my HDD to the SSD?

    If I were to boot DU from a USB recovery disk would that still try to repair a fusion drive?

    Can I boot to the internet recovery without a recovery partition?
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Here is a walkthrough.

    I have no idea. I have not worked with DU on a Fusion system.


    Yes. command-option-r will take you to Internet recovery.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    "How do I delete the recovery partition from both disks if I'm cloning my HDD to the SSD?"

    I'm assuming you bought the Mini with the 1tb HDD already installed.

    In that case, it comes from the factory with a recovery partition on it. One way to get rid of the RP would be to re-initialize the drive. You might try this after you get the SSD installed. That is:
    1. Install SSD
    2. Initialize SSD
    3. Use CarbonCopyCloner to clone contents of HDD to SSD
    4. Boot from SSD
    5. Initialize HDD
    6. Use CCC again, this time to clone contents of SSD to HDD

    The SSD will come WITHOUT any Mac-formatting. You can just initialize it as one partition. If you then "clone" the contents of the HDD (main partition) using CarbonCopyCloner, you can set up CCC so that it doesn't clone the RP as well.

    IMPORTANT:
    CCC now comes with the ability to clone the RP as well as the "main" partition. You must set up CCC so that this capability is TURNED OFF, if you don't want the RP cloned, too.

    The reality is that if you have the SSD setup as your main drive, and use a part of the HDD to serve as a "backup clone" of the SSD, you no longer need a recovery partition, because you'll always have a second, fully bootable copy of your main drive close-at-hand.

    "If I were to boot DU from a USB recovery disk would that still try to repair a fusion drive?"

    Interesting question. Not sure about that. The only way to be sure, would be to try booting that way, but ready to pull the plug if things got too far!
     
  12. vandrv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #12
    I just received a refurbished Mini with the 1th drive and am going to install an SSD as a second drive. I want them to be two separate drives not fused together. So far, I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the hard drive to the SSD externally. I was given the option to create a recovery partition which I did. Will this cause problems when I install the SSD? Should I reformat the drive and clone it wthout the recovery partition? Thanks for any help here.
     

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