Foolish question?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by TomT321, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. TomT321 macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2009
    I have a 2009 Mac Mini with a duo core intel (2Gz) 1GB memory. I am not a very technical person so not sure if that is all of the info that maybe needed for my question but it is what I got off the computer itself. Anyway in the last few weeks the "spinning wheel" is popping up more and more and it is very slow at times to respond to a mouse click. It was suggested to me that over the 4 years that I have owned it that I have about "over loaded" it with accumulated data that really isn't needed. Not sure how I go about finding out how much data is stored or if there is someother sort of problem causing these symtoms? Also is there anyway of clearing unneeded data? Like I said maybe a foolish questions but would appreciate any input.
  2. blanka, Jun 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Upgrade RAM and hard drive. It will give this Mini much more air to breathe. 1Gb is like putting a plastic bag over your head. It is quite easy to it yourself on this model and takes about 15 minutes. It will feel like a new computer afterwards. The 2009 is still a very capable machine and still much wanted as HTPC for example.

    I can recommend 4-8 Gb, you can even pop in 1333mhz DDR3 (that is easier to find than 1067 nowadays and often cheaper).
    Corsair Mac Memory CMSA4GX3M1A1333
    Crucial CT25664BC1339A
    Around 15$/2Gb.
    You can put in 2 modules of max 4Gb/module.

    Don't know your use, but with lots of files, consider a Scorpio Black 750Gb (almost double speed, yet very affordable and almost 5 times the capacity of the stock drive), or if you want to make it a nice production machine once again, put in an SSD (it has SATA 3Gb/s so check compatibility with that).

    If you decide to upgrade the drive, get a simple 2,5 inch USB enclosure. It costs 10 bucks, and allows you to use the current drive as backup/external, and makes installation of the new drive a breeze. Just do a fresh install on the new drive and use the migration assistant to read the data of your old drive.
  3. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    Just FYI, but if you ever want to learn more about the specs of a Mac, just go to Wikipedia; it's a great place to start if you want to find out about hardware. In fact, I'm using it now to answer your post. Another great site is

    If you look up your machine on either of those sites you'll see that your Mini "officially" supports up to 4GB of RAM, but it will handle 8 (2x4GB stick, and you'll need a firmware update. If I were you, I'd at least get 4GB of RAM in there. You'll probably notice a significant increase in performance from that alone. That said, I went from 4GB to 8 on my iMac, and while the performance increase was slight, it was still noticeable.

    Oh yeah, unlike windows, you don't have to get rid of a bunch of crap on your hard drive with OS X. OS X cleans itself up for the most part. I'm sure there are some minor tricks for deleting unneeded files, but I've never bothered looking them up because I've never felt the need to.

    So I think the RAM upgrade should be all you need for an inexpensive but effective increase in performance.

    Now if you really want to take it to the next level, try replacing that hard drive with an SSD. :)

    Edit: I see Blanka has beat me to the punch, but we're echoing each other.
  4. blanka, Jun 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Here's the how-to:
    Don't be fooled by the 5 star rating "advanced". It is pure bullocks, and way easier than the Mini 2011/2012 which gets an easier rating by OWC.
    The only tricky thing is the putty-knife thing, which is not tricky, it just demands some balls. You think you are breaking it, but you're not. It just feels rough to do, but it is quite easy.
    You only need a sharp putty knife (not the thick plaster ones) and a philips P0 screwdriver. That's all. No weird gromets, pcb removal tools, torx screws, logic board moving etc.
    Only thing to be aware of: the 3 antenna's have little gold plated connectors on the wifi logic board. These will usually stay in place, but have a look at them before you start to remove anything. If they pop loose, you might need to click them back in place, and that is easier if you know where they belong.

    And take your shoes off, do it bare foot. Easier than all expensive anti-static measures.

    If you can work clean in the kitchen, capable of nice handwriting, or good with the sewing machine, you can do this. Just demands a relaxed and proper handworking attitude.

    And: consider doing RAM and drive at once. Upgrading now to 4GB, and to 8GB next year, and a new drive in between, is quite unnecessary. If you can afford to spend around 120$, grab 8GB and the Scorpio to have a maxed out machine ready for its next 4 years. The upgrade will add to its second hand value at least the money spend! A maxed out one can sell for 350-400$.
  5. TomT321 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2009

    Gentlemen, I appreciate your sound advice, looks like an upgrade to 4GB is in store.
  6. hudson1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2012
    Tom, another thing to do is a right click on your hard drive icon and then select Get Info from the menu. This will tell you how much data is on your drive and how much is available. Generally, you like to have not more than around five times used than available. Not a hard rule by any means but it is an indicator of whether the drive is becoming too full.
  7. errol macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2008
    If you are interested in a more advanced install, a solid state disk (SSD) will give your computer even more of a new life. There are install guides on youtube as well. See if you think you can do that, and consider buying one as well.
  8. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    The only foolish question is the one you didn't ask.

    For me, same computer, same problem last year. With an often slow internet connection (no phone line to my apartment so nominally 3G mobile, but not really), no credit card (banks don't trust aliens here) and no workshop resources, I left it in the local Apple dealer's workshop.

    They installed an extra 4GB of RAM (along side the original 1GB, so now 5GB in all), and Mountain Lion. They reckoned the HDD was good to go for a while longer so didn't replace it. The bill was 4000 baht (about $US 130), which I was OK with.....

    I have been more than happy with the result.

    Somewhere down the line I'll have to replace the HDD, and will likely install Mavericks when it comes out (at this stage it looks like an early 2009 with at least 4 GB of RAM will handle it). I may or may not have the 1 GB RAM card replaced with another 4GB.

    My early 2009 Mini should be good for a few more years.

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