Help adding SSD to my 2012 Mini

bad03xtreme

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Original poster
Jul 16, 2009
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Northern, VA
I upgraded my 2012 Mac Mini to 16GB of Ram but she's still a little sluggish so I want to add an SSD drive. I have watched the various youtube videos and think I could do the install myself but I was curious if there was somewhere that does this type of thing and what the cost is.
 

barbu

macrumors 6502
Jul 8, 2013
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wpg.mb.ca
I upgraded my 2012 Mac Mini to 16GB of Ram but she's still a little sluggish so I want to add an SSD drive. I have watched the various youtube videos and think I could do the install myself but I was curious if there was somewhere that does this type of thing and what the cost is.
Depends on your locale and what options are available there. You could use an authorized service centre or a local tech. However, I bet you could do it yourself, if you have the slightest shred of mechanical sympathy and the right tools.
 

kohlson

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Apr 23, 2010
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A quick look at ifixit, which I think is as good as it gets for DIY on these, shows "Moderate" with several steps and use of a few specialized tools. I believe a local Mac repair shop could do this pretty easily. And if you cloned your current drive to the new SSD before installation it would be pretty seamless on your part.

In my experience, if you're not that interested in doing this yourself, then don't. But swapping in an SSD will make your system perform better than new.
 
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bad03xtreme

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Jul 16, 2009
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Northern, VA
That was my main concern, getting the new SSD setup prior to installing. I wanted to use the current HD as a backup for photos/music but dont want to mess anything up copying the data to the new SSD.
 

barbu

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Jul 8, 2013
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That was my main concern, getting the new SSD setup prior to installing. I wanted to use the current HD as a backup for photos/music but dont want to mess anything up copying the data to the new SSD.
I'd recommend an inexpensive SATA - USB bridge. Put the SSD in there, connect to Mac, then use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your HDD to the SSD. Then you are ready for a swap with a bit-perfect copy and you won't miss a beat. Or get the tech you hire to do that :p
 

bad03xtreme

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Jul 16, 2009
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Northern, VA
Awesome, I think I will go that route and do the install myself. The software transfer was more daunting to me than the actual hardware portion. Here is the kit I plan on getting, are there better choices out there?
Amazon Mac Mini SSD
 

barbu

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Jul 8, 2013
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wpg.mb.ca
Awesome, I think I will go that route and do the install myself. The software transfer was more daunting to me than the actual hardware portion. Here is the kit I plan on getting, are there better choices out there?
Amazon Mac Mini SSD
that kit is for having the SSD and the HDD installed, is that what you intend to do? I believe that kit would be a bit more work to install since you have to access and remove the optical drive as well as everything else.

For a straight-ahead SSD swap, I would go with the Samsung Evo series. I picked up a 500 GB 860 Evo for $75 CAD, prices have gotten very good these days!
 

bad03xtreme

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 16, 2009
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Northern, VA
that kit is for having the SSD and the HDD installed, is that what you intend to do? I believe that kit would be a bit more work to install since you have to access and remove the optical drive as well as everything else.

For a straight-ahead SSD swap, I would go with the Samsung Evo series. I picked up a 500 GB 860 Evo for $75 CAD, prices have gotten very good these days!
I was planning on using the original HDD for storage for photos and music files so the SSD doesn't get filled rapidly. I suppose a 1TB SSD would be sufficient storage but I wasn't sure if it affects performance.
 

barbu

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Jul 8, 2013
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I was planning on using the original HDD for storage for photos and music files so the SSD doesn't get filled rapidly. I suppose a 1TB SSD would be sufficient storage but I wasn't sure if it affects performance.
If it were me, this is what I'd do:

- purchase inexpensive 2.5" SATA disk enclosure.
- install new SSD into the enclosure
- attach to Mac, run CCC and get your system onto the SSD
- Boot from the SSD in the USB enclosure to ensure everything is as you expect
- remove SSD from enclosure
- disassemble Mac, remove HDD and install SSD
- boot to confirm everything is good
- place HDD into enclosure and screw it down
- attach to Mac, wipe the HDD, then set it up as Time Machine or whatever you like.

this, to me, is preferable because you have made your mini much cooler (and likely a bit faster) due to much improved thermal conditions from removing the HDD. Plus, you have easy access to the HDD, you can replace it later with something bigger or faster, etc. This way, you only have to take it apart once :)
 
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Bandaman

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Aug 28, 2019
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You’re going to be mad at yourself for not doing this sooner because the speed difference is going to be night and day. :)
 
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Heat_Fan89

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Feb 23, 2016
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I installed a Crucial 250GB SSD in my 2012 Mini. With the original 5400rpm drive, Mojave booted in 1m:18s. With the Crucial SSD, Mojave boots in under 18s to desktop. General apps tend to open a little quicker but you'll definitely notice the drastically reduced boot time.
 
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