Help: Major problem installing a 2nd drive (SSD) in 2011 i5 Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by pullman, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. pullman macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #1
    I've installed an Intel 520 SSD in the second bay in my mum's 2011 Mac Mini. I used OWC's kit and the installation went well.

    For two days now I have tried cloning over the OS from the HDD to the SSD but I can't get the computer to boot from the SSD. I cloned using both SuperDuper and CCC.

    Initially I had problems getting the cloning operation to complete but I suspect that was because I forgot to turn off Spotlight on the SSD before cloning.

    Once I managed to clone the HDD, I can select the SSD under Sys Prefs - Startup Disk but the system won't boot from it. I notice this because after a reboot About this Mac reports that the HDD is the boot disk even though I selected the SSD. At the beginningo f the boot, sometimes the apple symbol (on the grey) screen flickers a few times between the apple and the circle with a diagonal line through it, which I take to mean that the SSD isn't ok. Then the computer defaults to the HDD instead.

    Also, if I click Option to get the boot menu on startup and select the SSD, I will only get a grey screen with the apple symbol and the spinner. I can leave this for ten minutes without the system booting fully.

    I've run AHT (normal, not extended) but problems are reported. Disk Utility reports no errors on the SSD.

    Could it be that the Mini can only boot from one of the drive bays?
    Or is my SSD faulty? - does Intel have a special diagnostics tool perhaps?

    I'm a bit at a loss here so would appreciate some help.

    Thanks very much in advance
    Philip
     
  2. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #2
    2 Things which might be the problem, I have been reading here a lot and think one of this casing this problem.

    1. It needs to be in the other SATA slot to be bootable.

    Or

    2. It's an Intel with a Sandforce chip, I know there are some wjich can't boot with a certain chip inside the computer you use.

    One of these could be the problem.
     
  3. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply!

    The Intel 520 does use the SF2281. I found this page which talks of a bug between the Intel 520 and an Nvidia MCP79 chipset.

    Where do I see which chipset is installed in our Mini?

    Cheers
    Philip
     
  4. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #4
    Seems like it is not inside your Min, your Mini has Intel HD Graphics 3000 or AMD Radeon HD 6630M inside so no NVidia.

    So, that leaves the other one, move it over and see if that helps, maybe the other slot is not fully SATA 3 and if this is the case it might also cause this problem.

    Edit: In MacTracker it says : Hard Drive Interface 6.0 Gbps Serial ATA (SATA)
     
  5. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #5
    Thanks again. I guess I'll have to swap them to know for sure.

    I did reset the PRAM and suddenly the SSD is being recognised and I can boot from it. BUT it is intermittent. I select SSD as the new startup disk and then it boots, but on next (re or cold) boot the computer goes to the HDD.

    Reaaaallly weird behaviour. It's as if the startup disk selection doesn't stick.
     
  6. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #6
    No, it should work when holding the option key at startup and then selecting the SSD, don't think Startup disk is the problem.

    I know some 2011 MBP have a SATA 2-3 connection in the Optical space but some seem to have problems with booting from SATA 3
     
  7. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Did you try a raw install of OS? I.e. through the Internet Recovery wizard. Instead of using CCC or SuperDuper.

    You could do that via Internet Recovery (CMD-Option-R) or via an external recovery boot USB disk.

    It will build a Recovery Partition in that mode where as cloning the way you do it will not put the recovery partition in. You could then boot from the recovery partition and use time machine rebuild.

    Also where is the old drive with the OS on it? Try cloning from it with Disk Utility in Recovery Partition using the Restore option. That will draw the whole disk image across including the hidden recovery drive (as an alternate cloning option). I find Restore via Disk Utility in the Recovery Drive is better than CCC or Super Duper for cloning full OS images.

    I find the raw install though (as a fail safe) works well with problematic drives and RAID-0. You let the system build it from scratch.

    You can always use migration assistant after if you build from scratch.

    Although as the other poster said, you may have a hardware conflict which makes all the above redundant.

    Also see this post:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1583875

    He has a slightly different issue but in the last few posts I talk about a similar issue with getting a new OS drive to boot and he seems to fix it. Might help.
     
  8. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #8
    Using CCC or Disk Utility makes no difference, CCC is in fact using OS X commands to work.

    The RAW install and then using TimeMachine or Migration assistant will end up with the same OS, so it also does not make a difference.
     
  9. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Recovery in Disk Util will copy across the hidden recovery drive. Are you saying CCC can also do this? If so that is good but it certainly never use to.

    E.g.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1310252

    The raw install can make a difference sometimes when a drive or RAID array is being difficult to clone and get to boot. It is not about the OS being the same; it is about building it from scratch the way it was meant to be built (in the consumer enviro that is). It is the fail safe to be sure everything is being put in place (recovery partitions etc) that should be. I am not saying you are right or wrong but I have built a lot of Macs and that is always the last option that usually works for me if cloning is problematic with a new drive or array. Although I do not do so many RAID-0s anymore since SSDs have come on the market.

    Anyway, I am just throwing up suggestions. Most often they work, occasionally they don't.

    :)
     
  10. TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

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    #10
    To the OP:
    What partition format did you use on the SSD?
     
  11. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #11
    Yes, the paid/later version of CCC has that option built in.
     
  12. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #12
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I very much appreciate all your suggestions, good or bad :) !

    The SSD is GUID and Mac OS Extended (Journaled). DU also reports SMART status as "controlled".

    I wasn't aware DU could copy over a drive including the Recovery partition. How do I do this?

    I still have the mechanical drive in the computer and the OS is still on it.

    Cheers and many thanks for your continued help.
    philip
     
  13. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #13
    There area few ways but I find it is best to do it free from both the drives. I.e. not running off one while you copy it. So create a Recovery USB disk which will let you boot from it.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1433

    Then boot from it by hitting 'Option' at the start up chime and choose the USB drive (usually yellow icon).

    Then simply run Disk Util when it starts up and click one of the drives to bring up the 'Restore' tab as an option. Then drag the two disk in to the relevant window and hit 'Restore'.

    Also from memory you need to drag the disks not the partition.

    Before you shut down (after the restore) you can also choose the start up disk as the new one by clicking the little apple icon in the top left.

    Also I do wonder if having the old boot disk in there is causing problems. It shouldn't and you should simply be able to choose between the two but...

    You could try levering the sata ribbon of the old OEM drive at the logic board connector point so it is 'unplugged' and seeing if the SSD is then forced to boot as the only OS option?

    Anyway I hope those options works.
     
  14. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #14
    Bold, again I have to disagree with you :p;), I have done so for years and years and never had any problem, heck, I think it is even more dangerous not to startup from the HD to be copied, reason, you can't wipe your boot disk.

    You only make it more difficult than it needs to be, All data can be read when using either CCC or DU, it is running as root and can read ALL data.

    CCC or DU will both work, no need to do what you said here and in your first post, a Carbon Copy is working, these issues have (imo) little to do with it.
     
  15. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Half a dozen of one and 6 of the other... :)

    From reading his post though I will be surprised if any cloning option works given the flickering of the apple graphic and hanging etc. It sounds like a faulty (or conflicting) SSD to me as you noted. He is not just talking about the SSD refusing to boot. He actually has some boot-up gremlins that are not at all normal in the circumstances.
     
  16. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #16
    Maybe a good idea is to send it back and get another one.

    Could be anything but I think myself the SATA 3 port is acting up, early 2011 MBP's optical bay as a reference, some drives won't boot or have stability problems in that port, I guess it is the same here.
    The easiest for him to check this is to move it over to the other SATA connector, send it back if that fails again.
     
  17. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #17
    I booted into the Recovery partition on the (OEM) HDD and tried restoring that drive to the SSD. I got two errors.

    First error -254 which happens right away. From googling a bit I discovered this may have to do with having chosen the drive as opposed to the volume as source/target.

    So selecting the volumes (but remaining confused as to how the recovery partition could be included in the restore if I choose the volume and not the boot drive) the restore began. However it stopped after a few minutes complaining about an "input/output error". No further information given.

    The boot volume then remained greyed out, as if unmounted, and sure enough I could not boot from it because the Start Disk utility didn't list a boot volume. Panic ensued for a second until I realised that, luckily, I had a clone on a USB drive. Having booted from that, I could, in fact, access and reboot from the original HDD boot volume (and, oddly, DU found no errors).

    Something's going on but I don't know what. I will now open the computer and verify the SATA connections.
     
  18. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #18
    Told opinio to not even bother with a clean install.:p , seems I was right.;)

    Bold, you really should move the drive over to the other SATA slot, send it if that does not work.
    Input/Output is something to think about, it means it could not read/write, or a communication Error. (SATA slot?)
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #19
    "Something's going on but I don't know what. I will now open the computer and verify the SATA connections."

    My suggestion:
    Swap the position of the drives.
    You want the SSD to be in the location that the HDD was originally in, when you first opened the case.

    Do the swap and then try it that way.

    What happens?
     
  20. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #20
    He didn't do a clean install? It was a drive clone using Restore. Lol
     
  21. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

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    #21
    reseat the sata cable that OWC sent, they can easily come loose when reseating the components.

    Otherwise you have either a glitchy/faulty SSD or SATA cable. I have used a few of the OWC kits and some have arrived DOA/faulty.
     
  22. peterson12 macrumors member

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    #22
    No problems updating to OS X 10.8.3 with the Intel 520 SSD installed (unlike X25M SSD owners that didn't have the latest firmware for it, noted in Mar 14th news). it seems this issue would be fixed OCZ aswell, i had serched for this issue and find similar kind of link please check this http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/feedback/2012macMiniSSDswap.html
     
  23. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #23
    Thanks!

    Thanks again everybody for the suggestions and creative thinking.

    I switched places of the drives (placing the SSD in the lower bay, as in the one closest to the underside of the Mini). This required swapping the cables, too of course.

    Having booted into the HDD's Recovery volume, I managed to restore the HDD's boot volume onto the SSD without a hitch. The SSD installation/copy seems stable and smooth-running enough so hopefully all's well.

    I'll just have to verify that the computer runs well also from the HDD, in case there is a problem with the cable.

    I'll start a thread about suggestions for a backup/cloning strategy for this two-drive setup.

    Thanks again for all your help.
    Philip
     

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