Help with setting up mac mini single SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ramram55, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. ramram55 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    I have 256gb Crucial ssd M4, samsung hdtv and apple wireless keyboard in hand.
    My question is if I buy a mac mini (2011 or 2012 not sure), what is necessary to get it set up with 1 single ssd in the mac only, such as cloning over the OS ?
    What extra to buy to get the ssd into the mini ? I do not expect to do a lot with the mini, just for surfing and photos editing.
    Since I have a macbook pro have done HD ssd swapping, ram upgrade. Just to get an idea the degree of difficulty in setting up the mini.
  2. ToomeyND macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2011

    Since you didn't mention owning a mouse.

    An hdmi cable.

    I'm not recommending these specific products, but it looks like you COULD get the job done for under $20.

    Hold option-R on initial boot for a fresh install on your m4. I don't know for certain that this is possible without actually buying Mountain Lion on the App Store, but it sounds from other posts that it may be.

    Degree of difficulty depends on where the HDD was installed. If the bottom (which is on top when the mini is flipped upside down), then the DoD is probably a 3.5-4. If it is in the top (which is the bottom when the mini is flipped upside down), then it is probably a 7. That increase in DoD is making damn sure you don't damage the cables that you need to disconnect when removing the mobo.

    After taking apart my mini 4 times, I can now disconnect the entire thing, install an SSD in the upper tray (which is in the bottom slot when flipped upside down), and put back together in about 10 minutes. ifixit or the OWC instructions are good for this. First attempt I took about 1.5 hours to make sure I did everything carefully and well documented. Once I learned where all the screws went, time dropped dramatically.
  3. ramram55 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    Thanks. Mouse, cable and tools have it in my hand. It is a matter of getting the mini.
  4. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    #5 has the full kit and video etc. you can see how difficult it will be on the vid.
  5. Zilkir macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    If you don't want to do the install yourself, and you have a Microcenter (or another trustworthy store) nearby, they charge $40 to remove the old HD and put in the SSD. I just had that done this weekend.

    When I got home I had it install the OS, and when that was done I told it to use a recent Time Machine backup to restore my settings and applications. It took a few hours, but when I woke up the next day the system was 100% the same as before I started, except it was now much faster.
  6. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    how did you install the OS with a blank SSD drive In there

    When you turn the Mac mini on with the b
    Empty ssd drive what did it say ?
  7. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    You will need to boot into Internet Recovery by holding CMD Option R (all three keys together) at boot up the second you hear the chime. Then follow the prompts to install OSX.

    Otherwise you can restore from Time Machine.

    Or clone from another disk or image.
  8. ramram55 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    Clone means super duper or carbon copy clone to external ssd and install the ssd into mini as internal ?
  9. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    Yes, do that first. OR clone the original to another drive and restore from that to the new SSD. If you forgot (as I did), then get a handy dandy USB - SATA cable to connect the old internal to the Mini.
  10. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    So is this the steps I need to take

    I have time machine backups in an external drive

    1-remove the Mac mini drive & put the ssd in there
    1- turn on the mini, I will get a popup saying I need to format the ssd , I should format the ssd to mac journal
    3-in Internet recovery I should install a fresh mountain lion
    4-during mountain lion setup I have the option to add a time machine backup, I choose my latest time machine backup

    Is that all ?
  11. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    Do you have a USB drive of 64GB minimum ? Iomega or equivalent ?
    If so then do this :

    1. Clone existing drive to USB drive (check that it boots OK)
    2. Swap drives - remove existing, install new
    3. Boot from USB drive
    4. Clone USB to new
    5. Unplug USB drive

    I didn't clone my old drive, so when I installed the new one, Internet Recovery didn't want to work (there was no recovery partition on the new drive). So I had to go buy a SATA-USB cable to reconnect the old drive.

    Of course I could have just not found the right way to start Internet Recovery.
  12. Che Castro, Jun 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013

    Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    Why do I need to clone the Mac OS drive when I have time machine backup of the OS in an external drive ?

    Will it let me install from time machine during Internet recovery ?

    Or use assistant manager to install my settings & apps from time machine after installing a fresh mountain lion OS
  13. opinio, Jun 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013

    opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    If you just want to install from Time Machine, and not a new OS, that is reasonably easy (as I learnt recently :)). You just plug in the Time Machine drive and start the mini. The The mini should boot into the time machine drive and bring up a 'recovery OS' that is similar to the recovery drive or internet recovery. There is a recovery OS on the Time Machine drive so you will not need to go into Internet reovery. In my post above, I thought you wanted to install an OS.

    Anyway, then format the SSD in the disk utility (journaled). Then restore from time machine. All these options are available in the time machine 'OS'.

    No need to clone or download the OS with this option.

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