Help with SSD installation.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by McN00b, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. McN00b, Oct 15, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012

    McN00b macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2012
    English is not my native language so please bear with me.

    Greetings Macrumors,

    I just bought the Mac Mini MC815XX/A, Mac Mini5.1, and I managed to installed 8 GB RAM by myself... yeah!

    I want to install a SSD (system disk only) and I have some questions for you before I start.

    1. Which SSD should I buy? What about Intel 330 120 GB or Samsung 830 128 GB?

    2. What tools do I need? Torx T6, T8. H2 and spudger?

    3. I don't have to buy the extra SATA cable if I just want to install the SSD and remove the 500 GB traditional HDD that came with the computer?

    5. When I have installed the SSD. Can I just use the OS X Internet Recovery to install OS X via Internet on the new drive? Do I have to format the drive via disc utility?

    Thank you.
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    would you consider an external ssd via thunderbolt? putting in a second drive to your mini takes some work and extra cables are needed. there are some nice external solutions that are easy to do.

    Btw more then one mini has been broken adding the second drive to it. I used to sell upgraded minis on ebay and I have done this mod more then once. For my own personal minis I use thunderbolt as my ssd solution.
  3. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    Go for a Samsung 830 SSD - very reliable and fast.
    You'll probably need a Torx 6 screwdriver also.
  4. xheathen macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    I think it would depend on how tech savvy you consider yourself. Personally, I am from a long history of computer building, laptop repair, etc. So it was a fun challenge to finally open the mini up and completely disassemble it, which if you are ADDING an SSD you will have to take it completely apart.

    I recommend this: just so you'll have all the screws and the cable to to it.

    If you are not adding it, but replacing the current drive, then it's much easier upgrade.

    But if you would not consider yourself a very computer handy person, I would go with philipma1957's solution. With my experience I watched several online videos multiple times, read blogs and also had my ipad right next to me playing the video while I worked step-by-step and it was still a little harrowing. Took about 30 minutes top to bottom on my first try.

    I'd go with the Samsung 830 personally. Great deal on right on them.
  5. BigP macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2012

    So from the videos just replacing the current HD with an SSD looks fairly basic. Can you comment on in your experience if this is correct?

    Also after removing the drive is it possible to install ML using the Internet Recovery without the original disk installed or in an enclosure?

    Thank you for your help!

  6. djc6 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I don't know about using Internet Recovery; I think it'll restore Lion or whatever OS the system originally shipped with?

    Anyways, when I installed SSD in my mac mini, I made a bootable usb flash drive with the mountain lion installer on it:
  7. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I would purchase a cheap FireWire enclosure and use it to clone your existing hard disk to the SSD. Then, after you swap them, you will have a backup disk. You can use CCC to clone them, or just use the Disk Utility restore function.

  8. McN00b thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2012
    Thanks for the help. I have decided to install a SSD and keep the traditional HDD as well. I have ordered the necessary tools. Delivery in about 10-14 days.
  9. djc6 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    When I did this (I used the kit from OWC) I created a bootable mountain lion USB flash drive using the directions in my previous comment.

    I booted off the usb flash drive, partitioned the SSD, installed mountain lion on the SSD, and then setup assistant offered to migrate my data off of the "traditional" HD. It was very smooth and straightforward! My HDD had Lion on it.
  10. treatment macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Go to

    These guys are the MASTERS of teaching you how to rip apart any Mac.
    Find out EXACTLY what you need with step-by-step tutorials.

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