How far can you go back in mini models?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by V6Pony, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. V6Pony macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    #1
    I'm thinking of buying a mac mini used. How far can you go back in models and still upgrade and run Mavericks? It the mac mini easy to upgrade HD and ram?

    Thanks
     
  2. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #2
    According to Mactracker, the earliest mini that will run Mavericks is the early 2009 model (MacMini3,1). I am running it on a late 2009 Mac mini Server with 4GB of memory. It works fine, but I think that 8GB and an SSD would turn it into a new machine.

    Prying apart a mini is a bit of a hassle, but not hard. Once open, you do have to be careful with small wires and cables. Otherworldcomputing and iFixit have videos which are very helpful.

    A.
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #3
    Early 2009 model and later.

    My mini is listed in signature. Wouldn't update due to poor igp on later models. Waiting on 2014 update personally.

    As for updates memory is simple twist and that's it. Hdd requires 30 minutes work but adding an ssd makes a massive difference.
     
  4. V6Pony thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    #4
    Thanks all. Any suggestions where would be a good place to buy a 2010 or 2011 model? I know there are a bunch listed on ebay. Not sure I always trust ebay. Ohh can the mini connect to an older crt monitor until I can get a new one?
     
  5. Alrescha, Jan 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #5
    You can connect a VGA monitor with an adapter.
     
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #6
    Added that after the op had mentioned 2010-2011 models
     
  7. jbarley, Jan 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014

    jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #7
    I've always had a good experience dealing here.
     
  8. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #8
    Yea, I need more coffee. Interestingly, your post does not say 'edited'.

    A.
     
  9. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #9
    Strange it should do I edited it twice. Apologies for the confusion.
     
  10. Delmar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    Early 2009 is the oldest Mini that can run Mavericks. Upgrading the hard drive & ram is a very simple procedure, I just upgraded the ram to 8GB in my Early 2009 not long ago, it took all of about 30 minutes to do the job.
     
  11. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    #11
    I'm running mavericks in the early 2009 with 2gb ram and original HD. I have 8gb and a 1tb sshd in the mail. I hope it helps, because I'm getting a lot of spinning beach balls.
     
  12. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #12
    My 2010 mini just got 8/960 SSD. Wow, what a difference. Consider hooking the drive externally (initially) for a clean install + migration. Gets things nice and tidy and gives you a chance to test it before putting it in.

    Mine does media - breathtaking FF and RW speeds!
     
  13. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    #13
    I wish I could have done ssd in that size! I got the toshiba sshd kit from owc that comes with an external enclosure, so that was my plan. How do I do a clean install of Mavericks? Do I have to install snow leopard from DVD first, then update, followed by migration assistant?

    I'm basically doing some fun home recording in Logic and basic iPhoto stuff in addition to hosting my home iTunes library (very large).
     
  14. Delmar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    My early 2009 Mac Mini is still running the original hard drive for now. After I upgraded the ram to 8GB it made a world of difference, I rarely see a beach ball & it's running OSX Mavericks.
     
  15. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #15
    Yeah, I was only going to do 480, but then I realized the extra space would give me a ton of extra capabilties. Ive been quite enjoying Mavericks server as a result.

    MacWorld has the best guides on how to install every new OS, but basically...

    1) connect the new drive to the outside of your mac (usb, fw, tb)
    2) download mavericks and move the installer out of the apps folder
    3) run disk utility and format the new drive (extended/journaled/GUID)
    4) run the installer
    5) install mavericks on the new drive
    6) boot with option key, select the new drive / install
    7) when it gets to migration screen, select mac
    8) at the selection screen, turn off applications
    9) finish boot, install all apps from scratch
    10) when you are happy with the install, swap drives
    11) keep the old drive as is / protected for a few week, just in case


    Steps 8-11 are my own design
     
  16. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    #16
    Cool. Thanks!
     
  17. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #17
    Why Mavericks on the old Mini's? The 2011 holds its value well because it is the last Snow Leopard capable machine. I never run into limitations with SL machines with software that does not work.
     
  18. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #18
    Forgot to mention

    12) step 5 automatically creates a recovery partition. A few days after everything is settled, boot with command R, load disk utility, and repair permissions three times (or until it stops finding stuff).

    13) install trim enabler (optional)


    I like 10.7 because it's the first OS with a fully fledged App Store
     
  19. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    #19
    Should I install the trim enabler for use with the hybrid SSHD? Could it hurt to install it?
     
  20. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    #20
    I got my new Toshiba SSHD and 8GB of ram installed. Beachballs seem to have disappeared. System is running much better. Doesn't seem like a new machine or something right out of the store, but it is a 5 year old computer. I haven't been able to run Logic through its paces yet - I'm looking forward to that...

    Thanks for the advice. Install was MUCH easier than I was expecting. I think the whole thing - installing ram and replacing the hard drive - took about 20-30 minutes.
     
  21. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #21
    Go ahead and install it, it will either work or not, and will do no harm either way.
     
  22. fredr500 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #22
    Why not migrate the apps? Finding the installers and serial numbers are the reason I hate to do clean installs.
     
  23. jbsmithmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    #23
    The mailman is delivering my 2009 Mac Mini MB463LL/A 2.00GHz Core 2 Duo 160GB with 4GB of memory tomorrow. I was planning on putting OS X 10.8.5 on it and solely running this as a mini server for my home. PLEX (maybe) and to do some nightly jobs for my websites.

    Anyone see any issues with that? Based on my reading this should be more that capable.
     
  24. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #24
    Hmm.

    1) Unchecking apps doesn't prevent prefs/settings/registrations from coming over. The newly installed apps 'connect' to the old apps info and launch right up. The key advantage of not migrating apps is not clearing out all app info, but providing the opportunity not to reinstall unused apps. I tend to experience through the year or two between big versions.

    2) App Store apps are very easy to reinstall

    3) I have an installation server, with disk images and the like all ready to go

    4) mavericks server may make this even easier

    5) im a bit lazy about upgrading. some of my apps need outright replacement regardless
     

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