How to use a newly installed 2nd hard drive in a Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by belltree, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. belltree macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2008
    Tokyo, Japan
    I just picked up a 2012 Mac Mini (quad core i7) today and want to add an SSD and either 8 or 16GB RAM. What I would like to know is how I should be using the drives after the SSD is added:

    1. DIY Fusion (new SSD + stock 1TB HDD 5,400 rpm)

    2. OS on SSD. User folder data 1TB HDD (not sure how this is done?).

    3. OS and user folder data on SDD. 1TB HDD for additional data.

    I would think that in order of preference the best would be option #1 then #2 with #3 being the last but I am welcome any suggestions and advice.

    Note: Does anyone have any suggestions for what SDD brand/model/capacity to go with? I am, at this time, thinking either 128 or 256GB but not sure which brand or model is best (Intel, Samsung, Crucial, etc?).

    Note #2: I should add that I will be migrating my data from old 2009 Mac Mini to the new one.

    Thank you.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    How I set mine up:
    No less than SEVEN drive icons on my desktop at all times.

    SSD (boot partition): OS, user account (home folders lightly used), applications.
    SSD (data partition): important data files

    HDD (first partition): cloned backup of SSD boot partition
    HDD (data partition): cloned backup of SSD data partition
    HDD: (music partition): most all my music files
    HDD: (media partition): movies, videos, books, photos
    HDD: (general partition): various files that are non-essential but which I still want copies of, such as OS and updates, software dmg files, etc.

    Using the first two partitions of the HDD as cloned backups of the SSD is for protection if the SSD fails. An HDD will often "slow down" before a full failure, giving some warning and giving the user an opportunity to do something before the drive fails completely. But (from what I've read) an SSD will fail "totally and completely", as in -- just "gone". This can leave one in a very awkward position without a cloned backup.

    Yes, the cloned backups represent a little more work (and drive icons), but they are great insurance against failure.
  3. dhmoore74 macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    I just bought the 2012 i7 and upgraded RAM to 16GB and installed a new Samsung EVO 840 SSD for the OS. I am installing the original 1TB 5400 RPM drive as a Data drive tonight with the kit from iFix IT.

    I plan to move the Home folder from the SSD to the Data Drive (HHD). This is an easy move. In preferences under user accounts, select advanced and change the path for the Home folder. This is where I will store all pictures, music, movies, etc...
  4. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Like you I also just bought a 2012 mini and I plan on doing the following:

    1. 2nd HDD add on kit
    2. Getting 512gb SSD
    3. Installing Yosemite on SSD
    4. Buying a Seagate 2TB 'Slim' portable HDD and ripping the Hard drive out for $80
    5. Putting the 2TB drive inside the mini and then the original 1TB in the seagate enclosure for backups
    4. Putting iTunes and Lightroom libraries all on the 2TB drive.

    For me, it's my music collection and photos that eat up all my space.
  5. belltree thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2008
    Tokyo, Japan

    What brand and model of SSD are you going to purchase?


    Thanks. I think I will go this route also.
    When using Time Machine in this configuration I assume it will still only back up the user folder as per normal.
  6. Ctsvnino macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2014
    I'm doing the same. Im installing my ssd then go into fresh install for OS X Yosemite. Once it's finished erasing my hdd and using it as data only. And having my backup on my book wd external hdd.

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