I bought the i7 base model tonight!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Cape Dave, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Cape Dave macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I run my business on Windows and will get Windows running on it and add 16GB of ram and a nice SSD before I really even turn it on.

    I have studied much but still have 2 questions.

    1. If I put the SSD in first, how can I get MAC OS back on to it if I choose? (I will be selling the 1TB drive on eBay)

    2. Can I close my current Windows install to an external SSD and have the mini boot right up to that without even setting up OSX?

    I guess I will find out for myself if this beast will be quiet enough and cool enough :)

    I just cannot stand having a big old desktop computer (I built it and it is kick ass, but just too big)

    Tahsnk much in advance, Dave
     
  2. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #2
    OK, I have a new plan... Setup the 1TB disk that came with the mini with OSX as per usual. Then, clone that to my external 512 SSD Vector, then insert that SSD into the mini following OWC most excellent video.

    Then, I will install a fresh Windows on that with BootCamp. I think that wold be simplest.

    I sure would like to be able to boot my current windows install from an external SSD until I get all my stuff loaded on to the fresh dual boot install of Windows, but I am beginning to think that is a pipe dream :(
     
  3. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #3
    You can create a bootable OS X USB thumb drive:
    http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20110831105634716
    Test this before you disassemble your Mac!

    The other alternative is the Apple OS X internet recovery via the EFI:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718
    (this requires a 99.99 percent reliable internet connection)

    :)
     
  4. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I think I will try the second way if my initial clone does not work. I know enough to be dangerous, but have never worked with MACs specifically but once in 15 years.
     
  5. opinio, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013

    opinio macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I will be interested to see how your Vector goes. I started a thread a few weeks back on trying to get feed back on speeds etc on the Vector but got nothing specific. I am just wondering about real world speeds compared to the 840 Pro.

    Also I find the easiest way to put your old OS X on a new drive is to boot from the Time Machine Drive. It has a 'recovery drive' on the Time Machine Drive. If the new drive has no OS and the TM drive is plugged in the MM should boot from it after a minute or so. Otherwise hit the 'Option' key at the start-up chime and choose the TM drive to boot from.

    Once in the TM recovery drive you can just click restore from the lates TM backup and your up and running.

    Personally, I would rebuild the OS if it is a new Mac. I know it usually works without a hitch but I do not like to install TM backups from one Mac (say my MBA) to another mac (say my 2012 MM). I would just install the SSD and hit CMD-Option-R at the start-up chime and boot into Internet Recovery and install a new OS.

    EDIT: Ahhh might have to scrap all that as I have no experience with the boot camp side of it. I use Parallels instead which does work with TM. Still something might help.
     
  6. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    If I take out the original drive, install the SSD, can I still boot to Internet recovery mode? Thanks. Dave

    PS I am getting more RAM and waiting to do the whole thing at once as my goal is to only open the mini once. I too am very curious about the Vector. This will also give me a chance, before I install the Vector to update the firmware! I do not like to update firmware on my operating drive, which the Vector currently is.

     
  7. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Yes, you need to use CMD-Option-R not CMD-R to get the internet recovery to kick in. Obviously you need internet as well. Internet recovery will download similar options that are found in the standard recovery drive so you can format the SSD from it before you instal the new OS.

    I have installed new firmware on Agility 3 and Vertex 3 SSDs with an OS on and no problems. But you are right it would be better tpo do a clean firmware update and then install the OS.
     
  8. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    OK, I think I got it. I am clearing the decks so I can focus on this in a few days. Need to order the RAM. Need to get the $$$ to order the RAM :)

    Looks like I need to get a MAC keyboard too :(
     
  9. trazanka macrumors newbie

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #9
    Parallels or 2nd drive option

    There are two other alternatives, I run an engineering business and we run very intensive graphic and cpu demanding software in Parallels, that way we have the benefit of all the native Mac programs and only use the virtual machine for Windows only programs.

    The second option is to buy a data doubler kit from OWC to install a 2nd drive inside the MM enclosure. All of our MM servers already come with two drives so it would not be an issue, then you can choose which drive you want to boot to.

    Good luck and congrats!

    Gary

    One more thing, just thought of, another advantage of Parallels is once you have setup your software, serial numbers, software updates, etc., you can save that virtual machine to a backup drive, if it ever gets corrupted you can just grab it off the drive and you are running in less then an hour vs reinstalling all the software again, in a pinch you could run it off the back up drive without ever copying it over.
     
  10. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Thanks for all the ideas. I have tried Parallels the one time I had a MAC book for a few weeks and found that I preferred Boot Camp. There are certainly advantages to both.

    But I am in Windows 99.9 % of the time and I love speed.

    I will have a few days to decide as my RAM has yet to be ordered :)

    Still cannot believe I bought it! I have been reading this Forum for awhile now.
     
  11. blanka macrumors 68000

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #11
    When did you try Parallels? Virtualisation has become really mature lately.
    I use Virtual Box 4 with Windows 8 Pro, and oh boy that works awesome! Windows boots in 8 seconds without any ugly screens! Try that on any PC. In Full Screen mode, I don't know I'm working virtual.
     
  12. TC25 macrumors 68020

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    #12
    What apps do you run that will benefit from an SSD that warrants tearing apart a new Mini?

    You do not need to tear it apart to install the memory.

    P.S.
    I just bought the same model Mini and installed 16 gb memory I bought from OWC.
     
  13. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    I like an SSD for speed/boot time generally and quietness and less heat. No programs specifically that require it.

    I have seen the install video and I can handle that. I will be moving my current Vector 512GB into it.

    Yeah, the RAM is super easy :)

    I have this feeling that the next mini will have the new PCIe SSD and I will go crazy to get it :) BUt for sure getting one with a 512GB will be very pricey I am sure.
     
  14. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Long story. I had to get this up and running fast as my main computer had a major meltdown.

    So I just booted up to OSX, installed Parallels, and then WINDOWS. So I am up in a kind of "safe mode" way with no programs but net and email access. Sheesh.

    Gonna buy a PSU at Staples and if that does not fix my main machine, I may have toasted the mainboard :( Ouch!

    But the good news is I love the mini! It is quiet, and possible fast. I cannot tell as I am using the 5400 1TB drive it came with and I have used an SSD for so long it seems very slow. But I am pretty sure that when I get the SSD in the mini, I will be extremely happy.

    I should have dropped my clunker of a desktop long ago. Mini's rule!
     
  15. trazanka macrumors newbie

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #15
    Congrats and enjoy the machine!

    Good luck with Parallels, I think you will find it quite convenient to be able to work in both systems at the same time, make sure if you are using mainly windows to change the settings to give more RAM, CPU and video memory to the virtual machine.

    For most of our engineering work we dedicate 3 CPU's to the virtual and 6 to 8GB of RAM, that amount will be based on how much you actually have. If you did get the 16GB then it will be no problem.

    Again, congratulations!
     
  16. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Thanks! My RAM comes tomorrow. That goes in easy. I almost want to forgo the SSD install. But a 5400 RPM drive is just so like a dinosaur.

    Still, I guess I could try it.

    Looking forward to the experience. And I was able though a strange twist of fate to get my computer working, so now I can take my time building out the mini with all my stuff like I originally planned.
     
  17. opinio, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013

    opinio macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Apart from the new windows build you have just put into parallels, you can actually rip your old windows OS from the pc and make it a virtual machine in parallels. Parallels has a transfer app for this. I did it few years ago and put windows 7 from a toshi laptop on my mac. That way you can have access to your old windows OS and new windows OS and then throw your old pc if it is unstable.

    http://kb.parallels.com/en/115007

    Just a point worth noting though is that I believe you still need to put in your windows keys after you boot the migrated OS. I.e. you need to re activate windows.
     
  18. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Thanks, I had wondered about that. I am a bit dreading my fresh install. I have stuff just how I like it on my old computer, which is now its usual rock solid after a few strange moments that I could post if wanted. A real Laurel and Hardy moment.

    Do you think I could import that into Parallels from an external SSD that was the one in my old computer? Anyways, I will check the link, that would be very interesting.
     
  19. trazanka, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013

    trazanka macrumors newbie

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    #19
    I have used Parellels Migrate Windows from a PC option one time, it worked successfully but it seemed like it took a couple hours to do, make sure you have enough hard drive space to keep both VM's unless you are going to delete the one you just created when you got the machine, don't want to run out of space in the middle.


    Go to the File/New menu and it will popup the New Virtual Machine dialog box, click on Migrate Windows from a PC button, it will then walk you thru transferring with their Parallels USB Cable if you have it, or thru your network or External Storage Device.

    I did mine thru the network connection.

    Good luck.
     
  20. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Got it. Thanks for the clarification. I will be keeping my old computer up through the process so that will give me my safety net. And I will not run out of room :) That would suck :)
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #21
    [[ If I put the SSD in first, how can I get MAC OS back on to it if I choose? (I will be selling the 1TB drive on eBay) ]]

    Don't sell the factory HDD. Instead, either keep it inside, or keep it OUTside and use it as a backup drive.

    Another way to do it (and you don't have to fool with opening the Mini or buying an additional ribbon cable for the inside):
    Buy an SSD and an external enclosure or USB3/SATA "docking station", and use the SSD as an "external booter". It will boot and run nearly as fast as an internally-installed SSD, without any of the installation hassles.

    Since you're running a business on the Mini, once you have the SSD set up, PARTITION the internal HDD, and use CarbonCopyCloner to create a bootable clone [of the SSD] on the HDD as well. Now you are protected by having an INSTANTLY BOOTABLE COPY of all your important stuff close-at-hand for those "emergency moments".
     
  22. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Excellent advice. I am having no luck with Parallels migration. I used their software to "migrate" to an external drive, but when that drive is plugged into the Mini and I am following the migration process, there is no file to latch onto. It is just all my stuff but no pvm file to start the migration.

    I am going to do a fresh install and I think I am going to put the SSD inside. I can do that. I have many external backup drives which I would love to be able to clone to and use as a backup boot device.

    All this because I am trying to avoid a fresh install :) I have cloned my current machine so many times it is actually time for a fresh install of OS. In this case Windows 8.
     
  23. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Got it apart, but could not get hard drive out. Need stronger glasses and maybe another tool. Most likely gonna take it to the apple shop and have them do it. I only have so much patience.

    Then I will install all the software and then I will have a new small computer.

    I have new respect for how they put this together and the factory workers that do it. I tip my hat to them and salute.
     
  24. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Did you follow the guides on iFixit or OWC? There are videos for DIY on OWC.
     
  25. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #25
    I actually looked at them both. I was good until they said, pull out the hard drive. There was no way to get a grip and I ripped that damn paper.

    Plus I really need much stronger glasses for that type of work. I was wearing my readers, the strongest I had. Or get a magnifying lamp. I lack a proper workbench as well.

    In my defense, it did look like the inside of mine was a bit different than what was in the vids.

    Good thing I am not a brain surgeon :)
     

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