internal HD full (crisis!) - need to upgrade/expand

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by deep808blue, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. deep808blue macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    #1
    Hello all!

    I'm a newbie desperately seeking tech advice on how to remedy a full-to-overflowing 160GB internal HD problem and add more RAM. I have a 2009 Mini (2.26 core 2 duo, 2gb 1067 DDR3 RAM), along with a pair of 1TB external USB HDDs (one 1TB external USB drive dedicated for time machine), and a 3.5" 300GB Velociraptor drive borrowed from a friend. MOst important to me is I want to absolutely minimize any chance of jeopardizing/risking losing ANY files/data already on the drive or avoid any time-comsuming selective file deletion just to make room on the "Macintosh HD" internal drive.

    One friend suggested I make a bootable clone of my internal drive onto a larger drive, which I did with a program called SuperDuper, i made the copy onto the Velociraptor drive. Presently the WD raptor is running on an external USB docking station. Then I was told to make the external drive my startup drive. However, all my external drives use USB (no Fire wire interfaces). The problem is when I go to system preferences the only startup disk choices are the (full) Macintosh 160GB HD and Network Startup. I cant for the life of me figure out how to specify one of the external drives as a startup disk, although the 3rd party application SuperDuper! claimed to make a totally bootable clone onto the Raptor drive.

    As a short term solution, I also received advice on copying a bunch of the larger files, like my iTunes video library (at least 50GB) onto one of the external USB drives, deleting the contents of the Movies folder on Mac HD, and inserting an alias for the files or folder pointing to the copied movie files destinations on one of the external 1TB USB disks. I'm scared it will adversely affect iTunes being able to find the files on the external drives. Can I make an alias for the whole iTunes Movies folder or do I have to make them for each of the files I copy?

    I need to summon the courage to try and open the Mini case and see if I can implant the cloned drive ultimately, but I wanted to try and get it to boot externally first before I got into the innards. Anybody have a link to a photo or video step by step how to on the actual case cracking operation?

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE someone help me with verbose, explicit how-to directions and advice on how to fix these issues and/or assist me with several links on how-tos that I can use in terms a simpleton like myself can implement without risk of losing my precious files.

    Expressed another way, what I want to do is simply upgrade the internal drive with a larger and faster drive without any risk of losing data. I was thinking there out to be a relatively painless route to employ an external drive to function as a logical extension of the internal drive, so that OSX would see the stock internal drive plus an external drive as a single "virtual" volume. Although pricey, I was considering a SSD drive for significant performance increases.

    As to RAM upgrades, what type of memory slot arrangement is inside the case? I wanted to upgrade to 8GB, but 4GB would be acceptable. I need some recommendations on what type of RAM modules to obtain to make this happen.

    Most of all, I am seeking knowledge and experience from expert users to learn from. Tremendous thanks in advance for anyone/everyone who can help me and teach me.

    I look forward to any kind and generous folks willing to help me learn.


    Kind Regards,

    Steve
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    hey deep! welcome to MacRumors :)

    first of all, there will be 2x1GB sticks sitting in that 2009 Mini. you should purchase either 2x2GB (for 4GB) or 2x4GB (for 8GB) sticks to upgrade the memory. its a very simple upgrade.

    now, for your boot drive. you have taken the first step using CCC to backup to an external hard drive - that will ensure that all data remains safe.

    the next step is to purchase a larger internal 2.5" hard drive (i would recommend a 500GB 7200rpm, Western Digital, Samsung or Seagate are reliable). the basic steps are to put the NEW boot drive into an enclosure (via either USB/FW) - boot from the existing 160GB hdd, run CCC to copy back the clone from the Raptor->new 2.5" 500GB hard drive. after this you THEN pull out the old hard drive and place it into the Mini.

    boot and wala, that should be it.

    there would most likely be an easier process if you have a firewire drive that could be booted from, but given the circumstances i provided the above information on what you have given.

    any more questions just fire away!
     
  3. gertruded macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Northwestern Illinois
    #3
    Go to www.macsales.com (OWC) and you will find installation videos that will get you in great shape.

    Second, log onto www.123macmini.com for lots of specific mini help.

    What you want to do is not hard.
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    ^^ gert play nice, is it wrong to ask for help so that he doesnt loose his data?
     
  5. gertruded macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Northwestern Illinois
    #5
    Geesh, i am just trying to help. These are the resources that i used to do what he wants to do. No slam is even hinted at with my post.

    He asked for links to go.

    Having a bad day DoFoT9?
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    haha, no harm done man. getting up at 5am on a monday puts me in a bad mood sometimes ;)

    i was just seeing what your intentions were with "what you are trying to do is not hard" :D
     

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