Just ordered Transcend USB3 SSD for my Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vbctv, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. vbctv macrumors 6502

    vbctv

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #1
    Well after talking to Apple & their repair center here in Cleveland, MicroCenter, it will not be done proper without voiding warranty. That is of course getting an SSD installed inside my 2014 Mac Mini. MicroCenter told me that they won't mess with 2014 Mac Mini because of placement of drive. They told me to look into external option from USB3 because it will be just as fast as new drives are coming out.

    So I ordered this one from Transcend as it was recommended by both MicroCenter & Best Buy.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K75U6G6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It's the Transcend ESD400K 128GB USB 3 SSD with USAP support.

    Now my question is I want to use the drive to boot from which I watched videos on Youtube and see other people using USB3 SSD to boot their Mac Mini.
    So my question is should I create a fusion drive using the USB SSD & how would I create said Fusion Drive or is it better to just use the SSD as a boot drive and then use the internal 500gb HDD as a storage drive?
    I've read different opinions online so I wanted to get some opinions on here.
     
  2. steve217 macrumors regular

    steve217

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Location:
    NC
    #2
    I would fuse them. Having done the same thing for a friend with the base Mini and seeing the results, I've been nagging GilesM in to doing that same thing in the "New entry level Mac Mini - performance is very poor" thread.

    The advantage is that you let OS/X manage storage locations as a single volume instead of shuffling files from disk to disk.

    However, I would take first things first, and get your machine booting from the SSD first. You can always fuse later after you've researched the steps and feel comfortable with the terminal and restoring from Time Machine.

    Key to all this is another external enclosure with a Time Machine backup from which you'll restore your whole system to your fusion drive when you're ready. You'll also need access to another computer when you hit a snag and need to google. For example, I found out that the 2014 base's hard drive in my friend's machine was already part of a CoreStorage logical volume and I had to delete/reset (?) that before I could fuse the external and the internal.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    Non-fusion option:

    If the amount of disk space used on the internal drive is small enough so that it will fit onto the SSD, you can use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone the contents of the internal drive onto the external SSD. This is a remarkably easy procedure and you won't understand just -how easy- it is until you try it.

    Fusion option:

    Be aware that in the process of creating a fusion drive, you will lose everything that is currently on the internal drive.
    So.... if there's anything you want to save, you must first back it up to an external backup.

    It's probably best to create a cloned bootable backup (again, on an external drive).
    Then you can boot from the backup and use terminal to create the fusion drive.
    Then (as above) use either CCC or SD to clone the contents of the backup BACK TO the newly-fused drive.

    Personal comments:
    I have always booted and run my late-2012 Mini from an SSD mounted in a USB3/SATA docking station. Runs fast and stable.

    Be aware that by using an "external USB booter", you can't enable TRIM.
    My advice is "don't worry about it!"
    Don't let others intimidate you into believing that you're doing something wrong by using the setup that you do.
    I've been running like this for more than TWO YEARS with NO "slowdowns" at all.
     
  4. vbctv thread starter macrumors 6502

    vbctv

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #4
    So where do I go for the instructions on how to create the fusion drive. I already use Time Machine and have backups. Do I need to create a boot drive or will I be using Internet Recovery?
     
  5. steve217 macrumors regular

    steve217

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Location:
    NC
    #5
    Instructions for the Fusion Drive are here...
    http://blog.macsales.com/15617-creating-your-own-fusion-drive

    General guideline.
    1. Backup to Time Machine first.
    2. Boot to installable USB media. When I fused external and internal, the biggest hassle was creating the installable USB media and booting from that so I could use the utilities to set up the Fusion drives. You won't be able to manipulate a drive from which you've booted.
    3. Using the terminal, follow the instructions from step 4 on.
    4. Boot while holding down Cmd-R and restore your Time Machine backup to the fused volume.

    Sorry I don't have anything more specific. I should have created a guide when I did this about 8 weeks ago. It was pretty much a no-brainer once I booted from the installable USB key. I had a snag where I could not create the CoreStorage volume because it already existed for the 500gb internal. I believe I did a 'diskutil cs revert /dev/disk…’ and I was golden afterwards.

    Go slow, read the instructions and most of all, be sure you have some way to Google questions while you're going through this process.

    Good luck.
     
  6. GilesM macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #6
    Take Steve's advice...



    This is good advice from Steve;

    However, I would take first things first, and get your machine booting from the SSD first. You can always fuse later after you've researched the steps and feel comfortable with the terminal and restoring from Time Machine.

    I have been very happy with the performance boost without fusing the drives.
    You may decide you want more and are happy to follow advice and fuse the drives, but try this first, you may not need to.
    Whatever you do, do not rush, take your time.
     
  7. vbctv thread starter macrumors 6502

    vbctv

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #7
    ok so I got my external SSD today and set it up.
    I created a boot usb drive and booted from it to get to terminal. I followed all the commands for terminal but ran into a error code for CoreStorage but looked it up on my iPad and was able to get around it by using the UUID of the CoreStorage on the HDD and deleting it. Then went back and all the steps worked no problem.
    Installed a fresh copy of 10.10.3 and then restored from Time Machine. Everything is like I had it before, except it is like night & day speed wise. I feel like my Macbook Air. I can't believe how much faster it is and especially since the SSD is external.
    I recommend the Transcend external SSD. I'm very impressed by it.
     

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