Late 2012 Mac Mini D.Y.O. Fusion Drive

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jovceata, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. jovceata, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012

    jovceata macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    Hello just to say i have a do it your self fusion drive on my new 2.3Ghz i7 Quad Core Late 2012 Mac Mini and had to share this new found info :)

    Got a stock mid model Mac mini after playing with it for few day i decided to upgrade the memory to 16Gb and since i had it almost open decided to keep going a ad my Intel 520 SSD 240Gb in the second drive bay i used a OCW cable for the SSD.

    Put all back plug in all cables and power on command+r at start up and installed fresh OSX on the SSD didn't think off the Fusion much anyway few minutes later Mac OSX loads and i put most of my used apps and Carbon Copy Cloner so that i make a copy on a USB Flash drive.
    (for my use a 16Gb Corsair Voyager GT nice all back up great)

    Few days later i decided to try the back up USB Flash drive and test if all boots good,
    took it's time as it's only a USB 2.0 (USB 3.0 Flash Drive on my shopping list) the OSX loads great then short time after a message pop's up saying the internal hard drive's are not in order or something like that "fix" or "not" with disk utility so i click "Fix" and i see what it's disk utility doing and the two drives become one my 240Gb Intel 520 SSD and the stock Hitachi 1Tb drive in one Fusion done very fast (warning if you try the same make sure you have all of your data backup before doing so)
    now that i see only one hard drive and total size of 1.24Tb and i go ahead and open Carbon Copy Cloner and start coping back to the newly made fusion drive few minutes later i restart the Mac Mini from the internal drive this time and "Bob"s your uncle" as fast as the SSD but this time it's both in one Fusion, happy to see this working that i had to share it.

    Uploaded some photo's too show the end Fusion Drive and the two drives in the system report.

    Greetings from the land down under


    Attached Files:

  2. Team Timm macrumors regular

    May 17, 2012
    This is probably a great idea, but the lack of punctuation killed it.
  3. jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    yes i know
    english is only my second language
    but the info to all that are interested in doing this is out there now
    so thats what i was trying to accomplish here

    have a great day :)
  4. xheathen macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Can someone unpack what the OP is saying with some more clarity? It sounds like he accidentally stumbled on a Fusion setup by reinstalling, or am I missing it?

    It doesn't look like it's the same method used in the command line, so I'm curious if it can be easily replicated.
  5. jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011

    G'day i did try my best to make it easy to follow

    well here goes again once the mini was open for upgrade of memory and i decided to install a second drive in the empty bay so i put my Intel 520 SSD with 240Gb capacity

    start the mini after all put back and plugged in at start up i was holding "command + r" connected to the internet to the Apple servers i stared to do a new clean install of Mac OSX first i used Disk utility and format both drives

    then quit disk utility and select to reinstall the OSX after about a hour the mac mini was loading to the new fresh install of Mac OSX from the SSD drive

    once in the OS i installed Carbon Copy Cloner and used it to make a copy of the OSX to a USB Flash drive in my case i used 16Gb

    when the backup was finished next i did go to System Preferences and select Startup Disk selected the Flash drive and click Restart

    now once the Mac mini restored from the USB flash drive and the desktop has finish loading i got a message from Disk utility about the internal disk's need some attention to "Fix" or "Not" since i had all my Data Backed up before i selected "Fix"

    here Disk utility did all the hard work it's self and the finished result was one single disk drive with the name Macintosh HD and capacity of 1.24TB

    so i give a try open again Carbon Copy Cloner and clone it back from the USB Flash drive to the what now looks like a Fusion Disk Drive 1.24TB

    when the Carbon Copy Cloner finish with the cloning process of the OSX
    i open
    System Preferences again and open the Startup Disk
    selected the internal now single disk drive and reboot

    Mac mini restored and once loaded the desktop i was sure it's a Fusion at work as you can see from the rest of the photo's

    well not sure if this will work again but it worked for me hoping this helps you and others.

    Attached Files:

  6. jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    i have seen that early post with the Mac Pro but there is no need for any code on the new Mac Mini's as they have a special version of OSX that's not the same as the rest of Mac's use

    Attached Files:

  7. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Something like this >

    Install SSD, then:
    - Make OSX backup on flash drive: command+r at start up
    - Install fresh OSX on the SSD
    - Boot Mac OSX from SSD, load apps and Carbon Copy Cloner
    - Make a copy to a USB Flash drive (from SSD)

    - Boot from backup USB drive
    - OSX loads, says drive needs repair
    - Click fix
    - Drives merged
    - Open CC and copy back to merged drive (from Flash drive).

    Please edit as needed....
  8. jovceata, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    Thank you nice and simple very well done,
    cheers mate :)
  9. jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    Cost of Fusion Drive from Apple A$300 here at Australia

    I like the idea of Fusion drive as i seen the keynote,
    but still Apple was going to charge extra $300 Australian dollars for what looks to be only extra a 128GB SSD in the second bay
    on top of the stock price Mac Mini.

    At the moment prices of SSD's have hit lowest ever a good brand Intel will set you as low as $95 but wait there is still $205 left that Apple is asking, ok fair there is the SATA cable too.
    (only $45 at OWC)
  10. xheathen macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Very cool - thanks for revisiting and clarifying.

    Very interesting! This makes me want to try it. With the prices of 128gb SSD's as they are, this is a very affordable option imo (I think they're under $90 for a Samsung 830 on Amazon right now).

    Just being a mac noob someone may be able to clarify this - if there is no prompt to fix the drives (say someone tries it and the OS doesn't naturally see a problem), does that same "fix" command exist in Disk Utility that you could manually replicate that step I wonder?
  11. jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    if you are planing to put a second drive make it a SSD and if you try the same as i did most likely you will be happy and see Fusion of the drives and nice speed bump and best of all use all the size from both.

    if you do decide to try this just make sure you have your data backup

    Install SSD,
    - command+r at start up
    - Install fresh OSX on the SSD
    - Boot Mac OSX from SSD, load Carbon Copy Cloner
    - Make a copy to a USB Flash drive (from SSD)

    - Boot from backup USB drive
    - OSX loads, says drive needs repair
    - Click fix
    - Drives merged
    - Open CCC and copy back to merged drive (from Flash drive).

    and thats how i got the Fusion working with 3rd party SSD
  12. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Just be careful when you replace the drive, and save the original drive. It's not considered a user serviceable part. I looked it up on the support page when someone mentioned this. If you require warranty service, replace the original drive, and I'd also ensure the ram is as it arrived. Apple has maintained extremely aggressive pricing on ssds. It's weird. Normally they've updated pricing on everything including cto upgrades to basically market rates (whatever it normally sells for + markup + hidden configuration surcharge). With ssds, they've pretty much maintained their pricing from the prior year. It wasn't exactly low then. Considering how much ssds have dropped in price, it's quite high for a recently refreshed product line.
  13. largebauce macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    So I have been contemplating building the fusion drive as well. Could you bypass the step of using the Carbon Copy Cloner and just build the fusion using diskutil prior to installing from the recovery?

    Instead of the above steps it would be something like this:

    Install SSD,
    - command+r at start up
    - use diskutil commands to create fusion drive
    - Install fresh OSX on the fusion drive

    Would this method be a possibility or am I on the wrong track?
  14. KrisLord macrumors 65816

    Sep 12, 2008
    Northumberland, UK
    That's my plan when I get a new SSD. I'd rather have a fresh install than a clone.
  15. jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    Not sure it's not like I can test it again since I have the Fusion drive already going but I will ad this

    This morning i did try the "command + r" and did a clean install
    once loaded the first thing i
    used disk utility to erase the hard drive quit disk utility and selected reinstall Mac OSX took few hours (must be my slow Internet) but hours later I was at the setup of the user account

    Done new clean install with out the use of CCC but then again the Fusion drive was already made with the of CCC

    One thing that I did notace was that there was no way in disk utility to change and put the hard drive and SSD on they own again

    "Make sure all of your data is backup before trying any of this"
    Also I have to add that this will most likely only work on the New just released "Late 2012 Mac Mini and iMac" (iMac will be way harder to do your own Fusion drive since its hard to get to the inside and add the SSD.


    Well this worked for me and in the end I just try agin after the fusion drive was made and used the "command +r" after loading from the net first thing I did was go to disk utility and erase the fusion drive quit disk utility and select reinstall OSX few hours later greeted with the account setup screen
    So now it's running a clean install no clone
    I try and worked
  16. jms969 macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    Wrong wrong wrong...

    There is no "Special version" of OSX. :cool:
  17. hfg, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    That is correct and often misunderstood! :)
    However, there is a special version of Disk Utility supplied with the new Minis. :) :)

    The Disk Utility graphical user interface simply controls the underlying "diskutil" which has been discussed on various threads to create a "Fusion" drive. What I think is happening here is that by creating and booting from the thumb drive, OS X "thinks" the Fusion drive has been damaged in some way, and offers to fix it with the new version of Disk Utility.

    If you don't want to go through these steps with a non-Fusion Mini (2012 or older) that you have added an additional drive, simply use the instructions on one of the threads to use Terminal and the 2 diskutil commands to quickly create a "Fusion" drive yourself. :cool:

    Many posters here believe that the OS has something special (which, as you point out ... it doesn't), and somehow creating a "Fusion" drive at the Unix level will be flakey or Apple will disable it.

  18. jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    I was thinking the same but proved to be wrong

    Got a new all 4.4Gb download from the Apple Store did a bootable USB flash drive and then try to use that on my new 2012 Mac mini just to find out was a waist of my 4.4Gb download so I test the same USB flash drive on a 2010 Mac mini works but the new 2012 no go.
  19. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA

    Are you saying that with your fresh download of OS X you were able to create a Fusion drive on a 2010 Mini, but you were unable to re-create the Fusion drive on the 2012 Mini (where you previously created one unintentionally) with the same download? :confused:

    Were you using your original approach, or using the command line method in Terminal?
  20. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Disk Utility AND Boot Camp Assistant are different on the 2012 Mini.

    The 'old' Boot Camp Assistant will destroy a Fusion Drive.

    The new one has no problems with it. 5.0.1 (456)

    The 'old' Disk Utility can see and repair the Fusion Drive (not the partition map), but cannot create or 'break' it.
  21. jovceata thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    No what I'm saying before trying the "command + r" for Internet recovery
    I use a deferant Mac mini 2010 model and login the Apple Store to download the Mountain Lion as its all in one with the 10.8.2 update included
    Then used a Lion Disk Maker and made a USB flash boot drive with 10.8.2
    Back to my 2012 mini and try to boot from the USB flash and didn't work so I try the USB drive on the 2010 mini and not a problem
    Since that didn't work for me had to use the Internet recovery of OSX "command + r" and the rest is in the top post
    Have a look at the version of your mac with 10.8.2 and you will see its deferant built to the 2012 mini

    Attached Files:

  22. darcyjames macrumors member


    Sep 21, 2012
    This is fantastic...although too late for me.

    I just replaced the 1tb in a 2012 mini with a 256 ssd and decided to use an external hdd for the iTunes/iPhoto/iMovie libraries.

    Although, I needed a 3TB to fit what I have and allow for some future space, so a 1.24 wouldn't have been enough anyway. Except now I'm sitting here with the stock hdd and this would have been fun; might get the dual tray & cable anyways and give it a try.

    What is the tangible advantage of this over an ssd dedicated to os and other applications with, say, an external thunderbolt hdd (mine is usb 3.0) housing the data?
  23. MrM macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2008
    Awesome! Might try this on my 2011 Mac Mini. I'm going to wait for the next Software update to see if Apple tries to block this BYO option...
  24. nicholaseb macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2012
    I just booted my 2012 Mac Mini with Command + R. I went to disk utility.... and it asked me to fix my drives! I had a Samsung 830 128gb and the stock 1tb. It took a couple of seconds, and then it finished. I'm downloading and installing Mountain Lion right now. I'm so pumped. :):):)
  25. trooperx17 macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2012
    Hi guys,
    if someone would like to make some test, I can write down a guide for any Mac.
    Yes you can have fusion drive on any mac with 10.7 installed.

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