Mac Mini 2011 - RAID HD Set Up?

Daniel97

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 6, 2011
719
2
I have a 2011 Mac Mini 2.3Ghz i5. 8GB RAM. I have the standard 500GB HD and just bought a 2nd 500GB Apple Hitachi HD for £40.

I know i need the ribbon cable to install it etc HOWEVER .. could i set them up as RAID inside the machine so they show as 1 single 1TB drive?

Any disadvantages to doing so?

When making them a RAID drive will i wipe my existing disk?

Never used RAID before nor really do i know what it is but just wondered for ease if i could keep them as a single 1TB drive which Timemachine or similar would recognise as 1 single drive and back up etc
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
I have a 2011 Mac Mini 2.3Ghz i5. 8GB RAM. I have the standard 500GB HD and just bought a 2nd 500GB Apple Hitachi HD for £40.

I know i need the ribbon cable to install it etc HOWEVER .. could i set them up as RAID inside the machine so they show as 1 single 1TB drive?
Yes, you can set up the RAID via disk utility, but you will still need the second cable. In order to get 1 GB out of the two drives, you will need to use RAID 0.

Any disadvantages to doing so?
The disadvantage to RAID 0 is that if either of the drives fail, then your volume will be damaged. Therefore you must make sure that you backup your volume regularly to an external 1 TB HDD drive, via an app like Carbon Copy Cloner.

The advantage is that you will have one 1 TB volume and the two drives will be faster using RAID 0.

When making them a RAID drive will i wipe my existing disk?
Yes, you will need to first get the external drive I mentioned above and clone your current start up disk to the drive. (using full block copy in Carbon Copy Cloner, if you're concerned about retaining the recovery partition). Then install the second drive and make sure that it is visible and working ok.

Then you will need to restart your computer and boot up with the external drive (hold alt during boot up).

Then you will need to go into Disk Utility and create a RAID 0 volume using your two 500 GB HDDs. Once it is done, fire up CCC and clone your external drive to your new RAID volume. Restart your computer and boot up using the internal partition. Go into preferences --> start up disk and make sure that your internal partition is set.


Never used RAID before nor really do i know what it is but just wondered for ease if i could keep them as a single 1TB drive which Timemachine or similar would recognise as 1 single drive and back up etc
Yes, it will, but I would recommend to clone your internal partition using CCC. Maybe get another HDD if you're bent on using TM, but I find a full bootable clone of your system to be much more useful and better.
 

Daniel97

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 6, 2011
719
2
Thanks for that reply! :)

So to summarise (because im a retard)

Install 2nd drive in Mini with cable etc.

Turn Mini on and complete a CCC bootable backup of my existing 500GB drive to an external backup.

Turn off Mini and test external back up works and is bootable.

Leave mini in the backup bootable drive and erase the contents of the original 500GB drive. And then set up a RAID 0. Or dont i need to erase first?

Then when done use the external backup to clone all the data back to the new 1TB RAID 0 system.

Reboot system without external HD and it should be identical to before i started tampering. Minus the fact storage is now double the size?
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
Thanks for that reply! :)
No worries

So to summarise (because im a retard)

Install 2nd drive in Mini with cable etc.
Yep. There are loads of instructions and videos on the web. Do note that some instructions get you to pull the whole thing out of the aluminium enclosure. I found that as long as you remove the grill and the plastic bits, you can wiggle a drive into the space without taking the whole motherboard out etc.

Turn Mini on and complete a CCC bootable backup of my existing 500GB drive to an external backup.
Yes, check in CCC preferences for "block-level copy" or something like that if you don't want to lose the recovery partition. I didn't bother because a full bootable backup is much better than a recovery partition anyway.

Turn off Mini and test external back up works and is bootable.
No need to turn off. Just restart and reboot with the external drive

Leave mini in the backup bootable drive and erase the contents of the original 500GB drive. And then set up a RAID 0. Or dont i need to erase first?
When you create the RAID 0 volume, disk utility will erase the data on your original drive anyway

Then when done use the external backup to clone all the data back to the new 1TB RAID 0 system.
Yes
Reboot system without external HD and it should be identical to before i started tampering. Minus the fact storage is now double the size?
yes
 

Daniel97

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 6, 2011
719
2
So i can install a 2nd drive without removing the whole enclosure? Mmm nice!

So all i need are the 4 HD screws & the ribbon cable?
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
So i can install a 2nd drive without removing the whole enclosure? Mmm nice!

So all i need are the 4 HD screws & the ribbon cable?
Check out this thread https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1201731

I am trying to remember if the top drive actually had the HD screws or not... :confused: It's kind of loose in there, if I remember correctly (I replaced the top HDD with a SSD in a mini server that already comes with 2 drives). Maybe someone else can confirm since I am getting old.
 
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