Mac Mini 2012: my plan, your help.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jw74, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. jw74 macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Just bought a Mac Mini 2012 server 2.3ghz i7 quad core for a small Pro Tools setup.
    What I'm thinking:
    Buy a 256GB SSD to use as the system drive.
    Swap one of the 1TB drives for a 750GB 7200 that is currently in my late 2008 unibody macbook for audio files and such.
    Put the remaining 1TB drive in an enclosure for backup.
    16GB of RAM

    It's easy enough to find an SSD drive and RAM on OWC. But it looks like Newegg might be cheaper, though harder to navigate.
    Any insight as to what I should get from Newegg? Best bang for the buck.

    Also I'm hoping to revert the OS to Mountain Lion (only supported mac os for a coinstall of PT 10 & 11) using a bootable ML USB drive.
    Anybody have luck doing that on a 2012 mini?
  2. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    Amazon also has great deals on the Samsung SSDs (which i personally recommend).

    Do you want two internal drives that are separate? meaning OS on one and Data on the other?
    If you pop in an SSD and restore the OS you can make a fusion drive with one of the 1TB HDDs + 256GB SSD.
    Use the 2nd 1TB as back-up if need be.

    I recently bought a mac mini base model 2012 version and I can boot my external drive OS X 10.8 - 10.10

    your milage may vary, try an external drive with OS X 10.8 on there and see if that works.
  3. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    I would recommend doing a clean install of Mountain Lion and update to 10.8.5 from a USB flash drive. Get a Samsung or Crucial boot SSD for OSX & Pro Tools. Add a Western Digital Black 7200 RPM 750 Gb HDD as your data drive. Get 16 Gb Crucial RAM. The original 5400 RPM 1 Tb drive is fine for external backup. If you wait until Black Friday there could be sales on SSDs and HDDs.
  4. jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Pro Tools works best when the media and the application are on separate drives. And 5400 is too slow.
    Any links for the ssd?
  5. jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
  6. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    This is cheaper ram and is what I use.

    I have that USB enclosure and it works well.

    Don't know about their SSDs but I hear they are OK. I use a Samsung and they are on sale at Best Buy.
  7. SuperPolli macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2013
    New Jersey
    Be VERY careful when swapping the hard drives. I was forced to buy a new Mac mini after killing the Logic Board on my 2011 Mac Mini when I tore the IR cable from the port switching out the hard drive. The 2011 and 2012 models have the same design, so just be careful when pulling out the cable from the IR port.
  8. jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Yikes! This and some other posts I've read about the fan cable connector scare the crap out of me. Makes me consider having it done by a certified tech.

    I've watched a couple of the install videos and it seems that these disconnect up, rather than to the side.
    Is that how yours broke?
  9. SuperPolli macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2013
    New Jersey
    With the IR it needs to go straight towards the hard drive, not UP! It will break if you go up.
  10. jw74, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014

    jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Right. I guess I meant to ask if it broke because it's just so delicate or because you did it wrong.

    I'm in no rush to do this; and, when I do, I'll make sure I can do it with my eyes closed before I jump in.

    Still trying to decide which drive to get. I'm leaning towards a Crucial. The Samsung 840 seems to have firmware issues. And now with all this TRIM support talk, I'm not quite sure what to do.
  11. jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Do you think the HDD from the Mini will be ok to put in the Macbook? I have a Seagate Momentus in there now, which I plan to swap with one of the Mini HDD's. Reading about the Momentus and the WD Black it seems they have shock protection. Is that just marketing bs?
    I'm trying to keep costs down, but dealing with cloning the Macbook drive while I've got the Mini open might be more trouble than it's worth.

    Good call about Black Friday.
  12. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Shock protection on a laptop HDD is not hype it's useful. You don't want a head crash to erase your data if you drop or jiggle the laptop while the HDD is reading/writing.

    Not sure if the Mini HDD will fit in the MacBook.
  13. macaron95, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  14. SuperPolli macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2013
    New Jersey
    As far as I know, the TRIM ******** doesn't matter for newer machines, but I'm not an expert by any means of the word.

    It broke because it's a delicate little PoS but also because I used the wrong method for removing it from the logic board.

    In my opinion, you can't do better than Other World Computing for SSDs, or any Mac parts for that matter. They match every part up to a specific machine. They also have install videos done by professionals to show you the proper method for replacing any part.
  15. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010

    In late January I installed these in a 2012 mini 2.3. Two weeks ago they were moved to a new 2012 mini 2.6. They have been working just fine. I need to order another set for the other mini.
  16. jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Yeah I picked those out also. Looks like B&H has pretty much the same prices as Amazon, but no tax.
    I'm also thinking Crucial MX100 256GB SSD and possibly the WD Black 750GB that was recommended.
    I guess I'll have to see who has the best Cyber Monday prices.
  17. jw74, Nov 3, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014

    jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Any reason I shouldn't get a Crucial M500?
    They just dropped $20 on Amazon.
    I was leaning towards the MX100 256GB, but $90 for 240GB SSD….

    They changed it back. You snooze...
  18. jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Go time

    Ok. So I have:
    16 GB RAM Crucial
    256GB SSD Crucial MX100
    750GB HDD WD Black
    2 USB enclosures
    Thumb drive w/ ML install
    Set of torx drivers
    Logic board removal tool
    Menda spudger
    iFixit guide


    I have already installed the RAM, put the SSD in an enclosure, installed ML and used it as the start up drive successfully.
    The next step is to do the surgery.

    Aside from IR cable connector and the fan cable connector, is there anything else I should watch out for?
  19. Joelburman macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2014
    Just be patient and careful. I recently did the "SSD-switch" to my 2010 mac mini after procrastinating way to long. Its tedious and you need to be on your toes but the joy when its done is priceless.
  20. jw74 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Yup. Little bit of sweat, but everything seems to be working.
    Thanks to all.
  21. Dameatball macrumors member


    Feb 7, 2014
    San Francisco

    For ssd's- check the crucial store on Amazon. For whatever reason I've purchased a couple things from crucial/amazon that were cheaper than on They have excellent SSD's (as I'm sure the others suggested are as well).

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