Mac Mini 2012 SSD reformat & OS install for Logic Pro X

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Ben456, May 16, 2018.

  1. Ben456 macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2018
    Hi to all the good folks of Mac rumors!

    I've been reading up on Macs for music for a couple of years and recently decided to make the leap from PC based music production to Logic Pro X, and of course Mac.

    I bought a Mac Mini 2012 (i7 2.3GHz/16GB/1TB) with 1TB SSD as the sole drive. The Mac Mini I got came without any OS but the seller was kind enough to send me High Sierra on USB and I installed it. At install, I noticed the 1TB SSD was partitioned into 100GB and 900GB sections. (Pics below)

    Continuing on (with PC thinking...) I ran the High Sierra install successfully and have an operational Mac Mini, that is, until I tried to download all the extra content for Logic Pro X. Logic Pro X sound library is large! Logic Pro X wants to live on my 'system drive' (100GB) but 100GB is not big enough, so I've gone through many, many forums reading on how to fix this issue.

    I'm new to, and a little intimidated by Apple, SSD re-partitioning, or SSD formatting and am hesitant for fear of making a small problem into a much larger one. I've read an awful lot on APFS, SSDs, OS installs and I'm frankly overwhelmed at this point. I've already erased the 900GB partition but can see no pie graph with which to change the size of any partition. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree?

    So, could any of the kind folks here tell me how I get rid of this 100GB system drive, or make it much bigger?

    If I do a complete OS install, can I wipe out partitions on an SSD with APFS?
    Do I even need partitions, or can I have a 1TB 'system drive'?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

    Cheers, Ben.


    Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 10.25.08 am.png Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 10.25.32 am.png Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 10.26.00 am.png
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Welcome to MR Forums, and welcome to macOS. I personally own a 2012 Mini Server with a 512GB 850 Pro SSD and a company with 8 more Mini Servers with dual 2TB 850 Pro SSDs in RAID 0. I did the work myself. Two bits.

    First, IMHO you do not need to partition the drive. All of the data your Mini will be processing will be reading and writing through the same bus and to/from the same drive. There's no point to partitioning unless you're running different OSes - others may disagree with me, though I've been optimizing PCs and Macs since the mid-90s via partitioning and scratch disks. That written, you need to familiarize yourself with a few Apple web pages - they'll get you where you need to go, and you'll also need to check one Samsung web page. Read first, do second...

    First, you'll want to read up on macOS Recovery.

    Second, you'll want to read about how to reinstall macOS. Pay close attention to the options. For your Mini, you'll want a wired keyboard - a BT-connected keyboard won't cut it.

    Read up on Disk Utility, this is where you'll start. You will not need to erase the entire drive, but IMO it's smart to be aware of that utility's power. You'll be able to simply delete the non-OS partition with the Disk Utility app...

    Don't go crazy. You will not need to go through machinations to get what you're looking for unless there are issues with permissions or other matters, but you'll be prepared.

    You should be able to launch the Disk Utility app, choose the Partition option and delete the partition from the netherworlds (not wanting to get censored here, just in case). You should be left with a 1TB single partition in a matter of seconds, 2 minutes at the maximum. You'll be prepared if you need to use macOS Recovery and the Disk Utility if you need to go there...

    And, lastly, check your SSD's FW version and if you have to update it, look here...
  3. Ben456 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2018
    Hi campyguy and thank you for the warm welcome to MacRumors.

    Thanks for your advice and your time in replying, it is greatly appreciated here.
    I totally agree about not needing a partition. As an ex-electronics tech I understand buses, but the huge hole in my knowledge at the moment is all things Mac, most notably navigating MacOS/software and differing terminologies.
    It is a little overwhelming at first coming from PC and Ubuntu.

    I do appreciate what a powerful tool disk utility is and I've seen much damage reported online by those exercising less than cautious approaches. This is the reason for my apprehension. I fear making an otherwise small and familiar problem to Mac users, into a big problem which I don't wish to do. I see a lot of posts where it seems people have wiped out the system drive and recovery partition with Disk Utility and end up with "?" on screen, at boot.

    The partition setup I inherited from the previous owner.
    Thanks very much for the links, bar the Samsung FW which I'll get to later, I've read them all.
    It appears I was a little challenged by the UI layout and could not see the " - " displayed for delete partition functions.

    With my wired Apple keyboard I've firstly 'erased' the 2nd partition, 'erase' is something I had done a few times.
    Secondly I've used the Volume " - " function to 'delete' that 2nd partition.

    In the spirit of not going crazy with Disk Utility as you rightly point out, I'm again a bit stuck.
    What I'm left with appear to be 2 'containers' now, 100GB and 900GB respectively.
    I can't find any reference to containers in anything I've read.

    Is this SSD still partitioned?
    Surely I've missed something. I'm a little baffled by this, but so close.
    There must be another step I'm missing to get this drive to show as a single 1TB SSD...
    i have read about resizing the first partition in the pie graph, but making this 2nd 'container' disappear first...
    There may be some clues in the final pic, not sure.
    I can see container 2 is not mounted and that I now have a 100GB system drive, but don't know where to go from here.

    Any help greatly appreciated and thanks again for your reply campyguy.

    Cheers, Ben.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 9.13.49 am.png Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 9.14.19 am.png Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 9.14.47 am.png Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 10.05.23 am.png
  4. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Thanks for the laughs, don't be frustrated or self-deprecating - the fairly new Logical Volume bit is pretty new to most of us and IMO a bit of a work in progress. And, the HS version of Disk Utility completely changed its look and revised its feature set and re-added functions that had been removed from the El Capitan and Sierra versions of the Utility app, with "volumes" being easier to access with APFS.

    Simply put the hard drive can be left with one "volume", and viewed (figuratively) as a single partition. The drive can then be "divided" (figuratively) into either "partitions" or "volumes/containers". The former - a partition - is what older people like myself think of immediately, and in HS a partition can be formatted in a Mac or Win FS format. A volume/container is similar, in vein, to a partition in that it can be initially sized and formatted in one of the four APFS formats but not in NTFS or exFAT (AFAIK, that is).

    The main advantage of using containers is that APFS can/will dynamically allocate storage needs, pretty much hands-off as opposed to needing a disk utility to change partition sizes.

    From your screen shots I can't determine whether the "container disk2" container is a partition or a dynamic container. If I were you, I'd use the macOS Recovery option to start over, using the Recovery's Disk Utility to nuke the drive and start over, then install HS. I have a bunch of 2012 Mini Servers that all have single or dual Sammy 850 Pro SSDs, and I always start with macOS Recovery - using Option-Command-R on my personal unit and the 3 that already have HS/APFS installed. I've used macOS Recovery several times and it's stupid simple to use.

    Looking more into the advantages of APFS and multiple volumes/containers, one bit I like is the ability to encrypt a container independent of the other containers - storing sensitive data in that container makes sense, in a good way. I'm accustomed to carrying two portable SSDs that need my thumbprint and a couple of Yubikeys, all stashed in a safe mounted in my Benz, I'm not ready to give this feature a try just yet. I'll be around this weekend, keep us posted! Cheers!
  5. Ben456 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2018
    Thank you so much!!!
    Logic Pro X is installing the massive library and advanced features now.
    Thanks to your help I'll be making music soon.

    A pic's worth a thousand words....

    Cheers, Ben.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 11.21.38 am.png

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