Mac Mini Hardware Upgrade Q

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by crboone, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. crboone macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2013

    I just purchased my first Mac (Mini) this weekend and have enjoyed using it so far. I bought the least expensive version, 4G/500G/i5, as my first. (Well, I did own a used Mac+ briefly years ago, but it was beyond its time and didn't work well when I had it).

    This is also my first post on a Mac forum! :)

    I read that the Mini has 2 slots for HDDs, but only the memory is user-expandable. I'm thinking that, since I really like the Mac and plan to keep it long-term, I'd like to expand the memory and add a second (SDD) drive. However, I'd really like for the SDD to become the main boot drive to increase the boot and overall app speed. (I'm not a gamer so I don't care that the i5 processor isn't powerful enough for that.) My question is, if I go this route, should I look for a local Mac service shop to purchase & install the SDD and to carbon-copy what's currently on my 500G HDD to the SDD? The rep at the Apple Store seemed to indicate that they couldn't do much w/the hard drive there (which surprised me a little). And it sounds like it's something the typical user does not want to attempt.
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    post-purchase Apple will not upgrade systems for you.

    apple service providers (AASP) will do upgrades.
  3. crboone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2013
    Thank you! That's what I thought but wanted to be sure.
  4. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    If you have any skill at modding PCs, then changing the Mini's drive is not difficult. Lots of threads on this in the Mac Mini forum section.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    One other thing to consider:

    If you don't want to open the Mini yourself, you could pick up the SSD of your choice, and then put it into an external enclosure (or, a USB3/SATA docking station) and boot/run from it that way.

    You will lose next-to-nothing in boot speeds and once running, the performance will be indistinguishable from an internally-mounted drive.

    You can pick up a USB3/SATA dock for less than $30 -- is a good place to browse. Just enter "usb sata dock" in amazon's search box.
  6. crboone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2013
    I happened to find a detailed tear-down of the unit online today and it seems fairly straightforward. However, since my Mini is brand new and it requires complete disassembly to add a 2nd drive, I'd probably be better going with an external or a service tech. If I didn't have to remove *everything* to install another drive I would be more likely to give it a go (or if the unit were 2-3 years old). I'm just leery that I'll wreck something on the new machine with all that's involved.

    Thanks again.
  7. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Then watch some Upgrade videos for the 2012 Mac Mini to see if it something you want to do. At least upgrade the RAM.
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Actually the older ones were more difficult to open. A mate of mind did the SSD upgrade on a 2012 model without any issues. He is not very technical, but managed okay.
    I know what you mean about not wanting to open your new machine though!

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