Mac mini HDD upgrade: SATA II ? Tiger up to Snow Leopard install solution ?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Andre1980, May 14, 2010.

  1. Andre1980 macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    I want to upgrade my wife's Mac Mini (2007, 1.66 GHz Core Duo, model T2300) with a new HDD. I've done that a couple years back, but times were less complicated. Here are my questions:

    1) I hope a 7200 rpm drive will improve performance, without generating more noise than a 5400 rpm drive. Is that a correct assumption and would you recommend that?

    2) Looks like many of the 500 GB 7200 rpm drives are SATA II. Will that be compatible with the plugs in the machine? Will I have to set any kind of jumper pins (I've never done that, though)?

    3) My plan is to naturally do a time machine back up of the current drive to use it to build the new one. However, I still need to install Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The Mac mini came with a Tiger install disc. How do I get to SL with the least trouble? Do I need to start with the original Tiger disc, then use the Leopard disc and finally upgrade with the SL disc or can I use the SL disc right away?

    Many thanks!!
  2. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    1) Yes
    2) Yes, no jumpers
    3) Just use the SL disc.
  3. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    first things first , the mini will get performance gain from a 7200rpm harddrive

    second the intel minis have serial ata (sata)

    third as far as i know the little laptop sata have no jumpers

    fourth yes some will generate a bit more noise , but that all depends on the drive itself , and on your ears ,

    i would go for a Western Digital (Scorpio Black) ok its only a 320gb harddrive , but 7200rpm and has a 16mb cache , others have most times only a 8mb cache so the scorpio black will definitely boost performance and i find it quiet , had it in a laptop and could just hear it spinning
    if you ned more space , i would recommend to go for something like that

    they fit perfect under the mini and look like a mini without slot

    fifth you cannot legally upgrade from tiger to snow leopard with the cheap snow leopard upgrade disc , as that would be against apples eula , you need to buy the box set but then you get all the 09 ilife things ;)
  4. TXbug macrumors member


    Aug 24, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    I did the same thing but I used SuperDuper! It's free on the web. It will back up your entire disk image and make it bootable. So all you do after using SuperDuper! is power down, swap discs, power up and then upgrade if you still want to.
  5. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    Calgary, Canada
    as MacHamster says, the WD Black Scorpio is a really good option.
    I have it in one of my Minis & it is really quiet and fast.Have it about 6 months and never had any trouble with it.
  6. Andre1980 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    Thanks for your feedback!

    I was looking for a little more space and came across this drive:

    So far the only 7200 rpm drive with 500 GB, but according to the reviews it may have some issues.

    I didn't really understand your last point about the EULA and the SL disc. So technically I would be able perform the SL install with that disc, but it wouldn't be legal? My wife owns all the discs back to Tiger as well as all the recent iLife's. Where would be the EULA breach and what would be the legal way?


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