Mac mini new owner - a few questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by filippos69, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. filippos69 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2015
    Hello everyone, so i bought from a friend a mac mini 2012 i7 2.3 16gb ram and my questions are the following.
    I have a macbook pro 2010 with an ssd (boot and apps running on el capitan) and a 1tb hdd 7200 on the bay drive. Using the owc dual bay is it possible to migrate / swap them without reformatting them? if yes, would it be better to set them up as a fusion drive or as two separate drives?(like i do now)
    Is there any actual advantage for any of the two setups on the mini?

    2nd question, i will use Dell s2718d - (2560x1440) external monitor which has usb c and hdmi inputs.
    Is there a way to connect the mac minis thunderbolt port to the monitors usb-c port with an adapter in order to have picture and take advantage of the monitors usb3 ports? if yes, will a simple adapter work or do i need something like a owc dock ? if not, will just the mini display port to hdmi (that i am currently using with my mac book pro) work for maximum resolution ?

    thank you guys,
  2. treekram, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018

    treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    If you didn't install software specific to the 2010 MBP, you should be able to take both of the disks and put them in the Mini. For "software specific to the 2010 MBP", I'm referring to something like the Nvidia graphics drivers from Nvidia (vs. the Nvidia drivers that Apple includes with the OS) for the dGPU used in the 15" 2010 MBP (if you have the 15"). Actually this may still work in the Mini but that would be the main cautionary note that I can see. Anything you do which is based on the MBP's MAC (media access control) address vs. something like an IP address could also be affected, as could any software which works based on the MBP's serial number (maybe a software license).

    If the SSD is a SATA2 (vs. SATA3) SSD, you may want to upgrade that at some point.

    One thing that you should definitely do is get an enclosure and try to boot the Mini from the SSD you have in the MBP and see if there are any issues.

    Warning. The question of whether one should install the disks in these Mini's oneself or use an external disk provokes flame wars more often than not in this forum.

    It's not easy to change the disks in the Mini if you haven't done it before. I've done it to my 2012 and 2014 Mini. If you do it once, the second time is much easier. You can also have an Apple-authorized service provider do it - maybe $50 - but it's variable. People use external disks instead of going the internal route. The performance of using the internal SATA ports is slightly better vs. using external USB ports. You can activate TRIM with the internal disks or with an external Thunderbolt disk(s) but in your case, you shouldn't do that because of your monitor situation.

    If the Mini has only one disk inside, you may have to buy additional hardware (depending on whether or not it ever had 2 disks inside):

    If there's only one disk and it is in the "upper bay", you need:

    If you do install the disks internally yourself, take the time to prepare and learn how to do it before doing it.

    Try connecting your s2718d monitor to the Mini's DisplayPort/Thunderbolt port. If it works (it should), that's what you should use.

    EDIT. Unless there's something you don't like about your current disk setup, I think you should just use that instead of doing a fusion drive.
  3. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    USB-C and mac mini don't work together.
    Using a the same mini displayport to HDMI adapter should be fine.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    My advice will be different from everyone else's.

    Leave the MacBook Pro alone.
    DON'T take out the drives.

    You didn't tell us what size drive came inside the Mini.
    Is it a 1tb drive?

    If so, do this:
    Use CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper) to clone the contents of the HDD (in the MacBook) over to the already-there internal drive in the Mini.
    (CCC and SD are FREE to download and use for 30 days -- long enough to get this job done!)

    Now, buy ANOTHER SSD.
    I'd suggest something like this:
    The 250gb size is fine. You don't need to spend a lot.

    Plug the USB3 SSD into the Mini's USB3 port, and set it up to be an external booter.
    Now... you don't have to "go inside" the Mini and risk breaking something.

    AND... you'll STILL HAVE the MacBook Pro to keep using, as well.
  5. filippos69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2015
    Guys i can't thank you enough, it means a lot that you spent all this time answering my questions. Currently in mbp i have a 256ssd installed in 2015 so probably it is a sata3, and a 2.5 1tb 7200 hdd, so i would like to combine /swap my existing setup with the mini, i would love to open up my mini so i will definitely go on with the surgery, i am sure it will be easy for me. I have ordered the owc data doubler kit but i am confused as i have read in several forums some people installing the ssd in the upper bay and some people in the lower bay. I don't mind using them as separate drives as i do now, i was just curius if there was a benefit making them a fusion drive. At the moment the mini has a 1tb hdd (5200 i think) which i will clone the ssd on it and use it with my macbook pro. I am also trying to figure out if there is a way to take full advantage of the thunderbolt port which has double speed vs the slower usb3 ports ... maybe a owc thunderbolt 2 dock would work.

    thanks again,
  6. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    The Thunderbolt port on the 2012 Mini is Thunderbolt 1, so if even if you got a dock, a lot of the throughput would be taken by the display (since the HDMI port doesn't support 2560x1440 you should use the DisplayPort (Thunderbolt) port to connect your monitor). Plus, Thunderbolt 2 docks and almost any TB 1/2 device are likely to be expensive. I would advise saving your money for future Thunderbolt 3 dock/devices instead.

    When working on the Mini, be careful with the connectors. They should come off with very little pressure. If it doesn't, you're likely applying pressure to the wrong area. It's very helpful to have another computer from which you can access the web next to your work area as you work on the Mini. The Wi-Fi antenna assembly may not be easy to re-attach to the chassis. I had this problem which I just recently fixed.

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5 February 20, 2018