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thepixelpusher

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 2, 2015
346
178
Dimension C-137
Question 1: Am I better off just installing a SSD drive and NOT making a Fusion drive version where the SSD is paired with the slower physical hard drive?

I was lucky enough to recently get a midrange 2.3 quad core 2012 Mac Mini with an internal 1TB drive. I want to upgrade it with 16 GB RAM and add an extra SSD drive to the open bay and move the operating system over to the SSD drive for accelerated performance. By not fusing the hard drive with the SSD hopefully I won't have to deal with the issues some have had with the "trim enabler" during upgrades to new OS's using their hack of the Fusion drive with their own SSD and hard drive paired?

Question 2: If I install a SSD and don't do a Fusion drive pairing does it matter if the system OS is loaded on the SSD in the bottom drive tray, where I assume most of the 2012 main drives are located when Apple sells the single drives and their own SSD that's paired with the Fusion drive?
 

nollimac

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2013
429
34
Question 1: Am I better off just installing a SSD drive and NOT making a Fusion drive version where the SSD is paired with the slower physical hard drive?

I was lucky enough to recently get a midrange 2.3 quad core 2012 Mac Mini with an internal 1TB drive. I want to upgrade it with 16 GB RAM and add an extra SSD drive to the open bay and move the operating system over to the SSD drive for accelerated performance. By not fusing the hard drive with the SSD hopefully I won't have to deal with the issues some have had with the "trim enabler" during upgrades to new OS's using their hack of the Fusion drive with their own SSD and hard drive paired?

Question 2: If I install a SSD and don't do a Fusion drive pairing does it matter if the system OS is loaded on the SSD in the bottom drive tray, where I assume most of the 2012 main drives are located when Apple sells the single drives and their own SSD that's paired with the Fusion drive?

Maybe if I shared what I did you might find it helpful. I just did the SSD install and take out the hard drive that came with the machine...then placed it in an enclosure and use that for time machine back up.

You could have issues with Yosemite and your SSD...just giving you a head up.
 

nollimac

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2013
429
34
Really? If I just clone the OS on it now and move it to the new SSD before I even start it up and register it?

Please elaborate.

My machine was a new 2012 Mini so there was nothing to clone...I erase the hard drive that came with the machine. I placed the SSD in the Mini and installed the OS, booting from the old hard drive in the enclosure before erasing it. I wanted a fresh clean OS on the SSD.
 

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2009
363
86
London
Question 1: Am I better off just installing a SSD drive and NOT making a Fusion drive version where the SSD is paired with the slower physical hard drive?

Yes - you can put everything you want on an SSD to run the Mini and use the hard drive for storage.

Question 2: If I install a SSD and don't do a Fusion drive pairing does it matter if the system OS is loaded on the SSD in the bottom drive tray, where I assume most of the 2012 main drives are located when Apple sells the single drives and their own SSD that's paired with the Fusion drive?

No it doesn't matter. You can boot from either drive.

M.
 

thepixelpusher

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 2, 2015
346
178
Dimension C-137
I was just going to have OtherWorld Computing do the SSD clone OS to new SSD and RAM upgrade to my new Mac Mini before starting it and loading things on. Why would I have issues? They use Mercury SSD's and not the Samsung SSD's.

The existing 1TB Hard Drive in it would be wiped and used as an extra internal drive.
 

nollimac

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2013
429
34
I was just going to have OtherWorld Computing do the SSD clone OS to new SSD and RAM upgrade to my new Mac Mini before starting it and loading things on. Why would I have issues? They use Mercury SSD's and not the Samsung SSD's.

The existing 1TB Hard Drive in it would be wiped and used as an extra internal drive.

If you're not doing it yourself, don't worry.
 

thepixelpusher

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 2, 2015
346
178
Dimension C-137
For $99 bucks I figured having OtherWorld Computing do it would be worth it. I know OtherWorld Computing does run the OS for a bit (burn in period) to see if any errors come up before they mail it back. Not a guarantee, but they've no doubt done many upgrades to the 2012 Mac Mini and know about any issues...I hope.
 

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,438
1,005
That's $99 on top of the cost of the drive? You're paying $99/hour then. It will take an experienced person 30 minutes to install the drive and another 30 to install the OS. Not to mention that you overpay for the drives from OWC.

Hey, it's your money.

How did I get the OS on my SSD when I put it in my Mini? I used an 8 GB flash drive, built it with the installer (Mavericks at the time) and installed off of there. Doing an Internet Recovery is ALWAYS an option.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,738
12,851
My advice:
BEFORE you install the drive:
1. Use either an external enclosure or a USB3/SATA dock to initialize the drive.
2. Since the Mini is still new, just "clone" the contents of the internal drive to the SSD using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.
3. Do a "test boot" so that you know the drive is bootable -- hold down option key at boot until startup manager appears, then select external SSD and boot from it.

WHEN you install the drive:
1. You might consider partitioning the internal HDD into two (or more) partitions. The first (uppermost in Disk Utility's list) should become a backup clone of the SSD, which you can then "maintain" by doing incremental backups to it. This way, you are protected against a sudden failure of the SSD -- you will ALWAYS have an IMMEDIATELY ACCESSIBLE "second boot source" at your fingertips.
Use the other partition for whatever you wish.

One more thought:
IF you "prep" the drive externally as I suggested above, you might even consider just booting and running the Mini that way for a while. You will enjoy read/write speeds that are the near-equal of an internally-mounted SSD, without hazarding the risks of doing surgery on the Mini. There have been numerous reports here on macrumors from folks who thought they could do the installation, then started, then..... broke something inside.
 
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