MacMini storage options (drive near capacity)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bernerdude, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. bernerdude macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2011
    i have a 2012 Mac mini with a 1tb hdd. The drive is nearly full. I have cleaned up the drive as much as I can.

    I have 500gb of photos, 300 gb of music and movies' 70gb allotted to "library" according to daisy disk and approx 50gb in Dropbox with the rest documents.

    The mini is primarily used for storage of photos and music. Occasionally I will use it to work on a presentation and email/browsing. It's almost unusable at this point due to its slowness. We use iPhones, iPads and a MacBook much more than the mini for day to day stuff.

    Would I be better off putting the os photos library on an external drive or adding an internal ssd? I do steam iTunes to an Apple TV frequently and assume that works better if the library is on the internal drive.

    If I go the external hdd route would a thunderbolt drive be noticeably faster if I'm just using it for os photos?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Fast, easy, [relatively] cheap way to turn that Mini from a slug into a champ:

    Buy an external USB3 SSD drive, such as this:

    (Alternative: buy a "bare" SSD, and a USB3 enclosure that is SPECIFICALLY STATED to support "UASP".)

    Plug it in, initialize it.

    Install a clean copy of the OS of your choice onto it.

    Now, CAREFULLY migrate your apps and accounts to it (you could try Migration Assistant, but this job might be better done "by hand").

    BUT -- LEAVE BEHIND the large libraries of photos, music, movies, etc. on the internal drive.
    Note: you can set up your apps to "reference" the libraries on the internal drive, rather than look on the SSD for them.

    You can now boot the Mini from the external SSD -- it will boot and run VERY quickly and well. Like night and day considering where you're at now.

    All the stuff that was "slowing down" the internal drive will REMAIN on the internal drive, and won't affect performance of the SSD.

    Final thought:
    You should also get a second external platter-based hard drive to serve as a backup for the internal drive, if you're not already backing up. I would recommend using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone the contents from one drive to the other.

    You always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS want to have at least TWO copies of your data.

Share This Page