Mid 2011 i5, advice re 2nd HD config

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Wd999, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Wd999 macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2018
    Dear collective Hive,

    I've just bought a used i5 2.3Ghz mid 2011 mini. It has a 1.5TB drive and 16GB of RAM.

    I clearly don't need to/can't increase the RAM, but I'd like to add an SSD and have my eye on the Samsung evo 860 260GB. Questions:

    1. Am I better off setting the SSD up as a primary boot drive with the OS and programs and use the 1.5TB for storage, or create a Fusion drive?

    2. Can anyone recommend the best kit to add a second drive? I gather a ribbon connector is required.

    Thanks all!
  2. tedson macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    I bought the OWC Second Drive Add On kit (https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/mac-mini/2011) about 5 years ago and have been happy with it. I've since replaced the 120 GB SSD that came with my kit with a larger 500GB SSD from Micron technologies because I wanted more storage on my Boot drive.

    I have my SSD as the primary boot drive and a 1TB HDD for Time machine backups and media storage. Never tried setting it up as a Fusion drive although I think thats possible.

    I did all the upgrades myself after watching the OWC and MacFixIt videos for the mid 2011 Mac mini. Just take your time and keep track of which screws go where. Not too hard.
  3. Wd999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2018
  4. wol macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2005
  5. Wd999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2018
    Hi all,

    I ve attached 2 screenshots and would like your help please.

    Does this mean (without dissasembling) I have 2 physical hard disks already installed, ie one Toshiba and the other a Samsung?

    Or is it a fusion drive setup? The listing I purchased it stated 1.5TB hard disk, which is clearly correct but I'm not sure of its 1 or 2 disks. If it's 2, I don't even need the extra drive kit and can order an SSD alone.

    It would make sense to keep the 1TB disc in that case and make the ssd a boot drive. How do undertake this, as the existing 500GB disk appears to be the bootable one, so I can't clone this without taking out the 1TB one.

    Attached Files:

  6. tedson macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    I believe you have 2 spinning Hard Drives, one 500MB and 1TB. I'm not positive but I don't think you can combine 2 spinning HDs into a Fusion Drive, one needs to be a SSD, you wouldn't want to do it anyway without an SSD. You should just be able to order a SSD designed for your Mini, 2.5" SSD SATA III w/ 6Gb interface , double check on physical height for compatibility. You will also need the appropriate tools to open the case, see OWC or iFixIt for the tools list (Torx and hex driver) you will need. Also watch their disassembly videos a couple times before doing the upgrade.
  7. Wd999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2018
    Thanks. Yep, that's the plan. SSD and kit ordered.

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