Mini HDD Upgrade - Looking for Advice

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by xheathen, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. xheathen macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2010
    Hi all,

    I've got a 2011 dual core mac mini and I'm looking at adding a SSD to it and ideally keeping the original 500gb drive as a storage drive.

    The problem is I'm seeing conflicting reports of what's involved in adding a 2nd drive (as opposed to just replacing the current one). The videos on YouTube depict that you just slightly pop out the logic board and then slide by drives right in place. iFixit's guide shows you've got to pull the entire thing apart and actually screw in the 2nd drive to a chasse bracket.

    I imagine that maybe the chasse bracket is an option and isn't required and that the 2nd lower drive could theoretically just float without actually being screwed in to anything. Can anyone offer any illumination whose done it?

    I'm also kind of curious if I do pull off adding a 2nd drive - what's the best way to go about changing my OS drive to the SSD and wiping out the standard HDD? Should I just format it and install a fresh Lion copy on the SSD and then add all my files? I'm fairly new to Mac so maybe there's a way to do it with TimeMachine or something??

    Thanks in advance if anyone can help!
  2. mwv121 macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2012
    I would follow the ifixit instructions and remove the cage to place the new hard drive in place. That way you know it has been done correctly and will be less likely to give you problems in the future.

    I just added a 128 gb Mushkin Cronos Deluxe hard drive last weekend to my Mac Mini. I ordered the kit from ifixit and watched the video twice beforehand and then followed the on-line guide with photos very closely. I would be a bit leary of just sliding that drive into place without mounting it into the cage. It's really not very difficult to slide the logic board out and remove the power supply to get the hard drive cage out. It took me about two hours start to finish and I took my time doing it. The most difficult part for me was the small fan, hard drive and power connectors. I took a lot of time there to make sure I didn't break anything off.

    I used Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the contents of my original hard drive to my new SSD. Then I went into preferences and selected the boot drive as my new SSD. I am now using my original hard drive as Time Machine backup and file storage.
  3. philipma1957, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    You can buy a seagate t-bolt adapter save yourself the risk of breaking the gear. my thread gives all the details.

    It has alot of info on pros and cons of an internal ssd vs the external setup with a seagate.

    Biggest pro: it is easy no risk of damage no warranty risk.

    Biggest con :it costs more.

    link below works well with these two ssds.

    also these two

    last but not least these two

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