My 2TB Mini Server is Filled . . . what next?

SomethingReallyWitty

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
3
0
Just came to a point where I've filled up 2TB of media on Mini Server and I'm not sure what to do next, in order to add additional storage. Since I've already got the Server, I'd like to add capacity to it and not go to second system. Any suggestions? Is it as easy as adding an External HD? The only thing is, the Mini is always turned on and I'm afraid I'll burn out any external HDs if I keep them running. I'm not using Plex, I'm just home sharing to my AppleTV's (1 3rd Gen, 1 4th Gen). Would love for y'alls feedback.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,514
6,772
It's incredibly easy to add external storage. Just get an external USB 3.0 drive that is bus-powered so you don't have to also connect it to an AC/DC power adapter. Any modern 2.5" USB 3.0 external drive should do.

Even if you have a 2011 or older Mini with USB 2.0, that is still fast enough for media playback. The initial copying of large amounts of files will take a while though.
 

dogslobber

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2014
3,817
5,718
Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
Just came to a point where I've filled up 2TB of media on Mini Server and I'm not sure what to do next, in order to add additional storage. Since I've already got the Server, I'd like to add capacity to it and not go to second system. Any suggestions? Is it as easy as adding an External HD? The only thing is, the Mini is always turned on and I'm afraid I'll burn out any external HDs if I keep them running. I'm not using Plex, I'm just home sharing to my AppleTV's (1 3rd Gen, 1 4th Gen). Would love for y'alls feedback.
You could delete some stuff!
 

SomethingReallyWitty

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
3
0
You could delete some stuff!
Simple and concise. Well played.
[doublepost=1458086961][/doublepost]
It's incredibly easy to add external storage. Just get an external USB 3.0 drive that is bus-powered so you don't have to also connect it to an AC/DC power adapter. Any modern 2.5" USB 3.0 external drive should do.

Even if you have a 2011 or older Mini with USB 2.0, that is still fast enough for media playback. The initial copying of large amounts of files will take a while though.
Simple enough, I'll check it out. Thanks.

Will be an issue that I'm running it all the time? As for the specs, I'm running an i7, late 2012 w/ 16GB of RAM.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,514
6,772
Will be an issue that I'm running it all the time? As for the specs, I'm running an i7, late 2012 w/ 16GB of RAM.
No, the drives aren't constantly spinning anyway. They go to sleep when you aren't using them.

I actually have a 2012MM with one 2TB USB 3.0 drive hooked up for network file sharing, and second one to back up the first one.

If you don't mind an extra cable for an AC/DC wallbug, the physically larger USB drives are cheaper and are available in much higher capacity.
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,849
404
Honolulu HI
In System Preferences, under Energy Saver, there's a checkbox for "Put hard disks to sleep when possible." Certain drives may ignore this setting.

I have a bunch of external USB 3 drives. The largest 2.5" I have is 4TB. For me, it was $20 more than the 3.5" although right now on Amazon it's $10 more. I've seen 8TB 3.5" for sale, maybe they come even bigger? The 3.5" drives take longer to spin up after sleep. If you have regular interruptions in watching videos such that your drives go to sleep, this may be a consideration.

For me, the internal 1TB HDD in my 2012 i7 mini is about 30% slower than the external 4TB portable (bus-powered). That, in turn is about 30% slower than either of my external 4TB 3.5" AC-powered drives - these are always connected directly to the Mini. The externals are all Seagate and they go to sleep after awhile (I have the sleep setting on in System Preferences). (I bought the 2012 Mini a couple months after it was introduced so it may be a slower drive or just getting old, the 1TB HDD in my 2014 Mini is just slightly slower than the external portable drive.)
 
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steve123

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2007
293
109
Just came to a point where I've filled up 2TB of media on Mini Server and I'm not sure what to do next, in order to add additional storage. Since I've already got the Server, I'd like to add capacity to it and not go to second system. Any suggestions? Is it as easy as adding an External HD? The only thing is, the Mini is always turned on and I'm afraid I'll burn out any external HDs if I keep them running. I'm not using Plex, I'm just home sharing to my AppleTV's (1 3rd Gen, 1 4th Gen). Would love for y'alls feedback.
Get a Lacie Thunderbolt 8big drive with 48 TB of storage. You wont run out of space and speed is great.
 

SpecFoto

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2013
65
7
So Cal
My Mini is the same as yours and came with 2 HDD @ 1TB each. There are 2 basic options for adding storage, internal or external. You said you are not using Plex, but if your are using iTunes to manage you files, then your Media folder can be on either drive, but it will be less than 750GB or so on the system drive or up to to 1TB if on the 2nd drive.

What I did was install a internal larger 2TB drive in the 2nd HHD slot and put the media folder there. Not too hard, just follow the ifixit videos. While a bit more trouble than an USB external drive, my iTunes media is all self contained

The external USB3 2.5" drive options until just recently were limited to 2TB. There are now relatively cheap 4TB USB3 2.5" drives and if and when my Media folder gets above 2TB, this is the option I will most likely use. I just bought another 4TB drive this weekend for $119 delivered from B&H. The ones I use are the Seagate Backup Plus, which are actually Samsung drives internally, not Seagate. Been using the 2TB ones for a couple of years without incident.
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,849
404
Honolulu HI
... The ones I use are the Seagate Backup Plus, which are actually Samsung drives internally, not Seagate. Been using the 2TB ones for a couple of years without incident.
Seagate bought Samsung's HDD business in late 2011. There weren't as many regulatory restrictions placed on that sale as compared to the WD-HGST merger but like WD-HGST, it wasn't finalized until late last year. I think it is more Seagate drive than old Samsung, though.
 

Osty

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2008
561
518
Melbourne, AU
Even if you have a 2011 or older Mini with USB 2.0, that is still fast enough for media playback. The initial copying of large amounts of files will take a while though.
I concur, I have a 2011 model with most of the media served from a external USB 3.0 drive. It's more than fast enough, even for Bluray rips piped to my Apple TV.
 

SpecFoto

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2013
65
7
So Cal
Seagate bought Samsung's HDD business in late 2011. There weren't as many regulatory restrictions placed on that sale as compared to the WD-HGST merger but like WD-HGST, it wasn't finalized until late last year. I think it is more Seagate drive than old Samsung, though.
You are 1/2 way correct.

The 5 external Seagate Backup Plus 2TB drives I bought in 2014-2015 (2 different suppliers over 15 months) were all actually Samsung Spinpoint M9T drives insides the Seagate backup plus case. These are 9mm thick. The Spinpoint data sheet says these are made in 1.5 and 2 TB versions. Last one bought was in Dec and they are still available for about $85. I put them inside my Mac Mini, 2 Mac Book Pros and in a dual drive bus powered RAID case. The have all performed just fine.

The newer Backup Plus 4TB USB 3 drives of which I now have 3, including one opened just yesterday to swap into a different FW/USB case, are Seagate labeled drives inside (about 15mm thick). These most likely will not fit into the 2nd slot of the Mini or MBP as they are too thick.

Don't know why these drives in various colored USB 3 cases are $20 cheaper than bare drives, but they are.
 
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LorenK

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
382
144
Illinois
Get a Lacie Thunderbolt 8big drive with 48 TB of storage. You wont run out of space and speed is great.
I'd stay away from LaCie. I know that there are lots of fans of LaCie drives, but I have four empty drive cases sitting around that, while are nicely machined aluminum, are useless because the bridge board failed before the drives did. Maybe they've fixed the problem, but the heavy aluminum cases seem to retain heat better than dissipate it. I'm a fan of Samsung, though their hard drive business was sold, they are still being sold under the Samsung name and have proven really reliable.
 

SomethingReallyWitty

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
3
0
My Mini is the same as yours and came with 2 HDD @ 1TB each. There are 2 basic options for adding storage, internal or external. You said you are not using Plex, but if your are using iTunes to manage you files, then your Media folder can be on either drive, but it will be less than 750GB or so on the system drive or up to to 1TB if on the 2nd drive.

What I did was install a internal larger 2TB drive in the 2nd HHD slot and put the media folder there. Not too hard, just follow the ifixit videos. While a bit more trouble than an USB external drive, my iTunes media is all self contained

The external USB3 2.5" drive options until just recently were limited to 2TB. There are now relatively cheap 4TB USB3 2.5" drives and if and when my Media folder gets above 2TB, this is the option I will most likely use. I just bought another 4TB drive this weekend for $119 delivered from B&H. The ones I use are the Seagate Backup Plus, which are actually Samsung drives internally, not Seagate. Been using the 2TB ones for a couple of years without incident.
So in essence, I can add another TB of storage internally by removing one of the 1TB HD's and replacing it with a 2? For some reason I thought it maxed at 2TB, good to know.
 

SpecFoto

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2013
65
7
So Cal
So in essence, I can add another TB of storage internally by removing one of the 1TB HD's and replacing it with a 2? For some reason I thought it maxed at 2TB, good to know.
Yes. You can actually replace both 1 TB drives with new 2TB drives, netting 4TB total, and since yours is the server model the brackets and cables are already in place. But you do want to buy thinner 2TB drives like the 9mm Samsung Spinpoint drives I mentioned above. It is a wee bit more difficult to replace the upper system drive (which is at the bottom when you turn the MM over to gain access) and you need to disassembly the MM a little farther by sliding out the logic board to gain easy access. Not really that hard if you follow the ifixit information.

Or you can put a SSD for the system and apps in the upper drive slot, and a 2TB HDD is the lower one for keeping your files. I did not do this as my MM is on all the time and used for my Apple TV's, so there is not a lot going on that would justify the big speed benefits of having the startup system and apps on a SSD. Once the 1TB SSD's comes down a bit in price though, I will most likely put one in as I plan on keeping my quad core mini for quite a while.
 
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MrWillie

macrumors 65816
Apr 29, 2010
1,344
301
Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
So in essence, I can add another TB of storage internally by removing one of the 1TB HD's and replacing it with a 2? For some reason I thought it maxed at 2TB, good to know.

Why do you want to open your Mini and replace drives ? By using external drives, if and when you replace your Mini, all your media is still there. I prefer the Ethernet versions. You can also select larger drives and with the WD and RAID arrays.

You could use this

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...d_t=101&pf_rd_p=1710452782&pf_rd_i=2248325011

or this

http://www.amazon.com/Cloud-Persona...qid=1458845089&sr=8-7&keywords=wd+my+book+NAS
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,514
6,772
So in essence, I can add another TB of storage internally by removing one of the 1TB HD's and replacing it with a 2? For some reason I thought it maxed at 2TB, good to know.
Yes but if you do, I strongly suggest reviewing the iFixit Mac Mini teardown first and seeing if you are comfortable with that. It is fairly easy to do if you follow the guide, but many have broken a connector anyway because those are fairly fragile.

You'll need a plastic spudger, T6 Torx, T8 Torx, and phillips screwdriver. For the "motherboard removal tool" step you can use two microscrewdivers instead. If you don't have all that, you might as well buy their toolkit.

While you have it open, I'd consider doing a memory upgrade at the same time if you ever want to do that.
 
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