New Mac Mini data transfer query

Slippery Gimp

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 2, 2008
Leeds, UK

I currently have a 2012 Mac Mini with the 500Gb HDD, and I’m thinking about upgrading to the new base Mini with the 128Gb SSD. I use a 500Gb external drive on my current Mini which I use with Time Machine to back up every so often, but with the new one I’d want it to use it in conjunction with the 128Gb SSD, giving me 628Gb of storage (and no backup).

Hope I explained that well enough...Is this easy to do? I’m guessing I’d have to wipe the external HDD, then connect the old and new Mini’s together, and would Migration Assistant do the rest? Presumably the OS and all the usual apps would reside on the SSD, and anything else that didn’t fit would go on the 5400 spinner?

I’ve only ever bought a new Mac with a bigger HDD than the previous one, hence my question...

Thanks in advance.


macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009

You DO NOT WANT a computer setup with "no backup". That's an invitation for disaster.

If you get a new Mini, I recommend 256gb as "the minimum" storage space.

Then, get TWO USB3 external drives.

Set up the first one (say, 500gb) as your "primary, external" storage drive.

The second drive should be 1tb. Partition it into two partitions. The first will become the backup partition for the internal drive. The second partition will serve as the backup for the primary external storage drive.

I recommend using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper for creating and maintaining your backups. DO NOT rely on Time Machine -- it has failed too many people, as documented in posts right here at MacRumors over the course of the 10 years I've been here.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2008
Buy a Time Capsule (you can find them for cheap online, refurb) and use that as your Time Machine backup and super fast router. Problem solved.