Old Mac Mini hard drive upgrade options

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by warvanov, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #1
    I'm planning on buying a new MacBook Pro soon and I'm planning to upgrade the hard drive myself to something larger. I was hoping to be able to re-use the hard drive from the MBP in my old Mac mini, but I've run into a bit of a snag.

    My first gen Mac mini uses an Ultra ATA/100 connection, while my future MacBook Pro uses Serial ATA (6 Gb/s). I was hoping to be able to just drop the MBP drive into the mini, but obviously these are two different types of connections. Is it possible to do this with some sort of adapter?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    There are SATA to PATA adapters, but there is very little room in a Mac Mini. I don't think one would fit.
     
  3. warvanov thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #3
    So in theory, is something like this what you think I might need?

    http://www.amazon.com/SATA-PATA-Drive-Interface-Adapter/dp/B002Y2NI4M/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Looking at pictures at ifixit.com of the inside of the mac mini it looks like there might be enough space in front of the hard drive to accommodate an adapter like this, but I can't tell if the adapter would be too tall.

    Are there any other limitations to doing something like this other than space? Has anyone performed a replacement similar to this? Are there any resources online you can recommend to find out for myself if this is possible?
     
  4. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #4
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/19053083606...36064&_sacat=See-All-Categories&_fvi=1&_rdc=1

    The Sata side can be slightly tilted after unsoldering the two end pieces and the Pata side can have the pins bent. Then it will fit. Or you can leave it as is but it will sit higher (does not line up). You'll have to drill some new holes for mounting the HDD. I cannot remember which side it goes but you may be able to use one of the thinner Seagate HDD (7mm thick instaed of 9.5 mm). The other option is to use a 1.8" HDD / SSD and an adapter, chase around on eBay. Or take the SSD PC board out of a Kingston (forgotten which model) and use it like that. There are still PATA HDD around as well as PATA SSD.
     
  5. warvanov thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #5
    Good information, thank you! It sounds like I might be able to get it to work, but I might have to play with it a little bit to get it to fit.

    Are there any limitations to what size hard drive (in terms of GB, not mm) the Mac mini can recognize? I haven't been able to find anything concrete except a little bit of anecdotal evidence suggesting that the 1st gen mac mini won't install OSX onto larger hard drives.
     
  6. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #6
    I am not sure - some figures coming to mind were 120 Gb recommended but then others mentioning 160Gb or 300 Gb. I was going to put a small SSD in there (Intel 40 Gb or a small Kingston) but then I decided to buy the 2010 mini and now am on my 2011 mini. Put an Intel X25M G2 80 Gb in the 2010 and am waiting for that one to be sold and likely will put a 120 gb Intel 320 series in the 2011 one.
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #7
    The biggest PATA drives made for standard desktops where 750Gb. I'd say this is a good maximum to start with.
     

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