Replacing HDD on Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Drucifer, May 14, 2008.

  1. Drucifer macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Good day.

    My friend recently gave me his Mac Mini which he has had for only 2 years. He believes it is the hard drive that went on him and since he is not the least bit technical he gave it to me. I myself and not technical but he said maybe my brother might be able to help out since he works on computers. I haven't mentioned this to my brother yet and he doesn't really work on Macs at all.

    My question is, is it a pretty easy job to replace the HDD on a Mac Mini? If so are there any good guides on this site with steps? What sort of hard drive should I be looking to buy if I was to replace it? Also what sort of troubles may I encounter trying to install the OS on the new HDD? I think he still has all his software from Apple.

    Thanks for any help you can provide. :D
  2. bitz macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2008
  3. Drucifer thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Thanks much.

    What other possibilities might it why the Mac Mini just crapped out. He treats it like a baby and has never had any problems with it. He said on the weekend he tried to start it up and it displayed the apple logo and shut off. After that it wouldn't turn back on. He has all the items from the original purchase, but since he isn't the least bit technical he just bought a new one.

    Should I try re-installing the OS first? I just don't want to go buy a hard drive if I don't have to.
  4. TheCreator macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Is the unit not powering on at all? That's the way you make it sound... I wouldn't that that is the harddrive.
  5. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007
    The G4 minis use PATA. Intel minis use SATA.

    Our G4 mini (now retired, looking for a good mohterboard or G4 mini for parts) shuts itself off randomly. Sometimes it won't boot up again, but typically will if leave it for an hour.

    I got Applecare on its replacement. :(
  6. bitz macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2008
    well, if it were a normal pc (and I only say this because I have more experience fixing those) I'd say the prime suspect is the power supply. Random shutdowns usually precede a complete failure to boot. if you can, bring it to an apple retailer/repair (or mini owning friend) and just see what happens when you hook it up to a different ps.
  7. Drucifer thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Sorry for the delay. I sent my friend an e-mail to ask what the system did when he tried turning it on last. He said it booted up to a boot menu or something like that.

    I'm not a Mac user so I'm not to sure what he was talking about. I have yet to hook it up myself and give it a try since I've been really busy at work lately.
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    One critical bit is that you get the original OS CDs that came with the machine for repairing and / or reinstalling the system
  9. Drucifer thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Yeah, he gave me everything that came with the original Mac Mini. :)
  10. Drucifer thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Just an update.

    I bought a 160GB HDD and opened up the Mac Mini, installed the new HDD and after a bit or work got it up and running. I decided to give it back to my friend since it was only a couple years old and seemed like it worked great. He gave me money for the HDD and appreciated the return and is now using it as a media player he hooked up to his TV.

    I however, have been talking to another local friend who has a Mac Mini he is willing to sell. After playing around on my friends for a few days I decided I want one for myself.

    My friend wanted $250 for a Mac Mini with the following specs:

    G4 1.25GHz Processor
    1024MB DDR400 Ram
    40GB Hard Drive
    2 x USB & 1 x Firewire
    10/100 NIC
    56K Modem
    Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
    Combo Drive

    I have a external hard drive which I'm hoping will be compatible with it and an external DVD and CD burner by LG which I'm also hoping will be compatible. I never thought to try them on my friends Mac Mini when I had it but oh well. He found out I had an iPod Touch which I never really use so he offered me his Mac Mini for my iPod Touch 8GB. He will also through in a 17" CRT monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

    Sound like a good deal? I will probably just buy a USB HUB and a new HDD to install in it to give me more storage.
  11. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    Doesn't sound so good.

    1. You would need to upgrade the hard drive and probably add more memory. Add this to the $250 cost and you are looking at roughly $150 - 200 more.

    2. Network is only 10/100. The newer minis come with 10/100/1000

    3. You can run Leopard on it, but that and any apps will really chew up the processor. Also, the next major OS upgrade may not run on it.

    4. Its a PPC processor and not very fast. New and even refurbished models are running the newer Intel Core2Duo processors.

    I'd consider a looking at the Market Place on Mac Rumors to see if anyone is selling one, or consider a refurb (when Apple has one listed) or a new one.
  12. Drucifer thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    The thing is all I'm really looking to do is replace my laptop I have now. So technically I don't really need anything too fancy. Right now I'm running a laptop with XP Home. 1.6GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, 20GB HDD and so on and so on. Basically the thing is ancient. I don't even have USB 2.0 ports on it. I actually bought a PCM CIA card just to get USB 2.0 on the thing.

    Also how bad would 10/100 be in comparison with the new ones with 10/100/1000?

    I thought it might be worth the trade for the iPod Touch then I could sell my laptop for $100 maybe and buy a new HDD. I could always pick up some more RAM too at the same time if I really needed it.

    All I would really be using it for is burning movies, CD's, maybe photoshop or gimp, and browsing the net.


    BTW, I live in Canada and when I went out to price new Mac Mini's they were something like $850 for one with a Super Drive and $650 for one with a Combo Drive. That is another $400 plus tax on something like that here is close to another $100.
  13. Drucifer thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Any other opinions before I give him a response? I have never owned a Mac before.
  14. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    If you are replacing a laptop with XP and don't care about losing anything go for it. If you want to run XP on a Mac (as a VM or thru bootcamp), you would need an Intel based Mac. With that you could run both.
  15. Drucifer thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Thanks for the help.

    I decided to pass and I will just get a new Mac Mini in the next couple months after I have some extra cash to spend.

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