replacing mac mini optical drive with a SSD (updated: optibay pictures)

macchiato2009

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Aug 14, 2009
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Hi

I'm thinking of buying the first model of Mac Mini (2.26) and upgrading it by removing the optical drive and putting a SSD

the regular HD would be upgraded with a 500 Gb drive

so that the SSD would boost the system and the 500 Gb will serve for the storage

has someone tried to replace the optical bay with a SSD ?


any slowdown when using an external superdrive? would i notice a difference between USB superdrive and Firewire superdrive ?

thx
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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I think several people have done that but couldn't find anything. It's more popular with MBPs and iMacs. Shouldn't matter though.

FW800 is faster but unless you use a lot optical drive, USB will be fine
 

rw3

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2008
679
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DFW, TX
the regular HD would be upgraded with a 500 Gb drive

so that the SSD would boost the system and the 500 Gb will serve for the storage

has someone tried to replace the optical bay with a SSD?
You will need a 12.7mm OptiBay. Can be found on eBay or from NewModeUs.com. $42 from NewModeUs.

any slowdown when using an external superdrive? would i notice a difference between USB superdrive and Firewire superdrive ?
You will not really see a different going from an internal SuperDrive to an external USB SuperDrive. The MacBook Air SuperDrive is plug'n'play with the Mac Mini.

You will see a nice increase in responsiveness on the Mini with the SSD upgrade. It makes it feel more like an iMac, except with integrated graphics.
 

macchiato2009

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 14, 2009
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hi

thx for your responses

oh, didn't know that the genuine MBA Superdrive would work on the Mac mini

i thought that it would be recognized on MBA only...

i was thinking of buying an external drive on macsales...


for the optical bay, ifixit offers one, i've seen several on the web too...


people who have done this, testimonials are welcomed

thx
 

macchiato2009

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 14, 2009
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ok thanks

yes, 3rd party drives are way cheaper and are compatible with all computers

i am doing intensive research about this

because i don't really use very often the superdrive and having both SSD and a bigger 2.5" hd inside the mac mini is way more convenient than SSD + external firewire HD
 

tchockey

macrumors member
Feb 9, 2010
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0
hi
I would put ssd in reg drive bay and the hd 500 in optibay for storage, it works great.
also WD just came out with 1tb 2.5 drive. only catch it is 12.5 mm thick. I think it will work, I will have 2 spots to try it in anyway. it works in macbook pro.
I ordered one for my mini, should get on tuesday, I will let you know if it works. little pricey though 175 to 200 shipped. but 1tb in mini that would be great !!!!!

I can also send you pictures of install if you want them of x25 160 ssd with blue 500 in optibay.

hope thats helps

mickey
 

tchockey

macrumors member
Feb 9, 2010
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you are welcome !!!
just let me know if you want pictures, They will give you a good idea of what the inside will look like.
mickey
 

macchiato2009

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Aug 14, 2009
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just got my mini today

i jumped on it immediately, to open it and upgrade the ram (4 Gb) and change the stock HD with the intel postville 80 Gb SSD :)

at first, i couldn't open it and i was afraid that the white plastic would break

finally, after a few minutes, the top could be removed

and it took me less than 10 minutes to change everything and close the box :)

i don't think i will replace the SD for the moment, as the warranty just started
 

darrellishere

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2007
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I've upgraded too, but one thing I'v noticed which may be my imagination is that if the old style plate drive is placed in the supper drive port for storage, I couldn't remember hearing it spin down when not in use!

However it behaves as expected when placed in the standard SATA port.
 

OrangeSVTguy

macrumors 601
Sep 16, 2007
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Northeastern Ohio
I believe the MBA superdrive only works with Mac Mini Server.

How is the SSD in the Mini? Maybe you should have tested it first with the HDD and then so you can see the difference between the two.
 

Reao

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2008
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I just did a 500GB HD upgrade to a mini. Looking at it I think you could fit a 1TB in where the HD goes, I would look into that.
 

macchiato2009

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Aug 14, 2009
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right after the upgrade, i had a weird behaviour of the mini with BT and wifi

i feared that both antennas were damaged when i opened/closed the case

I reopened the case, noticed that i forgot to reconnect the audio cable to the mainboard and i reinstalled SL a second time and now it's working smoothly


it seems that MCE tech is offering an external enclosure for the reuse of the superdrive once removed from the mini, did someone try it ?
maybe it is a good idea to keep the SD just in case something goes wrong, at least i'll be able to remount it into the mini in order to avoid warranty loss, what do you think ?

it seems that RAM and HD upgrades don't void warranty anyway if nothing is damaged
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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Finland
it seems that MCE tech is offering an external enclosure for the reuse of the superdrive once removed from the mini, did someone try it ?
maybe it is a good idea to keep the SD just in case something goes wrong, at least i'll be able to remount it into the mini in order to avoid warranty loss, what do you think ?

it seems that RAM and HD upgrades don't void warranty anyway if nothing is damaged
Any enclosure with 2.5" SATA will work. Upgrading HD and RAM doesn't void it if you don't break anything but if you send it to repair, put the original parts back
 

macchiato2009

macrumors 65816
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Aug 14, 2009
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i've 2 kinds of optibay online:

9.5mm and 12.7mm

which one should i get ?

HD are usually 9.5mm thick but i'm confused because ifixit sells a 12.7mm caddy :confused:


i don't to buy the wrong one...


thx
 

OrangeSVTguy

macrumors 601
Sep 16, 2007
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Northeastern Ohio
Larger capacity HDDs are 12.7mm. Standard 2.5" HDDs are 9.5mm so if you are going to get a standard HDD get that one.

I think it was Toshiba that announced a 1TB 2.5" hard drive in the standard 9.5mm size. But they are only 5400rpm. Can't wait for a 7.2k version as I would love a 2x 1TB RAID0 in my Mini and get one of those MBA superdrives but install a Blu-Ray drive into it: D.
 

macchiato2009

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Aug 14, 2009
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but which optibay will fit in the latest mac mini ?
i guess 12.7 will of course accept 9.5mm HD but will the enclosure fit inside the mini or would it be too thick ?
 

rw3

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2008
679
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DFW, TX
The Mac Mini and iMac use the 12.7mm SuperDrive/OptiBay. The entire MacBook (Pro) line uses the 9.5mm SuperDrive/OptiBay.

I know this because I service Macs all day long, 5 days a week.
 

macchiato2009

macrumors 65816
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Aug 14, 2009
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thanks but i already know how to open and replace parts of my mini, already did it with ram and ssd ;)