Scared to add drive

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by soysauce74, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. soysauce74, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014

    soysauce74 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    #1
    I was reading the iFixit website's guide for installing 2 drives in late 2012 MM, and the associated comments of people insisting that it does matter the position of the factory drive in order to prevent the MM from thinking the 2 drives aren't a broken Fusion Drive.

    In the comments was also a link to the OWC website where it also insists that you can't your Disk Utility thru the normal apps location, because of the same issue with the MM believing your 2 drives are a broken Fusion Drive.

    To tell you the truth, after reading these, it made me feel terrified at the thought of adding a second drive (1 ssd and 1 hdd).

    Are these experiences true of fellow readers here or flukes?

    Is there any tried and true info I need to do this?

    I want to make a bootable USB key. I have the instructions to do that. I'm aware I need to make this copy from the MM so I have a MM version of Mavericks. I'll buy the install kit from iFixit. And of course will be extra careful on the tear down.

    But does drive location matter at all, or the method of getting disk utility up and running to format the drives?

    Any tips or things which would make this easier would be great.

    1 last thing...I don't have a monitor, mouse, keyboard yet. Can I connect to my tv as a monitor and use and cheap keyboard/mouse via USB?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    There's a simple and cheap answer to your fears.

    Get either an external USB3 drive enclosure, or get a USB3/SATA docking station. You can find a dock for as little as $20.

    I would recommend either a dock or an enclosure that SPECIFICALLY SUPPORTS "UASP" (USB attached SCSI protocol). This will give you the full speeds that USB3 is capable of, which are all-but equal to thunderbolt.

    I think either of these would do the trick for you:
    http://www.amazon.com/MiniPro-Exter...34&sr=8-3&keywords=oyen+digital+2.5+enclosure
    or
    http://plugable.com/products/usb3-sata-u3

    Installation (especially with a dock) will be one of the easiest computer jobs you've ever done:
    1. Put SSD drive into dock (do you know how to put a slice of bread into a toaster?)
    2. Connect to Mini, turn on
    3. Open Disk Utility and intialize drive
    4. Use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to clone the internal drive to the SSD (CCC is free to download and use for 30 days)
    5. Select SSD as boot drive using Startup Disk preference pane
    6. Reboot
     
  3. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #3
    Before you add another drive you need to make sure the mac mini works.

    1. Get a keyboard, mouse, and screen. Boot your mini and put it through it's paces. Make sure everything works before you open it up. This is the most important thing you can do before you add or change anything.

    2. Make a bootable drive... and test it!

    3. Fusion drive. It doesn't matter which bay you put the drives. If you carefully follow the instructions and use the correct tools... and are careful removing and inserting the connectors... it will go smoothly.
     
  4. nixiemaiden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #4
    I got the OWC kit and it came with instructions to avoid it.

    Basically I installed the SSD following the instructions. Then I booted the Mac Mini to the regular drive and formatted the SSD. Then I rebooted and pressed command R to bring up the recovery menu. One of the options in there was to install the OS so I installed the OS to the SSD and set that as my primary drive. (I did have a hiccup in here since the OS came preinstalled on my mac. It was saying that this apple id has not purchased this OS. So i had to reboot and open the App store and "purchase" Mavericks from the app store...then go back to the recovery menu).

    Once I was done with that, I rebooted and was prompted to move old files so I told it to recover all of my files/programs from the other start up disk.

    Once that was completed, I formatted my old hard drive.

    It is probably quicker to just copy your hard drive to the SSD rather than taking an hour to download the OS but I have no idea where my external drive enclosure is and this worked fine for me....I think you just need to stay out of the disk utility option within the recovery menu.
     
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #5
  6. nixiemaiden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #6
    This is how to replace the hard drive, not add a second one.
     
  7. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #7
    I installed my SSD in the "upper" bay and reinstalled the original 1TB HDD in the "lower" bay, OS X did pop up a message asking if I wanted to rebuild a fusion drive or something of that nature, but it didn't cause any problems and once the drive was formatted it didn't say anything else about a Fusion drive ever again. I have the SSD as the main OS drive and the HDD as my data drive (docs, music, etc).
     
  8. al404 macrumors 6502

    al404

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Novara, Italy
    #8
    what is the benefit of install as internal hard drive vs USB3
    as written on other post my samsung 830 inside mac book reach same write / read as newer samsung 840 inside icy box fire wire 800 / usb 3 connected via USB 3

    i can't really also understand the benefit of a fusion drive VS esterna USB3 box for boot and system and internal mini HDD for file storage and cache, i also use extra external HDD for storage
    as far as i know on fusion drive if one of 2 disk fails you lose both disk files
     
  9. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #9
    And what speeds would those be?

    The benefit is less clutter, no interface acting as a middle-man (SATA3 -> USB3), and less likelihood of accidentally disconnecting the drive/cable.


    I would never use an external USB3 drive as the boot/OS drive just due to it being vulnerable to bumps and disconnects.

    The benefit of a Fusion drive is that you have more storage space combined with better performance. Yes, the downside is that if one drive fails then the data on the other drive is effectively lost, however that risk is no different than running one large drive. No matter the setup, everyone should be doing regular Time Machine or other backups. If you have a drive failure and lose data then that is on you for not having a proper backup strategy before disaster strikes.

    Setting up some hackey, suboptimal internal/external setup with the OS on an external drive in order to avoid simply adding a second drive just seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
     
  10. Crosscreek, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014

    Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Location:
    Margarittaville
    #10
    Works fine for me and I have been waiting 8 months to put it in a new Mini and sell the old one.



    For the OP-
    If you feel you are not capable or comfortable with putting in the SSD you can send it to OWC and they will do it for $99.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    Yahooligan wrote above:
    [[ I would never use an external USB3 drive as the boot/OS drive just due to it being vulnerable to bumps and disconnects. ]]

    This is a non-issue.

    I bought a new Mac Mini in January of 2013 (more than a year ago). I put it on my desk, and also dropped an SSD into a plugable.com "lay-flat" USB3 docking station I have sitting on the desk in an out-of-the-way place.

    For 15 months, I've used the USB3 "external booter" with not a single disconnect, NOT ONE (unless I chose to physically disconnect the drive myself).

    It just works....
     
  12. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    Sounds like the excuses similar to the ones people that drive under the influence use when they haven't wrecked yet. I'm glad you're comfortable with that setup, I wouldn't be. Especially since I have cats and kids.
     
  13. p3ntyne macrumors 6502

    p3ntyne

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    A thunderbolt dock station/external adapter should always be considered first if is it your budget.

    Not only is it faster (in most circumstances) but it also supports trim - vital for every SSD but those based on the SandForce controller.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    [[ Sounds like the excuses similar to the ones people that drive under the influence use when they haven't wrecked yet. I'm glad you're comfortable with that setup, I wouldn't be. ]]

    Many professionals in the audio and video worlds do "mission critical" work using attached storage. Seems to work well enough for them.

    If you can't, or if you are afraid to, that's your choice.

    What's to prevent the kids or the cat from knocking the computer itself off the desk?
     
  15. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Location:
    Margarittaville
    #15
    There is one problem with doing it this way is you can't enable trim. What I do is just keep my apps on the SSD and use the internal HD (which also has OSX on it also) for writing files to and external USB3 HD for time machine.
     
  16. al404 macrumors 6502

    al404

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Location:
    Novara, Italy
    #16
    my write speed is about 310 MB/s write and 415 MB/s read

    i did enable trim on my external SSD on USB3 at least i see it as enabled from system profiler

    i would also like to say that i have a TM back + a daily and weekly backup on 2 different HDD but restore from backup could take a while even 5 / 6 hours or more

    i also prefer a non fusion drive configuration so i can chose what is on SSD and what is not like cache directory or temporary downloaded / exchanged files

    i think that use SSD only for system and apps is best setup, at least on my opinion, and other files on external device, USB 3 can be very fast

    actually from new mac pro i guess apple think the same thing, since internal solid state is on mac pro and everything else on external device
     
  17. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #17
    Although fusion drive is an interesting approach for new hardware, I don't think it is a good option as an upgrade. Replacing a HDD from the Mac Mini is harder than doing it on a Macbook. If I'd open my Mini for replacing its storage, I would do the ultimate upgrade, that is, adding a decently sized SSD, like a 250-500GB one. Use the second drive as an internal backup unit.

    Yes.
     
  18. donlab macrumors 6502

    donlab

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    Plop in the mechanical drive so it's in the tray you can access first when the cover is opened. In case the drive fails it's easy to replace. Fusion setup is great. I went with a 120GB OWC Electra SSD paired with stock 1 TB. No issues since install over a year ago. I don't care where core storage puts my data as it seems to do its job well.
     

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