Second drive in a Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vandrv, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. vandrv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #1
    I just received my refurbished Mini today and plan to install an SSD as a second drive tomorrow. I have watched the videos enough that it seems with a bit of patience that it will be fairly straightforward, but I do have a couple of questions about what to do as far as installing the hard drive. So far I have cloned the minis drive to the new SSD with carbon Copy Cloner and have installed a recovery partition on it. The computer will boot from this disk. Is this an acceptable way to go about this? Also I am going to use this computer to replace an Imac, so am wondering if I would be better off cloning the things I want from the old computer to the new drive or using Migration Assistant or does it make any difference? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #2
    use migration. also keep boot on both ssd and hdd
     
  3. vandrv thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 27, 2008
    #3
    Thank you for this. Migration Assitant it it is.
     
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

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    Jul 30, 2012
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #5
    Just a word to the wise -

    Two most common issues with cracking open the Mini - the motherboard in order to slide out has a slight "latch" with the case housing. Make sure you figure that one out properly so you can just ease it out. The second and most often messed up item is the IR connection. More times than not, people will damage this connection. Watch your videos carefully to see how they release the cable and which direction they pull it away. Other than that, putting it back together is the only area to make sure you get everything in place including the bezels. It is a good project you are doing.
     
  6. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    Jul 23, 2012
    Location:
    SoCal
    #6
    I accidentally ripped the sata cable on the drive doing this just be careful
     
  7. Omnius macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2012
    #7
    I'm not sure you understand what you said. You're saying that people break the IR connection when performing this upgrade more than they succeed in not breaking the IR connection. There is nothing to support that statement. It's patently outlandish. If you read the reviews here, more people report success than breaking it. If you look online, theres nothing that says that people break their mini more than they succeed.

    While a potential problem if you play it fast and loose on the upgrade, there is really no reason that anything should break on this upgrade. You simply take your time and do it properly. I've performed it multiple times. I've had no issue. It's a time consuming upgrade but not one where damage seemed more likely than success.
     
  8. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #8
    What do you mean exactly by this? I've read that you work each side slightly as a direct push is difficult, but I've never read it described as you have.

    I've upgraded these a bunch of times, but I've always resorted to jamming the drives in, which is not a lot of fun :D

    I think I'm going to try again to pull the board ( a few years ago I tried it but was afraid of breaking it)
     
  9. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #9
    Yes, don't be fooled by the iFixit ratings and OWC difficulty ratings. The old white Mini is way easier to upgrade than the 2010 and later ones. OK, the putty-knife start may scare you, but it is really hard to mess things up on that one. I would say the hard-drive replacement is 2 star on the 2009 and 4 on the 2012. I would say 5, but, hey, we need a rating for the new 2012 iMacs.
     
  10. oneinten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    #10
    I'm going to attempt this soon also, but from watching the videos and reading about it I can't see anything about the logic board requiring a "latch" to remove?

    And the IR unit send to be the link of cables attached to the second hard drive cage. Is that correct?

    Can anyone do their best to give a list of "tips" to not break any of the connections and removing the logic board?

    Thanks
     
  11. vandrv thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #11
    It seems that every time I finally get up the courage to do the install, all the posters that have had problems show up to discourage me, and I get cold feet.:)
     
  12. shalliday macrumors member

    shalliday

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    #12
    I just recently used Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to clone my original hard drive to a new external SSD. I used CCC to create the recovery partition as well. I then replaced the original harddrive with the new SSD. Everything worked perfectly.


    Since my 2011 MacMini already had two hard drives, it turned out to be a very straightforward swap. I did not remove the IR connector PIN since the drive I was replacing was on top and it was not necessary to remove the PIN.

    If your Mini has only one hard drive and you are installing the new one as a 2nd hard drive, be sure to have a second hard drive cable for the drive before starting the install. If you do have to remove the IR connector, be sure to "lift it" from the motherboard using the IR cable and not from the pin connector itself. There are plenty of easy to follow online videos available outlining the procedure. Watch a few of these videos and then take your time with the install. It was my first time doing it and I did not it too difficult at all.

    Hope this is of some help and good luck with your install.
     
  13. oneinten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    #13
    Hello,

    In all the videos I've watched, the IR connector needs to be removed from the board in order to take the board out of the case?

    Is the main risk knocking the IR sensor when removing the lower hard drive bay? Or actually removing the IR connector from the motherboard? When you say do not remove it from the pin connector what do you mean?

    I'd like to know the best way to remove the IR unit before I start taking my Mac mini apart haha
     
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #14
    When the motherboard is slid out, there is a slight lip that acts like a latch to hold it in place with respect to the chassis. That is all that is meant by a "latch."

    IR cable to mother board - it is wire with a connector/plug and simply needs to be gently pried from the motherboard. People often either pull in the wrong direction and snap the plug off which thus breaks the IR connectivity (cannot be easily soldered back etc.).

    Both of the above can be avoided but just a reminder of two of the more common first time cracking open a Mac Mini issues.
     
  15. shalliday macrumors member

    shalliday

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    #15
    In all of the videos I watched they also removed the IR connector however on one of the videos, not sure which one, someone had posted a comment that he did not remove the connector when he upgraded his MacMini hard drive because when he slid the motherboard back there was enough clearance to swap the drives without removing the IR pin connector. When I upgraded my MacMini, I gave it a try and it worked. Please keep in mind that I own a 2011 MacMini with two drives installed and I was only accessing the top drive slot to swap the 1st hard drive for an ssd. I had no reason to access the lower drive bay since I was leaving the 2nd hard drive in place. While this worked for me, depending on the model and/or configuratioon of your MacMini, you may need to remove the IR connector from the motherboard in order to get adequate access to the drive bay, especially if you need access to the lower drive bay to swap or install a 2nd drive. This was my first major upgrade I did to my MacMini so I am definately no expert. Just passing along what worked for me. The following are a couple of videos I used which shows basically what I did for my upgrade:

    Upgrade the Mac Mini 2011 hard drive to Solid State Drive
    2011 Mac Mini Hard Drive Upgrade Video
    I'd like to know the best way to remove the IR unit before I start taking my Mac mini apart haha[/QUOTE]
    In all of the videos I watched they used a nylon pry tool, often referred to as a Spudger, to "lift" the IR board connector (IR connector pin) from the motherboard. In my case the Spudger was included in the The Newer Technology 11-Piece Portable Toolkit I had purchased from OWC. You could use a small flat head screw driver or tweezers to do the same thing.

    The following video from OWC shows how you use the nylon pry tool to gently "lift up" on the IR connector cable to remove the IR board connector from the motherboard. The pry tool is inserted under the cable, not the actual IR board connector pin itself and then used to gently "lift up" the cable to "unplug" the IR board connector pin from the motherboard.

    Upgrading/Replacing the Hard Drive in a 2011 Mac mini

    From what I have read, the IR board connector pin itself is fairly fragile so you do not want to use it to pry it out of the motherboard. Use the cable running into the connector pin instead, as they do in the OWC video.

    Overall, its a fairly easy upgrade to do. You just need to take your time and not be in a rush. Watch the videos until you are comfortable and then go for it. Thats what I did. :D The performance improvement makes its well worth the effort!

    The following are a couple of MacRumor discussion threads which I found quite helpful as well:

    2012 Mac Mini SSD and Memory Upgrade
    SSD Upgrade Tutorial Links for 2012 Mac Mini

    Hope this is of some help!

    Cheers,

    Scott Halliday
     
  16. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #16
  17. oneinten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    #17
    Thanks for all the help! I have now decided to replace the original HDD with an SSD and wait until I can aford a BETTER HDD to put into the second bay.

    But out of interest, in this video:
    http://www.techdc.com/2011-mac-mini-hard-drive-upgrade-video

    No fixings hold the lower HDD in place, but I'm wondering how safe/secure that second HDD would be?

    If it were secure I'd feel much better attempting this, any creative methods to fix the drive in place by dropping it through the gap as opposed to removing the logic board?

    Thanks
     
  18. shalliday macrumors member

    shalliday

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    #18
    Not sure if this will answer your question. In the video, the drive he is replacing which in my earlier comments on this thread, I was referring to as the top drive bay, is actually the lower drive bay. Sorry if I have it wrong but as I said, I am new to this. Either way in the video you referenced above, the drive he is replacing is held securely in place by two screws attaching it to the removable antenna base. If you pause the video at the 8:11 timeset, you will see him securing the new drive to the antenna base with the two screws.

    In the first two videos in my earlier post, the drive was replaced without removing the motherboard:

    Upgrade the Mac Mini 2011 hard drive to Solid State Drive
    2011 Mac Mini Hard Drive Upgrade Video

    This is the process I followed for my upgrade and all went well without a hitch.
     
  19. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #19
    (talking a 2011 version here) Actually, in a factory mini with dual drives, and in the OWC data doubler there are 4 grommets and 4 screws that hold the top drive in place. on the bottom drive the two locator pins fit into grommets in what is the front of the Mini case, and the second two screws are the two center silver screws that go through the airport antenna plate. So at the end of the day a "proper" dual drive Mini has both drives secured with 4 attachment points each.

    Top and bottom referring to their actual location, easy to get confused when discussing as the "top" when you're servicing it is actually the "bottom" in reality.
     
  20. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #20
    Removing it from the MB is the issue. It's the only connector that's pokey to get to.

    It's the only connector you're likely to break.


    But hey, I've never even used the IR once yet anyway! WiFi + remote app or screen share and you're good to go.
     
  21. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #21
    If you have the OWC kit with all screws and grommets, can you do the addition of a second drive like the video above (with the mobo in place)? And is it hold in position the same way as it would with the very long and risky OWC guide?
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    "It seems that every time I finally get up the courage to do the install, all the posters that have had problems show up to discourage me, and I get cold feet."

    I can't say that I blame you for the hesitation. I, too, bought a new Mini. After reading numerous posts here from others who "thought they could do the job", but ended up breaking something or other during the upgrade process, I decided "why bother"?

    I bought a proper USB3/SATA docking station (with the right controller chip), and have never looked back.

    You might consider doing the same.
    You need an enclosure with either an
    ASMedia 1051e controller chip
    or an
    ASMedia 1053 controller chip

    Either one of these will give you UASP over USB3 (SCSI protocols over the USB bus).

    Here's a couple of enclosures that will do this:
    http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/U32-M.html
    and
    http://www.amazon.com/Plugable-Dock...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B003UI62AG
     
  23. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #23
    Assuming we are talking about a Mac Mini 2010 to 2012?

    You just put two mini screw drives in the two holes (or use the logic board removal tool) and lever the logic board 5mm and then remove the screw drivers (or tool) and pull out the logic board? Or in the case of just adding a second drive in the lower bay (under the WiFi grill) you simply move the logic board 5mm.
     
  24. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #24
    Because you want everything in one nice package! I take the mini as laptop without built in crap display and seperate charger brick. I don't want all the loose stuff with it.
     
  25. vandrv thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #25
    This was my original plan for this Mini, since it would be much easier to do and wouldn't void the warranty. I really have no problem with another external drive, since I already have several for backups and my desk is a cluttered mess anyway.:) I called the local authorized Mac repair center, and they will do the second drive for about $50.00 but and external drive enclosure would be cheaper.
    I do have a question though about going this route, I would like all my applications on the SSD including the OS. Can I just assign the external drive as the boot drive? Will this cause any problems?
     

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