Resolved SSD upgrade, HELP!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by xtrips, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. xtrips macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2008

    I am quite the techie .... in the Windows world
    so my friend asked me if I could upgrade his Mac Mini (late 2009 version) with an SSD drive and some RAM.
    I said sure, I mean how hard can it be?
    Well, I am stuck.
    I tried all I could find on forums, YouTube etc...
    Nothing works, for me at least..
    I guess I lack some basic understanding of the MAC world and that's why I need your help, Please!

    Let's resume.
    I have a MAC mini (late 2009 version), running Yosemite.
    I have a new, bigger SSD drive.
    I have a 32Gb USB flashdrive.
    I also have the sources of El Capitan (version 15D21) but in a folder and files format, not dmg. Couldn't find it.

    I simply want a new, from scratch, installation of El Capitan, on the SSD drive. I don't care about the old data.

    How do you do that?
    I tried preparing a bootable El Capitan flashdrive. I failed.
    I tried cloning the old HDD to the SSD using Carbon Copy Cloner. It failed.

    Isn't there a way to prepare a "working" bootable El Capitan flashdrive using the sources I have, mount the formatted SSD drive into the MAC mini and then simply install from scratch like I do in Windows?

    Please help!
  2. iccb macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2009
    Download El Capitan installer from mac app store, and download Diskmaker x (U can google the link) and install diskmaker x and run it.
    Follow the instructions of diskmaker.
    If U don't have mac, use your friends mac.
    For ssd, google ifixit mac mini ssd.
  3. xtrips, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016

    xtrips thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2008
    Thanks for your help.
    Since I am a real Newbie when it comes to MAC I will have a few more questions before I venture down that path.
    I guess what you mean is:
    - Use my MAC mini running Yosemite to access the app store and download something called El Capitan installer
    - then download Diskmaker x and use it also under Yosemite
    - then I will connect the new SSD drive via USB and use these tools to install a running version of El Capitan on the SSD?
    - or prepare the SSD with some installer version of EL Capitan?
    - and then what? Swap the SSD into the MAC mini and it will boot from there?

    Note! The iFixit thing is I guess for the purpose of dismantling and swaping HDD/SSD, right? This is the easiest part for me.
  4. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    I have done this on a 2012 Mac Mini and it is not particularly difficult. I think the earlier C2D models are even easier to disassemble.

    1. Download the El Capitan installer from the App Store.
    2. Use this guide to make the bootable installer on the USB. You do not need dismaker, and if you don't care about the old date you don't need to clone anything
    3. Physically install the SSD into the Mac Mini. There should be videos out there - though beware that the procedure will be different Mac Minis so make sure you are using a video for a 2009 Mac Mini.
    4. Boot from the USB installer by pressing the Option-key on boot.
  5. xtrips thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2008
    Well thank you all. I started the procedure but now I am stuck for quite a long time at 12 minutes remaining installing on the target Drive. nothing budges on the screen. what can It be?
  6. xtrips thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2008
    I did create the installer flash drive and it does load correctly when called with the option key.
    Then I chose the SSD drive and all seemed fine until the end, but then after the reboot, when the Apple and scrollbar appear it stays stuck.
    I tried to do that procedure twice already with the same result.
    Isn't there a log file or debug mode to understand what is happening?
    Are there compatibility issues with SSD drives from Toshiba?
  7. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    I have a late-2009 Mini and my computer has the Nvida MCP79 SATA chipset. There are a number of drives which have problems with the MCP79. It seems that the OCZ Trion SSD's have problems even getting OSX installed with the MCP79 and the Trion is a re-branded Toshiba SSD (OCZ is owned by Toshiba but some SSD's are OCZ-designed, others are Toshiba SSD's with the OCZ name). Do you have another drive to boot the Mini from? If so, check that you have the MCP79 by pressing on the Apple logo on the upper left, press "About This Mac", press the "System Report" or "More Info" (depends on the OS) button and in the window that comes up on the left is something Serial-ATA or SATA. On the right will be SATA chip you have. If you do have the MCP79, do a search with "NVidia MCP79" and then add the Toshiba drive name and if there are problems, you should get a good number of results (although if the SSD is doesn't sell in volume, there may not be a lot of results either way).
  8. ElCani macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Sometimes the progress bar can appear stuck when it's not (you just need to wait), but equally OS X installs do also fail part through. My advice would be to use an enclosure (or a SATA - USB cable) to install OS X on to the SSD before you put it inside the Mini. Do this by connecting it to the mini and running the install process via the App Store. You can then test it by selecting it as the startup disk and seeing if it boots.

    The above process solved my problems with a 2007 iMac that wouldn't let me install the OS X on a new internal SSD using a USB installer.
  9. xtrips thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2008
    Unbelievable :]
    MCP79 it is, and problems... Oh boy, there are too, a lot.
    Though in the system report it shows that the Link speed to the SSD drive is 3 Gbit.
    Anyway, did a lot of reading and some point to Crucial as being the recommended choice for the combination with MCP79.
    Thanks a lot.
    I hope this is the solution.
  10. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    With an external enclosure you can install the operating system on the SSD and test it before you ever install the drive. It won't perform like it would inside of that 2009 mini but it will work.
  11. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    That's good advice but if there's a problem with the MCP79 SATA chipset and a specific SSD, it'll can work in a USB enclosure but won't once you put it in the Mini, there will be problems.
  12. xtrips thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2008
    Thanks a million.
    I managed to return the Toshiba and got a Crucial BX200.
    I got frights in the end of the install while it got stuck for an hour and a half but eventually it booted to the OS and worked fine.I also enabled trim.

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