SSD Upgrade Tutorial Links for 2012 Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by hmaliks, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. hmaliks macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012

    Just received by mid level 2012 mac mini and wanted to know best resources for replacing the hard drive with SSD. My questions are:

    1. Can I clone the existing 5400 RPM hard drive to my Samsung 830 SSD first.
    2. I need a video tutorial for replacing hard drive with SSD. Will the SSD fit directly or do I need to buy something to get it fit in there.

    Thanks and appreciate the help!
  2. stellan0r macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2012
    did you check youtube or the other postings in this forum?
  3. Adz76, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    Adz76 macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Dagobah System
    To answer your questions yes you can clone, you will need to hook up the drive either via a cable or a caddy and then use either Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

    I've used the first but not the second but from what I've read both work great and are free.

    This video is the one I used when I did mine:

    Plus I used the iFixit guide , both were open on my laptop when I did it.

    I also used the 830 Samsung after reading that Apple uses them, you will need the cable, some screws and rubber washers plus a few Torx drivers.

    Your best off getting the whole kit from either iFixit or OWC as you get everything you need in it.

    Last point, depending how old and full your drive is you may be better doing a fresh install on the new drive and then just copying over all the data either by the assistant or manually.

    Just a thought though.

    Edit: If its a 2012 then I would clone it as there will be no reason not to being so new
  4. hmaliks, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    hmaliks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    Thanks a lot. Can you please be kind enough to post the links for the whole kits that you mentioned?


  5. That-Guy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2012
  6. hmaliks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    Let me just better understand it.

    If I don't care about the screw drivers, is there anything in this toolkit necessary to mount the SSD once I take out the existing hard drive?

    My question is does this kit is necessary or good to have. Does it contain any thing which is necessary to mount it in the mini? Can I use the existing screws included with the base hard drive to mount the new SSD?

  7. stellan0r macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2012
    If you don't want to add the ssd as a second drive and just replace the stock hdd, you don't need any other tools than the different screwdrivers (torx etc.) as far as I know.

    Did you check out the video on the ifixit website?
  8. hmaliks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    Will you be kind enough to post the youtube link for that. The previous one was for adding a secnd hard drive to a previous version mini. I need to replace the stock hard drive with SSD in 2012 mini.

  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    do yourself a favor don't do the swap. just buy this and drop in an ssd.
  10. hmaliks, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    hmaliks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    If you follow that tutorial you may break certain things.

    at time marker 2:04 they pop the fan connector loose. this is very easy to break. there are hundreds of threads on sites about this breaking.

    next at about 2:30 they disconnect the data connector and the ir connector. the data connect is pretty tough the ir connector breaks. there are posts on that being broken all over the net.

    don't pull the logic board out fully and watch time 3:51 be careful taking the plastic wrap off the hdd.

    I have done hundreds of these replacements .

    frankly unless you have good tools good eyes good light and a quiet space it is easy to break the connectors . if you are buying an external usb3 case and boot with the external usb3 case your mini will be smoking killer fast. with 0 risk of damage. it is not as fast as putting the ssd into the machine. but If I told you to walk from New York to Miami (stock oem drive) or with 0 risk drive to miami in a chevy (ssd in a usb3 case) if may be fast enough. putting the ssd into the mini will be like driving a fast porsche
  12. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    That's some really good advise. For anybody who doesn't believe this here's a post earlier this year of a Samsung in a OWC mini 3.0 SATA III enclosure.
    Or, how about this bad boy.
  13. shinji, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    Any reason you're suggesting USB 3 instead of LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt SSD, LaCie LittleBigDisk Thunderbolt, or the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter? I've read your other threads about Thunderbolt SSD.
  14. stellan0r macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2012
    I don't have the links at hand, you could simply go to ifixit and stop the playback at that point where they remove the upper harddrive. No need to take everything apart if you only want to replace the single HDD


    Probably because they can cost hundreds' more than a USB 3.0 enclosure + SSD
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    price the oyen usb3 is 25-30 bucks.

    the lacie LBD with no deal is 699 for the new 512gb version.

    myself I have an old lacie lbd with 2x 512 gb toshiba ssds inside it is great.

    but I am testing the oyen usb3 with a 256gb samsung as a booter.

    as a compromise to price.
  16. analogkid macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2003
    Personally I think that internal is the most elegant and logical solution for ssd on the Mini. I am getting 825 MB/s reads and 750 MB/s writes on my '11. 500 GB of space is enough for the current project and then i like a combination of nas and a local external with those spinny platter things.
    Just be patient and careful.
    Ifixit has good guides, but if you are just swapping out the drive you shouldn't have to pull the logic board. Even so the whole computer pulls out without too much fuss. Watch those connectors! Especially the ir,front light. Still, I've seen itx cases that are more fussy to work with.
  17. hmaliks, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    hmaliks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    I have successfully migrated to a Samsung-830 SSD. I thank everyone for valuable info. I personally belief in something cleaner and that's why having an external boot hard disk doesn't cut out for me. It may be a good option for others.

    Here are the steps I took:
    1. Downloaded 30 day trial version of Carbon Copy Cloner and cloned:
    a. Recovery Partition first
    b. Cloned the Drive afterwards

    2. Used the Youtube video in my last post to open the mac mini. The internal placements of the components is identical to the 2011 version. Here is the link again:

    3. By the way I figured out I did not have the torx screw drivers, so a quick visit to home depot resolved this. This is the toolkit I bought, pretty cheap ($5) and reasonable quality. It has the three screw driver bits you need for mac mini. Here is the link:

    4. Just be very cautious about the connectors. The connectors snap from top rather than slide. So when taking out the connectors, just pull them upwards as gently as possible rather than pulling them towards you. Just be gentle and patient, otherwise you have seen the advice from experienced folks in the posts above about broken connectors.

    5. Once everything is done, I booted up fine with all my previous settings on the new HD. :)

  18. k.alexander macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2010
    Did you get the "kit" from ifixit? And by that I mean did you have the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool? If not, how did you pull out the logic board? Thanks
  19. hmaliks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    As per tutorial used two very thin screw drivers...


  20. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
  21. MM2012 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2012
    How did you clone the Recovery Partition first?
  22. hmaliks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    When you clone for the first time you will get a Window stating "The destination volume does not have a Recovery HD partition. Some operating system features may be restricted while booted from the destination".

    In this Window click on option "Open Disk Center"

    Disk Center will open in a new window.

    Select your target disk from the left side.

    On the right side you will see an option to 'Create a Recovery partition for this volume". Click on that. Let the system resize the disk to accommodate a recovery HD. It will then restore the recovery partition from your source disk. Let it finish. In the end it will give you the message "The Recovery HD volume has been successfully cloned". Hit OK.

    Close the Disk Center.

    You will be back on the CCC cloning Window. pick your target drive again and perform the disk clone. Let the system finish the regular partition clone.

    Hope this helps.

  23. MM2012 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2012
  24. elasticmedia macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2010
    I have been wondering what the comparative speeds of operating would be between:

    stock platter drive
    stock platter drive with internal SSD joined as a Fusion drive
    boot off an external SSD drive via USB 3
    boot off an external SSD drive via thunderbolt

    The last option would be of course the easiest and if it were substantially faster than the first option, then it has a lot of merit.


  25. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    The last option would absolutely be faster than the first. That was actually my original plan, but it was cheaper at the time to just install the SSD internally.

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