Swapping 2011 MM HDD to SSD.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Indecisi0n, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Indecisi0n macrumors regular


    Feb 19, 2012
    My mac mini should arrive today in the mail. I am not super familiar with MACs so bare with me. I have a new Aglility 3 SSD (2.5) that i want to install into the MAC. Now i have watched multi videos on taking the MAC apart and putting the new drive in. That doesn't look hard to me. Now my question is once i remove the old OEM HDD from the MAC and but my fresh new SSD in there will the MAC boot? Like windows with a new HD will it go into a recovery mode and allow me to do a fresh MAC install? I don't need to do a clone of the MAC because it will be new and have no information on it.
  2. spacesamurai macrumors member


    Nov 27, 2011
    Osaka, Japan
    Congratz on the Mac Mini. Got one myself, and love so much power for such a little box.

    As for your question, you can do the migration with recovery over the internet. Checkout this manual for internet recovery:


    The only trick to this is having your old data backed up on a time machine or some other external drive, so that after you have the fresh install done, you can migrate all your data back.

    Just make sure you double check that the method you used to backup all of your data was successful to avoid any unnecessary work or data loss.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    Seems to me that if you have a new Mini with only one drive, your -new- drive should fit in there with the old one, no "removal" of the old one is necessary. There is space for -2- drives.

    You will need the correct drive-to-motherboard connecting cable.

    You wrote:
    "I don't need to do a clone of the MAC because it will be new and have no information on it."

    Ah, but the -System software- is on the original drive, and you need that to boot the Mac. And, I believe there is other software you will want, such as the "iLife" suite of apps.

    You -do- want to save all this stuff. The best way to do that on a brand-new Mac is to "clone it over" to the new drive.

    - get a USB/SATA "docking station" -- they cost only about $20-25
    - BEFORE you install the new drive, use the free "CarbonCopyCloner" app to "clone" the contents of the factory internal drive to the new one.
    - Once the clone is done, TEST it BEFORE you begin the swap/installation. To do this, restart the Mini, and immediately hold down the Option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN until the Startup Manager appears. Then use the mouse pointer or keyboard arrow keys to select the other drive, then hit the enter/return key.
    If your clone is a good one, the Mini should start from the docked drive just as it would as if it were installed inside.

    Once you have verified that the new drive is in fact bootable and good, THEN do the swap/installation....

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