Twin HD in 2012 Mini

Giuanniello

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 21, 2012
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120
Capri - Italy
Bought a used 2012 Server version Mini with i7 cpu and a fusion drive, I plan onto moving my photo archive and software from my MBPro 15" (which I am using now) to the Mini but I'll sure want also to have the SSD speed at least on the OS and applications whilst I would like to keep the fusion drive for storage.

I am looking at the iFix guides to add a second drive, doesn't look too difficult but I am wondering how it works OS wise, do disks have to be in a specific order to load the OS or I can choose which one to use during the setup process?

Thank you for reading

Giovanni
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
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Honolulu HI
An internal fusion drive uses two disks - a HDD and SSD so you can't add another drive to a Mini with a fusion drive. The placement of the drives does not make a difference if you use a fusion or non-fusion configuration.

I don't think you can easily just replace the HDD in a fusion setup - you'd have to backup, do the replacement and create a new fusion drive with the new HDD and then restore.
 
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Giuanniello

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 21, 2012
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Capri - Italy
Oh, I see, I thought fusion drive being a spinning HD with a small integrated SSD to speed up boot time, I had no clue it was two separate drives.

Well, I gotta wait for it to get to here to figure the configuration but anyway I would want to install a bigger SSD and leave the spinning disk so that one can host the OS and applications and the other to work as a file storage, I guess that during OS install can pick whatever disk as target.

Grazie

p.s. no problem at wiping it out, bought it used and waiting for it to arrive so no problem with a fresh start
 

wardie

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2008
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Oh, I see, I thought fusion drive being a spinning HD with a small integrated SSD to speed up boot time, I had no clue it was two separate drives.
Those things do exist they are called hybrid drives, I have one in my old Mac mini to replace an original HDD. But not how apple does fusion drives.
 
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bigfatipod

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2011
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Others are correct that the fusion try is actually two physical drives using up both bays.
I live my 2012, but a small word of caution. I got mine used in 2016 and it worked great. In 2018, I started getting various errors that apple chalked up to a dying hard drive. In the case of a fusion drive, you are actually at the mercy of two drives failing rather than one.
I opted to swap both out entirely and replace with two SSDs. Have been extremely happy with it.
 

Giuanniello

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 21, 2012
381
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Capri - Italy
Yep, I will at least swap one of the two with a larger SSD, probably, to begin with, the small SSD with a bigger one and then, if the machine suits my needs, also the spinning one with another SSD, now it's about getting it and finding out how difficult to access the drive bays.

Grazie
 
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iAssimilated

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Apr 29, 2018
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I have a 2011 mini server model that came with two drives and the replacement was very simple (just take your time and follow this guide from ifixit: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+Mac+Mini+Late+2012+Dual+Hard+Drive+Kit/11713 ). My model originally came with two 500GB HDDs, but I replaced the drives with a 250GB Samsung 840 SSD (primary drive) and a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD (data drive). The only major sticking point is Apple decided to not included this model with Mojave compatibility, so I decided to install KDE neon on it and it has been working well.