Upgrading to an SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Drezin, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Drezin macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2010
    I have a late 2014 Mac Mini which came with that slow 5400 rpm HDD, is it possible to upgrade to a SSD? Will they do it at the Apple Store?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote above:
    "I have a late 2014 Mac Mini which came with that slow 5400 rpm HDD, is it possible to upgrade to a SSD? Will they do it at the Apple Store?"

    As Spink10 mentioned above, you can't get this done at the Apple Store.
    Some "independent" Apple shops might be willing to do the job, for $$$$$.

    You have three possible choices:
    1. Buy an SSD and an external USB3 case with UASP support, and create an "external booter" (quite fast and this is the easiest of all three - this is the option I would recommend)

    2. Buy a SATA SSD and install it into the Mini's internal SATA port (be sure you're capable of doing "the internal surgery")

    3. Buy a used PCIe "blade drive" from ebay, and also buy the internal PCIe cable/bracket assembly, and install it "over" the internal 5400rpm HDD.

    Choice #3 is actually pretty easy to do IF you separate the PCIe cable from the bracket and then install that "on top of" the bracket that is already there.
    BUT -- you will PAY A PREMIUM to get ahold of the PCIe blade drive, IF you can even find one.

    Your experience illustrates why I -ALWAYS- advise new Mini buyers to get AT LEAST the 1tb "fusion drive option", which includes a 128gb SSD -and- a 1tb HDD.
  4. allisonv7 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    I'd be interested in doing this, does someone have a tutorial they'd recommend?
  5. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I wouldn't call it easy. Yes its possible but harder compared to previous models.

    There is no need for guide, just purchase SSD and external USB3 case (check it supports UASP, it will mentioned on the technical details) then place SSD into case, connect it into Mac Mini and clone your internal drive into SSD, you can use software such Disk Utility (unfortunately Apple maimed it in El Capitan), SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. Once cloning is ready just boot into SSD by selecting it in System preferences and your done.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
  7. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Try the one I linked two posts above yours.
  8. allisonv7 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2004
    Thanks, I did some research. I have a 2011 Mini, so I need a more expensive enclosure to make it work externally. Not sure what I'm going to do. My experience with hardware is limited, and I'm afraid upgrading the internal drive is out of my skill range.
  9. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    Once you're running off your speedy external SSD, that pokey 5400 internal makes a great place to dump your music library, some books, old photos, even a Time Machine or SuperDuper! backup.
  10. snow755 macrumors 65816


    Sep 12, 2012
  11. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    If the HDD only model uses the "top" bay (bottom when turned upside down ...), then it's a piece of cake, you don't have to do 2/3rds of what's outlined in that iFixIt DIY, assuming you don't want to pull your HDD and want to +add+ an SSD.

    I had an i5 HDD model '12 Mini, swapped out the HDD for an SSD, then changed to a QC i7 '12 Mini, and I was able to remove the i5 SSD, reinstall the OEM HDD, and remove and replace the "bottom" HDD in the i7 machine in < 30 minutes. It's really very simple, just a couple of steps you have to exercise a little additional caution as you're dealing with very small connectors.

    Yep, that's a great option. I have a server spec QC i7 '12 Mini, I pulled the bottom drive, swapped in my MX100 SSD, left the top 1TB HDD in place, it's where all my VM backups, media, client archives, and some other "offline" files reside. :) In fact, I need to migrate more "slow files" to the HDD!

  12. Drezin thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2010
    Thank you all for the responses. Is there a recommended brand/model for the SSD?
  13. ironman78 macrumors newbie


    Oct 14, 2015
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    I have the same mac mini as you...
    I replaced the HHD with SSD easily by following this video tutorial:
    Took me about 20 minutes total. So I would totally advice you to do it! Boot time is now 8 seconds.
    Startup of applications such as Photoshop takes 5 seconds.

    I got the Crucial MX200 500GB. More than enough for me.
  14. questioner76 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2011
  15. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    This could be great advice for folks like the OP. Unfortunately it will not help as much for Allisonv7 and others whose machines lack the USB 3.0 interface.

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