Will a 15mm Hard Drive Fit in a 2014 Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Mark200789, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. Mark200789 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #1
    Hi. I'd like to upgrade my hard drive to something 4TB because I use my mini as a media server and don't want another external box using up a plug. These monsters take up 15mm of height. If it's the only drive in there will there be a space problem or am I good to go?
     
  2. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #2
    It will "fit". It doesn't fit as Apple designed the HDD to fit and it will put some strain on the cable. It will also push up the carrier for the drive up a little. The hard drive will essentially be touching the housing as well. So you might find it to amplify some of the HDD noise.
     
  3. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #3
    It's been done and then some, the fun is shown in Post 24...
     
  4. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #4
    That's in a 2010-2012 chassis...
     
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #5
    Which is the same size as the 2014 chassis... I put a Buick 215 c.i. V8 mated to a TH350 tranny in a Datsun 510 some 30 years ago. It fit, ran great, and looked just fine - autocrossed the heck out of it - the bolt patterns were identical, just needed a bit of tweaking with the tranny's crossmount. My 2014 Mini looks pretty much the same as my 2012 i7 Mini, inside and out. Get your shoehorn out...
     
  6. RyanXM macrumors regular

    RyanXM

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #6
    Except the HDD carrier is not open all the way through. There is a "roof" in order for it to support having a PCIe SSD and cable...it will be a squeeze and it will put stress on the SATA cable. I've taken apart and upgraded over 500, 2010-2012 models, and over 300 of the 2014 models. I think I know a thing or two about the inside of a Mac mini and the chassis size.
     
  7. Mark200789 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #7
    My mac is out of warranty, obviously. Would I be able to cut the top of the carrier off with a dremel to make room?
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    I wouldn't "force it" into the Mini.
    I'd "use up" an external USB3 port, and wouldn't worry over having done so.
    My opinion only.
     
  9. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #9
    With the right Thunderbolt enclosure (i.e. having 2 TB ports), you could use an external drive without using up a plug (daisy-chaining). A bit more expensive than a USB solution, but surely less hassle than shoehorning a huge drive inside a mini not designed for it.
     
  10. Mark200789, Jul 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018

    Mark200789 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #10
    Finally committed to this project and got a well priced 5TB Barracuda from Adorama. The 2014 model's harddrive caddy is different that the 2012's. I wasn't able to make it fit back in at all, even after modifying it a bit. The drive was just too tall and it lifted the caddy up higher than it was meant to be. What was worse the IR sensor and power light are attached to the caddy and didn't line up with the chassis holes. So I ditched the caddy altogether. I used a tiny square of thick double sided tape to stick the IR/light to the chasis. I then hot glued the drive to the roof of the mini. It's a great solution because the dabs of glue act as a riser so the "don't block this hole" hole is not blocked, the rubbery nature of the glue reduces vibrations, and it's easy to remove. I know because I had to reorient the drive once and pried it off and removed the dabs easily. Make sure the drive is situated all the way in touching the inner face of the mini or the mother board won't fit back in. The drive is working great so far.

    I always like to end these successful projects with thanks to those who helped. And for those who like to say "why bother with this?" I like to ask, why bother answering the thread? Tech forums are for hacking things to do what you want. I wanted a large internal drive for many reasons that I don't feel I need to share. It's pointless to say "just don't bother". And for those who also want to do this, it's a perfectly possible 20 minute project. Hope this will help you get it done.
     

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  11. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    Location:
    Singapore
    #11
    Welcome to the club!

    I started with this idea in that old thread and had many people asking me why bother (just use USB) and someone even said the 2011-2012 tray is exactly the same as 2010 (the model with the dvd). Having everything in a single device running at sata speed and not "usb3.0 to sata converter" speed is our lifestyle... no compromise... mission... :)

    Recently, I also took a faulty 2012 which i removed the tray and used it in a 2014 mini. With the 2.5" 15mm drive in, I merely put some insulating tape under the stock blade SSD.

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