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OT: replace hdd for ssd on mac mini


RudyS

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I have a mac mini 2012 on which I want to replace the hdd for a ssd. I'm not really into this stuff. I want to buy an Samsung evo 850, but read some people have problems because its "partitioned" wrong? Are there any experts here who can help me buy the right ssd and guide me into the goos direction?

Rudy

 

 

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I can't guide you, I just paid somebody to do it.

 

But you gotta do it. Especially if you upgrade the RAM at the same time, it's like buying a whole mac.

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RudyS,

 

My source to DIY Mac upgrades is OWC (www.macsales.com). They have tons of hardware options to upgrade macs, including recommended SSDs for your 2012 Mini.

 

But just as importantly, they provide instructional videos for DIYers. Here's an example, not sure of your model ID (6,1 or 6,2), but you'll find the entire macsales.com site a trove of useful information:

 

HD Install Instructional video for Mac Mini 2012

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I can't guide you, I just paid somebody to do it.

 

But you gotta do it. Especially if you upgrade the RAM at the same time, it's like buying a whole mac.

 

I already have 16gb installed, but now have some big garageband files I work with and it's too much for the hard drive. I get notification that "hard disk is too slow or system overload".

 

RudyS,

 

 

But just as importantly, they provide instructional videos for DIYers. Here's an example, not sure of your model ID (6,1 or 6,2), but you'll find the entire macsales.com site a trove of useful information:

 

HD Install Instructional video for Mac Mini 2012

 

Thanks Tim, that helps. The physical replacement is now clear. I'm more worried about the software/formatting part. I think I have to make a bootable USB stick and boot from there. Then format the new hard drive ?

Rudy

 

 

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That's a great resource Tim posted. I would also suggest ifixit.com for tutorials and even parts. I've used both sites.

 

I replaced HDDs in a few different MacBooks and everything went fine. Maybe you need to attach it first using an external enclosure, use Disk Utility to format it as bootable for your mini, and then install it. Or, install it, boot off something else, format it, and then do the installs of software.

 

Whatever you do, you need to format it with the GUID Partition Map in Disk Utility.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Hi RudyS. I wholeheartedly second Timwat's recommendation for OWC drives. I installed their 480 GB SSD into my 2009 Mac mini about a year ago, and it has worked flawlessly. It is indeed like "a whole new machine."

 

In my case, I decided the best procedure was to first attach the SSD externally (as Bone Muskeleton suggests above), then clone my existing drive to it (using Carbon Copy Cloner), then boot from the SSD while it's still attached externally (to make sure it was going to work), then perform the physical swap (following OWC tutorial videos). I think even if I had been able to install two drives, as you are, I would still probably want to do everything externally first, to make sure it is all going to work before opening up the machine.

 

The cloning of the drive took about 12 hours, and was done overnight.

 

Good luck! I think you will find it is well worth doing!

 

 

Alesis QS8, Hammond XK-2, DSI Tetra

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I have a 2011 Mini with 16G RAM. Replaced the first (bottom) 500GB HD with a Crucial MX-100 SSD. Current model is the MX-300. They are priced similar to the better Samsung, but I liked the specs better (in particular, the expected lifetime - I have another 500G and five 1TB in the MX100 and MX200 series).

It takes a bit of effort, since the "logic Board" (Apple name for motherboard) has to be partly slid out to get to the drives.

The Mini I have is a "server" model, so it has two drives, I left the other 500G in place. If you don't already have the second HD, you will need a special little cable to connect to the logic board. OWC is a good source of that cable. The switch over was done in an hour or less (although I do computer work regularly). The MBP was quicker, since the bottom comes off, then the drive is easily accessible, but the Mini can definitely be done.

 

My 2011 MBP has 16G RAM and a 1TB Crucial drive. Both macs have quad core i7 processor.

 

Carbon Copy Cloner will work just fine for moving the HD, and the trial version will do it (if you make the change within 30 days of installing it). CCC does have some features beyond TimeMachine - and is not unreasonably priced. One of the nicest is that you could keep the old drive updated. Then just plug in to someone else's Mac (new enough and with enough specs to support your install), boot from USB - presto - it is "your" Mac temporarily.

I mounted the SSD temporarily in a USB portable drive shell - cloned the drive, then switched the drives. Then used the original drives for other purposes. The portable drive shell can be used to house the original HD if you want to use it as a spare drive.

 

On both Macs and the Five PCs - it is almost like having a new machine. Very noticeable increase in boot up time, and overall performance improved. Well worth the $$.

 

I've had these machines with SSD now for a couple of years (most of them) - no drive problems with any.

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

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Jim

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I have a related question: Have used CCC on my MacBook Pros to do the SSD upgrade.

 

But what do you recommend for similar on my Windows 10 laptop? Looking, of course, to be able to clone the entire HD to the new SSD to make it a bootable system drive. Not up to date with current options, looking for any suggestions.

 

Thanks!

 

Tim

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Acronis TrueImage - I used it on the Windows systems which I converted. The program has a disk clone function.

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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I changed out the hard drive on my 2012 Mac mini last year. Put in the Samsung evo 850 1TB SSD. Major improvement in performance. Highly recommended even if you have to pay someone to do it. I watched YouTube videos and did a bunch of reading before taking on the project myself. I bought a SATA to USB adapter and cloned the SSD outside of the machine. I also purchased a kit that contained all the tools needed, was less than $10. I did not have to remove or partially remove the logic board., there seems to be some conflicting information on that. I found the process fairly easy with one area of concern. You have to be extremely careful when disconnecting the fan from the logic board. I used the pry tool that came with the tool kit. Other than that, mostly just a few screws. Keep track of where they each came from and you should be good.
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Last time I checked the free version of CCC will do everything you want, it just displays ads while it's doing it. I use CCC so much that I went ahead and bought it.

 

Will the system be slower when I leave the HDD, and add the SSD, as opposed to just replace the HDD for an SSD?

Not if you make the SSD your system drive. Opening up a Mac Mini is not for the faint of heart. I paid somebody to do mine. But if you want both an SSD and a HDD, toss the old 5400 RPM HDD that came in your Mini and upgrade the second drive to a 7200 RPM drive. Drives are so ridiculously cheap these days there's no reason not to do this while you have the thing opened up.

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If you have the same 2012 Mac mini model I have, then keeping both drives inside the machine will result in a lot more work because you have to change out the bracket as well. I purchased the bracket for two internal drives but ended up not using it. Changing the bracket will result in having to completely remove the logic board. I found it much easier to simply swap out the hard drive and use an external thunderbolt drive for additional storage.
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I decided the best procedure was to first attach the SSD externally (as Bone Muskeleton suggests above), then clone my existing drive to it (using Carbon Copy Cloner), then boot from the SSD while it's still attached externally (to make sure it was going to work), then perform the physical swap

 

This is exactly what I did, putting a Samsung EVO into a 2012 MacBook Pro. Worked great, and has transformed the laptop.

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One option would be to make the old HDD into your backup. Maybe you already have a backup strategy with Time Machine, which I have done, but I also do a weekly clone of my drive that I store offsite. If something catastrophic happened to my computer and my Time Machine backup, I'm no more than a week off with the data on the clone.

 

That alone was worth the price of CCC.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Yep that's what I do too except the clone happens nightly at 4:00am. The drive is on a shelf I mounted to the bottom of my desk. About every month I swap the drive out with one kept in a safe deposit box. All this in addition to time machine.

 

I once came very close to losing about a month's worth of invoiceable work when a HD died. I did recover from that but it took several days working with recovery software. Not gonna relive that again.

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Mission accomplished. I just CCC and a hard disk enclosure to clone the to the SSD. Booted from there, it worked.

 

I was going to just replace the hdd, as jasonbass suggested, however when the computer was open I decided to just for it and install both of them. The Tim referred to is awesome and the videos are really clear.

 

It really makes a difference. With 16gb and the sdd, my DAW runs much better. Thank you for all the input!

Rudy

 

 

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Mission accomplished. I used CCC and a hard disk enclosure to clone the HDD to the SSD. Booted from there, it worked.

 

Although I had the dual drive kit, I was going to just replace the hdd, as jasonbass suggested, however when the computer was open I decided to just for it and install both of them. I had to remove everything out of the case.. The site Tim referred to is awesome and the videos are really clear, so it wasn't that complicated. It worked:)

 

It really makes a difference. With 16gb and the sdd, my DAW runs much better. Thank you for all the input!

Rudy

 

 

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