It took a couple of hours of work, and along the way I made a few missteps that slowed me down—the wrong screw here, improperly reading the instructions about where to tuck some power cables there. By the time I went to bed last night, the server was up and running. It probably spent a few hours overnight rebuilding the Spotlight database and running some other backup checks, but by morning all of the housekeeping was done.
Mac mini Mid Hard Drive Replacement - iFixit Repair Guide
The results were exactly as I had hoped—the Mac mini is like a whole new computer, fast and responsive. This setup was similar to one I outlined for MacBook Pro systems. In the latest Mac Mini models, Apple has done away with the internal optical drive, so the use of such brackets is no longer available; however, Apple has unified all of its models around the same design that offers space for both hard drives. Therefore, if needed, users can use this bracket and the available SATA connection to configure the system with dual hard drives. Apple uses this bracket to configure two drives for the Mac Mini Server, but the same bracket is available in all models, even if only one drive is used.
Unfortunately while Apple does include the bracket to mount the drive, it does not offer any connections to mount and attach the drive, or make it easy to access the bracket. Included in the kit is an SATA adapter cable and rubber mounting grommets for securing the hard drive to the internal bracket.
Mac Mini Mid 2011, Hard Drive Carrier Replacement, Apple Part 922-9961
The kit is simple enough in itself; however, Apple's Mac Mini is a very compact system and therefore getting to the drive bay is a bit of a daunting task, and requires you to fully disassemble the system. To aid in the process, OWC has a very detailed and clear video of the procedure for opening the system, removing the power supply and motherboard, and then reassembling it all after the drive has been installed.
By using OWC's kit you can install any third-party drive of your choosing to install additional storage, upgrade your current drive, or replace a faulty drive.
No need to pay the Apple premium for an expensive Mac Mini server when you can do it yourself and save. Server-size your Mac Mini for less with the iFixit kit that includes all the tools and hardware you need to install a second drive in your Mac Mini. Fast Flat Rate Shipping on all orders.
All in-stock orders are shipped the same day if received by Orders received after AM are shipped the following business day.
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What Macs Hard Drives Can You Upgrade?
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