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Apple Mac Mini 1TB Upgrade — Not Easy But Possible

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the check-out-that-hot-centerfold dept.

Desktops (Apple) 95

designperfection9 writes "The new Mac mini is all well and good, but anybody hoping for gobfuls of extra capacity will come away disappointed. Apple's entry-level mini gets 120GB of storage, and it costs $175 to take that up the official 320GB maximum. Happily iFixit decided to step in and take matters into their own hands, with a nine-page pictorial guide to fitting your Mac mini with 1TB of storage." They're also offering a kit to accomplish the same end for $250 — that seems high to me now that 1TB external drives can be had for quite a bit less, and require no putty-knife action to install.

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I hate when submitters do this... (5, Informative)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095269)

The summary says the actual content is on iFixit, but the link goes to some useless blog which then links to iFixit.

Link directly to the content, include a via link if you want to reference where you got the link from.

For the record, the proper article URL where the actual content is follows:
http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Mac-mini-A1283-Terabyte-Drive/660/1 [ifixit.com]

Re:I hate when submitters do this... (3, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095479)

I hate when submitters do this...the link goes to some useless blog which then links to iFixit.

They do it in remembrance of Roland [slashdot.org] , you insensitive clod!

Pimp my karma... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27095789)

And here's the content in PDF format in case you want to keep it for later reference: http://www.ifixit.com/pdf/guide_660_en.pdf [ifixit.com]

Re:I hate when submitters do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27096093)

People are always going to be douchebags like that. Your anger should instead be directed at the "editors"; they have the power to stop it, but unfortunately they never live up to the title of "editor". Sadly, these people are the most incompetent fucktards ever to have walked the planet. They are eternally deserving of your scorn.

Re:I hate when submitters do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27096259)

Srsly. I am so sick of blogs joining in a massive circle-link.

Re:I hate when submitters do this... (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101495)

That's not the only flaw in the summary:

They're also offering a kit to accomplish the same end for $250 that seems high to me now that 1TB external drives can be had for quite a bit less, and require no putty-knife action to install.

Mac mini uses a 2.5" drive. The article explains how to insert two 2.5" drives. The US prices I find for those drives are around $125, so that kit isn't excessively priced. The submitters obviously don't read articles, either.

2 step process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27095305)

1. Buy 1TB usb drive.
2. Plug it in.

Hard Disk out, hard disk in (1)

dukeofurl01 (236461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095317)

Why isn't it as simple as take the old hard disk out, and put the new one in?

Re:Hard Disk out, hard disk in (4, Informative)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095351)

The Mac Mini takes notebook hard drives. They only go up to 500GB right now. Getting 1TB requires removing the optical drive, which now with this generation is SATA so it's actually compatible with decent-sized hard drives.

Step 19: Solder each pair of wires [snip] (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27096153)

Not just a matter of removing the optical drive. This is pretty extreme/ridiculous...

Step 19

        *

            Solder each pair of wires together to make a solid connection.

Re:Step 19: Solder each pair of wires [snip] (2, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097123)

Oh no, soldering!

Invited off my lawn is anyone who considers soldering 2 wires together 'ridiculous'.

Re:Step 19: Solder each pair of wires [snip] (3, Insightful)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27098321)

Invited off my lawn is anyone who considers soldering 2 wires together 'ridiculous'.

It's ridiculous when you consider it's unnecessary. A wire butt connector and a crimp tool is a much faster and easier solution than soldering. You also don't have to worry about a solder joint breaking when you stuff it back into the thing.

Re:Step 19: Solder each pair of wires [snip] (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27108033)

no offense but if you are worried about a joint between two stranded leads of that size breaking then your soldering skills suck.

Re:Step 19: Solder each pair of wires [snip] (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27107003)

not really, it's just hacking up a cable. You aren't soldering to any part of either the mini or your hard drive.

Re:Hard Disk out, hard disk in (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095611)

Why isn't it as simple as take the old hard disk out, and put the new one in?

You could also do that, of course, and it would be simpler. 1TB 2.5" drives aren't yet available, so you could only upgrade to 500GB that way.

Re:Hard Disk out, hard disk in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27095939)

Why isn't it as simple as take the old hard disk out, and put the new one in?

Same reason it's not as simple as you pasting the URL to where you purchase your 1tb 2.5" laptop drives.

It's cuz they are only sold at the unobtainium store.

Apple - Works, Just (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27107811)

Indeed - so much for "Just Works"!

This article reads like an advert anyway. So some niche computer isn't capable of supporting 1TB like every other computer, and we need to have an advert from some company that's found a hacky way to do it? Right.

Why am I not surprised? (2, Interesting)

PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095333)

The amount of work involved in upgrading a Mac has, usually, been excessive. Probably the worst example of this are the old PowerPC-based Macintoshes like the Performa 6400. The case was made from layer upon layer of plastic and metal panels that each snapped, screwed, or slid into place in ridiculous ways. I always wondered why they even bothered to include PCI slots on these machines, when it was such a pain to get to them.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (2, Informative)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095691)

What about the G3/G4 towers? Those are some of the easiest to work on machines out there. Pull the lever, lower the side of the case, tada! Easy to change drives, PCI cards, CPU, and memory. These were probably the best built Macs ever.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096157)

It was still more difficult than it needed to be to remove disk drives from those towers. The IDE and power cables were just long enough to reach where the needed to go, but that meant that removing them could be a chore, and drive screws could also be difficult to remove and install.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097923)

Ah, you're right about the IDE cables, I forgot about those, the routing for them is rather silly. :)

Re:Why am I not surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27097999)

**sniff** You reminded of how much I miss the good old days, when my blue & white G3 was state-of-the-art. They really knew how to build a Mac back then...

Re:Why am I not surprised? (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095801)

*Sigh* The MacMini was/is not meant to be upgraded. If you want an upgradeable machine, don't buy a MacMini. Complaining that take it takes an excessive amount of work to upgrade it is like complaining that it takes a massive amount of work to make a MiniCooper pull a boat.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096921)

The funny thing is, I don't think it's that much work for most reasonable upgrades. I put 4GB of RAM in mine, it wasn't hard at all. Get a thin putty knife and an old credit card and it only takes a few minutes to pop it open. A few screws later and there are the SO-DIMM slots. I don't think they are much harder than most pre-built systems to get into.

Yeah, it's tightly packed inside, so things take a little more work to extract. Big deal. I expected that for such a tiny machine. The RAM is standard, as are the hard drives. Laptop parts, but you aren't going to fit desktop parts in a case that small. And a 1TB HD, really? Meh, all my big files live on a RAID server with automated backups, as the geek gods intended. :)

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097071)

What is this "backup" that you speak of?

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27099065)

It's that thing automagically done by a Time Machine [apple.com] .

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102305)

I have had to restore from a Time Machine backup and I will never use it again. It was so much work because it does not backed up most of the system and needed the original install disk to get that data from as well as all the online-updates. It lost Aperture which needed to be re-installed separately. I had changed a lot of the way that my MBP looks because I like the Unix side of OSX and TM lost all that but confused a lot of the links so that I had to find out how to put right a lot of things. It took days.

I am a MBP fan boy but I will never use TM again. I like my MBP because it has a pretty front end and lets me get to the real nix stuff when I want but TM - NEVER AGAIN.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (2, Insightful)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27102905)

I have had to restore from a Time Machine backup and I will never use it again. It was so much work because it does not backed up most of the system and ---

Whoah, whoah, whoah. Hold it right there. By default, Time Machine backs up every single file on the hard disk. If you were cheap enough to deliberately exclude system directories, you should expect that a full restore is going to be less than painless.

Not only that, but doesn't it pop up a scary warning dialog if you exclude system dirs?

-:sigma.SB

Re:Why am I not surprised? (2, Informative)

doconnor (134648) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097997)

The trouble is that Apple doesn't sell an upgradable machine unless you get a Mac Pro, which is CAN$2900 and up. If you want a modest Macintosh computer you have no easily upgradable options.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27100503)

Never mind upgrading. I recon the most likely thing to fail in the mini is the HDD. If you don't live near an Apple Store and work all day long, its hardly convienient to ship the HDD back to Apple abd wait for UPS to deliver it.

If its easy to replace the HDD, you can at least DIY and get another warranty replaced easily.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

danomac (1032160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27100675)

Or using a VW Jetta as a truck [danomac.org] . There's always someone that'll try...

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27107831)

I entirely agree. Get a PC if you want to do something useful - there's no point getting a Mac, and then complaining you can't upgrade.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Logic Worshiper (1480539) | more than 5 years ago | (#27115237)

Install Linux on the PC, of course, unless you have tons of money to throw around.

Apple has become the BMW of computers. No, I don't have that kind of money to throw around just so I can upgrade my PC. Screw that. Apple does make better computers, but they're ridiculously expensive too, like many other superior products (except Linux, and open source).

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

kriebz (258828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095881)

I've never seen a 6400 in the wild, so I had to look it up. Looks like an oddball. Even the All-in-one Performas could be opened easily. The PowerMac 7x00 desktops could be opened by grabbing two handles and lifting. Shortly after this era came the clamshell towers, which were extremely accessible (although the hard drives had to be screwed to metal plates, wtf).

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27121811)

Worst Macs to work on were the original egg shaped iMacs. So many sharp edges in there. The older PowerMac towers (PPC 604 machines) were pretty nasty, too, if you were doing anything beyond upgrading RAM/HD.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (2, Informative)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096103)

The amount of work involved in upgrading a Mac has, usually, been excessive.

This has only been true historically with the consumer models. The models that Apple designates for "professional" usually upgrade much easier. My current G5 has full access from a side door (as well as the current Mac Pro line) and even my old LC and 4400 had easily accessible PDS and PCI slots when the case is slid off. (My iMac G4 was the only machine I had I couldn't upgrade myself.) It's just that, as the "ease of use" brand in the industry, Apple's more famous machines are the all-in-one and laptop units that have the more cramped assembly and design.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27108263)

It's just that, as the "ease of use" brand in the industry, Apple's more famous machines are the all-in-one and laptop units that have the more cramped assembly and design.
It's also the fact that they simply don't do a "normal desktop", they do a high end workstation, a 1U server an all in one, a small form factor box and a range of laptops.

This really pissess off a lot of geeks who like OS-X but want a normal desktop. Some of them build hackintoshishes but that route has issues of it's own (especially if you want to use it at work). Others of them try and hack improvements into the mini.

Unfortunately apple won't release a normal desktop because that would cut into many peoples excuse for getting thier employer to splash out on a mac pro.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096655)

"I always wondered why they even bothered to include PCI slots on these machines, when it was such a pain to get to them.I"

What the hell are you talking about? The 6400 had an easily removed backpanel, revealing a slide out logic board. Installing or removing PCI cards, adding RAM or a processor upgrade was simplicity itself.

It is only slightly more difficult to get the front panel off, accessing the main hard drive, optical drive, ZIP drive (tossed and replaced by another hard drive) and an empty bay for a SCSI drive.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

chartreuse (16508) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097395)

I always wondered why they even bothered to include PCI slots on these machines, when it was such a pain to get to them.

Performas didn't have slots, so no wonder they were hard to find.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

chartreuse (16508) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097445)

You know, I'm wrong. Never mind.

Not the Power Mac 7500 (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27098341)

On the other hand, possibly one of the best-designed cases I've ever had the pleasure of working with was on the Power Macintosh 7500. [wikipedia.org] Pop off the top, flip up the drives to reveal the motherboard completely exposed. No screws, the whole process takes less than 10 seconds.

Meanwhile, PCs from that era were still in the hand-gashing followed by cursing sharp sheet metal stage.

Re:Why am I not surprised? (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 5 years ago | (#27103849)

The 8100 series was probably the worst case design Apple ever came up with. In order to upgrade the RAM, you had to almost completely disassemble the machine, removing all expansion cards and the motherboard, because the memory slots were between the motherboard and the inner frame.

The next generation was the G3 and G4 towers, which were some of the easiest cases to work with ever.

Firewire and USB (3, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095361)

Or just plug in an external drive. I use an external firewire drive and it performs extremely well. Use a mobile drive and you won't need an extra power source, either. I don't see the need to upgrade the internal drive.

Re:Firewire and USB (3, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095753)

Or just plug in an external drive. I use an external firewire drive and it performs extremely well. Use a mobile drive and you won't need an extra power source, either. I don't see the need to upgrade the internal drive.

In fact, you can get something like these [123macmini.com] , so your external drive fits precisely underneath the Mac mini. I don't know if any of these support FireWire 800 yet, but obviously new versions will (the new revision of Mac mini has a FireWire 800 [IEEE1394b] port; previous models had FireWire 400 [IEEE1394a]). An external enclosure can use a faster, cheaper, and larger capacity 3.5" drive, so there's pretty much no downside, unless that extra inch and a half of vertical space is really that important to you.

Re:Firewire and USB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27096087)

there's pretty much no downside, unless that extra inch and a half of vertical space is really that important to you.

That's what she said.

Re:Firewire and USB (2, Informative)

Pope (17780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096217)

MiniStack 3 came out a couple of years back: http://www.newertech.com/products/ministackv3.php [newertech.com]
eSATA, FW800 and FW400, USB 2.0.

Re:Firewire and USB (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096269)

The miniStack v3 supports FireWire 800 and eSATA for a slight increase in price. If you follow the links to the price page [macsales.com] . For a product description, you can go to NewerTech [newertech.com] .

Re:Firewire and USB (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096361)

My only concern with that would be the heat factor. I wouldn't want the external drive to generate heat (some of them a fair amount!) and then the Mac Mini uses that air to attempt to cool its components. However, it appears to have its own cooling system which jets the hot air out the back, just like the Mini. Looks like a really cool [ahem!] product.

Re:Firewire and USB (1)

chrisxcr1 (1210984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27099925)

Yeah, that's definitely the miniStacks biggest flaw. I have my Airport Extreme Base Station stacked on top of mine and the fan runs all the time. Newer should have included some stand offs on top to allow better airflow between the top of the miniStack and the bottom of the Mac mini or AEBS.

Re:Firewire and USB (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27121889)

I've made some ceramic legs, to put 1-1/2" between my Apple TV, Mini-stack, Mac Mini, and Airport Express. Works pretty well and I left the clay the plain white it gets from initial firing. Looks ok.

Re:Firewire and USB (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097441)

Even better, get a network drive like the d-link DNS-323 [dlink.ca] or others. I got one of the 323s a year ago for external storage. It's plugged into my 802.11n router. Nice streaming media to everywhere in the house with RAID1 backup in case of a drive failure. Considering there is close to a TB of stuff on there I would hate to lose, having it mirrored is nice. No modification or extra stuff plugged into the mini, no extra wires.

Re:Firewire and USB (1)

SBrach (1073190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27098277)

You do realize that if one of those drives fail, chances are, the other is right behind it. Raid != Backup.

Re:Firewire and USB (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27098197)

I've run a Mini G4 off of an external disk for a year or two. This FireWire disk was the boot device, I even removed the internal disk. It was fast, and it seemed a bit quieter as well (less heat load in the Mini, so the fan rarely came on).
The only problem with that setup is sleep/hibernate. Despite a hack that enables hibernation, in this configuration the computer would not hibernate at all.
Sleep was iffy as well, with quite a few wakeup attempts ending in an unresponsive computer.
 

Uh, why? (2, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095365)

I could kind of understand this back when the Mini only had USB and FW400. Now that they have FW800—why bother? What does anyone use a Mini for that requires 100MB/s+ transfer rates?

Re:Uh, why? (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095897)

I could kind of understand this back when the Mini only had USB and FW400. Now that they have FW800—why bother? What does anyone use a Mini for that requires 100MB/s+ transfer rates?

And if you really needed those fast transfer rates, wouldn't you be better served by using a fast 3.5" hard drive connected via FireWire 800, instead of a slower 2.5" drive connected via SATA?

Re:Uh, why? (2, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096071)

SATA is 3Gb/s max, FW800 is 0.8Gb/s max.

And the 2.5" 10000RPM VelociRaptor is faster (in most respects) than any 3.5" HD out there.

Re:Uh, why? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096181)

Velociraptor drives are vertically thicker than laptop 2.5" drives. Apple places a premium on being small, so I'd be surprised if the Mini's drive bays are big enough for a VR.

Re:Uh, why? (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096279)

They're also as hot as hell. I'd be even more surprised if the Mini could handle the heat.

Re:Uh, why? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096347)

Your sig is an atrocious pun.

Re:Uh, why? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27100459)

Mini's purpose and design is always misunderstood. For example the Seagate Momentus 4200RPM internal coming with G4 Mini is actually more expensive than some 5400 or 7200 drives of same age.

Why Apple choose it? Because that thing has almost no heat produced, no noise either. You can't hear it even while you defrag.

The drive making sense for Mini internal is a 64 or even 32GB SSD along with fw800 or better, gigabit ethernet connected HD in other room used for /Users

I don't want to sound like BillG but 32GB would be really enough if one also uses advantage of OS X not caring where an App actually is.

Re:Uh, why? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27100189)

I'd assumed the VelociRaptor was, like most "large" 2.5" drives, 12.5mm thick (and would fit in the optical drive enclosure). After doing a little research, it's actually 15mm—an oddball thickness for a 2.5" drive.

Still, there are 7200rpm 2.5" drives that are faster over SATA than any 3.5" drive is over Firewire.

Re:Uh, why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27158393)

Would be nice if Apple just put an ESATA port or 2 on the back!

putty-knife action (3, Funny)

Phu5ion (838043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095381)

Anything worth doing, is worth doing with a little putty-knife action.

Re:putty-knife action (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27122167)

Yeah, try and tell the wife that and out on the couch you go.

because they can (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095425)

And this goes to show that anything can be done just to say yes we can change it. Even when the company that makes it say nope not an option.

But you lose the optical drive! (1, Interesting)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095431)

Why would you ever want to do this? Mac hardware is targeted at specific niches, if you don't fit the niche then you're wasting your money buying the hardware. You'd be better off just using a couple of external HDs and hiding them out of view if you want that much storage on your Mac Mini - it'd only be marginally more expensive than this project and you'd still have a DVD drive.

Re:But you lose the optical drive! (1)

Revenger75 (1246176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095821)

In my opinion, I use my HDDs more than my DVD drive. I would suggest upgrading the drives in the Mini and getting an external DVD drive. That way, when you need it, you can plug it in and go. Of course, this is only a more favorable alternative if you hardly use your optical drive.

Re:But you lose the optical drive! (2, Funny)

CortoMaltese (828267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095867)

Why would you ever want to do this?

You must be new here. Did you buy that three-digit id or what? ;-)

Re:But you lose the optical drive! (2, Interesting)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096331)

Well, I appreciate it in the cool "I've got more money and free time than sense" aspect of pointlessly modifying hardware, I just don't have that much free time.

A computer the size of a Mac Mini with that much storage space is basically a media-centre. If you're prepared to spend time with tools then you might as well build it yourself; if you want OS X build a hackintosh.

And yes, this is my UID. I signed up on the day user accounts were announced. It was quite controversial at the time (Oh noes! Wot about are privacies!!) but was necessary because people were abusing the honour system and pretending to be other people.

Re:But you lose the optical drive! (1)

CortoMaltese (828267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096999)

Well, I appreciate it in the cool "I've got more money and free time than sense" aspect of pointlessly modifying hardware, I just don't have that much free time.

Yes, I totally agree with you here, regardless of my previous remark.

Personally I'm more interested in running Linux on the new Mac Mini. People seem to think that's pointless as well, turning a Mac into over-priced hardware. For me the form factor is appealing, something I haven't seen in any PC hardware with comparable specs, no matter how much time you're willing to invest in it. And there's the hack value there too.

Re:But you lose the optical drive! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27095905)

I would think you could buy drives that looked nice sitting under the mini.

Re:But you lose the optical drive! (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096363)

Actually yea, those Lacie lego bricks would probably look good stacked at the side. I'm sure there are alternatives too!

Time to go out and drink! W00t for Friday!

Re:But you lose the optical drive! (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27100405)

Lacie actually has a disk designed for Mac Mini but it is missing from their store or products now. Perhaps they are upgrading it to fw800?

Here is the page mentioning it, note the date is 2005

http://www.123macmini.com/news/story/326.html [123macmini.com]

Mini Form-Factor Drives (3, Informative)

Eravau (12435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096151)

I'm not sure what the point is when you can keep the same desktop footprint with one of the many stackable external drives that have been manufactured with a Mini form factor. There's a list of links on a post here [ehmac.ca] .

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096401)

Same reason why people put Linux on toasters. Because they can.

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27096821)

toasters

Hey, I object to that racist term, you insensitive clod!

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097131)

Only 3 episodes left.

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (2, Insightful)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27096899)

"I'm not sure what the point is..."

Some people like to open their machines and fiddle with them, adding their own RAM, installing larger harddrives, overclocking the CPU, etc.

They're called"hardware hackers".

Sometimes, it's done simply to save a little money. Sometimes it's done for the fun of messing around with the hardware.

As the folks from MAKE magazine say, "If you can't open it, you don't own it!"

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (2, Interesting)

Eravau (12435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27097873)

Hacks that add functionality I get. I guess I just don't see the point of this hack when you're removing capabilities (all optical drive functions) for very little (if any) real gain. I guess if you never need optical drive access again (have fun with those software installs) then this would be fine... but I don't see it being worth anything... unless you get your jollies from doing it "just because you can" as UnknowingFool said above.

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27108353)

note: this hack does seem to be easilly reveresable, yes there is a soldering iron involved but you don't use it on any of the original parts of the mini or on anything valuable.

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (1)

pklinken (773410) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101737)

You must be frustrated, so close to a wonder UID!

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (1)

Eravau (12435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27127807)

It's hard, but I've had a few years to learn to deal with it.

Re:Mini Form-Factor Drives (1)

pklinken (773410) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130803)

I have passed through fire and death to find a witty reply, but I simply can't find one.
Sorry.

Idiocy on page one (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27098707)

We decided to see if we could stuff a full terabyte worth of storage into our new Mac mini. Why would anyone possibly want this much storage?

  • Built-in Time Machine. Sure, you can hook up an external drive, but it's sure nice not to have cables everywhere.

Brilliant! When the drive dies, it takes out your backup too!

Re:Idiocy on page one (1)

kwiens (604321) | more than 5 years ago | (#27099959)

No, the guide is for installing a second drive. In the described configuration, the second drive would only store the time machine backup. The whole point is so that you're not vulnerable to a single-drive failure, and time machine also protects against accidental deletion..

Re:Idiocy on page one (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27100561)

Yet something that takes out the whole computer can still take out both drives. Backup drives should be in separate enclosures or at the very least readily removable so that they can be periodically moved off-site. This fails both.

If you don't want a clutter of wires, use a WiFi NAS for your backups. At least then you can prevent losing both drives to a coffee spill. (Don't use the Mac Mini as a coffee hot plate.)

Meanwhile, make sure you learn how to Remote Install Mac OS X for when you need to reinstall or upgrade to Snow Leopard since you can't boot off a Remote Disc drive. That is, assuming that ability exists on computers other than a MacBook Air [apple.com] . Otherwise, unless they've enabled booting off of USB drives (my mother's eMac couldn't) you're likely going to need a Firewire DVD-ROM drive and likely a Firewire 400-800 adapter or hub, or boot the Mac Mini into Target Disk Mode and install from another computer (which for some reason I had to do for my G4 Cube that wouldn't boot from the Leopard DVD).

PC Switchers, quick external drive course for Macs (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27100525)

As New Mini have fw800, the difference is way more obvious but let me repeat just in case.

FW800 drives have really 800mbit speed, not like 1.5x of USB2 therotical (not real) speed with almost zero CPU overhead. You can also chain them like SCSI without performance loss. That is why it has 1 fw800 port and 4 USB2 ports. Firewire can also be added to PC with very cheap PCI cards if needed and it is NOT a Apple only thing, a conspiracy etc.

Re:PC Switchers, quick external drive course for M (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27100995)

FW800 drives have really 800mbit speed, not like 1.5x of USB2 therotical (not real) speed with almost zero CPU overhead.

I'd rather go with (e)SATA (3Gb/s max), also with almost zero CPU overhead (SATA hack for Mac Mini [erebos.net] ).

Re:PC Switchers, quick external drive course for M (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27107045)

FW800 drives have really 800mbit speed, not like 1.5x of USB2 therotical (not real) speed with almost zero CPU overhead.

I'd rather go with (e)SATA (3Gb/s max), also with almost zero CPU overhead

Are you sure? http://www.ithelps.eu/Temp/Disk%20Speed%20test/default.html [ithelps.eu]

Re:PC Switchers, quick external drive course for M (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27107483)

That's just filesystem overhead.

Re:PC Switchers, quick external drive course for M (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27108635)

That's just filesystem overhead.

Then why does eSATA have a little over twice the transfer rate, but three times the CPU usage? Not to mention that the test simply reads from the disk, and shouldn't hit the filesystem much.

Re:PC Switchers, quick external drive course for M (1)

Uberbah (647458) | more than 5 years ago | (#27174579)

eSATA doesn't get you daisy chaining, Firewire does. Which would be nice if Apple would keep developing it, as it's speced to at least 3.2 GPBS.

yuck insulation tape as a wire joining method (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27101281)

Insulation tape has a nasty tendancy of either getting knocked off when moved arround or drying up and failing with age. I would strongly reccomend using heatshrink instead.

I'm missing one step... (1)

Pirogoeth (662083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105847)

It says that you have to run a terminal command to enable AirDisk mode.

After you install two blank drives and remove the optical drive, how do you get the OS installed in the first place?

Re:I'm missing one step... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106111)

If worse comes to worst, one can buy an external USB DVD drive and boot from that.

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