Released on July 21, 2011. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Thunderbolt. This unit is also used to run the Mac mini Server configuration.

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Replacing original HD with SSD and disk drive?

My question is more software than hardware. I have the original 500GB that is almost full. That drive has 10.10 installed. I want to replace the original and add a 240GB SSD and a 750GB disk drive. I want to create a fusion setup with these two volumes. My question is what's a good strategy to get back to my current data? Will I be able to install 10.10 from the internet (I'm not sure I want to update to 10,11)? Will I be able to restore from my time machine back up after fusing the two drives? Should I install an OS on the fusion volume and then restore from my backup?

Thanks in advance.

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There is really no difference between El Capitan 10.11 & Yosemite 10.10. Some apps won't run on the older Yosemite (Apples updated apps as an example). I don't think there is any reason not to go with the newer OS here. If on the other hand you had Mavericks 10.9 then you might not like some of the GUI alterations.


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There are a few different ways you can achieve your goal here. Basically you'll need to download if you haven't already the OS installer from the App Store. Use the purchased listing within the App store app to locate the download as the store front no longer offers the older OS's.

Once you have the OS installer you'll need to think though how you want to do this next step. I would recommend first creating a USB thumb drive as a bootable drive (16GB or larger) using a copy first of the OS installer so you can install the OS onto it. Or, you can leverage your current HD by using an external drive case to hold it. That way you can use the OS installer from either.

OK, now the next part here getting the needed hardware and installing it. You'll need to get the 2nd drive kit to support the 2.5" SSD and you'll need to get your new HD & SSD.

I would recommend getting a 1TB drive Vs 750 MB you have listed it would be a better investment given the slight price difference. Remember the SSD storage space is not additive to the HD so you will only 'see' the HD's space as available.

Once you have things installed following the IFIXIT guides. Use your old HD or USB thumb drive to boot up your system to format your HD & SSD as GUID and partitioned. You'll only want to install the OS onto the HD and if you want you can also migrate your apps & data back as well. Then using the command line setup the Fusion Drive set with the SSD.

Take your time and don't force things as the connectors and space things fit into is very tight and easy to damage.

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I'm confused. Don't I fuse the drives first? I used to do repairs on mac so I'm confident on doing the swap. I already have the hardware, I wish I could've afforded larger drives, but it is what it is.

I do have a way to connect the original drive(with 10.10) to the mini.


Ah, the Chicken and the Egg problem ;-} You need to have the HD working first with a running OS on it to then join the SSD to to make a Fusion Drive. Review this: Pro tip: How to create and disable a Fusion Drive


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