Announced on October 16, 2014, identifiable by the model number A1347 and EMC 2840.

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Transfer the HDD to a PC


I have just torn my Mac Mini 2014 down. I also own a nice PC, with an Asus X99 3.1 Deluxe motherboard, and I want to move the HDD from my Mac Mini - to that other PC.

Basically, salvage the hard drive, and add Mac OS to my multiboot configuration (rEFInd).

My problem is: this is a non-fusion Mac, the HDD seems to be part of this series,

But the SATA connector is unusual. Appears to be a mini SATA connector, so:

- Which cable(s) do I need to properly and safely connect this HDD to my computer?

- Are there any precautions to take regarding voltage?

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1 Answer

Chosen Solution

Apple uses a standard 2.5" SATA connection for their HD's in this series.

Are you getting confused by the cable assembly? Review this IFIXIT guide: Mac Mini Late 2014 Hard Drive Cable Replacement. Jump down to Step35 the two images show the disconnection of the custom cable assembly from the drive.

I'm not sure this worth doing if you are not planning on putting in a new drive in your Mac Mini here in the process (2.5" SSD?). HD's are so cheap now (this drive is about $50 US) it may make sense just getting a new one for your Asus build. Getting OS-X on to it is not overly hard if you have a SATA to USB adapter cable.

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@danj Thank you for the answer. It kind of looks like a micro SATA on my Mac. Could that be possible?

The problem is: ever since I purchased this Mac, I have had an odd boot problem. Something where the hard drive is not detected (the blinking folder with a question mark) unless I bootstrap the system using a Linux Live USB.

For some reason, loading the Linux kernel seems to enable proper hardware detection.

My guess is that there is some fault between early stages of hardware detection, and the actual Apple bootloader - the kind of issue I can't troubleshoot. I've tried everything.

The PC already has a primary hard drive, a primary SSD (Samsung 850 Pro) with Windows and Linux, dual-booted using rEFInd. My goal is to salvage the Mac OS system (which I can only download using a Mac) and move it over basically.

My confusion comes from:

1) Is it a micro SATA or just vanilla SATA?

...I guess that's it at this stage. It's just that the port seems so small.


As I stated its a standard 2.5" SATA connector nothing special here. look again at Step 35 in the guide I posted. As you can clearly see the so called micro connector is part of the cable not the connector of the drive side. Are you thinking about what a 3.5" drive has? That is a bit different.

How about letting us help you fix your mini here. Something just doesn't add up. We have over 50 of this series of mini's in our offices now none have any boot up problems.


Would be happy to but I am in SE Asia. I only ever owned a Mac for compatibility testing - I am usually uncomfortable with how tightly locked up they are.

I'll grab me a SATA cable tomorrow, try my luck, and see how it boots up on beefier hardware.

FWIW, I did some testing from Linux, and the DMI information was never properly decoded. In the country where I live, we also have poor electrical grounding, so there are a number of things that could have gone haywire.

Thanks again for all your help and clarifications. It did shed some light for me to "hear" that this is a simple, standard 2.5" SATA connector.

*takes a deep breath*


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