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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Can MacMini 2011 Accept 12.5mm hard disk?

I intend to install Western Digital's 12.5mm 1TB hard disk into the new MacMini 2011 model. is there an issue in fitting this thicker drive into the case? Samsung just released a 9.5mm 1TB hard disk and Western Digital should release one soon if not already.

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OWC, the arguably, expert on hard drive upgrades, lists only 9.5 mm drives for this machine. See the column on the far right: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-driv...

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I confirmed the 12.5mm HDD will not install properly via my own painstaking trial and error. Problem is, when re-attaching the SATA ribbon connector to the logic board, the added HDD thickness seemed to be just enough to not keep the connector from staying plugged in snuggly on the logic board. So in the end I inserted the 9.5mm Samsung 1TB I recently purchased, and finally got that to accept.

The other headache I had was when I thought I would use the macmini in target disk mode to clone my iMac 1TB to the 1TB in the macmini using Carbon Copy Cloner. But NO GO. Got the international 'no' sign. EFI-related I guess.

In the end I got it to finally run. I reset macmini to target disk mode. I took the original, untouched 500GB I pulled from the macmini into a separate external USB case. I accessed both hard disks from my iMac, cloned the original 500GB, over to the newly installed 1TB. Then, it finally booted. Did the new install of Lion, then subsequent migration assistant.

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It is possible to put a 12.5mm drive in a Mac Mini, but it is a project and requires a Dremel tool with small grinding bits. We just finished doing one.

There is enough room, but the Mini case has four plastic risers along the outside edge that lift up a 9.5mm drive to the right height. You need to shave these risers down enough to fit the drive in, but not so much that you sever them entirely, as they double as case supports. The most important risers to shave down are the ones nearest the connector. These need to be brought down flush with the metal frame. That will probably sever at least the front most one. You can leave enough plastic on the riser furthest from the connector, but that means you will need to enlarge the hole for the screw on the side.

It is a tight fit, and my only concern is that this may reduce necessary space for cooling air and could lead to overheating. Well, time will tell!

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Go check out the Teardown at step 7. It seems like it would fit, or you could cram two of those Samsung drives in there, if you can get the necessary cable.

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Only one pair of holes though for the protruding screws on the hard drive to insert into. That's why I'd be curious to know how the macmini server lays out it's 2 drives. The ifixit demo is only showing the innards of the default macmini. It is tempting to buy the macmini server model as a second mini in the home network. It would be nice to configure it with 1TB x 2, or alternatively an SSD + one 1TB.

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Wish I'd read this before attempting to install my WD 1TB 2.5" into my 2011 MM. Didn't quite fit - had the same probelm as Jerry. Samsung here we come!

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Jerry Suppan will be eternally grateful.
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