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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2011 Mac mini Dual Hard Drive Kit - bad cable?

I installed the Dual Hard Drive Kit with a new SSD (previously partitioned and formatted in an external enclosure) into the empty slot using the iFixit ribbon cable and kit hardware. The SSD was not recognized in Disk Utility after booting successfully to the stock internal HDD.

I partially disassembled the mini and checked the seating of the ribbon cable connector to the logic board. The connection seemed fine. The Mac mini boot successfully to the stock internal HDD. I then launched Disk Utility again, and the spinning beach-ball appeared for several minutes. The SSD then mounted, but the partition was greyed-out. I clicked on the partition and the spinning beach-ball re-appeared, the system hung---and after several minutes of staring at the hypnotic rainbow ball, I powered off the Mac mini.

I then disassembled the Mac mini again, carefully checked the iFixit ribbon cable's connection at the SSD, and applied a small square of Kapton tape to ensure ribbon cable was secure to the SSD surface. I re-assembled the Mac mini, taking extra care to once again properly seat the ribbon cable to the logic board. I booted successfully to the stock internal HDD once again, launched Disk Utility and ......no SSD was recognized by the system.

I decided to remove the iFixit ribbon cable from the equation, and replaced the stock internal HDD with the SSD and installed the stock internal HDD in an external USB enclosure. I booted without issue to the stock HDD Recovery partition and was able to successfully install 10.7 to the SSD.

Is there anything else to try before I have this cable replaced? I've taken my brand new Mac mini apart several times during my troubleshooting and would like to prevent doing that again frivolously.

Thanks in advance!

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits

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I think you may have gotten a bad cable. Contact iFixit support staff to obtain an RMA number and get a replacement fast.

Don't worry, we're on the same boat. I ripped apart my Mac mini more over than 5 times, only to narrow down the problem; faulty SATA cable. Now, I'm waiting for them to get back to me regarding the replacement part.

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jopamo will be eternally grateful.
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