A unibody aluminum generation of the Mac mini identifiable by the model number A1347, spanning the Mid 2010 to the currently sold Late 2014 model.

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Which hard drive has the operating system on it?

I have the server version of the Mac mini with 2 hard drives, and the one with the operating system on it has failed.

How can I tell which drive is the one with the operating system?

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Start up from your system installation disk by inserting the disk and starting holding down the "C" key. Go to the second screen pull down menu to Utilities > Disk Utility. See if both drives show up in the left hand column. Is so try repairing both. If just one drive shows up, thats the good drive. If both drives are the same make then put a system on it. Now remove the case. Disconnect one of the drives and try to boot. If the machine boots with the new system, the disconnected drive is the bad one. If it fails to boot, reconnect the drive and disconnect the other one and try to boot.

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The reason I was asking, was I didn't want to take out the lower drive if it wasn't necessary, since it requires removing the power supply and then pulling out the drive assembly.

Turns out this lower drive was the one that had the operating system on it, so I had to completely disassemble this mini to replace the disk.


To avoid this problem in the future, put an operating system on both drives. That way you can select which drive to start up from in system preferences. But you will also be able to boot from either drive and run disk utilities of the other drive and vice versa, thus keeping both drives repaired.


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