Add Second Hard Drive To Mac Mini 2011

Is it possible to add an additional HDD or a SSD to a 2011 mac-mini (no the server edition) in addition to the 500GB HDD that comes with the computer? If so, are additional parts required? Donate: I have a mid 2011 Mac mini, 2.7 MHz, i7, 8 GB Ram with the 7200 RPM Western Digital 750 GB factory upgrade drive. (Macmini 5,2) I'm planning to upgrade to a Solid State Drive (SSD). My choice is to either install the new SSD as a second internal HD in the mini, or to pull the old conventional drive and retire it to an external. Users can install a second hard drive in non-Server models of the new Mac Mini, according to MacRumors forum member Slyseekr. IFixit's teardown of the new Mac Mini released last month revealed.

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Active1 year, 3 months ago

I just purchased a Mac mini and the seller assures me that there are two 1 TB hard drives inside, with a total storage space of 2 TB (picture from the listing).

At first, I was under the impression that there was a second drive without an OS and that the partitioning was done on that (Windows-format?) drive. However, after erasing the accessible drive following Apple's instructions, and restoring my data with Target mode, I do not see a second drive listed anywhere:

  • If I start the computer pressing ALT I seethis.
  • In the Storage tab I seethis.
  • In Recovery mode the DiskUtility lists this.
  • The diskutil list command returns this inRecovery mode (more images).

I really, really don't want to have to go through this process to figure out if the seller is saying the truth about there being two drives inside, since it might prevent me from returning it, but I'd like to know if what I bought matches the item description.

Possible hypotheses:

  • there is no second drive
  • there might be a second drive, but badly connected/wired in so undetectable
  • there is a second drive that is blank / oddly formatted / undetectable

How can I know if there is a second drive in the Mac mini?

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Possibilities are:

  • There is no second drive
  • There is a second drive that is undetectable because faulty or badly connected

You can find out which it is by simply opening the black plastic bottom and looking, no 'process' required.

In the picture of what you will see when opening the back, I have indicated the two connectors for the two possible disks with red arrows. One will already be occupied by the disk we know is in the Mac mini. If the other one is also occupied, then it is the second alternative: there is a disk but it is faulty or the connection is faulty. If it is unoccupied there is no second disk inside.

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Lars A. GundersenLars A. Gundersen

You have one drive.

Your diskutil list command tells you everything you need to know: there's only one entry that has a 'physical' characteristic to it and it's disk0.

When you boot into Recovery, there are many RAM disks that get created and in your case they are disk1 through disk19. If you notice on each identifier, it describes it as a 'disk image' as in the example below:

What you want to look for is anything that says 'internal, physical' because if the seller assured you 'there are two hard drives,' you would have (in a Mac mini) two identifier with 'internal, physical' descriptors like that of disk0:

What the seller showed you was a (Bootcamp) partition. When booted, the partitions appear to the OS as their own separate drives.


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