Installing second HDD into Mac mini Late 2012

posted in: Desktop, Upgrade | 1

Today I installed a second 1TB hard drive into a Mac mini (Late 2012) model no. A1347.

This guide also should work for a Mid 2011 model.

The entireĀ process took me about 45 minutes and allowed to double the storage space at little cost.


Second HD for Mac Mini 2012


For this upgrade you will need the following:

1. A new SATA hard drive or SSD.
2. 2nd hard drive installation kit which includes the cable, four mounting screws and four rubber inserts.
3. T6 hex screwdriver, T8 hex screwdriver and 2mm hex screwdriver.

I purchased the HD installation kit from OWC

for $25 and it arrived with a very nice printed step by step installation manual.


HD installation kit


The second HDD will be installed under the primary one. On the following picture you can see two holes where the side mounting screws will be fitted.


Empty space in Mac mini


In order to access and remove the mounting caddy it is necessary to disassemble the whole computer and remove the logic board.


Remove logic board


After that you can remove the mounting caddy.

1. Install four rubber inserts into the caddy holes.
2. Connect the SATA cable to the drive.
3. Position the drive inside the caddy so the cable located on the left side and facing upwards.
4. Secure the drive with four screws.

By the way, instead of using the provided printed manual I followed theseĀ disassembly instructions published on iFixit.


HD mounting bracket


After the second drive is installed, assemble the Mac mini back together.


Second HD installed


Preparing the hard drive

The new drive comes from the factory unpartitioned and unformatted. You’ll have to go through a couple more steps to make it ready for use.

Turn on the Mac and wait until it boots completely.

The computer will detect the new drive and you will a pop up message with these options: Initialize… Ignore or Eject.

Click on the Initialize.


Initialize hard drive


This will take you to the Disk Utility where you’ll see both drives listed on the left side.

In my example the original drive has a partition named “Local”. The new drive has no partition.

Select the new drive.


Select new hard drive


When the drive selected, in the right part of the window you will see five options: First Aid, Erase, Partition, RAID and Restore.

Click on the Partition tab.

1. Select how many partitions you want to have in the Partition Layout drop down menu. In my case I created 1 partition.
2. Give the new drive a name. In my example it’s named Second HD.
3. Make sure it will be formatted with Mac OS X Extended (Journalized), unless you know what you are doing and want a different format.
4. Click on the Apply button in the lower right corner and wait until the drive is formatted. It will take about 15-30 seconds.

Now you can close the Disk Utility windows and start using your new drive.


Partition hard drive


One Response

  1. Carlos De Bernard

    Hi Danny. I need some help on apple hardware issues. I read about asd I have being looking for it around and even got scam with my cc. I do all so apple fixes here in Panama for the last 3 years now. I need help to get some asd in order to try to id some problems. In Panama (central america) there is no one to fix problems like these. Raising the money is difficult but not imposible, hoping to get my first machines by December. If you need also something please let me know.

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