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Understanding storage "rules" inside 2014 Mac Mini
Posted by: SKYLANE
Date: July 29, 2022 02:48PM
Having some issues with my 2011 Mac Mini Server, thinking of maybe moving over to a 2014 3.0GHz i7 Mac mini (provided I get my hands on it, has 16GB RAM, 5400rpm HDD in it, I don't think it has SSD blade in it).

Currently... on my 2011 Mac Mini Server:

10.15.7 Catalina (Dosdude1 software patch)
Bay 1 - 1TB 2.5" SSD for MacOS
Bay 2 - 1TB 2.5" SSD for Windows 10

(I also have 128GB SSD blade that came out of a 2017 MacBook Air laying in a drawer here.)



If I were to get the 2014 Mac Mini, some things that I think I understand about them:

(1) 2.5" HDD only models did not come with flex cable for the SSD blade (?)
(2) SSD blade only models did not come with a flex cable for the 2.5" drive bay (?)
(3) Can the two locations both work independently of each other? Or, is it one location only?



With the gear I already have above, I am looking for info/rules on how to manipulate the two drive locations in the 2014 Mac Mini. I know zero about Fusion drives. (I have other bulk storage for Mac files for the Thunderbolt ports. I am not sure if I really need to maintain Windows 10 capability since I built a PC rig recently.)

Are any of these options possible?


Option 1

- 128GB blade for MacOS
- 1TB 2.5" SSD for Win10


Option 2

- 128GB blade for MacOS
- 1TB 2.5" SSD for Mac files


Option 3

- 1TB 2.5" SSD for MacOS and files (internally)
- 1TB 2.5" SSD for Win10 (externally), not even sure BootCamp does this


Option 4

- 128GB blade for MacOS
- No 2.5" drive


Option 5

- No SSD blade
- 1TB 2.5" SSD for MacOS and files



Any general comments of 2014 Mac Mini?

I know 2014 Mac Mini is being left behind at Monterey. So, another option I have is to move to M1 sometime at a later date...



Edited 11 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2022 03:09PM by SKYLANE.
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Re: Understanding storage "rules" inside 2014 Mac Mini
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: July 29, 2022 03:12PM
OK I started with a 2014 Mini with the Apple e-waste 500GB HDD only in it and I'll answer what I can.

Quote
SKYLANE
Having some issues with my 2011 Mac Mini Server, thinking of maybe moving over to a 2014 3.0GHz i7 Mac mini (provided I get my hands on it, has 16GB RAM, 5400rpm HDD in it, I don't think it has SSD blade in it).

Currently... on my 2011 Mac Mini Server:

10.15.7 Catalina (Dosdude1 software patch)
Bay 1 - 1TB 2.5" SSD for MacOS
Bay 2 - 1TB 2.5" SSD for Windows 10

(I also have 128GB SSD blade that came out of a 2017 MacBook Air laying in a drawer here.)



If I were to get the 2014 Mac Mini, some things that I think I understand about them:

(1) 2.5" HDD only models did not come with flex cable for the SSD blade (?)

Yes

Quote

(2) SSD blade only models did not come with a flex cable for the 2.5" drive bay (?)

Don't know, my config was different.

Quote

(3) Can the two locations both work independently of each other? Or, is it one location only?

Yes, I'm using mine that way right now.

Quote

With the gear I already have above, I am looking for info/rules on how to manipulate the two drive locations in the 2014 Mac Mini. I know zero about Fusion drives. (I have other bulk storage for Mac files for the Thunderbolt ports. I am not sure if I really need to maintain Windows 10 capability since I built a PC rig recently.)

Are any of these options possible?


Option 1

- Use 128GB blade removed from 2017 MacBook Air for MacOS
- Use 1TB 2.5" SSD from 2011 Mac Mini for Win10

Boot camp requires that you use the same volume for Mac OS and Windows so I don't think you can split those installs up to two different drives. I tried this a while a go and had that problem. Perhaps there are workarounds for this, though?
Quote


Option 2

- Use 128GB blade removed from 2017 MacBook Air for MacOS
- Use 1TB 2.5" SSD from 2011 Mac Mini for Mac files

This should work great, I'm doing this right now.

Quote

Option 3

- Use 1TB 2.5" SSD from 2011 Mac Mini for MacOS and files (internally)
- Use 1TB 2.5" SSD from 2011 Mac Mini for Win10 (externally), not even sure BootCamp does this

Same Volume issue for Bootcamp as above.

Quote

Option 4

- Use 128GB blade removed from 2017 MacBook Air for MacOS
- No internal 2.5" drive

No problem here but not very flexible for storage space.

Quote

Option 5

- No internal SSD blade
- Use 1TB 2.5" SSD from 2011 Mac Mini for MacOS and files

This is perfectly fine and at least has more space than above. Also it saves you the expense of buying the custom cable you'll need to add the Blade SSD to the Mini (I bought one of these)

Quote


Any general comments of 2014 Mac Mini?

I know 2014 Mac Mini is being left behind at Monterey. So, another option I have is to move to M1 sometime at a later date...

Monterey still gets you 2+ more years of updates and current Security.
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Re: Understanding storage "rules" inside 2014 Mac Mini
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 29, 2022 03:26PM
Depending upon your needs, you might consider a raspberry pi for server duties. You might have a good line on that 2014 Mini otherwise I'm not sure I'd buy a machine that old unless there was specific software you needed to run on it.



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Re: Understanding storage "rules" inside 2014 Mac Mini
Posted by: SKYLANE
Date: July 29, 2022 03:30PM
Thanks Lew Zealand...

Terrific inputs!

I will see if OWC has flex cable for the blade if I need it... Maybe even spring for a bigger blade...

If OWC does not have the flex cable, where did you get yours?




Side Note...

I was using Win10 on separate drive inside my 2011 Mac Mini server. Maybe this configuration was allowed since both those drives were internal. Not sure...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2022 03:33PM by SKYLANE.
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Re: Understanding storage "rules" inside 2014 Mac Mini
Posted by: btfc
Date: July 29, 2022 03:40PM
[www.ifixit.com]

[www.powerbookmedic.com]


ā€œ (I also have 128GB SSD blade that came out of a 2017 MacBook Air laying in a drawer here.) ā€œ


128GB is really limiting; Iā€™d price out larger options, although I understand the inclination to use the one you have.
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Re: Understanding storage "rules" inside 2014 Mac Mini
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: July 29, 2022 03:42PM
Quote
SKYLANE
Thanks Lew Zealand...

Terrific inputs!

I will see if OWC has flex cable for the blade if I need it... Maybe even spring for a bigger blade...

If OWC does not have the flex cable, where did you get yours?




Side Note...

I was using Win10 on separate drive inside my 2011 Mac Mini server. Maybe this configuration was allowed since both those drives were internal. Not sure...

I hope so for the Win 10 setup. I tried so long ago that I may have been trying to use an external and have forgotten (very likely).

I use OWC or iFixit for my drive hardware adapters like this and both have been very good.
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Re: Understanding storage "rules" inside 2014 Mac Mini
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: July 29, 2022 03:45PM
OKOKOK!

I did not use an adapter for an Apple SSD as I had a regular NVMe blade SSD available and that's what I put in my 2014 Mini.

Thanks for btfc's post which jarred my memory into action on this Friday afternoon.

I likely just used an Amazon adapter for that, lemme see...

Edit: Yup! I used this one for a regular NVMe SSD:

[www.amazon.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2022 03:47PM by Lew Zealand.
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Re: Understanding storage "rules" inside 2014 Mac Mini
Posted by: SKYLANE
Date: July 29, 2022 04:20PM
Thanks everyone! Love the resources here! boink smiley

I will pay careful attention to connector type if I should decide to use a blade...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2022 04:21PM by SKYLANE.
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