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Announced on October 16, 2014, identifiable by the model number A1347 and EMC 2840.

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Replace hard drive again or put in SSD?

My Mac Min won’t boot, getting a flashing ?

This is now the 2nd time the hard drive has failed. The first time I had Apple repair it, they replaced the HD with new/same model.

So It seems better to just replace with an SSD then have Apple repair with slow crappy HD?

I would like to do this upgrade myself. My hard drive was not backed up and I want to salvage anything I can. I’m not close to anything and stuck with slow Satalite internet. I made the attempt to boot in various modes with no luck. My problem is if I’m able to install new drive how will I be able to boot without installing the OS since the HD may be damaged, and my other laptops are running 10.5.8, FireWire, and USB2 only.

I still would need to clone the drive for the new drive, is this correct?

At the moment I only can access the internet with my iPhone.

Any advice appreciated

Thank You

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Well, you have a bit of work here! The first thing is how far you want to go.

The hard path is taking your system apart to pull out the HDD following this guide Mac mini Late 2014 Hard Drive Replacement and then install the replacement drive Mac mini Model A1347 Late 2014 SSD Upgrade Kits. You then still need to access your old HDD externally to try to recover the data.

The easy path is to add in the needed ribbon cable connector and a blade SSD OWC Aura Pro X2 MacMini Add-On Kit and here’s the guide to install it Mac mini Late 2014 PCIe SSD Cable Replacement. As we are leaving the HDD in its place we can access it using its current connection once we get the system setup with the new drive.

OK so thats the hardware side of the issue. Now the fun part of getting your system setup with an OS. Your other Mac is using an OS thats too old for your Mac Mini so we can’t use its OS for your mini’s recovery directly. We will need to download from Apple the a newer OS. I recommend you install Sierra macOS 10.12 on your Mac mini.

So, after ordering the needed kit and getting a fresh USB thumb drive …

Step 1 Is to download the image file from here How to upgrade to macOS Sierra jump down to Step 4 for the direct link to the file you’ll need.

Step 2 Is to prepare a 16 or 32 GB thumb drive on your other Mac. Using Disk Utilities format the thumb drive with GUID and a Journaled file system.

Step 3 Is to follow this guide How to create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive from your working Mac.

Step 4 Is to install the SSD (either way)

Step 5 With the thumb drive plugged in, restart your Mac mini and press the Option (⌥) key on your keyboard to get to the Startup Manager, select the thumb drive at which point you should be able to then format the new SSD (again GUID Journaled file system) and install the OS to the drive.

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

Once your system is running try running Disk Utilities > Disk First Aid function on your HDD see if you can get it going enough to copy off to your new SSD what you need to save. I would then reformat the drive hopefully you can get a bit more life out of it.

Let us know how it goes!

Mac mini Late 2014 PCIe SSD Cable Görseli

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Mac mini Late 2014 PCIe SSD Cable Replacement

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15 - 20 minutes

Mac mini Late 2014 Hard Drive Görseli

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Mac mini Late 2014 Hard Drive Replacement

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30 minutes - 2 hours

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Dan, is it really that difficult to take the hard drive out? The instructions look clear, but if it’s not worth the extra steps then I should go the easy route. If the old drive turns out to be no good would it create any complications with the SSD Blade? I also may have a problem to get the installer image for Sierra on my laptop 10.5.8. I wasn’t able to find it yet, and I’m concerned about how long will it take to load - data limitations on Satalite and speed is slow. So , either way suits me if I can get to the installer- based on step 4 from Apple support, which I was unable to access from my laptop but saw it from my phone. Of course money is a concern especially at the moment so I’m just being cautious. Thanks Dan and Veronique these answers are extremely helpful.

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Where are you located country and nearest city (or major village) there must be some other option than a satellite internet connection. Some how we need to find a better solution getting the needed OS file (Blue URL links above)

Sadly, cloning your laptops drive is not an option. The older OS you have on the laptop doesn't have the needed hardware drivers your Mac mini needs.

I would go with the blade SSD option as being just easier. But, I understand money is tight so you maybe forced in taking the out the HDD out.

Let's try a different direction than an going with a 2.5" SSD. A cheaper approach would be another patter drive, going with a better drive, a SSHD hybrid drive. I find these drives are better than a straight HDD and I mostly install them when a HDD makes better sense from a cost perspective! It's cheaper than a SSD yet if offers better performance than a regular HDD.

Here's the drive Seagate FireCuda 2.5" SSHD.

That will get you going for less (but a bit more work), then when you've saved your pennies get the blade SSD. In this setup you can go with a smaller blade SSD (256/500 GB) and having a larger 2.5" SSHD (1/2 TB).

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Dan, thanks again.

If I get the Aura Pro x2 then I would go with the 240gb, I can always deal with the old hard drive later. So now I would still need the bootable installer. I have the 16gb flash drive but now I would have to find the internet connection. I did see some $15 bootable OS installer drives on eBay but not sure about those. Also, will my laptop download the installer or will it detect not compatible? I live in North Los Angeles county, a little rural pocket at the end of the line that cuts off any hi speed internet and no cell service. Due to covid19 most public places are not available for several hours of internet.

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OK, not so bad! Many MacDonalds offers free WiFi !! Other restaurants likely do as well. Call your friends I'm sure one might have cable internet service (near the village center). All you need is the access from outside. They should have a guest account for your use.

If I lived in the area and you had called me I would offer the connection. The download is around 5 minutes in time.

I think you got this! A 240 GB drive is fine! Just make sure the thumb drive is formatted GUID with a journaled file system (HFS+)

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Get your new SSD in a USB enclosure and clone your other laptop running 10.5.8. Now swap this onto the failed macmini. Carefully replace the old HDD into the USB enclosure - and it will appear as external storage.

ideally, you could USB-boot with some linux based rescueCD (http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/) - use the software called gparted. This can clone your existing HDD into SSD. Just a try... your old hdd may give up or just allow you to copy. see https://gparted.org/

you can use the so called (trial version is OK) Carbon Copy Cloner https://bombich.com/

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Veronique, if I clone my laptop and then install SSD and take old Hd into the usb enclosure would the laptop recognize the old drive as external ? If yes, then I would not need to clone the laptop and just work on install the newer 0S. Or am I missing something? Thanks.

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> old Hd into the usb enclosure

Hdd in external enclosure *may* not be visible if you had *encryption* ON. see this image:

https://cdn.macpaw.com/uploads/images/fi...

This is why if you need to salvage old data; better clone the macmini old hdd into external-SSD. Boot external-SSD in your laptop-> copy everything.. Just in case....

Also remember mistakes happen; while cloning. Try to label drives clearly otherwise, I had once formatted a *useful* drive by mistake.

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