Mac mini (2012 late) Replace HDD with SSD (With Warnings)

WARNING : Patience is key for the task


Mac mini with HDD is too slow to restart system and read/write files. I decide to replace it with Sumsung 256G SSD. (origin disk is 500 GB and about half space is used)

Things You Need Know First

You indeed have two options to accelerate your mac mini:

  1. Replace your HDD with SSD
  2. Add SSD as second disk to your mac mini.

In the end, we’ll see the pros and cons for the choices.

Get Hardware Ready

A list for minimum tools:

  1. SSD ( >=256G )
  2. Tools(Screw drivers for screw T6、T8,M2)
  3. SSD Box (SATA -> USB)
  4. (Optional, if you prefer adding your SSD) Mac mini sata cable (connect to mainboard)

Get Software Ready

You can install Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.4 (30 days trial, enough to achieve task). Choose your HDD as source, SSD (which has already connected to your mac with help of box) as target, choose all files and you press clone. Now you will wait at least 1 hour to finish the job.

Follow the Guide Video

Now you can follow the video. Make sure you follow the corrent guide.

WARNING : Make sure you follow correct guide.
There’s another video which says you can pull out you disk without get your mainboard detached, that is NOT the case in mac mini china version here. The china version HDD has 4 screws attathed disk with the framework. I take at least 10 minutes try to pull out the disk and finally find out that the disk can’t be pulled.

WARNING : Plug in/out as soft as you can.
I just broke one interface (which besides the power line interface). Luckily the mac can still power on, but the front LED indicator never work again. So plug in/out as a gentleman.


I prefer adding SSD instead of replacing it. You can just attach another disk on the former HDD and use it as backup. So you don’t have to detach mainboard. (That’s risky because cables connected to mainboard are very thin and easy to broke.

At last, Gook luck! It deserves when you get your mac mini 5x faster!