Whilst upgrading my new 2011 Mac Mini from its standard slow hard disk to a brand spanking new SSD I spotted the second channel SATA port identified by the original iFixit teardown…
When we took apart the 2011 Mac Mini, we found the optical drive conspicuously absent. While few are bemoaning Apple’s efforts to hasten the death of physical media, we were saddened that Apple didn’t make better use of the extra space. Fear not, we’ve got a solution to bring your Mini back to the space-efficiency you’d expect in an Apple product.
In the past couple of month various supplier have come up with a solution to mounting a second hard disk in this tiny box, mainly based around the fact that the 2011 model is identical to the 2010 mac mini server, and can use the same cable supplied for that system.
My first find was iFixit’s own kit, which comes with all the tools and mounting points required to add a second disk, the downside is the cost, which at $69 is pretty pricy if you happen to have some of the tools already.
I did find some alternative suppliers for just the cable alone, MacPartsOnline has the cable alone for $39, Applemacparts.co.uk also supplies parts to the UK for £25 plus VAT. Availability seems to be an issue with all the suppliers due to the popularity and cost savings compared to the standard Apple upgrade prices.
If you’re considering this upgrade do follow iFixIt’s full upgrade guide, which is very detailed (there’s also this first hand guide to the process) it can be a bit scary the first time you take apart a Mac Mini, as it’s a very tight package, but if you take it slowly it does work out.