The Mac mini is a great little machine if you’re just getting into OS X or if you’re a long time user. Because of the Mini’s small form factor, it can be used in a variety of situations, from the office to the home theater. Another nice thing about the Mac mini is how upgradable it is. While it may not look like it from afar, once you’re up-close and personal with the machine, you’ll realize how easy it is to swap drives and throw more RAM into the machine.
So, you’re thinking of upgrading your Mini’s hard drive. Sure, you could purchase a new drive and throw your old one into another computer or an external enclosure, but why not keep it in your Mini for extra storage? Even though this may seem like an impossible feat at first due to the Mini’s very small enclosure, it is actually quite possible.
When Apple designed the 2011 Mac mini, they removed the optical drive, making it identical to the server edition Mac mini. The Mac mini server sports two 500GB drive standard, enabling RAID and other dual-drive solutions. Because of this, the standard version of the 2011 and 2012 Mac mini have an extra empty 2.5″ hard drive bay which needs a few simple parts to be fully active and capable of connecting another drive to your Mac. While you can buy all of these parts individually and follow a seedy tutorial on YouTube, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to purchase all of the tools, parts as well as an installation guide at once? That’s where Other World Computing comes in with the Data Doubler.
OWC’s Data Doubler for the 2011-2012 Mac mini is an awesome little kit. For a penny under $40, the product includes all screw drivers, parts and tutorials you need to install a second drive in your Mac mini. Most importantly, the Data Doubler includes a custom made SATA cable which attaches to your Mini’s motherboard. This adds a second SATA connection to be used with the mounted drive. The only thing not included is the actual drive which you’ll be installing, but you can purchase one from OWC if needed.
Now that you’ve purchased a Data Doubler kit and a secondary drive for your Mini, how difficult is the installation process? Upon first glance, it may be pretty intimidating as you have to take your Mini completely apart for installing the secondary drive. However, as long as you follow Other World Computing’s professional video guide, you shouldn’t have an issue with the installation. I installed the Data Doubler kit in my Mac mini in about 45 minutes by following OWC’s guide.
All in all, I highly recommend OWC’s Data Doubler kit for the Mac mini to the type of person who doesn’t mind taking their Mac apart. You can purchase the Data Doubler for 2011-2012 Mac mini via Other World Computing’s website for $39.99.