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ram and drive questions I've never seen answered here

 
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db15
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: ram and drive questions I've never seen answered here Reply with quote

For all you Mac Mini hackers out there.
The scenario ... I have a couple of Minis.

Am going to hack the mid 2009 one by taking the lid completely off (don't need the airport), string a couple of sata cables out the back (taking the cd burner and internal driver completely out and not use those at all... replace with the m-f sata cables) and then connect the cables to one or two external 3.5, 7200rpm drives , each sitting in a separate esata enclosure for fast switching of drives for various experiments.

Then just sort of sit the lid back on top of all those plastic teeth (not bother screwing it all back together) to keep lots of air flowing and yet keep the cats out. Ha ... don't really care what it looks like or if dust accumualtes since this is off the desk.

I have the factory two 1gb sticks in the Mac. Planning to take out one and pop in a cheap 4gb stick for now to give a total of 5gb.

okay, the questions ...

1> Isn't the stock Mini only operating in 32bit mode when you get them .. so adding more than 4gb of ram isn't really useful for anything in the Mac world unless you also do some sort of hack I've vaguely read to force the Mini to actually operate in 64 bit mode ? I've not been clear on that.

2. Gonna try out Boot Camp a few times on this hack. Will experiment with installing windows 7 to try a few things. Then zap the hard drive and create another Snow Leopard install with BootCamp and then experiment with xp sp3. I don't see that home versions of windows 7, and certainly Win xp can use over 3 or 4gb or ram. Do ya suppose the 5gb of ram I put into the Mini will be ignored by windows experiments .... the win xp in particular will just see 4gb instead of 5? Or do you think the extra ram in there will lock up the windows experiments? I realize this is more a windows question, but some of you may be fluent with Boot Camp experiments. All of this by the way will be experimented on the main drive outside the Mac. That second drive I mentioned will only be used for storage as time goes on and if this all works.

3. Am I right that I can actually dump the internal drive and cd/dvd burner to then use two M-F sata cables out to two enclosure based hard drives instead? One being a boot drive? I just wanted to be sure I'm clear on that. Don't want to use any drives or burners inside the mini itself for all these experiments.
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hwojtek
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: ram and drive questions I've never seen answered here Reply with quote

1 - the 4GB thing is a Windows problem, does not apply to OS X, whether it's running the 32-bit or 64-bit kernel.
2 - Windows will run just fine.
3 - HDD: yes, but you have to do your googling:
http://katastrophos.net/andre/blog/2006/11/02/the-mac-mini-external-sata-hack/
SuperDrive: can't remember when they switched from ATA to SATA SuperDrives. If your mini runs an ATA Superdrive, you're limited to an ATA external hard disk on this bus.

BTW - getting rid of the top lid disturbs the carefully designed path of the airflow inside the mini.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

been there done that I own two of them. In fact I am selling one on ebay in a week or two. I have a link with a lot of detail of the build.

http://techtalk.parts-express.com/showthread.php?t=213477

you can run complete beast of a mac mini up to 12tb.

up 6tb raid0 for each esata connection

still one of the fastest mac mini in the world

go to post 82 on the link and see a pair of hdds and a better dvd player with a hacked mm
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station


Last edited by philiparcario on Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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db15
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool. thanks guys.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

also look at post 87 for other variations

including the beast with two raid0 hookups
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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ADent
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With 10.6 and a 32bit kernel you are limited to 32GB of RAM. Pretty sure the 2009 mini can't take that much. 32 bit apps are limited to 4GB (or so), the 64 bit apps can use all of the 32GB.

There are 32 and 64 bit versions of Win 7 Home Prem. If you buy the retail box you get both in the box. I think the OEM ver is typically one or the other - check with your OEM.
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hwojtek
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ADent wrote:
32 bit apps are limited to 4GB (or so)

It's quite important to stress that it's 4GB per app, so having more RAM helps with 32-bit apps as well.
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