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Ask Max: My Mac mini hard drive is full. Which one should I upgrade to?

Asked on 06/23/2009:

I have a Mac Mini, and I have hit to limit of my HD. I have one of the first minis with a 40 GB HD. I run OS 10.5.6, with Time Machine fully operational on a separate HD. I would like to replace the hard drive with a bigger one, but I can't find information about which HD to purchase.

I have used it far more than I ever have with my G3 (upgraded to 1GHZ), running 3 printers, 2 scanners, and managed two web sites. I love this little cigar box. I used to have a Laser printer installed too. It is working extremely well, and all I really need is to upgrade the size of the hard driver or figure out how to add another external hard drive for a start up device. What would you suggest? I feel that I can make the change over without any trouble, but I don't know which drive to get. My prior life, I was an electronic tech for USAF and NASA.




I am sure that most people from NASA should not have a problem installing a new hard drive in a new or used Mac mini, so that would be the cleanest upgrade path. You will need a 2.5" PATA hard drive. Any size drive should work so look at the 160GB model.

Here is a link to some detailed instructions on changing the internal hard drive on a Mac mini.

You can use the 10.5 migration assistant to recover your files from the last Time Machine backup. With a full backup, you should have no problem recovering your settings after the initial install of drive and the OS.


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