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Mac Mini external SATA RAID

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Mac Mini external SATA RAIDPosted: Friday, February 25, 2011 [11:19:40] - 1
rootPosted by:rootMember Since:
June 16 2010
Posts: 188
Since my Power Mac G5 lifespan coming to a predicable end cycle I was looking for reliable replacement solution.
New (2010) Mac Mini looks quite appealing in many aspects:
- price
- simplicity
- small size



I do not like 2.5" hard drives reliability and single 3.5" hard drives has failed on me in the past.
Since my Mini will be replacing my main business computer - I needed a RAID, preferably a SATA RAID solution for storage.

NewEgg.com (as well as many other places on the Internet) offers RAIDON eSATA/USB RAID unit for $139.99.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816142002
FireWire800 version available as well.



At present I have a USB connection while I am waiting for SATA cable to hook-up directly internal SATA connector to eSATA in a RAID unit.
SATA cable: http://www.cooldrives.com/index.php/esexcaitolex.html

USB connection fast enough (at least the whole computer works much faster than my G5) for now and I will post more information once SATA cable arrives.There's no place like ~
RE: Mac Mini external SATA RAID (update)Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 [12:34:35] - 2
rootPosted by:rootMember Since:
June 16 2010
Posts: 188
Finally SATA cable arrived and I did try if the SATA connection worked - it did.
It was 7PM and first thing I did is went to a hardware store to buy some more epoxy in case I don't have enough.

I used old 2.5" hard drive as a dummy drive to run a SATA cable to an existing internal SATA connector. The idea was to hook-up cable internally and leave all Mac Mini internal structure intact.

I made a guide for SATA HD connector - so new cable will be placed at exact position in a hard drive frame:



Cable guide was basically made while original HD SATA connector was still in-place. I just used a dishwasher liquid on a drive and let it dry before using epoxy so drive would separate easily from the guide.



Then I trashed the hard drive and made a hole for the cable. Made shure that cable fits nicely and used a paper weight to keep it in-place before filling the gaps with epoxy.



I used the same dishwasher liquid for cable guide for easy separation.



I filled the space in two stages - first to keep the cable in-place with a little epoxy (so it will be easy to fix any mistakes)



and once everything checked-out I filled-up the rest of the gap



On the picture above I already shaved the connector so it will not stick-out on the top of the drive.



HD enclosure with the cable just before being cleaned-up for installation.There's no place like ~
RE: Mac Mini external SATA RAID (continue)Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 [13:06:31] - 3
rootPosted by:rootMember Since:
June 16 2010
Posts: 188
I used hardware from existing internal hard drive that came with Mac Mini (including temperature sensors) on a hard drive used for cable connection.



a different view



Keep in-mind that new hard drive is thiner than full hard drive - make sure side screws inserted properly in a front plastic plate



and all cables are in proper place



let the cable run on a side



I needed to make two cuts: one in AirPort antenna grill and the other in a bottom plastic cover



on the end cable neatly hangs on a side while all airflow inside Mini remains the same as it was designed



Hooked-up SATA cable to external enclosure and it works like a charm.There's no place like ~
RE: Mac Mini external SATA RAID - PSPosted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 [13:48:03] - 4
rootPosted by:rootMember Since:
June 16 2010
Posts: 188
If external enclosure is used - please make sure to uncheck in "Energy Saver" settings:
- Put hard disk(s) to sleep when possible (or your computer will freeze)

and as always:
- do all of the above at your own risk!
- your computer warranty may VOID upon completion of the project or anywhere in between!
- if you break something - please do not blame it on me - you did the job and I expressly state: DO NOT DO IT! (unless you have the skills)There's no place like ~
RE: Mac Mini external SATA RAID - More imagesPosted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 [20:36:00] - 5
rootPosted by:rootMember Since:
June 16 2010
Posts: 188
Cuts for the cable have to be made in Airport antenna grill and a plastic cover:

view from the bottom of the plastic cover

Closing the cover requires feeding cable through the guide in a cover, aligning the markers and twisting cover clockwise

Cover closed

Mini stands the same way as if there was no cable sticking from the bottom cover

now Mini could be hooked-up to the external SATA enclosure without worrying about the cable.There's no place like ~
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