Mid 2010 Mac Mini Hard Drive Install

Be Prepared

A few words of warning: This is not a simple install. Do your homework. Watch the Mid 2010 Mac Mini install video below before you start, and use it during the install. Be sure you have the tools needed for the job. Take your time and be patient.

Here are the tools you will need to install a new drive into a Mid 2010 Mac Mini:

  • 2 mm Hex Key/Allen Wrench
  • Torx T6 screwdriver
  • Torx8 screwdriver
  • Nylon pry tool
  • (Optional) A Mac OS install disk or thumbdrive with OS X installed

Install Video For Mid 2010 Mac Mini

Below is the video I used to install a new drive in my Mid 2010 Mac Mini. The video comes from OWC/MacSales, and it is very thorough and detailed. Take your time, and follow the instructions exactly.

Note: Your Mid 2010 Mac Mini uses a 2.5″ drive. This can be a hard drive, Fusion drive, or SSD. As long as you are using a 2.5″ drive, no adapter is required, and it will literally “plug” into an existing SATA cable on your computer.

Adding An Operating System Your New Hard Drive

Because you are installing a new drive, you will also have to format it and install a new operating system.  Once the old drive is removed, and the new drive is in place, you will find that there is no “recovery drive”. Not to worry. Depress the “Option” key and the Mac’s “Start” button at the same time until you see a white screen with the “Apple” logo on the monitor. This will take you to the StartUp Manager screen. You will see a drop down box listing the available WiFi addresses in your area. Select yours, and shortly you will see the OS X Utilities screen. Select “Reinstall OS X”.

Early Macs can’t phone home to Cupertino for an OS X download.  So, you will need an original copy of OS X for your machine on a DVD or thumb-drive.  Insert the DVD or thumb-drive into your Mac. Hold down the “C” key and the “Start” button until the “Apple” logo appears on the monitor.  After the install disc is loaded, go to Disc Utilities and format your new drive.  By default, the installed operating system will be the one your computer started life with. You will be prompted to update OS X, getting a more current version from the App Store in the process.  Go to the App Store, and find your “Purchased Items” tab, scroll down until you found the latest usable version of OS X for your Mac and download the OS.  Once downloaded, you will be prompted to install it, click “Yes”, and it will be installed.

Note:  For detailed instructions on installing OS X to a new drive, click HERE

Note: For instructions on how to install an SSD drive into an Early 2008 iMac, click HERE.


I just recently installed a new fusion drive in my Mid 2010 Mac Mini. The video was a life saver. Before the install, the Mac’s original hard drive became so slow, the Mac Mini almost became a doorstop. Now, with its new hard drive (and 8 GB’s of Ram) the little Mac has once again become a useful member of the Larry Talks’s Tech Mac team.

By prometheus

Husband. Father. Grandfather. World class Geek.

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