Sprucing Up the Deauxmayne

Tonight, a shiny new 250GB hard drive arrived from OWC, which I had ordered to upgrade to webserver (Mac Mini). I’d been holding some memory from my MacBook upgrade, with the intent of installing that in the MacMini when I upgraded the hard drive. Tonight was the night!

As with any hard drive upgrade, the first line of defense is ensuring that there’s a backout plan. For me, that meant copying the current 120GB drive to the new 250GB. I’d purchased an OWC external drive enclosure a while back, just for this project. At around $25, this is a bargain, and will be the eventual destination for the 120GB drive, likely to be used for Time Machine. When I installed the 250GB drive in it, I found a nice 2GB disk image of freeware, courtesy of the folks from OWC. Cool! After a two-hour copy using Carbon Copy Cloner, I was ready to dissect the Mini.

I’ve been in the Mini before, and it’s not a lot of fun to take apart or work inside. It’s built to be a compact, powerful system — which it is — but there’s a lot of voodoo beneath the covers to keep it all together and cool enough to function. I found two sites that speak to the disassembly of the little guy, one here and another here. Both recommend a putty knife to help pry the bottom from the top. In my case, Darla had a nice cake frosting knife that worked just dandy. Carefully going through the steps on the DIY sites, I finally got the thing apart, split the innards in half, and replaced the memory and installed the new drive. After one miscue involving a power cable — always test before closing the covers! — the Little Server That Could was back to serving webpages in no time at all.

Next stop…. Leopard!