I have a late 2012 Mac Mini running macOS Sierra (10.12.6). It came with a 1TB fusion drive. I recently removed that drive to replace it with a 960GB SSD. All is working fine except for two issues.

  • The old fusion drive shows in the left column of Disk Utility (as APPLE HDD...).

  • If I restart while hiding down the option key, it shows up there too.

In Terminal, in diskutil list, it shows up as disk0. The replacement SSD shows up as disk1.

Is there anyway to keep the 'phantom' disk from showing up?

1 Answer 1


It's actually not a phantom drive; there's a 128GB SSD that originally came with the Mac mini to be used in conjunction with the HDD as a "Fusion Drive."

From Everymac.com:

This model also could be custom configured with a 3 TB hard drive for an extra US$150, a 1 TB or 3 TB "fusion drive" -- which combines a traditional hard drive with 128 GB of flash RAM -- for an extra US$250 or US$400, respectively, or a 768 GB SSD for an extra US$1300. (emphasis mine)

You have a couple of options...

  • You could just format the drive to get rid of the boot partition and not use the drive - diskutil eraseDisk %noformat% disk0

  • You could format it FAT32 or HFS+ to make a separate drive for 128GB of storage to be used however you like - diskutil eraseDisk fat32 Untitled GPT /dev/disk0

  • You could re-do your installation and create another "fusion drive" that would be 1.13TB in size. You will want to backup all your data, create the Fusion drive and then restore to the new combined drive. (I personally went this route)

  • I assumed that the SSD (which I thought was only 6GB) was physically attached to the Fusion Drive
    – Kirkp
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 22:04
  • I thought the same thing too with my iMac, but found that it's actually two separate drives and one of them was 128GB.
    – Allan
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 22:05
  • "Hybrid" drives are SSD/HD combos that're physically packaged together (and managed by a single controller board); a "Fusion drive" is two physically separate drives linked via software. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 23:41

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