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I have a 2012 Mac Mini with an OWC disk doubler installed with the OS on an SSD and Time Machine on the original HDD. I was attempting to install a fresh copy of El Capitan from an installer image on the desktop to an external drive. When the install failed the first internal drive (the SSD with the installed MacOS) has disappeared from Disk Utility and the diskutil list in the Terminal.

Last login: Sun Feb 23 17:19:14 on ttys000
El-Capitan-on-HDMI-Mini:~ dougandlynn$ diskutil list
/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk0
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS TM Backup               999.9 GB   disk0s2
/dev/disk1 (external, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *4.0 TB     disk1
   1:                        EFI EFI                     314.6 MB   disk1s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS All Media               4.0 TB     disk1s2
/dev/disk2 (external, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *480.1 GB   disk2
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk2s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS MacMini QC HD           479.1 GB   disk2s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk2s3
/dev/disk3 (external, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk3
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk3s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS WD 1TB                  999.8 GB   disk3s2
/dev/disk4 (external, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *4.0 TB     disk4
   1:                        EFI EFI                     314.6 MB   disk4s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS BU All Media            4.0 TB     disk4s2

This happened once before and I got the internal SSD back by erasing the drive which I had installed the new OS on. I tried that process and this time I still am missing the drive. I'm positive the SSD has not failed it's just missing. Any idea on how to make it reappear?

  • Why are you "positive the SSD has not failed?" Disk Utility will see any drive regardless of how it is formatted. That fact that it worked once does not mean it will work again. It is entirely possible the drive was always failing and is now dead forever. – Steve Chambers Feb 23 at 22:45
  • Same symptoms as before and the SSD was fine. – Doug Reed Feb 23 at 23:06
  • OWC says ask Apple, Apple says ask OWC. – Doug Reed Feb 23 at 23:07
  • And @DavidSupportsMonica has the best course of action, below. – Steve Chambers Feb 24 at 0:33
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Either the SSD, or its connecting cable, or the underlying Mac Mini (either hardware or software) has a problem.

Isolate the issue by taking the SSD out of the Mini, and connecting it to another Mac. If the drive mounts, that suggests the connecting cable or the underlying Mac Mini is the problem. Keep swapping parts until you find the bad link in the chain.

Cables are fragile. If there are now two drives in the Mini and the other drive works, try swapping the two drives' cables to see if the SSD's cable is the problem.

| improve this answer | |
  • I suspect it is an issue with the OWC data doubler and was hoping there was a way to get it visible without disassembly. My eyes are not what they used to be and getting to the hard drives on this model is very difficult without the possibility of damaging the motherboard. Your solution is spot on. I was looking for something less invasive. – Doug Reed Feb 24 at 14:16

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