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I have a 2011 Mac Mini whose hard drive I would like to upgrade, because it's a bit small, old and slow.

I got a 2TB SSD drive and would love to clone my current HD that has my OS on it and everything onto it, then swap them.

I looked around online but I'd rather ask here since the Mac Mini is a bit old.

What is the exact process to do that? Will the data cable in the Mac Mini be fast enough or do I need to replace them as well? Can I do the copy with Disk Utility?

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  • Which version of macOS (OS X) are you using? Can you post the output from diskutil list to your question? Can you provide the brand and model of the SSD? May 2 at 21:01
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    Cloning simplicity very much depends on which OS is currently on it. As the 2011 mini can only run High Sierra, then cloning will be easy with Carbon Copy Cloner
    – Tetsujin
    May 3 at 13:28

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This iFixit page has a wealth of information about how to work on the 2011 Mini's hardware.

These instructional pages on replacing the Hard Drive and the Hard Drive cable are exactly what you are looking for.

I know that mere links to information is frowned upon on StackExchange, but a wholesale copy/paste task of all the information contained on this site is a very large burden. iFixit has been around for some time, and IMHO, not about to disappear any time soon.

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  • Thanks! This explains how to replace it, but not how to clone it beforehand May 2 at 20:16
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You'll need to buy a USB to SATA cable or USB drive 'enclosure', so you can connect the new drive to the Mac while the old one is also still connected (and booted).

Then I would recommend using either SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner to clone the whole source disk to the destination disk.

Then physically switch the drives. You could switch the drives first, and boot from the old drive as an external before cloning, of course.

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