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Mac Mini Server RAID1 Configuration

There have been some questions recently regarding how to configure the new Mac Mini Server for RAID 1 mirroring. Out of the box the Mac Mini is setup without RAID. You have two identical 500GB disks so RAID is possible. To make this work you’ll need another Mac computer running fire wire because the device lacks a CD/DVD drive.

EDIT: Some people have asked “Why run RAID 1 mirroring when you already have a solid backup strategy?” The answer is simple: Downtime is bad and costs money … some people a lot of money! Running a RAID 1 mirror on production environments is essential to maintaining high up-time. Hard Drives can and do fail so its better to be prepared for it. Restoring files from backups and locating a replacement disk is not fun at 5AM. If a RAID mirror disk dies you can plan a time to repair it, you won’t have that option if you only have backups.

Step 1: Start the Mini in Target Mode. Press the T during start. In a few seconds the firewire logo will appear on your screen.

Step 2: Go to your second Mac. Connect the firewire cable between second Mac and Mini.

Step 3: On the second Mac start the disc utility. The two identical drives on your mini will show. Create a new Raid set (mirrored = Raid 1). Include both drives. Confirm the warning that all data on the mini will be lost.

Step 4: Make sure your second Mac has CD/ DVD sharing option installed. This is to use the super drive to install OS X Server on the mini.

Step 5: Shutdown both Macs

Step 6: Start your second Mac in target mode. Make sure the firewire cable is still connected.

Step 7: Start the Mini with the option key pressed.

Step 8: Insert the OS X Server install disc in your second Mac.

Step 9: wait till the drive logo appears om the Mini. Continue the install. Will take about an hour.

An even easier option is to purchase or borrow a USB DVD drive and just boot from that.

Now that you can protect important corporate data why now switch to a hosted mac mini server?

4 Responses to “Mac Mini Server RAID1 Configuration”

  1. […] Dzisiaj 09:23 Cytuj | #5 Nie utracisz gwarancji rozszerzając ram a tu masz opiskę jak zrobić raid 1 na mac mini Komputer:  MacBook 4.1, SL 10.6.8 « Poprzedni temat | […]

  2. Carl says:

    In Raid 1 config if one of the drives die will the mac mini run normally? Does the system alert you that a drive is dead? cheers

  3. admin says:


    We’ve seen both conditions happen. Sometimes the server stays up and sometimes is fails when one disk dies. Often a reboot will fix the latter. We offer remote reboot which we can configured to reboot after a failed ping for quick reaction.

    The system does not alert you other then dropping information into the logs. If you run a bunch of servers i recommend a syslog solution with alerts based on event triggers. With this you could easily identify a failed disk. The OS does not alert you as one might expect.

  4. Reto says:

    Thank you for your detailed instructions and the honest report about OSX not reporting a RAID failure error.
    Would you mind showing a way to automatically monitor the mentioned logs at home ?
    (On Windows the situation is even worse, it doesn’t even log software RAID failures.)

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