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Released on October 23, 2012. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Apple Fusion Drive.

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late 2012 mac mini unibody ssd upgrade issues (keeps uninitializing)

Hey guys,

So I have a late 2012 Mac Mini it has a 1TB HDD (what it came with). I purchased a 500GB Samsung SSD (870 EVO) to switch the HDD with.

I cloned the HDD onto the SSD using CC Cloner. Then i took out the HDD and put in the SSD. On boot a circle with a diagonal popped up then it booted up fine. I tested the system and it seemed to work fine so I shut it down. I then powered it on and a folder with a question mark popped up and it did not boot. So I booted into recovery mode and went to disk utility. I then noticed that disk utility said the drive was uninitialized. So I tried initializing it by using first aid then erasing it etc. but it kept failing.

I then took out the SSD and put back in the HDD and booted up the pc and it booted fine. I then attached the SSD externally and initialized it using disk utility to MacOS Extended Journaled (The default settings). Then I put back the SSD in the Mac and did a fresh install of MacOS via recovery mode. MacOS Catalina was installed and i went through the setup and everything went well. I tested the system and everything was working excellent better than the HDD. So I said I will try and reboot the pc to see if I get the same issue, and unfortunately when I clicked restart the pc shut off and on boot the folder with the question mark popped up and it never came on again.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance.

Thank you !

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Hi @trinitechguy, did you get your Samsung 870 EVO SSD working on the 2012 Mac Mini?


Hey Guys,

Unfortunatley, i never got the issue resolved no matter what i tried. So i switched back to the original drive that came with the Mac.
But i will try out the drive that WU El uses.



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The root issue is the fact you used a cloning app to image your old drives data onto your new drive. You need to use Migration Assistant. Cloning is no longer workable with anything newer than macOS Sierra and even then I find it often messes things up. Stick with Migration Assistant!

You also need to use APFS with macOS Mojave or newer for the boot drive. So once you setup the drive and then install (macOS Catalina in this case) you also need to setup the Boot Disk using the Startup Manager using the startup command Option (⌥) and you’ll likely need to also set the Startup Disk setting in your Preferences.

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

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I will give it a try and let you know what happens.

Thank you so much.


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Hey, I have same problem.

Hardware mac mini late 2012, Intel I5 2.5Ghz, 16GB RAM 1600Mhz, SSD Samsung EVO 870 6Gb/s. MacOS Catalina. I did everything:

1) cleaned disk and made clean install

2) wiped NVRAM

3) Run partition repair for both partitions - not found any errors at all

and nothing help. System while reboot it just freezes up and display question mark.

That not happen when I turn MAC off instead, then starts up as a charm, quick as !&&*. Problems appears only with restarting, its like computer doesn't see any disk during reboot.

During startup i pressed command until menu pops up, selected main SSD, so it start to load but when progress bar is close to 80% it ends up with same question mark on the screen.

What helped was a replace SSD with Kingstone A400 6Gb/s - much slower disc than Samsung, but it works just fine, rebooting works well nothing unusual but noticeable slower. Do you think upgrading with Samsung is not for Late2012?

Can u help somehow?

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Hey I,ve solved my problem! Don't know the reason , but when I connected SSD to second slot available on main board, Mac mini restarts and no question mark is seen anymore.

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