Mac frustration …

My 2014 Mac Mini is playing up, I had intended to replace last year but waited for some spare cash. A new M1 mini arrived yesterday and realised that my monitor would not connect (old vga), no problem as I was planning to work out how to use it as a second screen. I tried to set the M1 up by plugging it into my TV with Bluetooth mouse and keyboard but no luck. New screen arrived and setup seemed to take for ever. The problem was that I was trying to transfer data from the mini to the M1 over the internet. Solution: direct Ethernet link between machines.

I hope to use the mini as a data server for the M1 but concerned that my LAN won’t cope. Surely that can’t be true? Anyway a day lost to slow data transfer so far.

How was the old one playing up? Could it be the internal hard drive (assuming no SSD)? Could the 2014 drive be nearly full with spurious files?

Surprised the M1 didn’t work over HDMI to the TV.

I have an M1 Mini as the main Mac now with the older (preferred in reality) 2012 Mini sat on a shelf under the same desk, both plugged into a cheap 5 port switch which connects to the ethernet at the wall. Transfers are surprisingly quick from one to another compared to running partly ethernet/partly wi-fi in the past.

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Always a good bet, with any device. My son’s iPhone was like that…!!!

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I think Apple has been launching great products for some time now, but I also think they are not as solid has it used to be.

Today we have more bugs in apple products than we had years ago, prices in Europe are high, very high. And innovation is there but not as much.

But they have the best support I have ever come across, and I rarely encounter another brand with a solid support like Apple.

Unfortunately I think Apple today is more about making more money and innovating a little, very little, the spark of Steve Jobs is not there anymore, and the feeling is growing more every year, prolonging product refreshes that come out with lots of small bugs.

I still think their software interconnects with all the Apple devices a way that it simply magical, and no other company can at the moment give this experience as solid as Apple… unfortunaltly…


Yes, I’d start here if I wanted to use the 2014 drive for a new purpose.

I would start by cleaning up the 2014 drive (*), if I wanted to transfer data off it, quickly & without hassle.

But…YMMV… :expressionless:

(* - Its good habit to adopt, with any storage system.)


The fastest way of transferring data on a Mac is to use a Thunderbolt cable.

Do you want to use your 2014 Mac as a media server - for music perhaps video? Or to back up files?

Thanks for all your comments. Playing up was interesting @Alley_Cat . First, I could not use my @me email and second is was so slow starting up and then running applications. Now I can’t identify it from the M1.

I had used disk utility to clear things up but it was not much good @IanRobertM . But I will remove most applications from it before I use it as secondary storage.

I don’t have a thunderbolt cable to connect the two Mac minis, and the ports on the two boxes are different. Perhaps a thunderbolt to USB would have been quicker @Stokie ?

To make matters worse my Humax Freesat box died last night, so it’s time to get another or perhaps buy a new tv with it included. If I do the latter I’ll need to change my network setup as at the moment the Humax delivers a signal over my LAN to my tv.

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In which case, you need to clean it up manually… :slightly_smiling_face:

As I explained to my son, there needs to be some working room, for any drive to work properly.

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Apple have started to use USB C which is faster than previous connections. Hopefully you can delete unwanted files from your 2014 Mac, then back it up before updating to the latest operating system it can run. Your new M1 should be very fast and has a range of options for driving a display. The Apple Support wiki has lots of useful advice.
@Alley_Cat his wired LAN with a switch sounds good to me. And I’m cheered that this works.

It is frustrating that reusing old Mac kit is no longer as easy as it used to be as there are both hardware and OS limitations.

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It’s T’s worth of drive with only 50% used. But I will be stripping out applications that I no longer use, so thanks for the reminder.

I’d be tempted to back it up then reformat the disk to get a fresh start.


When you say you couldn’t use the email, do you mean the Mail app wouldn’t open or there ere issues sending/receiving? Apple service can sometime go on the blink temporarily.

When you say you can’t identify it from the M1 do you mean you can’t see it on the network anymore?

If you have 50% free space that is more than adequate for most things.

Presumably you used First Aid in Disk Utility to check the file system integrity.

If there is plenty of free space then there are a number of things which might be making it flakey, from a failing hard drive, macOS corruption, malware or impending logic board/hardware failure. It may be none of these but first thing I think I’d do would be to copy any important files manually to an external drive attached to it assuming it isn’t already backed up.

There is an app called Etrecheck on the Mac AppStore which is good for troubleshooting and malware detection.

You will often see ‘Cleanup apps’ advertised on various websites - best avoided as some are considered near to malware in themselves.

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I think it may have been removed from the MAS, the developer’s website is here, there is a free and an enhanced paid option:

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Does the new one have support from apple? Normally 60 days(?) Included. I have always paid for a 3 year support package which has proved the past it was cheaper for Mac mini than Mac laptops

Out of interest which macOS version is that 2014 Mini running - it should be ok up to Monterey, the last version prior to recently released Ventura.

That gives it two interesting capabilities audio wise:

  • The ability to play Apple Music in hi-res/lossless
  • Optical out via the 3.5mm hybrid analogue/optical out

Assuming you can establish no major hardware fault (boot drive aside - is it a conventional one, fusion drive or SSD?) I’d be very tempted to try to use it via external boot with an SSD - the performance boost using Samsung T5 or T7 external SSDs on my 2012 Mini vs the 5400 rpm internal 1TB drive was enormous.

Apple are not making it any easier when it comes to external bootable drives with the newer ‘Apple Silicon’ Macs - being able to boot from one relies on the internal drive being functional which was never the case in the past. I’m running my M1 Mini from a 2TB external SSD in a cheap USB C enclosure but the ability to do so seems quite hit and miss.

Never got on with time machine, and lost a lot of files on it … I’ve used carbon copy for the last ten years or so.

Mind you I can be a bit of klutz…

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I’ve never had to restore from a Time Machine disk or data on a Time Capsule, but I have found browsing older files from a Time Capsule backup incredibly slow and tedious, perhaps that’s why they discontinued network based Time Capsule devices.

Not sure if the OP was using Migration Assitant but it offers several options:

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Same here with TM to be honest, I’ve also used CCC for years - unfortunately the shift from HFS to APFS and latterly Apple Silicon has brought some issues with CCC functionality, mainly with respect to external bootable clones.

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Frustrations aside, a brilliant feature of M1/2 etc due to the chip architecture is that many iOS/iPad OS apps can be used on the Macs as well - not all of course but being able to use certain phone/tablet apps for no additional charge on the Mac is great.