The drive was causing the Mini to overheat, so I was afraid it was going to go, so I went to my backup clone drive, and have been booting from that for a couple months now.
I ordered the hard drive as a 5400 rpm (supposedly cooler than 7200 rpm drives) and replaced the very noisy Mac Mini fan.
I got the Mac Mini fan new from iFixIt, and a WD 1TB Blue Scorpio 5400 rpm 2.5" drive from NewEgg. Was certainly less expensive than buying a new Mac Mini right now.
Got out the handy dandy iFixIt walk through guides for the two jobs for the Mac Mini Model A1176:
Replacing Mac mini Model A1176 Fan
Replacing Mac mini Model A1176 Hard Drive
After that I used the bootable* USB Flash drive with Lion to:
(1) first use Disk Utility to partition GUID for Intel Macs, and
(2) then installed Mac OS X Lion and
(3) when it came up after the installation and rebooted, it asked if I wanted to migrate my data, etc. from one of four different places
(4) I plugged in my external drive and am currently migrating all my stuff (accounts, data/files, settings, etc. to the new drive.
* When you plug it in and during boot hold down Option and it should show up as a bootable drive, which it did!
** Much thanks to Mr. Anderson for going over what I was planning to do and suggesting a couple items that made everything go so much smoother! I thought I was gonna have to install Snow Leopard first, but I didn't have to!
The Migration Assistant for the Mac is amazing.
It has worked great the other times I have done this on the two Mac Mini's I have had, so I don't expect it to be a problem this time either.
However, I always get antsie restorations are done no matter what OS it is.
Finished without a hitch last night. I love Apple Migration Assistant!
I really wish there was a more viable solution for Windows like the Apple's Migration Assistant that allows you to pull your data from various type of scenarios.
Of course, if you don't want to migrate your stuff that way, you can do it however you like. Some folks have their data on a NAS of some kind, and it's not really needed, but for me, it's great.
Edited by LilBambi, 21 September 2013 - 11:59 AM.