2005 Mac Mini - OS X issues and downloading problems!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by wolfoz, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. wolfoz macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2010
    Hello all, we have just bought a 2005 Mac Mini cheap, but we're having a few issues. Sorry, we don't have a huge amount of experience with macs, so please be patient with us :p

    It's running OS X Panther, and we've discovered that for some reason this means we can only run Firefox as it's an old OS X? We have a 2008 iMac with OS X (not sure what version), can we use these iMac discs to do a re-install on the Mini? Are they interchangeable?
    Or can we link them either physically (cable) or via bluetooth and move applications over that way?

    On another note, if we were to get OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard, would this solve all our problems? If so, is this just a case of buying the £25 upgrade off Apple's website?

    Specs as below:
    Apple Mac Mini 1.42GHZ/512/80G/SD/BT/B
    512 MB DDR400 – 1 DIMM
    Superdrive (CR-RW/DVD-RW)
    Bluetooth Module-Z
    56k V.92 Modem
    Mac OSX
    Purchased March 2005

    Cheapest options are best! Thanks :)
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Your Mini cannot use the iMac's discs. The best thing for it is Leopard. But, you should upgrade it's ram to 1Gb. If you aren't good with computer hardware, I'd suggest you take it to Apple to do this.
  3. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    Congrats on the purchase :)

    Firstly, by way of explanation, your Mac Mini uses a PowerPC G4 processor. Newer Mac Minis (and all newer Macs including your iMac) use an Intel processor.

    Other than just being an older machine, this does mean that you can't run the very latest versions of some software, including OS X itself.

    Apple numbers its operating system releases and also names them after big cats.

    Your Mini has 10.3 "Panther"

    It could run 10.4 Tiger or 10.5 Leopard, but not the latest 10.6 Snow Leopard, which is what you've seen on the Apple site. So don't buy that £25 upgrade.

    You can find Tiger and Leopard on places like eBay, but make absolutely sure that you are buying a RETAIL copy of Tiger/Leopard and NOT the grey coloured disks that come with a particular computer - that would give the same problem as Intell noted above with your iMac disks.

    Tiger is less demanding than Leopard in terms of the memory (RAM) in your system. As Intell said, you should ideally upgrade to 1GB anyway and I would suggest this is the minimum for Leopard (it's also the maximum that your Mini will take).

    Upgrading a Mini yourself is trickier than most computers. it doesn't have a simple flap underneath like the iMac. There are 3rd Party dealers that will do this as well as Apple but I would suggest using someone who specialises in Apple and Minis and are not a general computer repairer.

    That said, you can do it yourself if you're confident. Here's one guide:


    Because the G4 Mini has only one memory slot, it's a case of taking the existing 512MB out and replacing with a single 1GB module. You can try Crucial - I assume you're in the UK.

    Hope this helps.

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