2011 Mac Mini need reinstall OS

walnawk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
9
0
Seattle, WA
I inherited a Mac Mini 2011 from my buddy, erased the disk hoping to refresh new OS on it (I came from MS Windows world), eternal folder blinking with "?" on reboot. When go back on Command+R after re-reboot, reinstallation OS option says "lacks required components". I visited apple genius bar and they told me to take it to an authorized service center to load it for $70. My question is when the MAC Mini is this old and not worth the money to repair, what other ways can I load an old OS for free?

I appreciate for your help in advance. Thank you.
 
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hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
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on the land line mr. smith.
You need the OS in question, either on a bootable DVD, or a bootable USB drive.

...Or, you can clone in Target Disk Mode from another similar Mac, if you have access to one.

Which OS were you planning to install?
 

walnawk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
9
0
Seattle, WA
Thanks so much for helping!!! I just want the latest year/version of OS that can go on this 2011 MINI. Before erasure, I saw 10.7 Lion (don't know if it was the most advanced version I can install). My friends might have a Mac, but doubt they would let me clone their mac with personal data on it. Please advise.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
1,085
309
on the land line mr. smith.
According to this, 2011 minis can run up to 10.13. Do you recall how much RAM is installed? Later OSes tend to need more. I have an old MBP (also 2011) running 10.13 on 6GB of RAM, and it is adequate for light to general purpose use.

Maybe somebody has 10.12 or so on an installer they can share. Are you in the US?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,241
6,094
If it's a 2011 Mini, it should be able to do "internet recovery".

Do this (try it RIGHT NOW):
Reboot with the following key combo:
Command-OPTION-R
If you're on wifi, you'll need your wifi password.
Loading internet recovery takes a little while -- BE PATIENT.

This boots you to internet recovery (NOT to "the recovery partition").
Then come back and tell us if it worked.

IF you can boot to internet recovery, you can do this:
a. Open Disk Utility and ERASE the internal drive to Mac OS extended with journaling enabled, GUID partition format
b. Then open the OS installer and install a clean copy of the OS
c. Then run the setup and create an account for yourself.
 
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hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
1,085
309
on the land line mr. smith.
Good point. Internet recovery should get you there. Check this too:

macOS Recovery exceptions

The version of macOS offered by macOS Recovery might differ in certain circumstances:
  • If macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later has never been installed on this Mac, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. And Shift-Option-Command-R isn't available.
  • If you erased your entire disk instead of just the startup volume on that disk, macOS Recovery might offer only the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. You can upgrade to a later version afterward.
 

walnawk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
9
0
Seattle, WA
According to this, 2011 minis can run up to 10.13. Do you recall how much RAM is installed? Later OSes tend to need more. I have an old MBP (also 2011) running 10.13 on 6GB of RAM, and it is adequate for light to general purpose use.

Maybe somebody has 10.12 or so on an installer they can share. Are you in the US?

I have 4 GB ram. 500HD. Glad to hear that I can up it it 10.13. I had 10.7 hoping to reload it from command+r, but got denied.

I am in the US, Seattle WA.
 

walnawk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
9
0
Seattle, WA
Good point. Internet recovery should get you there. Check this too:

macOS Recovery exceptions

The version of macOS offered by macOS Recovery might differ in certain circumstances:
  • If macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later has never been installed on this Mac, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. And Shift-Option-Command-R isn't available.
  • If you erased your entire disk instead of just the startup volume on that disk, macOS Recovery might offer only the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. You can upgrade to a later version afterward.
The Mac authorized reseller said "(you) I had erased the entire disk without any OS on it right now, you (I) need to pay them $70 to reinstall a copy on to my empty HD". That sounds like your option two - I had erased my entire disk.

But trouble is when I do the reinstall, it kept saying "lack components" "Contact Apple" and won't let me go forward. Thats when I contacted Apple and ended up at Reseller/repair center.
 

walnawk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
9
0
Seattle, WA
If it's a 2011 Mini, it should be able to do "internet recovery".

Do this (try it RIGHT NOW):
Reboot with the following key combo:
Command-OPTION-R
If you're on wifi, you'll need your wifi password.
Loading internet recovery takes a little while -- BE PATIENT.

This boots you to internet recovery (NOT to "the recovery partition").
Then come back and tell us if it worked.

IF you can boot to internet recovery, you can do this:
a. Open Disk Utility and ERASE the internal drive to Mac OS extended with journaling enabled, GUID partition format
b. Then open the OS installer and install a clean copy of the OS
c. Then run the setup and create an account for yourself.
I am able to boo through internet. BUT...

under ERASE, I am able to choose journaled. Under PARTITITIOn. I cannot choose GUID at all, everything grayed out. ”apply” tab grayed out.
- - Post merged: - -

thanks for the help. Improvements made, but not quite there yet. Please see the two pics. what am I am seeing is different from pictures on instructional articles. Perhaps the pics will bring issues in focus. Thanks again.
 

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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,241
6,094
"I am able to boo through internet. BUT...
under ERASE, I am able to choose journaled. Under PARTITITIOn. I cannot choose GUID at all, everything grayed out. ”apply” tab grayed out."


That looks good enough.
Try that.

Then close Disk Utility, open the OS installer, and see what happens next.
 

walnawk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
9
0
Seattle, WA
I tried installer. doesn’t allow. Please see pic. The repair guy once said I have no os in my hard drive - whatever that means.
E5CEDC3B-5713-4DA9-8AE0-F0465F0B828A.jpeg
 

McTinker

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2020
7
2
I had this message when I used wifi and the cinnection was flaky. Do/can you use a networkcable? Does this message comes directly at the beginning or later on during the installation process?

PS if you start with a clean disk, this is a good time replace the hdd with an old or cheap SSD. It will boost the perfomance a lot.
 
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walnawk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 25, 2015
9
0
Seattle, WA
So I used the cable for network connection and the same message happened again (see pic). It happened when I select the "install lion os X" option, after it started the reinstallation process for 15 seconds, came to this dead end.

I agree to start with a clean disk with faster SSD with more ram, but I need to know that this Mac will work again. Right now it is not even working.

What process do I go through now if my friend agrees to lend me her 2012 Mac? Do I make a thumb drive and bring the thumb drive to my mac mini? Or can anyone here let me download a OS X image?

Please help.
 

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