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!!!

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 5, 2013
602
729
Thinking about buying a new Mac mini, to replace my one from 2011. However, I'd need to install Mojave since some of the programs I use don't support 64-bit, plus I need to clean up my iTunes library a lot before I switch to the new media apps.

Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?
 
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venom600

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2003
1,219
1,001
Los Angeles, CA
There's a good chance that if you buy one off the shelf that it'll come with Mojave preinstalled. If you have to use a 32 bit app, you should be good with every machine currently out. Anything released from today forward will likely be Catalina only.
 

retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,845
2,917
Victoria, British Columbia
Thinking about buying a new Mac mini, to replace my one from 2011. However, I'd need to install Mojave since some of the programs I use don't support 64-bit, plus I need to clean up my iTunes library a lot before I switch to the new media apps.

Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?
If you bought on this day exactly, it'll probably have Mojave on it still, unless it's a build to order.

If it does come with Catalina, I'm almost certain it can be downgraded. You'll have to make a bootable USB with the Mojave installer, wipe the hard drive and install from the USB. All of the 2018 Mini hardware is supported under Mojave, so it should work perfectly.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,247
1,509
If you bought on this day exactly, it'll probably have Mojave on it still, unless it's a build to order.

If it does come with Catalina, I'm almost certain it can be downgraded. You'll have to make a bootable USB with the Mojave installer, wipe the hard drive and install from the USB. All of the 2018 Mini hardware is supported under Mojave, so it should work perfectly.

I wouldn't count on it. My 2018 13" came with Mojave, and I tried hard to install high sierra (originally this model shipped with) installed on it, with its particular version, but it didn't let me.
 

retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,845
2,917
Victoria, British Columbia
I wouldn't count on it. My 2018 13" came with Mojave, and I tried hard to install high sierra (originally this model shipped with) installed on it, with its particular version, but it didn't let me.
Do you remember what kind of error it gave you? Did you do a wipe of it before install or did you try to use the installer app? If the newer OS was already in place it wouldn't work.

It's also possible that Apple has changed something in this process, but at least in the days when it was called Mac OS X, it worked. My 2008 iMac can run earlier versions than it shipped with, and 2011 Minis can run Leopard, AFAIK.
 

Heat_Fan89

macrumors 65816
Feb 23, 2016
1,443
1,597
I wouldn't count on it. My 2018 13" came with Mojave, and I tried hard to install high sierra (originally this model shipped with) installed on it, with its particular version, but it didn't let me.
There was a thread that said you have to download High Sierra and other versions all over again because the certificates have expired and so it won’t install and you will get an error message. I forgot the cutoff date but were you installing HS from a copy you had a month or so ago?
 
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Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
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Do you remember what kind of error it gave you? Did you do a wipe of it before install or did you try to use the installer app? If the newer OS was already in place it wouldn't work.

It's also possible that Apple has changed something in this process, but at least in the days when it was called Mac OS X, it worked. My 2008 iMac can run earlier versions than it shipped with, and 2011 Minis can run Leopard, AFAIK.
There was a thread that said you have to download High Sierra and other versions all over again because the certificates have expired and so it won’t install and you will get an error message. I forgot the cutoff date but were you installing HS from a copy you had a month or so ago?

My particular mac already shipped with Mojave, but officially supported a custom build of HS - i got the build from the terminal command that gives you direct links to all installers that work on your mac (i could successfully install 10.14.0), but HS just didn't budge.
It always rebooted into recovery and wanted to install Mojave if i recall correctly.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
24,692
9,925
"Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?"

I see no reason why you couldn't do this.

You probably WOULD have to disable things like "startup security", SIP, etc.
Note: you MUST create an initial account on a T2 Mac before you can boot to the recovery partition and disable startup security.

You'd probably also need a good copy of the Mojave installer, from which you could create a bootable USB flashdrive using either DiskMaker X or Install Disk Creator.
(It might be a good idea to download a copy from Apple NOW, and store it somewhere safe)

But having said all that...
Are the new Minis being shipped yet with Catalina, or are they still coming with Mojave?
Anyone receive a new Mini in the last few weeks? With what OS...?

I'll reckon that any Apple-refurbished Minis are shipping with Mojave.
 
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!!!

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 5, 2013
602
729
You probably WOULD have to disable things like "startup security", SIP, etc.
Note: you MUST create an initial account on a T2 Mac before you can boot to the recovery partition and disable startup security.
So does this mean I can't just go into target disk mode and wipe it, then install Mojave (or something of that sort, haven't figured out my plan exactly with regards to restoring from time machine etc).
Also, how do you disable this?


Is there any consensus to whether or not I can install Mojave? I'll of course have the right installer that supports the hardware, I just don't know if Apple is able to restrict the OS to the one the Mac was bought with.
 

!!!

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 5, 2013
602
729
If all else fails you should be able to run Mojave in a Parallels virtual machine.
That defeats the purpose of buying a new Mac and restoring from a TM backup. Like I said, I need to use iTunes still and I need to use 32-bit apps preferably without the headache of having to use a slow VM.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
24,692
9,925
OP:

Some thoughts...

If you want to "revert" a Mini back from Catalina to Mojave, I recommend that you DO NOT try to do so from a TM backup.
Instead, create a BOOTABLE CLONED backup using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. It will make the process easier.

When you get the new Mini (assuming it has Catalina on it), you will need to do a few things:
- First, create a basic account. You DO NOT need to "migrate" anything to this account. But you CANNOT disable startup security until you do so. (because you must enter an administrative password to open startup security and you can't do this without an account)
- Boot to the recovery partition
- Next, go to startup security and DISABLE all "features". You want to choose "no security" and "allow booting from external media".
- Finally, open terminal and disable SIP with this command:
sudo spctl --master-disable

Now you can boot from an external source, ERASE the internal drive, and put a copy of Mojave onto it.
 

weaztek

macrumors 6502
Aug 28, 2009
376
186
Madison
If you want to "revert" a Mini back from Catalina to Mojave, I recommend that you DO NOT try to do so from a TM backup.

I went back to Mojave from a TM backup and everything is working well. The only hitch I found a Mac HD - Data that I erased with Disk Utility.
 

!!!

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 5, 2013
602
729
OP:

Some thoughts...

If you want to "revert" a Mini back from Catalina to Mojave, I recommend that you DO NOT try to do so from a TM backup.
Instead, create a BOOTABLE CLONED backup using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. It will make the process easier.

When you get the new Mini (assuming it has Catalina on it), you will need to do a few things:
- First, create a basic account. You DO NOT need to "migrate" anything to this account. But you CANNOT disable startup security until you do so. (because you must enter an administrative password to open startup security and you can't do this without an account)
- Boot to the recovery partition
- Next, go to startup security and DISABLE all "features". You want to choose "no security" and "allow booting from external media".
- Finally, open terminal and disable SIP with this command:
sudo spctl --master-disable

Now you can boot from an external source, ERASE the internal drive, and put a copy of Mojave onto it.
I was just going to mount the new mini under target disk mode and copy everything over that way. Would I still need to disable SIP to get into target disk mode?
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,961
2,835
East of Eden
As a pure guess, I would guess that Minis move slowly enough that any you buy would be likely to have Mojave installed. I'd put higher odds on Mojave for a new machine than a refurb, which probably has been sitting around for less time.
 
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MarkC426

macrumors 68030
May 14, 2008
2,744
1,319
UK
Depending on the spec you want, any on Amazon for sale should have mojave (it should indicate it).
In the UK, there is an Apple reseller I quite often use, and likewise their models specify the OS, usually what was originally installed if it’s been sitting in their warehouse, unless built to order.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors G4
May 30, 2002
11,269
5,500
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?"

I see no reason why you couldn't do this.

You probably WOULD have to disable things like "startup security", SIP, etc.
Note: you MUST create an initial account on a T2 Mac before you can boot to the recovery partition and disable startup security.

You'd probably also need a good copy of the Mojave installer, from which you could create a bootable USB flashdrive using either DiskMaker X or Install Disk Creator.
(It might be a good idea to download a copy from Apple NOW, and store it somewhere safe)

But having said all that...
Are the new Minis being shipped yet with Catalina, or are they still coming with Mojave?
Anyone receive a new Mini in the last few weeks? With what OS...?

I'll reckon that any Apple-refurbished Minis are shipping with Mojave.

Best to just follow this guide.

App Store for Mac allows downloading of macOS Mojave (I've done it 3x this past month - October). You can use Terminal after download to Create a bootable USB>

Guide: https://9to5mac.com/2018/06/18/how-to-create-a-bootable-macos-mojave-10-14-usb-install-drive-video/

no point doing this the difficult way. Still guide tip about TP2 as I'll be looking to upgrade to 2018 Mac Mini as I'm having issues properly formatting encrypted Windows 2.5mm SSDs GRRRRRRR!!!
 
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mmomega

macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
3,862
2,039
DFW, TX
I wouldn't place bets on shoulds or probablys.
When are you planning on making the purchase? I have every OS from tiger to catalina. I can see if I have the time this coming week to just do a complete wipe and install from as far back as I can go.

For science!!
 

retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,845
2,917
Victoria, British Columbia
I wouldn't place bets on shoulds or probablys.
When are you planning on making the purchase? I have every OS from tiger to catalina. I can see if I have the time this coming week to just do a complete wipe and install from as far back as I can go.

For science!!
Are you talking about installing these Oses on a 2018 Mini? You'll only be able to use Mojave-Catalina on it. Anything before that will not have drivers. Maybe the latest version of High Sierra, but even that is unlikely.
 

mmomega

macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
3,862
2,039
DFW, TX
Are you talking about installing these Oses on a 2018 Mini? You'll only be able to use Mojave-Catalina on it. Anything before that will not have drivers. Maybe the latest version of High Sierra, but even that is unlikely.
Yes a 2018 Mini, it's ok, I will find out after I put the USB in 100% what will or won't install.
I have a ton of time recently.
 
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J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
442
155
Spain
Well... it seems that reverting to Mojave is possible... but not everything about it is well explained, yet.
I plan to stay in Mojave, and my iMac hasn't a T2 chip... so I'm not totally sure or even really interested...
BUT upgrading to Catalina overwrites firmware of the machine also. I think I've read the thread carefully, and would like to know of a complete downgrading experience on a T2 machine, like MacMini.
Tech savvies are saying this: :confused:
Reverting T2 to older Firmware and this: Still confusing
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,961
2,835
East of Eden
Thinking about buying a new Mac mini, to replace my one from 2011. However, I'd need to install Mojave since some of the programs I use don't support 64-bit, plus I need to clean up my iTunes library a lot before I switch to the new media apps.

Anyone know if it's possible to buy a Mac mini today and install Mojave on it?

Here's another thought. If the one you get from Apple or a reseller like Best Buy comes out of the box with Catalina, you can return it. (CHECK RETURN POLICIES FIRST!)
 
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G4DPII

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2015
401
544
It used to be the case that the earliest OS you can technically install on a Mac is the one that was out at the time the particular Mac Model was launched.

Whether things have changed in the past couple of years since they have started to introduce the T2 security chips I do not know.
 

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
442
155
Spain
It used to be the case that the earliest OS you can technically install on a Mac is the one that was out at the time the particular Mac Model was launched.

Whether things have changed in the past couple of years since they have started to introduce the T2 security chips I do not know.
It used to be the case, and still is (Apple says) that in Recovery Mode, "shift+opt.+cmd+R" installed the OS that came with your mac (or nearest available).
Apple says

...Maybe Apple keeps serving every model with the OS it shipped at launch... And perhaps it changes in every minor renewal... I'm starting to think Apple must have a fixed procedure... ? (Every MacMini could be delivered with Mojave, til next model -?-)
 
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