Cannot Boot from USB Or CD?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by 1rafayal, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. 1rafayal macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2016
    Hi All,

    I am a complete Mac novice, have been playing around with an old Mac Mini for a couple of months when the hard drive failed on it. I replaced it with one from an old Windows laptop and tried to reinstall Mac OS X on it. However, I am unable to get the thing to boot either from the CD drive or from USB.

    I obtained an image of OS 10.4.3 and used TransMac to restore the image to a USB drive and held down the left alt key on my keyboard as I booted, but the only bootable thing that showed up was the existing Windows installation left over from my old laptop.

    I also burned the image to disc, but I still couldnt get the Mac Mini to see it during boot.

    Am I making a painfully obvious mistake here? I have tried following all the other guides on the same topic, but am getting nowhere...
  2. treekram, Mar 25, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016

    treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    What model or year Mini do you have? It looks like the image you have would only work with the G4 models (2005). The model # would be on the machine. If it is A1103 or has an order number that starts with M9.... or is MGEN2LL/A, then it's the 2005 model. Otherwise, if it is a model # greater than A1103 or the order number starts with M and then a letter (other than MGEN2LL/A), you have something from 2006 or newer, which, according to what I see, won't work the image you have.

    That might not be the only issue you have, but it's a good place to start.

    EDIT: If you do have a 2005 Mini, those weren't meant to be booted from USB drives (it's been a while but I do recall that limitation). But there's some controversy on the topic.
  3. Jozone macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2007
    I also dont remember 10.4.3 being an Installer build of OS X -- if you do have an early Mac Mini, it would be best to get your hands on an Installer for 10.5.8
  4. 1rafayal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2016
    Hey guys, thanks for the messages so far.

    Had a pretty busy easter weekend, so couldnt get back to this until now.

    Turns out that this is a Mid 2007 Mac Mini with Intel CPU? I took the suggestion about trying a different installer, 10.5.3

    I used TransMac on Windows to restore the dmg file to a usb drive and plugged it in. Powered on the device holding down the left alt key and was able to boot from the USB drive.

    I am now formatting partitions on the device as I type this :)

    I want to say thanks for the help I got on this, was very freaked out by the device.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 27, 2016 ---
    for anyone else that might be facing the same problems as I did above, you might run into another one when you start to install Mac OS X.

    Basically, if you have an HDD that was previously used in a Windows machine, you need to change the partition type in order for the OSX installer to be able to format the drive. When you try to install OSX, the installer will tell you that OSX cannot be installed and thats pretty much it.

    I followed these steps here: and was able to get passed the problem.

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