Install Snow Leopard on old mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rtacconi, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. rtacconi macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2011

    I have a 2007 mac mini, the one not having a 64-bit processor (Core Duo). Here are the specs I found from the SN:

    Model Family: Mac mini
    Processor: 1.66GHz Core Duo (T2300)
    Manufacturer: Intel
    # of CPUs: 1
    Codename: Yonah
    Base Memory: 512MB PC2-5300 SODIMM
    Brand: Apple
    Wireless: 802.11a/b/g
    Color(s): Aluminum
    Original OS: Mac OS X 10.4.5
    Graphics: Intel GMA 950 (64MB)
    Base Storage: 60GB 5400RPM SATA 2.5"
    Optical Drive(s):
    Model Number: A1176
    Sales Number(s): MA206LL/A, MA607LL/A
    Machine Number(s): Macmini1,1
    Dimensions: 6.5 in x 6.5 in x 2.0 in
    Weight: 2.9 lb
    Production: Feb 28, 2006 - Aug 7, 2007
    Factory: Czech Republic
    Production Year: 2007
    Production Week: 22 (May)
    Production Number: 90

    I have erased the hard drive, it is not formatted. I tired to boot a disk of OSX Lion but I discovered I should change the processor to a 64-bit one. That mac mini is used only when watching pictures, videos, DVD with a TV. I do not want to by an apple tv.

    Question is: how I can install Snow Leopard on that mac mini? It used to was Tiger but I do not want Tiger any more for several reasons. Should I but a retail disk of Snow Leopard. The issue is on the Apple store there are only disk for the upgrade not for the installation from scratch. How can I install Leopard on a clean hard disk? Another issue is that I do not know where th OSX Tiger disks are :-(
  2. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011

    Try the Apple Snow Leopard information page: to learn how to install it. And to see if your Mac can run it. You will need a copy of Snow Leopard to install it, so yes you may have to buy a copy.
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  4. rtacconi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2011
    Bought Retails copy

    I have bought a retail copy but when booting after few seconds of the Apple grey screen I get a black screen saying 'No bbotable device - insert boot disk'. No the disk is stuck inside the mac mini :-(

    I read that I need the grey system disk of the mac with Tiger, I cannot boot with a retail disk... I am having enough of Apple! Any idea on how to install Snow Leopard?
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, you can boot from a retail disk.

    If you can't eject a CD or DVD or open the drive tray
  6. rtacconi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2011
  7. rtacconi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2011
    Second trial

    I bought a new 1TB hard disk. I tried to install OSX from the system disk - someone told me it is not possible to boot from a retail DVD. I still getting the same message. Please advise!
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    You sure the DVD drive is still functioning? DVD drives seem to be about the first thing to go. Seeing as how your disk is stuck in there, seems like you might not have a functioning drive (or at least not properly functioning). You did hold down the C button when starting up the mini so that it booted off the CD/DVD right?
  9. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2006
    I have the same mini. Its actually a late 2006 mini. I bought family pack snow leopard 50 bucks. It works great. I upgraded to 2gb of ram. If you have only 512mb it may be too slow.
  10. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
  11. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    I have the same mini. Well actually mine was teh core solo version. I upgraded to the T2300 with a chip harvested from my old Lenovo laptop.
    These max out at 2GB of ram. When I went from 512mb to 2gb it was at least as significant performance improvement as the processor upgrade.

    Yes you wold be probably be best off if you have the grey system disks to do a clean install, then upgrade from Tiger. SL runs great on those machines. I use my mini as my "daily driver", connected to my JVC 32" TV. It plays a few games, does HULU, browses the web just fine.
  12. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    After my post yesterday about needing 1 gig ram,i happened on same model on craigs today...price was right,so i figured be nice to have a desktop mac (same specs except came with 1 gig ram)...installed SL without any issues...runs great!

    -gave it good cleaning (vim worked great on rubber bottom)
    -i opened it up and cleaned out all the years of dust (using this site)
    -zeroed 60 gig drive,then clean install...geekbenched at 2187
  13. zhenlek macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2012
    Try create an external drive

    Mine is a 2006 mnii with Core Duo. I upgraded the RAM to 2GB and it works wonderfully with SL. I really love how a simple upgrade works wonders!

    I installed SL using an external hdd where I keep the installation drive for SL.

    Its a bit tricky but here's a start:
  14. calaverasgrande, Jul 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012

    calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    Simple ugrade?
    Those first gen mini cases are a %$&#* PITA to get apart and back together again. I strongly advise anyone who is looking at upgrading one of these older minis to do all their upgrades at once.
    I did the ram upgrade no problem, but subsequent hdd and cpu upgrades resulted in me shearing off the IR receiver, the sound connector and eventually the BT as well. It still fucntions just dandy as my living room TV computer. Though I had to plug in my Zoom H4N for sound.
    I will have to see if my new sony blu ray player displaces it in that regard. These new blu ray boxes do hulu, netflix, some even have web browsers? Can't wait until peoples blu ray players start getting hacked.

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