Late 2012 i7 mini with OS X 10.9.5 cant update the OS

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Stephen W, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Stephen W macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2019
    Ontario Canada
    I have a late 2012 mini 2.3 I7, 2 1 TB HD’s, 4 gig ram with OS X server on it. Not using server function and would like to update the OS as Gmail and Pinterest will not open. I cannot seem to get any updates
    to work. Some help would be appreciated. Thanks Steve
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    You can update all the way to Mojave if you want.
    But...I wouldn't take a 2012 Mini "that far".

    I'd use either Low Sierra or High Sierra instead. My 2012 Mini currently uses Low Sierra, and will remain that way for as long as it runs. Still runs fine.

    I'll suggest this to you.

    First, try this link to get a copy of Low Sierra. It should download into your applications folder. If the installer tries to run, DON'T run it yet -- just quit it for now.

    Next, you need a USB flashdrive. I think 8gb will do, but I'd suggest 16gb or larger.
    Erase the flash drive to "Mac OS extended with journaling enabled, GUID partition format".

    Now, you need a copy of DiskMaker X.
    The correct copy to use for Low Sierra can be had by clicking this URL:

    Now you can use DiskMaker X to create a bootable flash drive with a few clicks of the mouse.

    Once you have this flash drive ready to go, do this:
    a. power down the mac, all the way off
    b. insert flash drive into USB port
    c. press power on button
    d. IMMEDIATELY hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN until the startup manager appears
    e. select the flash drive with the pointer and hit return
    f. you should boot into the flash drive OS installer
    g. "aim" the installer at your internal drive and let it go
    h. BE PATIENT. There may be one or more restarts. When done, you should see the Low Sierra login display.
  3. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    We need more information. What OS version (Mojave, High Sierra, etc.) do you want to upgrade to?

    Let's say it is Mojave, are you able to access the App Store and view the Mojave page and download it? Or perhaps you get popups saying you should upgrade to Mojave?

    If you did download an OS installer, were you able to run it? If so, what, if any error messages appeared?
  4. tpivette89 macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2018
    Newark, DE
    It sounds like you are going under the “About this Mac” and clicking the update tab. This will only max out the updates on the current OS you are running. To install a newer, more modern OS, you must go to the App Store and download a full installer of your OS of choice.
  5. Googlyhead macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2010
    No point in repeating the earlier posts in detail, but the two factors are:
    If your OS is older; you need to know that updates have moved to the App Store instead of the software update app.
    You don't say which OS you're hoping for, but you'll probably find you can't go straight to the latest (progressively install prior versions)

    What I find useful is this page:
    If you scroll to the bottom; under 'learn more' there are the essential App Store links for earlier versions.
  6. for this macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2014
    Safari 9.1.3 which is the last version available for OS X 10.9.5 is outdated, can't open many of today's web sites. But if you want to continue using 10.9.5, Firefox still has the latest version for it and it works just fine with modern web sites.
  7. Heat_Fan89 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2016
    Is it advisable to use a Mac with an OS that no longer gets security updates? I'm thinking of dumping macOS on my 2012 Mini when the security updates stop and switching to Linux Mint.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Heat wrote:
    "Is it advisable to use a Mac with an OS that no longer gets security updates?"

    I care nothing about the "security updates".
    I use whatever version of the OS I like, and worry not at all about security.
    Well, I do use MalwareBytes now and then.

    My 2010 MacBook Pro still boots and runs fine with 10.6.8.
    My old 2006 iMac was still using 10.7 (until I retired it a couple of weeks ago).
    My 2012 Mini still runs Low Sierra.
    My 2015 MacBook Pro runs fine on 10.11 (El Cap), I see no reason to "upgrade" it.

    The ONLY time I've ever had "a malware problem" was when I downloaded a piece of demo software that installed either adware or crapware -- MalwareBytes picked it up and got rid of it, right away.

    But other than that -- for THIRTY-TWO years of Mac'ing -- never been bothered by virus/malware/crapware/security problems with the Mac.
  9. iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2019
    A Mac OSX version is fine without the security updates as long as it is used mostly off-line. You can use it online to browse the web, but some secure sites will demand a more recent operating system to get it to work. Financial institutions, brokers and most importantly government agencies require that you have the latest security updates and they check your browser and OS before letting you go further. My sister's Mac Mini with Snow Leopard and using Firefox couldn't get into her cell phone bill and pay because the transaction agent the phone company uses changed to a newer security system recently that demand something like El-Capitan to be the minimum OS. She got a newer Mac Mini with High Sierra and Firefox worked perfectly with her bill and her bank. She could have updated her Mac Mini late 2009 up to El-Capitan, but that would mean a number of her legacy software will no longer work. El-Capitan is the last version that seemed to work with many of my older Universal binary apps (both PowerPC and Intel). Low Sierra and High Sierra break that.
  10. for this macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2014
    It's not very surprising for that.

    The last version of Firefox for 10.6.8 (in terms of features) is 48.0.2 which was released in 2016.
    The last version of Firefox for 10.6.8 (in terms of security update) is 45.9.0 ESR which was released in 2017.

    But for 10.9.5, Mozilla still has the latest regular version (66.0.3) for it. And I still have not encountered a web site not supporting it.
  11. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    I'd spend $40 on another 4GB RAM (taking it to 8GB) and install MacOS Mojave. You've got an i7 driving it and that's still state-of-the-art. Although the HDD boot might be a little slow, once it gets up to speed it will still be very fast.
  12. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The i7 in the 2012 Mac mini is not at all "state of the art", but, regardless, it'll run Mojave just fine with 8GB of RAM.
  13. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I agree. I have a 2012 Mac mini i7 2.3 GHz with 16 MB of RAM and a home-built 2.12 TB Fusion drive. I've been running Mojave since it came out, and it's been fine. Aside from email and web browsing, I use MS Office, Adobe CC (primarily Photoshop and Premiere), Logic, and other photo editing apps. It's mostly hobbyist stuff, and I don't do anything too taxing, but it hasn't reached the point of "annoyingly slow" yet. It did reach that point a few years ago with the stock 1 TB HDD, but the Fusion drive made it feel like a brand-new computer. I upgraded the RAM to 16 GB right after I bought the mini in 2013, so I can't comment on when 4 GB of RAM would have become too little for my needs. If the OP doesn't have the funds for a 2018 mini and wants to prolong the 2012 mini's useful lifespan, then increasing the RAM (currently $67 for an 8 GB kit or $100 for a 16 GB kit at Crucial) and either creating a Fusion drive or booting from an external SSD ($30 for a 240 GB SSD without case at Crucial) would be a good investment. The only think I miss with my 2102 mini is that it won't drive my 4K monitor at full resolution (I use my 2015 MBP for that). Eventually, I'll get a 2018 mini, but my 2012 is fine for now.
  14. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Have been using Macs since 1985 and never had a virus either. But IMO, there are other security concerns if you use your Mac for online shopping. I stuck with Mountain Lion until 2017. Couldn't update Safari on that old OS, and some websites just refused to work with the old version. I switched to Chrome, which worked for awhile, but eventually they also stopped supporting 10.8.5. Maybe there was another work-around, but it seemed long-overdue for an update.

    Running Sierra now on my two main Macs. Even if I could get things working on Mountain Lion, just wouldn't feel good about entering passwords and credit card numbers in outdated browsers.
  15. Kamolas macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2018
    This mini came with two 2 Gb modules. To upgrade to 8 Gb, it has to be one 8 Gb module or two 4 Gb modules.
    With Mojave you shall have updates up to 2021. If the next MacOs will be compatible with the 2012 mini, then the updates shall go for 2022, and so on. After the end of support, it doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't use your Mac. There are no guarantees that you won't have any issues, but probably it's not worth the move to linux either. I used Mavericks after the end of support for more than a year, before upgrading to High Sierra and had zero issues.
    Like some people like to say, the user is the best firewall and antivirus there is.
  16. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    Re: Security Updates -- As long as you're using a standard NAT Router (WiFi or wired; virtually all are NAT) and you're not plugged directly into your modem you will be protected from incoming threats. Routers quietly & invisibly filter everything coming at them. If you are directly connected to the internet, turn on your MacOS software firewall. Beyond that, just be aware of what you're installing on your computer and know what phishing attempts look like. I'm having trouble envisioning a scenario where I'd even worry about malicious content getting through and landing on my Macs.
  17. grandM macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2013
    SSD + 8 GB ram + Mojave = solution

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16 April 22, 2019