Mac Mini refuses to boot with new HDD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by zap2, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    So I have recently replaced the HDDs in my Mac Mini 2011 model with a new HDD and a new SSD, but now the Mini won't boot, holding down "alt" at the start up only lets me see the old HDD(which is attached with an external USB dock) and the Lion install disk which is in the Mac(which when selected only goes into grey screen and loading icon and gets stuck there), but neither of the new disk(but I can see them while in Disk Utility from the "recovery" partition from my old HDD.

    I have gotten the Mac Mini to boot to the recovery part of the original HDD quite a few times, once with the partition on the old HDD that has the full OS installed on it, so I know everything inside the Mini is function(although I broke off the IR sensor plug,but clearly that didn't hold up the Mini from booting once)

    Any suggestions? I have reset PRAM and other traditional trouble shooting, but I'm open to any suggestions.

  2. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Did you clone your old HDD onto the new HDD or new SSD?

    If so:

    If you go into the recovery partition and then quit it you should be prompted to choose the disk you want to use to boot. Alternatively when booted into Mac OS X you should be able to select it via System Preferences > Startup Disk.

    If you haven't got Mac OS X installed on the new HDD or SSD

    Option 1: Boot off old hdd. Install SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner. Log out, Login again - after entering password, press enter and hold Shift (this will ensure minimum applications are open). Use cloning program to clone old HDD onto new HDD or SSD.

    Option 2: Boot into recovery partition and install Mac OS X onto new HDD or SSD (Mac OS X Lion will be downloaded from the web). The InstallESD.dmg for older Macs won't work as the new Minis use special builds of Lion. If you want to save a copy of the special build's InstallESD.dmg you can:
  3. rw3 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    DFW, TX
    Disconnect the old drive and just do a fresh install from Lion Internet Recovery that is built into the firmware of the MY11 Mac Mini...
  4. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Good point you can do this booting holding Command + R. Booting off the Recovery Partition should save a little time though.

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