Reset Mid 2011 Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by abstrakt_mac, May 8, 2016.

  1. abstrakt_mac macrumors newbie


    May 8, 2016
    Seattle (Microsoft - Enemy Territory)
    First time poster, Lifetime Mac user/lover...

    Ok, so I was doing a little dumpster diving at an upscale apartment complex right after they were bought out by a new equity firm.

    During my excavation I found a few unopened surge protectors, then when I lifted up a pile of old electronic door lock mechanisms and handles I saw something shiny. I wound up discovering it was a mac mini. After a little research I discovered it is a mid 2011 "core i5" 2.3ghz "macmini5,1".

    The only thing wrong with it is that the bottom black plastic cover has two broken tabs that it rotates into (no big deal) and there wasn't a power cable. Went to a recycled computer store I frequent and bought a power cable for $3, plugged it in and voila it works. To my surprise it booted into Windows7.

    I don't know anything much about boot camp but messing around with it I wasn't very impressed with the speed/capabilities on this machine. It auto boots to windows so I restarted holding option and chose to boot into OSX and it is password protected. The admin name is "My Kiosk" which leads me to believe that the old property management used it as a community desktop for residents of the apartment complex. I asked the leasing agent and she didn't know because they are all new employees.

    I know a bit about macs (used to own a g3, g4 quicksilver, g4 sawtooth, power book, macbook etc.) so I booted up holding Command + R and chose to reset to factory settings (I believe it's OSX 10.7) and it said I needed to be connected to the Internet but I couldn't find any option to connect to wifi.

    So wondering how do I connect to wifi while booted with Command + R? Also will just choosing "Reset/Restore to factory settings" completely erase everything including boot camp (I'm assuming that's what was used.) because I want it back to it's "out of the box" state.

  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Boot with Command + R again, then at the menu screen, look for the wifi symbol in the top left corner
    You should see a flag icon, too

    Click on the wifi symbol to get a dropdown showing the wifi networks that may be available.
    Choose the one that you use, add the password if it is a protected network.
    That should be all you need! But, a Reinstall at this point will still leave you locked out.

    If you just want to wipe out everything (wipe and clean install) - Restart holding Option-Command-R.
    THAT boot will show you a rotating world - not the grey Apple icon, indicating that you are connecting to Apple's servers. Obviously, this requires you to have an internet connection.
    It can take several minutes for that boot, but with a similar screen giving your some choices.
    Open Disk Utility, and choose the hard drive, then the Erase tab, and erase the hard drive. That should take you back to a single partition, ready to install OS X. Quit Disk Utility then.
    Run Reinstall OS X, which on your mini should offer you Lion (OS X 10.7.5)
    And, continue with the install. Wait for it to complete (could take an hour or so), then set up as a new user.
    And, enjoy your dumpster find :D
  3. abstrakt_mac thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 8, 2016
    Seattle (Microsoft - Enemy Territory)
    Seriously, you are the man!! I didn't realize how fast you responded

    I promise I'm not an idiot, I didn't realize the screen resolution was off so you can't see the menu bar at all. I have the Mini connected via HDMI so the underscan is probably off. But we all know where the wifi icon is so I didn't worry about the resolution yet. I connected to my network then rebooted with Option + Command + R and am currently waiting while the world spins (literally ).

    So far so good though. I just moved into my new apartment and waiting for my Comcast DIY install kit, so I'm actually tethering to my Samsung Galaxy and it's surprisingly fast.

    And thanks, it was a good dumpster find. I met the maintenence guy when I was diving, we talked for a bit and then he showed me a room that he keeps a bunch of stuff that people leave behind when they move and also staging furniture they no longer use and let me dig around. So I also came out of the dig with a Burton Custom snowboard. The things rich people just throw away.

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