Setting up Mini without keyboard or mouse

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rbrian, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #1
    I'm intending to buy a new Mini tomorrow. I'll run it headless as an iTunes and file server, so I won't be buying a keyboard or mouse. Is there any way to set it up from another Mac, perhaps by connecting with ethernet?

    I could borrow a USB keyboard, but nobody I know has a mouse, and I don't want to buy one just for five minutes.

    Alternatively, I could get the Apple Store to set it up. If they can turn on screen sharing, I should be able to set everything else up ok from my Air, right?
     
  2. athens macrumors member

    athens

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #2
    If you already own a computer in the house, mac/PC as long as its USB you can use it to setup the Mini. If you live in a major city you can also look at craiglist for free keyboards and mice. Lots of people give them away.

    (Addition, just read you own a air, so I am assuming you might not have a keyboard or mouse in the house if that is all you have)

    If you have a firewire cable, you can target disk mode your Mac Mini then holding down the option key on your Macbook Air select it as the boot drive and boot off the Mac Mini's hard drive from the Air and run all the setup stuff from there... oh wait, um ya the Air has no firewire. Im leaving this last comment up for any one that tries this with a Macbook Pro who runs into the same problem. I think you pretty much need to get a mouse for the setup. Its not a total waste to buy a cheap 10.00 keyboard and 10.00 mouse because if the mini ever has a problem you will need them again later anywas.
     
  3. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #3
    Target disc mode... that's an interesting idea. I used it with an external drive to boot into Snow Leopard before I found a replacement for MacTheRipper (Rip It). I didn't know it worked on whole computers, not just external drives.

    I have a Macbook Pro too, as in my sig, but once the Mini is set up, that'll be sold. I don't have a firewire cable, either, but i may be able to borrow one. I don't know much about firewire - the cable I can borrow had a small end to connect to a camcorder, and a big end to connect to a Mac. 400 and 800, I think. It looks like the small end will fit in the middle of an 800 port - will that work? If not, I might just as well buy a mouse, it'll be the same price.
     
  4. athens macrumors member

    athens

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #4
    NO!!!!!!!!! dont try it. If the pins do not match up you can fry the firewire controller on both computers. I know this because a idiot fried the IO chip on my DV Camera and my firewire card because he managed to plug the firewire cable in backwards. Best to use the right cable for the job.

    Mouse is best option if you don't have a firewire cable already.
     
  5. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #5
    Suck it up and buy the cheapest keyboard/mouse you can find to get it set up. Once you do you can put them in a closet somewhere and forget about them, but they may come in handy at some point and it will be better to have them and not need them then need them and not have them.
     
  6. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #6
    Duly noted, thanks! :eek:

    I'm going to try the Apple store setup first, then only get more clutter if I really need it.
     
  7. PLamarine macrumors 6502

    PLamarine

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    Central MA
  8. hruvulum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Location:
    Corte Madera, CA
    #8
    It has been implied or almost implied several times in this thread, but let me ask outright: will a 2011 Mac mini boot with neither monitor, mouse nor keyboard after it has been set up?

    And this pertains to the $599 mini, not just the $999 mini Server?

    Certain old hardware simply will not boot unless connected to a keyboard, is why I ask.
     
  9. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #9
    Every mini from the original one onward will boot OS X without anything attached, it is reasonable to expect that the latest one will. Alas, I do not have one handy to test.

    Certain OSes won't boot without a keyboard or monitor, but OS X isn't one of them.

    A.
     
  10. HastaLaVista macrumors member

    #10
    It's too late now, but if you had set it up and registered it at the Apple store, you should be able to RDP into it once you get it home.
     
  11. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #11
    I was able to borrow a keyboard and mouse from my boss's office to do the initial setup. Now, it boots from cold with nothing at all attached, and appears in the finder sidebar of my Air ready for screen sharing within about a minute. iTunes home sharing often doesn't work, despite both machines having the same Apple ID, both with home sharing turned on, and both being visible to the other for Airdrop and screen sharing.
     
  12. mcb001982 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan NY
    #12

    Make sure to set wake up on lan request in your system pref, I had the same issue after the computer sat idle for hours and then would not come back on.
     
  13. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #13
    It's on wifi at the moment, I hope to have it wired once the workmen have finished fixing the ceiling in the lounge and I move my TV out of the bedroom, back next to the router. Waking isn't a major problem - it's on a schedule, so it's awake when I need it, and if not, I can just press the button on the back.

    There's something else wrong - I can be using Airdrop and screen sharing but still the shared iTunes libraries don't show up.
     
  14. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #14
    This is probably a stupid suggestion, but when this happens do you have iTunes open on both Macs?
     
  15. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

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    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #15
    Yes, both open, both have home sharing switched on, both signed in with the same Apple ID.
     
  16. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #16
    This is getting silly now. My mini, which has 600Gb of media, and growing, can see the shared library of my Air - all 25 songs. But... my Air can't see my mini!

    The mini has the library stored on a firewire drive, since it won't fit on the internal 500Gb drive. Could this be the reason? Is there a way round it?
     
  17. philipma1957, Dec 16, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #17
    Not to be sarcastic in anyway. Are you liking that convenient wireless setup.

    My point is wireless does not work in many cases. I can give dozens of reasons as to why.

    Every suggestion I can give to do a work around involves wired gear.

    Maybe you can get a nas (with all the music files/itunes)

    attach it to the router via cat5 and have both the mini and the airbook go wirelessly to the router.




    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127215 router



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822108042 nas


    and do yourself a favor buy a cheap mouse/keyboard
     
  18. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #18
    No. My iTunes libraries are on external firewire drives, and I've never seen the problem you describe. More likely your router/wireless is not doing the right thing.

    I have three different machines (two Mac minis and a Macbook) running with Home Sharing and everything is visible to all machines on my network (iPads, iPhone, Apple TV).

    I use an Apple Airport Extreme as my router.

    A.
     
  19. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #19
    this may work. for a lot of homes wireless works and for a lot of homes it does not. one reason is bad setup some box is not clicked or is clicked. some homes like mine are near sources of interference.

    I happen to live near military airbases when they do maneuvers they screw with all wi-fi. some of us are near a cell phone tower. sometimes inside your machine a cable popped loose and the connection stays dropped.

    some times a software program kills off wi-fi. and on and on and on.


    I have read more then 50 threads like this one

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=14020912#post14020912


    the op wants a solution. most likely the 2 best ways are don't run the programs or use hard wire.

    the op does not want to hear it. I don't blame him. in your case the answer may be use hard wire or buy an air port extreme or try the gear i picked. I hope you can find a low cost way. good luck.... Ps buy the low-cost mouse and keyboard keep them stashed away you will need them again.
     
  20. rbrian thread starter macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #20
    How can the wifi be at fault when both machines connect to the Internet, and both see each other for file sharing, screen sharing, everything bar iTunes home sharing which only works one way? That has to be a software issue.
     

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