which OS for a Mac mini (early 2009 A1283) with 2GB RAM?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mrjayviper, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. mrjayviper macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2012
    doesn't have SSD either. just a regular HDD. Thanks! :)
  2. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    2 GB RAM is the minimum required for OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) to the latest, OS X 10.11, however at least 4 GB RAM tends to be advised, especially if you are using more demanding apps.

    I have the base model early 2009 Mini, which came with just 1 GB RAM, and Leopard installed. I upgraded to Snow Leopard when it came out a few months later. I added another 4 GB RAM 3 years ago when I upgraded to Mountain Lion. It still has the original 120 GB HDD, plus a 1 TB external HDD for Time Machine, as well as a 500 GB external for extra storage.

    All though the early 2009 Mini will run more recent iterations of OS X, I have not bothered installing them. For one, until recently my internet service was very slow and unreliable. For another, many of the features of more recent OS X are only available to more recent hardware. Mountain Lion will do me, until I get another Mac Mini in a couple or three years time.
  3. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    It is pretty easy to upgrade RAM in your MM.
    The hardest part IMHO is disconnecting the clips for the antennas (it takes some force).

    Will take 30 minutes if you take your time.
    visit ifixit guide
  4. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    Like others have said it's a bad idea to install latest OS X without more RAM. 2 Gb is plenty for Snow Leopard but 10. 8 Mountain Lion and later will work slowly with so little RAM. If you want 10.8 or later OS 4 Gb is practically minimum amount, anything less is likely to result in spinning wheel and slowdown.

    I wouldn't call installing RAM into Early 2009 easy, sure its possible but compared to later models its more complicated.
  5. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    Open top case
    Remove antennas
    Remove four screws
    Disconnect one cable
    Remove the top frame
    Remove ram
    Install ram
  6. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    It seems we have different idea what "easy" means.

    Compare to 2012 Mini:

    Remove cover.
    Remove RAM.
    Instal RAM.
    Replace cover.

    No change of breaking antennas or cables...
  7. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Pppfffttt! 2014 Mini is even easier:

    Throw out current Mini.
    Buy a Mini with more RAM.

    Also no chance of breaking antennas or cables!
  8. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    Shots fired!
  9. Synchro3 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
    Windows 7 (32 Bit), has security updates until 2020.
  10. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    Even better, just install a Linux distribution. You can run the latest version of Linux just fine in 2 GB, no need to run some archaic OS.
  11. Synchro3, Oct 29, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    Synchro3 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
    Windows 10 on a Mac Mini 2006

    I installed yesterday Windows 10 32 Bit on a Mac Mini CoreDuo 1.66 GHz with 2 GB RAM.

    - Use Boot Camp assistant from OS X 10.6.8 for a new Windows partition
    - Install Windows 7 32 Bit (burn an ISO-image from MS on a DVD)
    - Install all necessary Boot Camp 4.x 32 Bit hardware drivers manually (the Boot Camp 4 Installer won't work on a Mac Mini 2006)
    - Activate Windows 7
    - Upgrade to Windows 10 using the MS Upgrade assistant (the upgrade took 9 hours on the Mac Mini 2006)
    - In Windows 10 go to Device Manager -> Select 'Graphics card' -> There is only a basic MS driver installed. Right-Click -> Update Driver software -> Mobile Intel 945 Express Chipset will be installed


    Update: Workaround for Apple HFS support: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...-pro-from-nonactivated.1984874/#post-23170924
  12. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2011
    I've been inside my 2009 mini probably half a dozen times to add memory and replace the hard drive a couple times. It takes a while, but it's really not that bad.
  13. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    2009 are. Wet east to open up. You will need a putty knife from your local hardware store.

    I have several 2009s I've upgraded. 2011 I bought was already upgraded with SSD (that was my requirement) as I'm scared to open those.
  14. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    With 2GB I would run Mt. Lion or find a way to upgrade RAM.
  15. angelo74 macrumors newbie


    Jun 6, 2017
    Hello where can I find the drivers for this system to install windows on it?

    I have the same system I got in a garage sell.
  16. Synchro3 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
  17. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I second running Mavericks on it. Have a 2009 with full 8 gigs of ram and a SSD...

    Great little machine and workhorse.

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