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macrumors regular
Original poster
May 19, 2008

I wanted to know if there was a way to erase everything on my mac without needing a display. Like I can hold the power button for a certain amount of time or a combination of something that I can do. Thanks for reading and all help is welcome.


macrumors member
Dec 11, 2013
Do you have another machine, Firewire/Thunderbolt available? I could see two options:

1) Networked using Ethernet/Wifi/Thunderbolt - use a second machine to remote display onto the Mac Mini (Finder - Share Screen) then wipe the disk(s)/free space that way

2) If you have a keyboard and Thunderbolt/Firewire cable available - start the Mac Mini in Target Mode by holding 't' when starting up. Connect the Mac Mini using firewire/thunderbolt to another machine and it will appear as a disk. Erase/Wipe as per any other drive.

Target Disk Mode :
Last edited:

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
It would require another computer, in this case a laptop since the lack of a display, but you could always remove the HDD in the Mini and install it into an external enclosure and erase it using disk utility on the laptop. You could possibly borrow a friend or relative's computer.

I realize that if you don't have a monitor laying around, it is less likely to have an external enclosure lying around. But, if it can wait a few days, one can be had online for around $5.


Sep 28, 2014
Make an appointment with the genius bar of your local Apple store. You must make appointments on line. Bring the machine in. Tell them you want to check the hardware, erase the disk, and a fresh install of a new operating system. You do not need a display. Apple does this for free.
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