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Model A1347 with 2.4 or 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor.

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Mac mini does not boot into any mac os

I have a mac mini mid 2010 which absolutely refuses to boot into mac os. About 2 years ago I decided to clean the mac mini, so I proceeded to open it, reapply the thermal paste and cleaned the cooling fins and upgraded from a 1gb stick to 4gb, after which the mac would just get stuck on the loading screen. When it used to work it took about 3-4 minutes to boot, but after the cleaning it would load to the end of the bar and just get stuck there. I tried to boot into recovery mode which it did not go into, tried internet recovery which just kept loading and loading and would not go past that. I then put the old ram stick back, reset the nvram, pram and the smc but.. that did not resolve anything. I also removed the cmos battery and replaced it for a new one which didnt do anything.

I got frustrated and installed a fresh hard disk and tried to boot the mac into a bootable mac OS X usb which I made using transmac on windows as I do not have access to any other mac. When I tried to boot into the usb, it would again load to the end and just get stuck there and would not go past it. At that point I gave up and left it for 2 years. I tried to fix it again this year and I tried various other things like creating a bootable usb from a mac os virtual machine which did not work. I got fed up and tried to install a different OS, like windows which would not work. The only OS I got to work on my mac mini was Ubuntu. I have no idea what I can do anymore.

Is this the only apple product which refuses to boot into Mac OS? I would really appreciate any help I can get because honestly.. I am in a limbo with this machine.

Beantwoord! Bekijk het antwoord Dit probleem heb ik ook

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Yes, this can be very frustrating!

So let’s start off with what OS-X / macOS version your system can support as you maybe trying to use too new a version. This series can support upto High Sierra (macOS 10.13.6). Which you can download from here How to download macOS

The next issue is how to install it! Well… you need a 32GB USB thumb drive and it needs to be formatted via a real Mac as windows TransMac or using other means don’t really create the needed structure for a bootable drive. But these can be used for a data drive with no problems. Here we need a GUID partition with a journaled file system (now called an extended file system - HFS+) Vs APFS using in the newer macOS versions. Then you copy the installer to the USB drive, after that you need to follow this guide to convert it to a bootable installer Create a bootable installer for macOS now your set to boot up under that!

But we still have some other issues at play here! First are you sure you got the correct RAM for your system? Also did you get it installed properly? Even I sometimes need to go back as either there is some tarnish on the contacts or I didn’t fully seat the SO-DIMMs fully.

We also have a second issue here which might be the biggest one you are facing! That is the SSD drive you put in may not be compatible!

So let’s look at the EveryMac listing for this system Mac mini 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo even if you have one of the others this issue is common across the series. Note the Storage Interface is marked Serial ATA (3 Gb/s) so this system has a SATA II interface, it can’t support newer SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drives!

Now before you tell me I’m wrong, let me explain this first! Most SATA III drives today are what we call Fixed Speed they run at the given data rate here 6.0 Gb/s not any slower or faster!

There are a few Auto Sense drives out there too! These drives match to what the system is able to support so while marked 6.0 Gb/s they can also run at 3.0 Gb/s and some even run at the still older SATA I 1.5 Gb/s!

So how do you know what drive works? You need to read the spect sheet. So here looking as the Samsung 860 EVO spec sheet Interface line we can see what it supports! “SATA 6 Gbps Interface, compatible with SATA 3 Gbps & 1.5 Gbps interfaces” this is an Auto Sense drive! Now let’s look at a Crucial MX500 spec sheet here we can see it only offers the Fixed Speed of SATA III (6.0 Gb/s). Sadly this drive won’t work in your system!

So you will need to check your drive to make sure you got the correct one.

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Thank you so much for the suggestions. I will take a look at everything you have said and will get back to this very soon!


Okay, so after checking all the hardware compatibility I realised that one of my ram sticks was not the stock ram which came with the mac mini, luckily I had the original one and popped it in after cleaning both the ram sticks with ipa (Ram sticks- 2x 1gb Samsung pc3-8500). I also checked the hard disk I installed which was a Seagate laptop thin HDD 500gb st500lm021which does support SATA II (3gb/s).

I then reset the pram, nvram and smc again and tried to boot into internet recovery as I do not have access to a mac to create a proper bootable usb disk. The internet recovery has been running for about 2 1/2 hours now and at the start it loaded the progress bar when the globe was spinning after which the apple logo appeared and well as always, its been stuck in the loading screen from 2 hours. I plan on leaving it as it is for an entire day to see if it does anything but I have no hopes.

This is the issue I have been facing all the time. It keeps getting stuck on the loading screen.

Look forward for further help


@srivedanthbadri - Sorry to tell you the Seagate laptop thin HDD 500gb st500lm021 drive is a Fixed speed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drive for reference here’s the drive sold by Dell as the Seagate sites spec is still the old rev of the drive.


Ah, my bad. From the website I searched on it said that it was compatible for both 6gbps and 3gbps. No worries, I'll try to find a disk with the proper compatibility. I do have a question though, would a hard disk compatibility issue cause the internet recovery not to load ?


@srivedanthbadri - Yes! As Internet recovery maps out a small area on the drive. So during the process it can hang.


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After years and years of trying to install any OS on my mac mini, I finally succeeded in installing windows 10 on it. It feels surreal to be honest. I am writing this comment on my Mac Mini using an apple keyboard and it absolutely does not get better than this. Yes, I would have preferred Mac OS on my mac, but I am more than happy that I got windows to work on it and I am elated by this machine's performance. How did I do it? Please do follow Dan's suggestions for any of the problems anybody seeing this forum faces. Dan has been of great help and very knowledgeable, just that, my mini does not like Mac OS and refuses to install (this is just a joke as I do not know what the actual issue is)

Firstly, I read way too many forums on how to install windows on a mac and one of the most common problems after the installation was, after windows would download drivers and restart, the mac would not give any output. It would just be a blank screen. The most common solution for this was to use a bootable DVD, and since this machine originally supported windows 7, I made a bootable DVD of windows 7 and booted the mac off of it. After the installation process, first thing I did was to install all the bootcamp drivers and et voila, there it was, a fully working windows 7 which would boot any number of times without any problems. The next problem, was that, windows 7 is not supported anymore, so I used the windows 10 installation media and upgraded my mac to windows 10. And before rebooting I let windows find the graphics drivers for this machine and let it install completely and after a reboot, the resolution and the display was absolutely perfect. All the drivers of the mac were working except the bluetooth driver, which I fixed using the Driver Easy software and updated any outdated driver and there it was, my bluetooth started working. Just to make one thing clear, that windows is using the nvidia geforce 320m gpu to display its output and both HDMI and the thunderbolt VGA outputs work which shows, that my GPU is not faulty. Another problem I faced, was that windows 10 was very slow on this machine, so I decided to follow some youtube tutorials to debloat windows 10, and believe me when I say this, it created a night and day difference on how this mac performs. Before debloating, the cpu and hard disk were constantly between 90% and 100% but after debloating, both of them dropped to lower 50's.

Very happy with how this turned out, and.. I am glad all the perseverance and hard work paid off!

I am one happy Apple user, using windows 10 on a Mac Mini.

It does not get better than this.

If anybody needs any help installing windows on their Mac Mini mid 2010, please feel free to ask any question and I will gladly oblige.

This has been an amazing journey, and this Mac has many more years of life ahead!

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I have a Mac mini too and suddenly it stopped loading OS, probably because it was OS El Capitan, now it does not install from Internet. Anyway I would like to install Windows on it and your method seems successful but first step is to have a DVD and long time ago the DVD unit stopped working on my Macmini, don't know why so how do I start installing Windows 7 from the Mac disc tool that mini is starting at? thanks


@davidbravo96284 @David Bravo I apologise for responding late as I haven't seen my forums in a long time. Coming to your problem, I don't think you can install windows through the macOS disk utility, but I do suggest trying to install a later version of macOS like high sierra. It looks like your macOS is atleast booting into recovery mode, mine wasn't doing that either, so there may be hope for your mac mini. If you are not comfortable installing an older macOS like High Sierra, you can try to install a relatively newer OS like macOS Monterey using open core legacy patcher.

If you have any doubts please do let me know



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I have a mac mini 2010 too,it works flawlessly, hope yours gets fixed soon

I admire the craftsmanship of the mac,it's just so elegant and amazing and in that small package?,sign me in.

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Roberto, I very much agree with you. I have had the idea of disposing away this mac many many many times but.. I am just very obsessed with the craftsmanship and quality of this machine and each time I got close to throwing it away.. my heart just would not let me do it. That is why I've decided to try my best to revive this machine and if I fail to do so, I will use it as a show piece. I will not be getting rid of it at any cost!


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I'm having a very similar issue with a 2007 Mac Mini I recently purchased on eBay. When I first received it, the Mini was working fine. I replaced the internal drive with an SSD, installed 10.6.8, booted it up and all was well. My problem started when I tried to use Boot Camp. When I started the process, the Mini instantly rebooted without giving me the option to partition the drive or anything. I exited the Windows installer and rebooted the Mini to try to go back to OS X but it would not boot into OS X and none of the keys would work to enter recovery or choose boot options. I eventually removed the drive, wiped it with another computer and put it back in but that didn't work either. I then went ahead with installing Windows to see if that would allow me to use other boot options but after successfully installing XP I still could not go into recovery mode or choose boot options.

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Srivedanth Badri zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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