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

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Can install OSX Mavericks but nothing later

Hi guys,

I’m working on a Mac mini mid 2010 model that stopped booting. I found that the hard disk was going bad and replaced it with an SSD.

I have tried installing:

1) High Sierra

2) Low Sierra

3) El Capitan

All of which end of failing either before or after the initial installation (before it reboots and continues) with an error that the operating system could not be installed, but it usually does not point to any specific error, just says something like try again.

If I install OSX 10.9 (mavericks), it works fine except at a certain point, the updates will not work. It tries, but eventually reboots and gives me a message about the updates not working.

The computer originally had been working with 10.10 installed, so I want to at least get that far and make sure the photos app gets installed so they can view their photos library.

I can not run a diagnostic on this mac mini. When I hold D, it says not available.

Any ideas?

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Just an update for those who are wondering:

I tried just about EVERYTHING. I installed mavericks, tried updating EFI (it said not applicable), tried yosemite, el capitan, etc. Tried installing via recovery mode download, tried app store downloading. I EVEN CALLED APPLE

In the end, I used a macbook pro to install High Sierra onto an ssd and then transfer it to the mac mini. It worked and booted, BUT, after an OS update was applied, I ended up with the same error message about the installation failing.

I hate to give up, but I have no other options at this point besides replacing the logic board

EDIT: I also tried putting in a good HDD (not SSD) and installing on that, still failed


I have now succeed with about 15 machines by doing what I recommended below. To confirm, disconnect the internal drive, do either A. or B. on a post 2013 machine externally. Hook it up via USB to SATA and see if it will boot.


Thanks for your input, @mayer

I gave the machine back today. My last attempt at it was to use another machine to install high sierra on the drive, then take the drive out and transfer it back to the trouble mac mini.

It booted, but after doing a combined OS update , it went back to "OS could not be installed" or something similar.

My only guess at this point is that it is a firmware/EFI problem. I am confident that any drive that already has the OS installed would boot on this machine, but as soon as any OS type update is needed (either to a newer OS, ie 10.10 to 10.11, or even a combined update ie 10.10.1 to 10.10.5 or something)

I tried updating the firmware to 1.5 by downloading it but it said I could not install it that way. After having the machine for over a week, I decided to go ahead and give it back to the customer.


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Solution retenue

The High Sierra install attempt messed you up. I fought with this for 3 weeks, replaced several drives before I figured it out. It has installed APFS formatting. I even called Apple on my 2012 13” MacBook Pro. I could only go to Mavericks, anything above gave me kernel panics. Of course they didn’t tell me. This caused me days of work, about $600 in new drives and a lot of unhappy customers. It does this on SSD and SSHD drives.

This goes along with other things Apple is doing to put third party upgrade and repairmen out of business.


A: format it it APFS and stay with High Sierra or

B. Reformat it GUID and stay with Sierra or earlier.

I tried Mohave, but I did try the Beta and then it would not even see my external GUID USB formatted disk that I had just done the install from.

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Hi Mayer,

APFS + High Sierra does not work.

Also, I've reformated the drive to HFS+ using the other installers, but I still have the same problem with the installation not finishing


@mayer Don’t you reccomend against High Sierra though? Also you spelled Mojave incorrectly. (sorry that made me tick...)


I have not used Mojave enough yet to learn to spell it. I do not care for High Sierra on 2012 and earlier machines using 2.5" drives. I have had internet connection issues, MS Office 2011 issues, USB issues, boot issues. So I stay with just palin Sierra.


@mayer I use Mojave day-to-day with my iMac and my good ole MacBook Pro. It works fine, except for my AirPods issue. I highly reccomend it so far, and Apple has put in a LOT more effort then what they did for High Sierra. :)


@ajcooke01 I will be very reticent to install this for some time. Apple did so many nasty things to hurt third party repairers with High Sierra, they may never regain my trust. They cost me months of un-needed work and worry.


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