You should be able to use your Apple gear as long as it helps you remain productive and meets your needs, upgrading only as necessary. We want to help maximize the life of your Apple gear. When it was introduced on February 28, , the Core Solo Mac mini was the smallest desktop computer on the market — and the second-least expensive Macintosh Apple had ever built. The secret to getting the Mac mini so small was using notebook components.
It has a decent amount of power, tolerable graphics, plenty of ports, and supports up to 2 GB of RAM. Because of its size, there is simply no way to put a 3. At least with the Intel transition, Apple specified rpm drives, not the older, slower, cheaper rpm drives used in PowerBooks and iBooks of the past. Still, notebook drives are generally designed for low power consumption, not high performance, so this is one strike against the Mac mini. The second strike is the case itself, which is not designed for easy access.
The solution is to carefully insert putty knives between the white case bottom and its aluminum surround, loosening the tabs that lock it in place. Once inside you can replace the RAM or hard drive — and be careful not to lose those tiny little black screws! Their test results show that in general there is more benefit from having more RAM — even mismatched — than there is from having less RAM that is matched. Not only that, but at 1. With Mac OS X Not worth a strike, but worth noting, is that the Mac mini did not ship with a mouse or keyboard. On the plus side, the Mac mini is small, quiet, energy efficient, and expandable on the outside.
Other than upgrading from the barely adequate MB of memory, the biggest performance boost comes from using an external rpm FireWire drive or rpm SATA notebook drive instead of the poky notebook drive inside the Mini. Max out RAM, pick up a high capacity, fast rpm 2. With the introduction of Mac OS X Hatchet job here! I am installing My Mac OS is version I am not very sure how it will behave, regarding the plist files.
We shall see. Workarounds used were either deleting the plist file or editing it for the unsupported mini model ID. Thank you for the comphensive guide. Personally if I had an 06 Mini I'd stay with However I would still want all the ram support possible especially with later OS's although there's always some risk with firmware updates. Installing the firmware update was a piece of cake. Connected the mini to my Imac and loaded the Mini into Target Mode.
I had purchased Lion from the app store when it came out. So all I needed to do was go back to the app store and download it again for free. A very easy and simple install. Took about 2 hours to migrate my user info from my Mini's Snow Leopard partition to my new Lion partition. I have I plan on bumping the Ram to 4 GB and my mini will continue running my home automation setup.
I had already opened the case and removed the internal frame before so those operations were not new neither is the look of my mini's underside ;-. The Logic Board removal was straightforward as well and I managed to pinch the plastic screws just enough to squeeze them through the board keeping them intact for reassembly.
Swapping the 1. I scraped the thermal compound off the heatsink with a small blade and cleaned it with alcohol. Re-assembly was easy but the mini would not even switch on thereafter. Fearing I had bricked it took me at least half an hour of scrutinising all parts, disassembing and re-assembling to realise that the failure to boot up was not due to any faults or omissions during reassembly but rather caused by one of the power button wires ripped from the small circuit board behind the button.
As I did not come up with any other way of accessing the solder points I bent the metal RF shield away from the back side of the bottom housing just far enough to be able to solder the cable back on. The metal screen seems to be "fused" to the rear part of the computer by small plastic studs that break when the screen is pulled off. The firmware update worked but I had to press the power button until the progress bar started to appear just waiting for the flashing light wasn't long enough.
I briefly considered an SSD but then went for a plain vanilla drive left over from a Macbook upgrade. Had to change the permissions on the CoreServices parent folder to be able to save, though. After another successful boot it was time to run a Software Update and migrate the data from the old Imac.
This took ages via USB. No long-term experiences yet, of course. Thanks for providing step-by-step instructions! Regards, Siegfried L. Mac Mini early Core Solo 1. Heat sink nylon bolts from eBay ends Oct 24, Mini booted up without any problem. Replaced thermal pad on bottom housing with Thermagon series, T-Flex boron nitride in silicone elastomer. Upgraded Mini was on for over 1 hour with no issues.
Hack Mac OS X Lion to work on unsupported Core Duo & Core Solo Macs
Did not upgrade firmware due to not familiar with process. Guide on Mini 1,1 to 2,1 EFI linked above. Mini runs much quicker, probably explore firmware update later as no need for installing Lion. Despite some earlier reports ref: Sept 21st, below of OS X Unless apple revised something? Or differences in SU vs Delta or combo? Normally reinstalling a combo update is the old tip for update problems at least with supported macs. Perhaps some other mini owners that reported Question - tried zapping the pram?
Here's a later follow-up from Pete: I re-applied the combo update and removed the plist file and it still didn't work, so as a last resort I started in safe boot mode and it booted. Here's apple's doc OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode. I've since rebooted a couple of times to make sure everything is still functioning.
So, it would seem that the safe boot did the trick that said, at some point in the process I also reset pram and reset the smc on the mini too. I let OS X apply the I assume this is because PlatformSupport. I'll do some tinkering over the weekend and let you know what I find out. I borrowed a spare Mac to recreate the I don't know why it wouldn't boot from USB earlier. Sure enough, I deleted it, just like before, and this time I'm at a loss to explain why it worked tonight but not last night. Here's my config: Original Config: Macmini1,1 1.
This is most puzzling, because the plist has been removed. I've also tried reinstating an edited plist with the model in there to no avail. I'm considering restoring back to First, Thanks for the website. Its an amazing resource and I make a point to visit it daily. I have a early Mac Mini that was showing its age. CPU swap was easy thanks to your upgrade guide. Luckily I also picked up a set of the Nylon bolts from the local hardware store prior to the upgrade. I did break one of the heat sink mounts. Then connected the drive to my Macbook Pro via firewire and installed Lion directly to it.
While connected I also applied all updates, installed iLife '11 and Office The Mac Mini booted right up after a brief question mark. The system boots in about 17 seconds and applications launch in less than two doc bounces. Scrolling in iTunes and websites are smooth. Right now I have 2gb of ram in the computer but I'm going to pick up some more memory and try to upgrade the system EFI firmware to version 2,1.
My Macbook Pro is running Mountain Lion. Not sure why Apple restored it yet again this far into Otherwise, all is well on From the comment I assume you used the Combos more likely to reinstall plist but even deltas may do so sometimes. Best to be prepared regardless. Other Replies the OS X Some later reports from Sept. Just removed the PlatformSupport. Well, I was surprised to discover that it was indeed there after the previous updates did not restore it.
As with previous updates, Activity Monitor revealed to be mdsworker doing its stuff choking both cores. Maybe they do but are not as aware or do not notice it. Some later Yes, onboard sata has big drive support for much higher capacity, but largest 2.
Check drive heights before buying, as I think your mini's max is 9. Drive reads BRD fine, need player if this is to be a media box. There's a "Mac" blu-ray player app www. I've not kept up with VLC media player for a long time but maybe someone else can better answer this question. There's some media center software for Macs XBMC , Plex , maybe others especially for those that like 'non disc' media.
Again I'm not the best person to ask about that, sorry. I had linked to a reader's core solo Mini Media Center project page years ago but it was a. Mac website and is now Try googling on the subject.
Mac Mini - Wikipedia
Fan is loud, has less then a 10 second boot to desktop, seems to be running good. Might heat be an issue? And I'd see what freeware Temperature Monitor reports on your system. Thanks for the tips, and good modding to you all. I refused to upgrade to Lion because the USB This had to to with Spotlight indexing and some other optimizations that the kernel does with every fresh Mac OS X installation.
I'm impressed with the cooling efficiency of Lion vs. Snow Leopard. So I backed up the data to a Time Capsule before erasing the internal drive. The mini booted back perfectly without issues, also reporting the same temperature readings as with the external drive once "mdworker" finished doing its thing. How much did I spend on all this? Worth every penny. Thanks Mike, I would not have done this if not because of your very informative report section on this helpful site.
Trouble was it wouldn't run new version of word so I couldn't open the document. And, thanks to this page, so it began Upgraded firmware to 2. Mini 1,1 to 2,1 - Ref: System memory map related I assume. Older posts years ago and mac upgrade vendors have also listed that limitation. Here's clip from OWC's Mac upgrades page note: Then thought an SSD would be nice. Problem that it was SATA 2 and although supposedly "backwards compatible" to SATA 1 - it wasn't - without a firmware upgrade didn't work this out until installs from TimeMachine loaded up and then apps started dropping out.
To do the SSD firmware upgrade, had to remove the SSD, reinstall the old HDD and burn a boot disk with the new firmware using the mini our only writable disk drive and then boot update? Per this www. After this it went like a rocket. Installed office for mac original purpose lost in the mists of time! Or no Then decided to upgrade cpu and get to lion to access a TM backup Temperatures OK if not pushing it with lid off, 1 rivet in place and some arctic 5 thermal compound. Will be slightly more comfortable once ebay member finally ships my replacements 20mm M3 bolts which I ordered in anticipation thanks to someone else on here!
So now I have questions Case, drive swap. Is there any way to take advantage of the 3 gigabit link speed in the SSD, rather than the 1. Reports there generally were on SIL based cards which require a driver install. And not bootable. Your call if you want to try installing the unofficial OS X univ trim enabler. Taking the mini apart was quite easy.
Didn't need to use a putty knife as many of the guides say. I used a Swiss army knife and the bottle opener part. Lid popped off very easy and I did follow the ifixit guide which has great pics. New CPU in, thermal paste and all back together. Had a bit of trouble getting the lid back on as I caught the silver bits of the chassis. Lid back off and next attempt the lid wiggled on avoiding the silver bits.
Never higher. Lion Install - this is where I had trouble as there are many ways to achieve this and it can be confusing Below I post a step by step that hopefully others may benefit from it. I have 2 macs. A inch iMac and the above mentioned Mac Mini. Because I have this setup, I used the target disk mode install. Steps below. If not already owned Buy FireWire cable. Place both macs together so the FireWire cable can reach them both.
Plug cable in. I copied the Lion Installer to the desktop so it was easy to get to. The installer would start, I would choose the mac mini HD, the install files would copy across in about 3 minutes, then the iMac would restart. Upon restart I was faced with a selection of disks to choose.
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Nowhere on the web could I find the answer to this. Every guide just says " install via target disc mode" and that's it. I changed them to different names - iMac HD and MacMini HD, although renaming one would have sufficed and attempted the target disk mode install again. This time when the installer copied the files and then restarted the iMac, the installer simply picks up where it left off and installs Lion to the MacMini HD - Success.
I really wanted to report this here as it might help others. Just make sure your HD's don't have the same names. Boot up mac mini to target disc mode. Many guides say to simply hold down the letter T when powering up the mini. This did not work for me on several attempts. Go into system prefs, startup disc, and click the target disc mode button. The mini will reboot to TDM. Use whatever method works for you.
Not important. The MacMini hd should now be mounted and visible in Finder and on the desktop. Find the lion installer and double click on it.
The installer will start. When the installer gets to the disc selection window it will be defaulted to the iMacs hd. Simply click the " other disc, more options " button to see all the discs you can install to. Find your MacMini hd disc, select it and continue. What will happen now - the Lion installer will copy about 3 minutes worth of data to the mac mini HD via the FireWire cable. When these files are copied the Lion installer will need to reboot the iMac so that the Lion installer can actually install Lion.
When the iMac reboots the Lion installer will automatically continue with the Lion install. It will take about 30 minutes and a progress bar will be visible counting down the minutes. Once Lion finishes the install it will restart the iMac. No big issue and it does boot from it too. Your mac mini should still be in Target Disk Mode as we have not touched it during this install. If it isn't make sure it is.
Even though the Mini 1,1 has been upgraded with a supported Core2Duo CPU, Lion still won't run from the "unsupported" Mini model as long as the standard unedited supported models plist file is present. Some have edited the file but most just delete it. We will delete the plist file in the terminal.
Open terminal and follow these commands: Type your password and hit enter. The file will be deleted. Turn the mac mini off by hitting the power button on the rear of it. Turn the mac mini on. The mac mini should boot up as normal to OS X Lion. Before doing any software updates have a read through this page of reports as the plist file we removed might be put back by some updates esp.
Don't panic if this does occur, you can put it back in target disk mode and use the commands above to remove the plist file again. Sorry if this guide seems very basic to many of you but I wanted to do a step by step for those wondering if they could attempt it. Put mac mini in Target Disk Mode ref: I've not installed Lion on anything of mine yet. Not anything I really needed in I hesitate to even mention this as maybe not an issue anymore but just a FYI in case any issues are seen after renaming a volume that has 3rd party apps installed.
I don't have a second - newer - Mac so using target disk mode wasn't an option. I ended up making a bootable USB stick by following the instructions in this forum post Sure enough, at the first reboot I got the blocked symbol so I booted from USB again and deleted PlatformSupport. I allowed System Update to apply I had to boot from my Lion installer USB stick to delete that file before the operating system would successfully boot once more.
Took basically 12 hours to do but the machine is running great and I was able to update the OS to CPU temp running around 50C. Followed the guide at www. I think that was due to the upgraded graphics - ATI x with mb of Vram that I ordered with the machine. The speed difference is easily noticeable. I think it was a lot easier than what is portrayed on the internet however if someone is a novice and never worked inside say a laptop they will want to avoid the upgrade.
Just takes patience and take a lot of pictures to see where every screw and connector goes. One strange think I noticed is the Wifi card had two antenna connectors on it and there was only one antenna so I really don't know if I'm missing a second antenna or there is a difference in the two connectors. Not sure what card is in this iMac Many cards typically have multiple antennas for MiMo.
I didn't get a clear picture of which one of the connectors the antenna had been connected to and after putting it back together the signal reception is half what it had been. Any chance a wire got pinched or disconnected? Unless it's related to some interference? Thanks for a great site I've been visiting your site since you first started back in the 90's. Tough times the last couple years but thankful to still be around. No problems here. Several If the file was restored, original Core Duo mini models would not boot to Lion as it's not in the standard supported models plist.
Per later report above, the Combo I also carried out the mini 1,1 to 2,1 firmware update. First of all I want to point out that I have more than 30 years of experience opening and doing all kinds of stuff with Macs and computers in general, with different levels of difficulty can I manage to solve and achieve my objective without many issues or obstacles I have to say that this procedure IS easy and I found it to be of no difficulty whatsoever especially after reading so many reports on how easy the whole thing is.
More so after opening my Core Solo mini several times to max out the Memory and replace the hard drive for bigger and faster units. Many things kept me from doing it earlier, first of all the mini is not my main computer, neither the most used among my setups of fairly recent Macs. My main computer, and also the one I heavily upgrade on a constant basis with ease, is a Mac Pro Early that pretty much smokes almost anything out there.
It rocks. The mini is a utility computer and my first Intel Mac that I keep around for miscellaneous tasks and common everyday use. But still, the Core Solo was too long on the tooth to keep dragging around, so I finally opted for a replacement. I searched for a cheap T but I could not find one. At least one that didn't cost half as much as a used Core 2 Duo mini to justify it. So a settled for a chump change T 1.
And the price was so cheap like it-could-pass-for-free kind of cheap. Moving on.
Install Mac OSX 10.7 Lion on Unsupported Processors
Opening the mini was, for me, easy like those jarheads that assemble and disassemble their M14s blindfolded I never did it before so this was uncharted territory for me and frankly did not consider it much of a challenge as I had removed motherboards using similar gizmos. I cut my fingers, bend the metal fins on the heat-sink, slashed my knuckles with the metal fins, sweat like a pig and cursed like a demon on fire.
It took me hours. Damn those plastic pins are hard, small and annoying! I realize that the pins were so old and subjected to heat that they petrified to the point that it was impossible to squeeze them through the holes no matter what. I was pissed. Almost broke the logic board in anger and jumped to eBay to buy a used old mini, but then I decided to break the damn things and look for replacement alternatives.
Temperature is basically the same as before considering the two cores and higher clock speed. One thing that puzzled me, I wanted to install Lion and sampled a test drive by booting it from an external 2. For this reason I'll put the OS upgrade on hold until I find out what's going on. Upgraded 1.
Post OS X Some earlier reports noted updating the firmware to mini 2,1 with 3GB ram support. Another 2. Includes FYI on He's referring to the supported models plist file. Past notes on that here. Did you update to If any C2D updated mini owner tries the It is super easy: Here are the details - the exact process is on page 8. Thanks for a great website. Next step was a firmware upgrade, stepping my Mac Mini 1. I managed to get my hands on a T for 20 Euros, and followed the various upgrade guides available especially the excellent Ifixit tutorial..
The chips were even advertised as being for the mac mini. The various instructions available on the web are a big help but do not adequately address a few things. The screw that holds the motherboard down in the front right corner is longer than the other three. I marked this location on the top of the cd drive with permanent marker so I wouldn't lose track. The airport connector is on an annoyingly short cable. When re-installing connect it first before trying to replace the black plastic shroud holding the computer's guts. When the black plastic shroud is out turn it over and check the fan for dust or problems.
Spray it with a can of air to clean dust out and insure the fan spins well. When removing the motherboard, the sticky heat transfer pad beneath the motherboard will hold the board down.
Use something to gently lever the rear corners forward until they break lose and the board can be lifted out. When reinstalling make sure to wipe the bottom chip down with alcohol so it will re-stick cleanly odds are your fingers touched it when the board was loose. Apple reccommends replacing the transfer pad but unless you have a source you won't be able and will need to reuse it.
Once the board is out, turn it over and use needle nose pliers to carefully squeeze the plastic tips, first one side then the other, while applying slight pressure to pinch the end closed and nudge it under the hole edge then the same to the other side. By doing this carefully you can pop first one of the expanded tips into the hole then the other and the spring tension will immediately pull the pin through.
I read a lot of horror stories about people breaking these. They are very similar to the motherboard standoffs used in many pcs but on a much smaller scale. Being familiar with those from building many pcs, I was able to apply the same methods as removing a pc motherboard from the standoffs. Note the position of the heat sink! If you don't, and this is not documented anywhere I saw, you can install it in the wrong orientation -there is nothing to prevent doing it- because the holes are in a square formation they fit. And because the heatsink is rectangular the black plastic shroud will not fit back over and you have to disassemble the heat sink again to correct it.
The thing to remember is the heat sink has about a half inch length in one direction and this points towards the back of the case. When reattaching the heat sink's plastic posts I placed the entire motherboard on a portion of a compartmentalized tray so that the bottom chip area was not touching the table but the board was supported. I used the same needle nose pliers with their points opened to cover most of the pin head and then to carefully push down the plastic heads until the pin clicked.
After all are done, turn over the board and use a hook of some sort to wedge open the pin's legs to make sure they are locked in place. Dental tools or an A. Dick Stylus work well. That stylus I've used for years to hook and relatch laptop key scissor mechanisms among other things. Once the motherboard is back in the case I reconnected the power button and then connected it to power and a monitor to verify it would start before reassembling further.
Once confirmed I put it all back together and it works well. Tomorrow I upgrade my Pro from two 2. Bought a 2. Ended up using 2 of the nylon screws and nuts as they broke when re-installed. Upgraded to a gig apple sata drive left over from a gig client upgrade Booted to the old drive in a usb case and did carbon copy cloner. Reading now on the lion upgrade which I may do to the old usb case drive and then redo carbon copy cloner. May also get a SSD drive before I put it back together. Working well As noted on the front page news on Feb 6th , Apple pulled the original Delta Earlier reports on SU From Feb 20, mail " I started with When I upgraded to With Instead, I patched the "PlatformSupport.
A quick rundown of how this was done from the terminal: I'm happy to say the I think sometimes we have to expect the unexpected from Apple Best regards, Luca P. Over the years the Combo updater has often been a fix for those that used Software Update or Delta updates and had problems, including some However it won't be a fix for all of course.
But again I was wondering if the Combo updater would reinstall the PlatformSupport. Brian K. He said he was using an edited plist file to add support where others just deleted the plist file but it was overwritten by the Combo updater. The Reports on earlier Lion version updates follow. Warning about That file was deleted as part of the workaround to run Lion on C2D upgraded unsupported macs.
Core2 Duo Upgraded Macs and I'm sorry to say that And having a previous OS version bootable clone handy is a very good idea in general. Well worth the cost of the drive IMHO. Regards and sorry for my bad english. C2D Upgraded mini owner running Lion server sent a note about that. Same fix removing file of course.
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After acquiring a T 2. All went very well, I was even able to remove the plastic heatsink pins by using an electronics needle nose pliers and very carefully releasing them. Removing the flat cable connection to the drive board is not a good idea, in my opinion; I removed it, and reassembly was a a bit tricky; it could have very easily been ruined in the process, I definitely won't be doing that again.
The results are great so far. The Geekbench score improved from to ! CPU temps seem like they're in the same general operating range as before. Next I'll have to get an SSD drive Thanks, Mike S. Texas" OS X Some may have been concerned that I wondered if something had changed app store installer change, etc or if this is another case of some detail not evident. My first thought was the plist file was still present, so I asked and he said it was deleted. Here's his email: I also maxed out the memory to 2GB