I'm about to completely re-pave my Mac Mini but the DVD drive has died on me which means I can't boot from the installation media.
I know I can boot from a USB stick but I don't have one available, what are my options given the following hardware at hand?
- Netgear ReadyNAS Duo NAS (NIC or USB only, no Firewire)
- USB HDD (no Firewire)
I've ripped an ISO of the installation disk, can I somehow get the Mini to boot from this image using one of the above?
If I decide not to re-pave but just upgrade, can the Mac be upgraded just using an OSX 10.6 ISO image on its disk?
Using a variation on fideli's theme I grabbed a 16GB USB stick from my local PC World (they were asking a small fortune for external DVD drives that were Mac friendly). I formatted this as a Mac OSX Extended Journaled file system and left it plugged into the Mac Mini.
I then loaded the OSX 10.6 media on my Windows 7 PC and mounted the Windows partition and ran the \DVDCDSharing\DVDCDSharingSetup.exe installer. When it completed I opened the Windows Control Panel applet "DVD or CD Sharing Options" and checked the "Enable DVD or CD Sharing" option and unchecked the "Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD drive"
To allow the Mini to see the shared DVD on the Windows PC I had to open a Terminal window and execute the following commands, then reboot:
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser ODSSupported -bool true
Upon reboot I was able to see the 'Remote Disc' under DEVICES in the Finder. Under this is the name of the PC sharing the OSX installation media. You need to browse all the way into the 'Mac OS X Install DVD' remote disk so that it shows up in Disk Utility.
I then ran Disk Utility and restored the 'Mac OS X Install DVD' from the remote disk onto the USB stick.
Having done all this I then rebooted the Mini whilst holding down the Alt/Option key and I was then able to boot the OSX 10.6 installer from the USB stick.
I was then able to wipe clean the Mini's HDD and start afresh.