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I tried to boot up from OS X install CD or boot up OS X server then run OS X install CD to restart. Both got you need to restart your computer hold down the power button for several seconds or press the restart button error message. Can anyone show me some instructions or tutorials on how to do this? Thanks.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Do you have one of the aluminum Mac minis? I believe they first shipped with a version of Mac OS X that was basically 10.6.3 plus some model-specific changes, so it has drivers and bug fixes that weren't in the 10.6.3 version that hit the retail 10.6 DVD kits last spring. And it darn sure won't work with earlier revisions of the 10.6 install DVD kits, such as the original ones that contain 10.6.0. I believe aluminum Mac minis later started shipping with 10.6.4++ from the factory.

It doesn't look like Apple's going to rev their retail 10.6 DVD kits for 10.6.4 or they would have done it by now (I believe 10.6.3 is still what's in the 10.6 install DVD kits on the shelves), and it's hard to predict if they'll do that for a future 10.6.x update either, so waiting for a retail DVD kit update is probably not an option for you.

If you have a non-server config of the aluminum Mac mini around, you could use the install DVD that came with it.

One more thing that's worth a shot is to boot from the Mac OS X Server install DVD that came with your Mac mini, and when you get the chance to customize the install, see if you can un-check the Server package. Mac OS X Server is basically Mac OS X [client] plus some server binaries and some additional GUI tools to configure them.

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I have read all the blogs looking for how to do this. So far I have found two methods (described below) but I did it in a third way:

  1. Get yourself an install DVD (grey one) for the Mid 2010 Mac Mini (Client version). This one works flawlessly as it contains whatever hardware specific files the 2010 Mac Mini Server needs and cant find in the retail version of OS X 10.6.3.

  2. Follow this comprehensive instruction list. This looks time consuming and rather interactive but reports are positive.

  3. This is how I did it:

    • Get another mac running OS X Client 10.6.6 (or at least 10.6.4) with firewire 800 connection AND Get a male-male Firewire 800 cable.
    • Reboot your Mac Mini Server in "Target Disk Mode" (using System Preferences>Start up Disk).
    • Hook both macs with your Firewire 800 cable and wait for the Mac mini to mount as a disk on your other mac. Both of your Mac Mini internal drives will mount (unless raid 0 etc).
    • Launch Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility), select the hard drive from your Mac mini you want to be your new OS X Client drive = target drive.
    • If you haven't yet, you need to erase that target drive and get it formated in Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) and Partitioned using the GUID Partition Table scheme (this step is thoroughly explained elsewhere, sorry I'm not allowed to use more than one hyperlink).
    • Now the real meet: Click the Restore tab. Select target disk (the one from the previous step) and the source disk (which is the other mac's drive running OS X Client) and go for it.
    • Wait the three hours and done. Unmount your Mac Mini Server drives and re-boot it and voila !! Your mac mini server now has a perfect, 1:1 copy of the other's mac Hard drive, which is running OS X Client ,*.

    • If it boots back onto OS X Server, it did so using the other internal drive in which you had Server running. Launch System Preferences>Start Up Disk and select the newly restored drive with OS X Client and reboot. Done ** Your 'restored' drive now is a 1:1 copy of the other mac. So you must have access to an administrator account from the other mac to start tweaking your mac mini.

This worked flawlessly for me, and I had no problems with hardware or software whatsoever. Hope this helps.

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