I purchased Snow Leopard to install on my Mac Mini. The package contains a single DVD for installation. Trying to save money at the time, I purchased my Mini with only a CD player, so it can not mount the DVD. I have a newer Mac Mini, which does have a super drive (DVD), where I've already installed. Barring the purchase of a USB DVD drive, can I install Snow Leopard via some other media? I have a 8Gb USB thumb drive for instance. Could this work?


Yes, this seems to be possible.

Here's a couple of tutorials on how to do it. I haven't done it myself, but it seems fairly simple, and you seem to have all the required components to do it.

  • I'll give it a try. – dacracot Sep 23 '09 at 19:50
  • A work in progress. I've created the thumb drive. Next I need a complete backup. – dacracot Sep 24 '09 at 15:56

How old is this Mac Mini? Snow Leopard only works on Intel machines, which started appearing in 2005.

  • It is Intel. A Core Duo if I remember correctly. – dacracot Sep 23 '09 at 22:13

Insert the SL DVD in your newer mac mini and boot it in target disk mode, then hook it up to the older mini via firewire. The SL DVD should mount on the older mini and be bootable.




This seems odd. Mac Mini's, even the PPC units came with Combo Drives minimum, and Superdrives as an add-on. If memory serves me right, the Combo Drives, were CD-RW+DVD. In otherwords, DVD readers...

So, unless you replaced the drive, you should have DVD read ability.

But the tutorials are correct. You can either boot from an external DVD drive (eg Firewire or USB), or create a bootable USB thumbdrive. What I normally do, is create a compressed DMG of the install media, and then restore it to the thumbdrive. Much more reliable then trying to copy it....

Or, you could also use the Remote DVD tools now available...

  • You are right. On closer examination with the System Profiler, it should be able to read/write DVDs. It always spits them back out at me whether they are blank or otherwise. CD reading and writing works. Guess the DVD mechanism is broken. – dacracot Sep 24 '09 at 15:54

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