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  1. #1
    Mac Mini and the grey display
    Hey everybody,

    Looking to see if anyone can get me pointed in the right direction on this one. I have a mac mini mid 2011 version that has a failed hard drive as per the AHT. I've replaced the HD with a 500GB Seagate.
    Which brings me to my issue, getting the OS reloaded on it.

    -First thing I did was initiate online recovery, it brings up the "starting online recovery" just fine and moves onto the screen with the mac logo and fills that bar but after I get greeted with a blank white/grey screen. Tried leaving it over night but no joy come morning.

    -Second thing I tried was to install the OS from a USB I've used before and have set aside just for reloading Macs, contains Mountain Lion. When I hold option and select this option it brings me to the Mac logo and the spinning wheel, quick flash of a black screen and then the blank screen again.

    -Tried resetting the NVRAM and retrying the steps above, but same result.

    -For the hell of it I put the mini into targeted disk mode and connected it to a mac book we keep in-shop. I was able to see the drive, initiated it, formatted it as OS Extended Journaled and named it 500GB HD. Then attempted the steps from above but no luck.

    Tried Verbose mode, that doesn't seem to give me any useful info.

    So what would you guys suggest to try next?

  2. #2
    Mac Mini and the grey display
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    56,313
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, High Sierra
    First, can you boot the Mini from the external drive with Mountain Lion on it? According to Mactracker, your Mini came from the factory loaded with Lion (10.7.2) so you should have no problem booting it with Mountain Lion. Since you're able to see the hard drive in Target Disk Mode and format it, that would indicate the SATA cable to be okay.

    Online or Internet Recovery will install Lion on the machine and does take awhile. Did you see the spinning globe when attempting that and do you have a good wifi internet connection?

    There is a possibility that your installer is not working which is why you should try first to see if you can actually boot the Mini from your Mountain Lion installer.

  3. #3
    Mac Mini and the grey display
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, USA
    Posts
    4,923
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 10.14, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    Can the MacBook boot from your Mountain Lion USB? Use that to install it onto the mini's internal drive, while in Target Disk Mode?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  4. #4
    I did see the spinning globe, it moved from there onto the mac logo screen and then sat on the grey screen. I've had them take their dear sweet time before to bring the rest of the installer up but never had it get no where over night. I've got a fiberop connection at the shop so no reason for that being the bottle neck. Also, it was hardwired so shouldn't be a wifi issue.

    I'll give your suggestion a try ferrarr and let you know the results.

  5. #5
    So I placed the mac mini into targeted disk mode and booted to the usb on the macbook and ran the mountain lion installer. Got all the way through to the desktop.
    Shut down the macbook and powered off the mini, restarted the mini normally, got the mac logo and the spinning thing but same grey screen afterwards.

    ***Update
    If I set the mini back into targeted disk mode and choose to boot from the mini on the macbook the desktop will load.
    Last edited by linkmaster6; 10-03-2018 at 10:31 AM.

  6. #6
    Oh boy, looks like I've got a real messed up issue

  7. #7
    No suggestions from anyone?

  8. #8
    Mac Mini and the grey display

    Member Since
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,756
    Your Mac's Specs
    late 2012 mini w/SSD
    Sorry, it's not clear to me...
    The mini boots when it is using the Macbook's hard drive? Or what?
    The mini never boots from it's own hard drive? Even after reinstalling?

  9. #9
    If I place the mini into targeted disk mode and connect it with firewire to the macbook, the macbook will boot into the mountain lion installed on the mini's hard drive. But if I try to get the mini to boot to that same hard drive it just boots to a grey screen.
    It does the same if I try to run the installer for mountain lion on it or boot to the online recovery

  10. #10
    Mac Mini and the grey display
    ferrarr's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 21, 2012
    Location
    Pawtucket, RI, USA
    Posts
    4,923
    Your Mac's Specs
    L2014 Mac mini macOS 10.14, iPhone 8+ iOS 12, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iOS 12, Pencil 1
    How about if you boot the MacBook into TDM, and connect it to the mini already booted from its drive, then install the OS that way? Or try to boot the mini from the TDM MacBooks drive? Do either of those work?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  11. #11
    Mac Mini and the grey display

    Member Since
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,756
    Your Mac's Specs
    late 2012 mini w/SSD
    - not related to the topic - see my post above
    How embarrassing: it's is the contraction "it is" ... its is the possessive.

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