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How do I install OS X Lion on mac mini server

5813 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2012 5:15 AM by João Nunes RSS
k1lly Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Apr 1, 2012 8:43 PM

I have purchased mac mini (the server version because of quad-core performance), but I don't need any server features. All I've found regarding this question is simply removing the server app, but as I can say all the processes still work — emails about IP address changes are generated and sent, you name it.

So, what should be done?

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,010 points)
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    Apr 1, 2012 8:46 PM (in response to k1lly)
  • woodmeister50 Level 4 Level 4 (3,690 points)
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    Apr 6, 2012 7:07 AM (in response to k1lly)

    Something you might try is boot into the Recovery HD,

    reformat your the OSX partition and reinstall from the Recovery.

    Then when you initially restart, make sure to answer no to anything

    related to server.


    I am currently using a 2011 server as a workstation and simply

    did not enable a server options the first time I booted and made

    sure the server app was disabled once booted.  I have had no

    issues such as you have mentioned doing this.  The important

    thing is not to enable anyting related to "server" on that very first



    The only other alternative, if you have another Mac running Lion

    that was a Mac App Store download, is to redownload the installer

    package and create a bootable USB installer stick and try that.

  • woodmeister50 Level 4 Level 4 (3,690 points)
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    Apr 6, 2012 9:04 AM (in response to k1lly)

    k1lly wrote:


    Thank you, woodmeister50, I think it worth a try!

    BTW, as I understand, it is impossible to reinstall OS on mac mini 2011 from usb — well, I tried it in the first place and it didn't work.

    If you mean from the Apple Lion USB stick supplied by Apple

    that is true, it won't work.  The Apple supplied USB stick will

    only work on systems with Snow Leopard or earlier, if the

    computer is compatible of course.


    But the App Store download should.  At least it did for me when

    I created a minimal "emergency" SD card for use on my Macs

    (base OSX install plus Disk Warrior, Tech Tool Pro, etc.).  Was from

    the download for my MBP.  But it may have been able to because

    I was installing to the SD card and not the internal.


    The key thing though is that the App Store download must be

    from your account to a Mac that you own, as the license permits

    you to install Lion on any Mac that you own and directly control.

    You cannot legally use a copy of an installer made from a download

    someone else has done.  So, if you don't own a Mac other than

    the Mini Server, you are basically stuck.

  • Eric. Level 6 Level 6 (12,260 points)

    You might not be able to just simply answer 'no' to anything server related after re-installing Lion Server on a Mini Server. On a Mini Server that shipped with Lion Server, the installation is a one shot deal straight to Lion Server (unlike buying Lion + Server in the Mac App Store). The startup wizard is thereby different from Lion client and server. Server has a screen that basically sets up the DNS on the server, which is critical to many of the server services.


    You may be able to blow through it but I doubt. They're basically screens about the domain and the connection, e.g. Host name. Ain't nothing like it in Lion client.


    Also the DNS is completely missing from the article Kappy linked. If the DNS is hosed you'll get alerts when the service is on. That's probably the only service set up and turned after the server startup wizard. And that's probably then the service you want turn off or set up properly if you don't want future grief.

  • Omegamanstyle Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2012 7:49 PM (in response to k1lly)

    In the same situation - brand new Mac Mini Server that I want regular Lion on. After initial set up as a server, I signed in the App Store and just downloaded/installed (regular) Lion. The install went fine and it sure looks like I'm running regular Lion.


    When I go to About This Mac>More Info it says the software is "Mac OS X Server Lion 10.7.3 (11d50)". But I can no longer find any of the server apps or utilities, so I'm thinking I've basically got a regular Lion now.

  • mesa3077boogie Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    May 5, 2012 10:43 AM (in response to Omegamanstyle)

    I get did the same thing and got the same thing. I dont see server utilities anywere but my about this mac still reads mac mini server 11d50. so?

  • mesa3077boogie Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 10:47 AM (in response to mesa3077boogie)

    Actually all the server plists are still in the preference folder etc etc.

  • João Nunes Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 25, 2012 5:15 AM (in response to k1lly)

    I just managed to do it on my mac mini server, Steps:


    Download from APP Store : MAC os X LION (if you have purched it already)

    Open the APP and mount the InstallESD.DMG file

    In disk utility restore this DMG to an USB Drive/Pen

    Boot up with this usb drive/pen

    Remove the RAID Array and Create a normal partition in both HD

    Install the LION now.


    It should now works!


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