9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 22, 2011 7:09 AM by Marola
Ge0ph Level 2 (410 points)
What I would like to do is buy the Mac Mini Server but I don't need the server OS. I want the desktop OS on the Mac Mini Server. Will installing Snow Leopard on the server hardware be just like installing it on a regular Mac Mini?

Or should I just wait and see how Lion shakes out?

Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • captfred Level 7 (26,290 points)

    You can install client version but there are some caveats. You can't use a version of OSx before 10.6.5 as it doesn't have the necessary drivers.

    The easiest way is to clone a current system from your mac and clone it to the 2nd drive in the server. When this is fully tested you can erase the Server HD.

  • Ge0ph Level 2 (410 points)
    That's what I wanted to here. I really would want to do a clean install but I have my doubts that my copy of Snow Leopard is new enough. I bought it right when it came out. However, I don't mind buying a newer copy to do a clean install.

    My only hesitation now is that Lion is just around the corner.
  • captfred Level 7 (26,290 points)
    Unless they've updated the DVD, it's still 10.6.3 which isn't new enough. Lion is right around the corner though. Running OSx Server is very much like client. Just don't start all the server functions.
  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,665 points)
    Download 10.6.7 Update Combo and install Snow Leopard from the retail disk that you have. Then apply the Update and it will bring the retail version up-to-date.

  • indychris Level 1 (0 points)
    Actually, I don't think that will work. The current retail disk is x.6.3 as already noted. The Mini server won't allow it to install. Best two options:

    1) Get X.6.5 installer disks from another Mac and install via target mode from the appropriate mac, or

    2) Borrow recent standard MacMini install disks (gray disks with X.6.5+) and install on your Mini server.

    I did #1 with my MBP disks via target mode on my 2010 Mini server. worked just fine.
  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,665 points)
    Since the mini Server has no Superdrive, most folks are using a second Mac. You should be able to install the retail disk with the mini Server in Target Disk Mode. It is viewed as an ext. FireWire HDD by the other Mac and the install disk.

    After the SL client has been installed, with the mini Server still in TDM, apply the update.
  • Marola Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Captfred,


    I asked a friend of mine who had made a trip to the US to bring me a Mac Mini 2.66 GHZ with 500GB HD, he mistakenly bought the Mac Mini Server. Given that a server would be of scarce use for me I would like to replace the server OS with the standard one. What would be the easiest path to get MMS running the standard OS version?


    What I have:


    1 - Mac Mini Server 2.66 GHz - Dual 500 GB HD - running SL server 10.6.7 OS. Firewire 800 port

    2 - MBP 15" 2.3 GHz (early 2011) - running standard SL 10.6.7 OS. FireWire 800 port

    3 - External Optical Drive Lacie d2 12x Blu-ray Disc Writer (of course it also reads DVD discs). FireWire 400 port.


    Thank you in advance.



  • indychris Level 1 (0 points)

    You're actually about set, Marola. Get a firewire 800 cable. With your Mini shut down, plug in the firewire cable to each computer (Mini and MacBook Pro). As you start the Mini, hold down the "T" key. That will start up the Mini in Target mode which will allow your Macbook pro to read it as any other volume.

    Insert the Grey install disk that came with your MBP into your MacBook. Run the Snow Leopard installer just as if you were installing it on your MBP, but select the Mini as the target volume. Run the installer. After the Mini reboots, shut down both systems, making sure that you dismount the mini from the MBP if it's still mounted in target mode. Unplug the mini from the MBP. Start up the mini, run software update so that everything is up to date, then you should be all set.

  • Marola Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks Indy, I already had proceeded the installation according your tip. Just an objection related to the updates: I was able to install the OS updates only while in target mode, as when I made 2 attempts to update the version 10.6.6 to the current one (10.6.7 - the combo one and the MBP version too) it was not permitted. I had to plug the FW cable into the MBP again and update the Mini's OS (using the special MBP version of 10.6.7) in target disc mode. I want to use the Mini as a media server and intend to install Windows 7 on the other HD which now hosts the server OS. However, according to one poster (Sven G) there are some problems (I don't know exactly what they are) related to Boot Camp software. Have you any information about these problems?


    I have maintained both OS (standard and server) living side by side on the Mini, is there any problem with that?


    Again many thanks, you were succinct, right to the point, and your tip just proved itself correct.