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Cannot boot into Mac OS X on 2007 Mac Mini

I'm having an issue with a 2007 Mac Mini I recently purchased on eBay. When I first received it, the Mini was working fine. I replaced the internal drive with an SSD, installed 10.6.8, booted it up and all was well. My problem started when I tried to use Boot Camp. When I started the process, the Mini instantly rebooted without giving me the option to partition the drive or anything. I exited the Windows installer and rebooted the Mini to try to go back to OS X but it would not boot into OS X and none of the keys would work to enter recovery or choose boot options. I eventually removed the drive, wiped it with another computer and put it back in but that didn't work either. I then went ahead with installing Windows to see if that would allow me to use other boot options but after successfully installing XP I still could not go into recovery mode or choose boot options.

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Ouch! Apple altered recovery a few times. The first version setup a hidden partition on the drive which in your case was lost. To add to this when you install Windows the boot blocks on the drive are altered so macOS won’t install or boot correctly. You need to fully wipe the disk and start again. The last issue with BootCamp is a bit wonky! It sits within a special folder with The Windows Mac drivers and part of Windows. The rest sits in a second partition.

Keek in mind you are limited to OS-X Lion (10.7.5) and Apple's Boot Camp 4 formally supports the 32-bit versions of Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. You can’t run the newer BootCamp or newer Windows on this older MacMini.

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Unfortunately that's the problem, I did remove the drive and wiped it completely with another computer then put it back in the '07 Mini but it still will not accept any key inputs and will not boot from install disc. It literally only lets me run Windows install at this point. Anything Mac related seems to be completely gone aside from the startup chime.

@jabberwakki - OK lets give this a try, somehow the Boot drive setting is messed up. Restart your system and press from a USB keyboard the Option (⌥) to enter into the Startup manager to then select the CD/DVD drive which has the Apple OS installer disk.


Reference: Mac startup key combinations

This also does not work unfortunately. I have tried 2 functional keyboards and neither works when trying to press any keys on startup so I cannot go into boot options, recovery, etc. I do not have access to a wired Apple keyboard, which *shouldn't* matter.

@jabberwakki - These commands are based in the systems firmware. So either your system for some reason doesn’t like your choice of keyboard or there is a deeper issue with in it. This one of the first generations of MacMinis so it could need a bit of repair as parts do age,

I am hoping it is the keyboard. I am ordering a 2000’s era wired Apple keyboard from eBay with the fragile hope that despite the keyboards I already have are perfectly functional, they may be incompatible with the system for booting/recovery purposes. They did work with the ‘07 Mac Mini when I initially had the OS installed and working before the whole Boot Camp fiasco so I know they *should* work but aren’t for some reason. I really hope I don’t have to repair/replace any hardware. If that’s the case I may just install WinXP on it again and let it just be an old Windows machine. I do have a 2006 MacBook as well with 10.6.8 on it which I can still use in place of the ‘07 Mini, I was just hoping to have them BOTH run OS X as well.

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