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How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: dad@home
Date: May 02, 2021 11:49AM
Hi everyone, I’ve been in lurker mode for some years but now I’ve got a nut I can’t crack.

Mid 2011 mini on macOS 10.7.5 was at our vacation home with no internet access since new and used only as a media server.
Recently I set up a Starlink satellite receiver and Huzzah we have access to the world!

App Store won’t give me any options to upgrade the OS so that modern browsers and apps can be used.

Google search gave a couple of options for downloading updates (Mountain Lion, Yosemite...) but I’m not comfortable downloading and installing software from unknown and possibly untrustworthy sites.

Anyone know how to get safe updates for this old and neglected Mac?

Thank you,

John



For some must watch, while some must sleep
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: Golfer
Date: May 02, 2021 12:25PM
[support.apple.com]

A 2011 mini maxes out at 10.13. You'll have to apply a hack to go higher than that.
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 02, 2021 12:26PM
I had a 2012 mini on 10.9.5 and it was a multiple step to get it up to Catalina (10.15). It involved incremental updates and FIRMWARE updates along the way. Once it was all said and done, I did a nuke and pave and installed a fresh 10.15. That was a few years ago.

I assume it is a similar process for 2011, and it is even more difficult now as some of those OS updates are hard to find.... if you can get stand alone USB installers, you would need to roll back the clock to avoid expiration dates on those certificates. But if you do not already have those USB stand alone installers.... I am not sure how to proceed. Good luck!!!
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 02, 2021 12:27PM
Quote
Golfer
[support.apple.com]

...

Nice link, but someone complained here a few weeks (months?) ago that some of those didn't work. I can't recall who posted that... search maybe see if you find how they got around.
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: btfc
Date: May 02, 2021 12:38PM
I downloaded and installed two at the same time as that post, and it worked just fine.
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: May 02, 2021 01:21PM
dosdude1's Mojave Patcher (10.14.x) [dosdude1.com]
Besides allowing your Mini to install & run Mojave, it provides a link to
download the complete installer direct from Apple.



Supports:
Early-2009 or newer Mac Mini or white MacBook:
• Macmini3,1
• Macmini4,1
• Macmini5,x

He also has patchers for 10.13 and 10.12 that will work.



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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: May 02, 2021 01:24PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
Golfer
[support.apple.com]

...

Nice link, but someone complained here a few weeks (months?) ago that some of those didn't work. I can't recall who posted that... search maybe see if you find how they got around.

I have used those multiple times recently and all of them have worked.

The annoyance is that some of those links (maybe just one?) only gives you a placeholder to download the full OS. If you're online, this is not a problem at all, it'll just do the full OS download during the process. However that placeholder one is no good for offline installs. I think it's the OS 10.11 High Sierra installer, so I got it from the dosdude links.

IIRC, others here have mentioned that if you are runnign an older OS, like 10.7, etc., you need to install OS 10.11.x first because it contains a firmware update most easily installed using this OS. Then you can install 10.13 afterwards. However, this may be outdated info and maybe you can just install 10.13 straight up now?

Allow me to make a single recommendation: Please have 8+GB installed in that Mini before going to 10.13. I use 10.13 on a 4GB 2011 MBAir and with Safari open, switching from a windowed Youtube video to fullscreen causes it to freeze for up to 20 seconds to do that simple task, and the free memory goes to 20MB during that time. This is pretty much unusable.

The delay doing the same on a 4GB 2009 MBPro (a slower machine) in 10.11.6 is much shorter, only a few seconds. The delay on an 8GB 2009 MBPro (same specs), is almost nothing.

8GB FTW.
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: May 02, 2021 01:33PM
Quote
dad@home
Mid 2011 mini on macOS 10.7.5…options to upgrade the OS so that modern browsers and apps can be used…Anyone know how to get safe updates for this old and neglected Mac?

I recently updated a 2011 iMac from macOS 10.7 to macOS 10.13.6.

You must do the update in two steps, i.e. from 10.7 ("Lion") to 10.12 ("Sierra"). Once that's done you can upgrade Sierra to High Sierra:

[support.apple.com] (see section "Download macOS")

High Sierra's browser version should support your requirements: [support.apple.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 01:35PM by Article Accelerator.
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: dad@home
Date: May 02, 2021 03:00PM
All great advice...thank you.
First attempt to download and install failed and may have been due to having only 2Gb of RAM.

I have 16 Gb upgrade coming from OWC and I’ll try again once installed

Thanks again



For some must watch, while some must sleep
So runs the world away
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 02, 2021 04:58PM
Quote
dad@home
All great advice...thank you.
First attempt to download and install failed and may have been due to having only 2Gb of RAM.

I have 16 Gb upgrade coming from OWC and I’ll try again once installed

Thanks again

If you have an SSD (or are adding it along with RAM), that machine will run Catalina just fine via Dosdude. I am running a much older, C2D mac mini with 8GB RAM, works fine for a server and as a basic machine with an SSD boot drive.
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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 02, 2021 05:43PM
Quote
dad@home
All great advice...thank you.
First attempt to download and install failed and may have been due to having only 2Gb of RAM.

I have 16 Gb upgrade coming from OWC and I’ll try again once installed

Thanks again

Yes, 2GB will likely be a problem for any modern OS.

As already mentioned, High Sierra (10.13) is the last OS with native Apple support for that machine, but the dosdude1 patchers aren't too difficult to use. Mojave is the latest OS that supports 32-bit apps.



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Re: How can I get 2011 mini macOS updated
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 02, 2021 06:01PM
How much is that 16 GB and do you also need an SSD? Do the math and see if a new M1 mini is more cost effective in the long run.
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