Thursday, June 20, 2013

Resources for Mac Mini: Macmini2,1 2007

Sometimes in the computer industry, one just wants a pleasure machine to work, when one works on systems all day long. The Apple Macintoch is a fine platform which just normally works, but when it breaks, there can be interesting problems. This article walks through a short scenario common to some users.

The Problem:
When someone has an older family of systems, often hard drives will be moved from one machine to another, as systems are upgraded. The original system was moved to an external hard drive and carried from system to system, until eventually finding it's way upon this Mac Mini 2 GHz Intel 2 Core Duo. The external hard drive crashed, so a new external hard drive was formatted up,  A new version of iMovie and iPhoto were needed, but we could not download them from the Apple Store, because a new version of the MacOSX was needed (10.7.5 minimum.) This platform had MacOSX 10.6.8, so this means a new OS needed to be installed, but no longer appeared to be available on the Apple App Store. The new OS required a minimum of 2 GB, when this platform only had 1 GB. The platform would need to be opened, but opening up the older generation Intel Mac Mini is not quite that simple.

Opening an Intel based Mac Mini
The first phase in the adventure is opening the Mac Mini. The 2006 Macmini1,1 and 2007 Macmini2,1 both offer similar opening instructions. It takes some care, so watch the video included above.

Memory Requirements
It should be noted, the memory required  is one or two 200-pin PC2-5300 DDR2 (667 MHz) SO-DIMM cards. While lower configurations are possible, Apple supports dual 512MB cards (Mac OSX 10.6.8 compatible), dual 1 GB chips (Mac OSX 10.7.5 compatible), and dual 2 GB chips are possible (but only a little over 3GB is available, due to a chipset limitation on these models, but this configuration is not officially supported.) When two identical chips are used, the system will operate at it's peak performance.

Mac OSX 10.6.8 to 10.7.5
The OS this machine came to me with was Max OSX 10.6.8. While this was a fine OS for the time, apparently I should have purchased iPhoto upgrade when I had the chance. It was too late to download OSX 10.7 from the Apple App Store, but when you call Customer Support, you can purchase it on-line and upgrade over the internet!

Perhaps one should have just asked to purchase an older version of iPhoto? This will be the last OS upgrade done on this Mac Mini, because Apple will no longer support a newer OS version on it. It may also be a good time to upgrade to an internal SSD. The platform will continue to be a reasonable platform for phone sync'ing, photo storage, and movie editing for some time, however, so this final upgrade may be very worth my while since it works so well on a 1080p television and existing Bluetooth Keyboard and Trackpad.

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