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I just bought an old Mac Mini to start developing for iOS. The Mac Mini has a DVI port, so I connected it to my Dell 24" display which has a DVI connection. But it appears that my Mac wont boot. I dont even know if it is booting or not because my monitor does not show anything, as it did not get any signal and went to standby mode immediately. My questions are:

  1. Do I have to connect a keyboard and mouse to the Mini in order to boot?
  2. Even if I don't connect a keyboard and mouse to the Mini, will I still see something on the monitor? Maybe like an error message telling that no keyboard was found? To be clear, my display works fine with my PC.
  3. I tried with my Microsoft USB keyboard and an IBM USB mouse, but I did not see any difference, i.e. nothing could be seen on the display.
  4. Does this mean I have to buy a keyboard and mouse from Apple to make it work?

Can someone help me and give me some hints? Thanks a lot in advance!

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Do you hear a boot chime? Even with nothing connected, except the power cable, if you push the Power button in the back you should hear the Macintosh boot chime. If you hear the boot chime, then try a different monitor if you have one. If you don't hear a boot chime, then the mac is having trouble. –  sorens Mar 6 '11 at 20:12
Thanks sorens! I heard the sound. It seems to boot. But I really cannot tell if it is booting or not. Unfortunately, I do not have a second monitor at hand. What can I still do? –  Orunner Mar 6 '11 at 20:15
@Sorens You don't hear the sound if the volume is down or the speakers are broken, so it's not a guaranteed test. –  Nathan Greenstein Mar 6 '11 at 21:01
@Nathan G., I will grant you the broken speaker condition. However with Macs that have a working internal speaker, muted volume does not abate the boot chime noise, nor does plugging in head phones. Perhaps this is not true of all Macs. I can only speak from experience with Macbooks, Macbook Pros, Mac Minis and Mac Desktops. Speaking from experience -- I have accidentally woken up children in adjoining runs when I tried to quietly reboot a mac in the middle of the night. –  sorens Mar 7 '11 at 0:15
@Sorens Muting the volume blocks the startup chime on both my iMac and MacBook. –  Nathan Greenstein Mar 7 '11 at 0:26
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The Mac will boot with or without a mouse and keyboard, and you should see something on the monitor either way.
You do not need to use Apple mice and keyboards.

So, the problem has to be either the monitor or the Mac Mini.

You can look at the power light to see if the Mini is running. If it is steady white, the computer is on. If it is pulsing, the computer is sleeping. If it is off, the computer is off.

If the computer is on but nothing is coming up on the monitor:
Check all connections. Try with a different monitor, if possible. Make sure the correct input is selected on the monitor.

If the computer won't turn on:
Check all connections. Make sure it's plugged in. Make sure you've pressed the power button all the way, without holding it down too long.
If you can't get it to turn on at all, take it back to the people who sold it to you and get your money back; they sold you a broken machine.

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thanks a lot! I saw the steady white power light. –  Orunner Mar 6 '11 at 20:10
And i am sure that I am using the right input on my monitor. I googled a bit, and found out mini has a DVI-I port, but my dell monitor comes with a DVI-D cable. My qauestion is, can I use this cable? As I understood, I can. –  Orunner Mar 6 '11 at 20:12
@Orunner You cannot plug a DVI-D cable into a DVI-I port; they are different. Take a look at this photo: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DVI_Connector_Types.svg You need an adapter. –  Nathan Greenstein Mar 6 '11 at 20:15
Thanks Nathan! I read some articles. As far I understood, DVI-I is kinda "universal" which is compatible with both DVI-D (digital) and DVI-A (analog). I evened checked my graphic card, the output port seems to be also a DVI-I. Strange, I am totally confused. –  Orunner Mar 6 '11 at 20:18
@Orunner My understanding is that DVI-I will work with DVI-D if you use an adapter. In other words, the video signal is universal, but you need a different connector. –  Nathan Greenstein Mar 6 '11 at 20:34
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