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I have an old (2006) Intel Mac Mini Core Duo, 1.67 Ghz, model A1176. I wanted to single-boot Linux, so I made a bootable USB Gentoo install, which I booted with the help of rEFIT (installed on my OS X) and used gdisk to wipe my hard drive and write a new partition table. Yes, I realize that removing OS X was risky and stubborn. But I accidentally shut down my computer without configuring the bootloader.

Now I can't boot my computer because there's no bootloader. I put Ubuntu on a USB flash drive (MBR format, FAT filesystem), but the computer doesn't recognize it as bootable.

I can't use the CD/DVD drive either, because a blank CD is already in there. The drive can't eject the disk because there's no operating system to control it.

Note: I don't have the Mac OS X install discs.

I have two questions:

  1. How can I most painlessly install an operating system (probably Linux) on this computer?

2a. Assuming the answer to #1 is "put distro xyz on a DVD and boot from that", how can I eject the current disc?

2b. Assuming the answer is "install rEFIT on one partition of a USB flash drive and a distro on another partition", what's my best bet to get this to work?

I really appreciate any help you can provide

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According to Apple support, pressing the Eject or F12 key or holding the mouse or trackpad button at boot time will eject any removable media, such as an optical disc.

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