Well, month ago I gave mac mini (late 2011) to my little brother with new HDD and RAM memory stick. So, being an independent person, he has tried to install Windows on empty HDD (yeah, it's weird) and after his several tries mac mini stopped showing anything on screen. Mac mini still working, boot up signal and light are on, but now we have nothing on display, like nothing is connected. In workshop repairer said that young man broke BIOS and recover costs 7 000 rub (~106 usd), what is pretty expensive to us. Is there any way to recover bios on my own? In case that I don't see anything on screen while mac is working. :D Thanks in advance!

UPD: Brother just burned .iso file on DVD and inserted in mac mini. How installation had even started - I have no idea. But it failed. I erased entire HDD. Have tried all the startup key combinations (reset PRAM, etc). Nothing reanimated mac mini. On booting up I have "no signal detected" screen.

UPD2: Tried several monitors and HDMI cables. Mac mini still displays nothing and without HDD too.

  • 2
    Mac doesn't have a BIOS. Try holding Cmd/R at the chimes & see if it will boot to recovery or internet recovery.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 3, 2016 at 13:28
  • @Tetsujin I have tried all startup key combinations, and may be Mac Mini starts recovery, but I can't see it because nothing is on screen.
    – Eric Clutz
    Jun 3, 2016 at 13:45
  • I assume your Mac does not have an optical (DVD) drive. If so, then what did you use as a medium to install Windows? Was a USB flash drive. If so, how did you create the flash drive? Jun 3, 2016 at 15:25
  • @DavidAnderson No, my Mac does have optical DVD drive. My brother, as he said, just burned windows 7 .iso file and tried to install.
    – Eric Clutz
    Jun 3, 2016 at 15:39
  • I know this is a stupid question. When you brother burned the DVD, I assume he burned the iso image to the DVD and not just the iso file itself. In other words, if you view the contents of the DVD, you see more than just a single iso file. Jun 3, 2016 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


If you are entirely sure that the computer is starting up with a connection to a monitor, then this is a problem with the disk format more than likely. This will make it so that the Mac will not be able to boot into recovery either. You'll need to go to an Apple retailer to ask them to reformat the disk for you, or perhaps it's possible on your own. I know that apple likes to ensure no third-party computers register with Mac OS X so they format the disks in dumb way.

  • This is not correct. At minimum you should get the grey screen with Apple logo and if you hold the "Command + V" while booting you should see all the boot messages.
    – Allan
    Jun 3, 2016 at 14:02
  • Well, if I ever run mac mini without HDD - there is nothing on display too. No "no hard disk detected" or what ever.
    – Eric Clutz
    Jun 3, 2016 at 14:04
  • Perhaps machine specific, I had this happen at an apple retailer and it would only boot up to anything on my screen when attached to a NAS holding option. Macbook Retina mid 2012. The reason was said because the internet recovery contains a trace of the OS on an interface of the disk before your actual boot volume.
    – Jahhein
    Jun 3, 2016 at 14:05
  • "Base OS X" is the partition I'm talking about. This is part of the internet recovery in new machines.
    – Jahhein
    Jun 3, 2016 at 14:05
  • Have another computer you can use? Download a linux OS (probably ubuntu desktop 16.04 LTS, really simple) and see whats going on by booting to it via USB boot. Hold option at start up - > select usb.
    – Jahhein
    Jun 3, 2016 at 14:07

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