I brought a Mac Mini (2009 I believe early as it had a 120GB HDD) of which I upgraded it to a 120GB SSD to begin with. Being my first mac I found I could re-install it using the internet recovery mode which I believe was how I installed the SSD.

I was running El Capitan on the machine perfectly fine.

However the SSD had to be taken out from it to be put into another machine as an emergency (The mac wasn't important) and recently replaced with a 250GB HDD and when trying to boot into internet recovery mode now get nothing but the folder with the question mark in.

I've tried multiple key combinations and have been searching around online for solutions but haven't found one.

The main thing is how can I re-install it? I don't have access to any other Macs but do to Linux & Windows machines.

1 Answer 1


Internet Recovery is not available on 2009 machines. In general, you need a Mac to create the install media for installing macOS when you don't have an existing macOS install or recovery disk. It may be possible to create the macOS install media using a Windows computer, however I have no experience with this.

  • You could also take it to an Apple Store & they will do it for you. Easier with a mini than an old Mac Pro ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 6:44
  • Must have done it another way last time then. However an apple store wouldn't likely help as I brought it second hand and they'd want to charge me. Commented May 31, 2017 at 7:01
  • I have a late 2009 13in Macbook that has internet recovery. Although I can't access to any recovery mode, would you take a look to my question please? apple.stackexchange.com/questions/298969/…
    – Petruza
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 17:50

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