After a fail in the HDD, I am trying to reinstall Mountain Lion from USB (or Lion or whatever other without any particular choice) on a Mac Mini 2011 in an empty HDD.

Guessing because the disk is empty, most startup key, mainly Option (Boot Options), Command+R (Recovery), D (Hardware Diagnostics), do not work, hence I do not know how to finish these tutorials, since the OSX USB Boot do not appear.

The unique keyboard combinations working are Command+Option+P+R for an NVRAM|PRAM Reset and PowerOn + Hold (10 s), for a System Management Controller Reset.

From the hardware: I hear the Startup Sound, the keyboard is working but not the Num|Caps|Hold lights, I have disconnected the mouse or other peripherals, and the monitor and basic electronics apparently works, by sending a failure messages while booting from a Windows 8 USB Bootable media ("The Boot Configuration Data file doesn't contain valid information for an operating system").

I have tested some tricks on making some tricky formatting on the hard disk, plugging in pre-made bootable disks, but up to this moment, no choices made the Mac Mini to get loaded.

Neither Apple Stores accepts me to have the machine reinstalled for free (they don't do "maintenance service").

Question is which tutorial should I follow in this case.

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    The macOS USB installer is faulty and you need to create a new one. If you have access to another Mac (a friend's for example) you should do this there. The Apple store should be able to assist you in at least creating a USB installer. – Allan Jan 27 '19 at 23:17
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    Also, your mini should support Internet Recovery. Give that a shot as well. – Allan Jan 27 '19 at 23:20
  • I will focus then on getting a better USB Boot.... thanks – Brethlosze Jan 27 '19 at 23:22
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    Let us know how it works out - we can try to find you a route to a solution if the first methods strike out. – Allan Jan 27 '19 at 23:26
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    Glad you got it solved! Oh...and Welcome to Ask Different! – Allan Jan 27 '19 at 23:39

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