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I just bought a 2011 Mac mini which has two hard drives inside. One of the hard drives had a Mac Recovery I was able to transfer my data to with Time Machine, the other one is called "Windows" so I'm assuming it's formatted differently.

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Can I format the Windows drive to install a Mac system on it without opening the computer?

Edit: After reinstalling twice, I am not sure there is a second hard drive inside the Mac anymore. I updated the question here. I will edit further this question once I understand what is going on inside this machine.

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    This question depends on the answer to Allan's comment below your last question - is it actually 2 drives or just a bootcamp partition? Post the output of diskutil list to your question so we can see. As this is a 'new to you' Mac, you ought to start by wiping the entire drive & installing a new clean OS.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 19, 2020 at 6:53
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    Posting it into your question as text would have been a lot better than as a picture on an external site - but, no, that does not show two separate drives, it shows one internal 1TB drive & a mounted disk image.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 19, 2020 at 16:26
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    You drag your cursor over text in terminal just the same as any other app, copy, then paste it into your original question. Select that text & hit Ctrl/k which will format it legibly as "code". & no, it gives no hint as to where the Windows partition might be.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 19, 2020 at 16:33
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    TBH, we're going through this in far more detail than we really need to. What you should do is read Apple's What to do before you sell, give away, or trade in your Mac The original owner should have already done the first steps - you hope, except people don't - leaving the last step for you. Complete wipe & reinstall the OS - no need to mess with 'what's this partition' questions at all.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 19, 2020 at 16:41
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    You don't see "two drives" you see "two partitions". Don't let that mislead you - go through the wipe & reinstall from scratch process & during that you will easily determine how many physical drives are in the machine. Right now, I'd say one - but the evidence is only circumstantial, we don't have a full picture.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 19, 2020 at 17:08

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Yes, you can. You should 1st check if you can read the windows disk. If so, make sure there is nothing on it you want. If you don't care what's on it skip that and go to disk utility. Using disk utility you can erase the windows disk and reformat it in a format you want. Then you can load the Mac System on the disk.

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  • I cannot read the Windows disk, it seems blank. When I boot from it with the ALT key, I just get a "Missing operating system" message on white over black background... and that's where I'm stuck to even know whether it's a drive or a partition... Aug 19, 2020 at 23:43

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