I tried to restart while keep pressing Command-R

However, my keyboard is not mac keyboard. There is windows-R. It works exactly like Command-R in all circumstances.

Well, I keep failing to get into recovery HD. I need that because I want to repair the main disk.

Error: This disk needs to be repaired using the Recovery HD. Restart your computer, holding down the Command key and the R key until you see the Apple logo. When the OS X Utilities window appears, choose Disk Utility.

What should I do?

I have a flash disk. Can I turn that into recovery HD?


Try this alternative way (explained at macworld.com):

  1. Start you Mac while pressing the Option key (in your Windows keyboard press the Alt key) until the Startup Manager appears:

    enter image description here

    One of the volumes will be called Recovery HD.

  2. Select Recovery HD and then click the upward-pointing arrow below it to boot from Recovery HD.

  3. After a brief delay, you’ll see the Mac OS X Utilities screen. Select Disk Utility to repair your disk:

enter image description here

  • 2
    The asker uses a Windows keyboard -> shouldn't he use the ALT key there?
    – nohillside
    Mar 11 '13 at 9:22
  • 1
    @patrix Yes, added reference to Alt.
    – jaume
    Mar 11 '13 at 9:25
  • 1
    I did. And it still doesn't work.
    – user4951
    Mar 14 '13 at 7:36
  • 1
    It's USB. Also I changed keyboard again. It still doesn't work.
    – user4951
    Mar 21 '13 at 10:27
  • 1
    Thanks @jaume this answer saved me money and time.
    – Ajit Singh
    Feb 5 at 10:34

Note for other who come across this thread. To get into Internet Recovery Mode I used WINDOWS + ALT + R on my 2011 Mac Mini while powering back on. CONTROL + ALT + R did not work for me with a Windows Keyboard (USB).


I tried this with a bluetooth windows keyboard and the ALT key on the left side of the space bar worked for me. I did not press any other key.

One more thing: it did not work when I did a soft restart; I had to power down, hold the ALT key, then power up the mini.

  • This was a life saver!
    – SevenDays
    Jul 30 '20 at 15:27

For a mid 2011 Mac Mini using a bluetooth keyboard, what finally worked for me was the Windows-R key combo.


I had to power off and unplug the Mac Mini then hold down the Alt key and start the Mini up that way and then it works.

Every time I install Sierra I can't log in and have to do this first.


I've got an arduino so I'm making it into a fake usb keyboard that outputs the alt button. Really all I can do in lockdown with no shops open!



Nothing worked for me until I tried this:

  1. Plug USB keyboard in on far right USB port.
  2. Shut down Mac Mini.
  3. Power on mac mini and wait 3 seconds
  4. Hold left ALT down.

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