Dell Mini 9 OS X Discussion Discussion for installing and setting up Mac OS X on the Dell Mini and Vostro A90

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osxq osxq is offline
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Default osx 10.5.7 mini9 gift - need to backup install / upgrade bios - 12-31-2009, 06:27 AM


I received a mini9 with 10.5.7 install from a friend as a gift this past holiday.

I would like first of all to do a complete backup and then proceed to wipe the SSD and do a fresh install (just in case I fail to make it work - restore the previous setup).

specs (mini9):
2GB Memory
10.5.7 install (about 4.x GB free)
Bios A01
Sound works, wifi works, ethernet works

New addition
External USB 250GB HD - Also own an eMac G4.

Do you suggest creating a 16GB partition in the USB External HD for the backup?

What process should I use for the backup? I have seen all sort of suggestions CarbonCopy, SuperDuper, DiskTools.. which is the best choice for my setup?

What can I learn from the current setup that I may want to do in the new install? Places to look, etc?

Is it possible to backup to USB HD only (without the need to purchase a new USB flash drive?

I have been reading various posts but needless to say I am a little confused (since I am a new user to this setup).

Thank you
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osxq osxq is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Default 05-14-2010, 09:11 AM

Any help on how to go about this?

Since I didn't set this machine up I don't know what the original person did.

When it boots it shows:
Darwin /x86 boot v5.0.132 - Chameleon v1.0.12 and the bios as mentioned before its A01.

I want to be able to back it up so I can experiment, as of right now I cannot use an external monitor (both mini and external monitor are all garbled - when connected and mirroring selected - If external monitor cable is removed and mini started again, the mini screen works again.
I want to play with the iPhone SDK so a larger screen is necessary.

Backup is so that if everything goes bad, I can at least go back to the current setup.

At this point I would like to just install 10.5.8 - unless there is a reason to stay at 10.5.7 - in which case I need to figure out how to make the external monitor work.

There is also a DellEFI installer v1.1 in the SSD - when run it shows that (easy installation is selected).

Thank you
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Slothtyper Slothtyper is offline
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Default 05-18-2010, 12:49 AM

Due to the complexities of creating partitions of GUID and MBR on the same drive, by far the easiest way to go is to buy a thumb drive at least 8GB and use it for your "installation" drive. That will be the one you play around with Leopard or Snow Leopard with, and will be set to MBR. Sandisk cruzers have been very successful.

Partition one of your other drives into as many sections as you want and set one to 5-10% bigger than your Mini's drive to be used for back-up. That one is set to the GUID partition table so it's bootable by an Intel Mac. The rest of the disk can be used for whatever you want, storing movies etc. I like to have another partition for an OS X install that I can use for troubleshooting so normally partition mine in three, one for OS X, one for back-up, and one for general storage. All of them can be OS X Extended Journaled, but some people prefer non Journaled for storage of movies, music, etc.

I use SuperDuper and think it has a clearer and better interface than CCC.

Mini 9 | OS X 10.6.5 Via USB Mac on 64G RunCore | 2G Ram | Bios A05 | NBI 8.4 Special | Bluetooth | Legacy Off | 1.3MP

Mini 10V
| OS X 10.6.5 Via USB Mac on 160G HD | 2G Ram | Bios A06 | NBI 8.4 Special | Bluetooth | Legacy Off | 1.3MP

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osxq osxq is offline
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Default 05-20-2010, 07:41 PM

Thank you for your suggestions, they are appreciated.

As a sidenote I was able to get the external monitor to work, not as mirror but as an extended monitor, with the help of a mac program that turns off mirroring.
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