I have exactly the same problem.. re-tried for 2 or 3 times the whole process until I was about to give up installing OSX (10.5.6)
But.. I am now typing this reply in my Mini 9 with OSX 10.5.6 installed in 8GB..
The only difference I tried on my last time installing and the previous installation (vincechew's method) are..
1) The OSInstall.mpkg file. When I first copy the file into the USB key, it has a special attribute in the directory structure. For example, when I do a ls -l command, it shows:
rwxr--r--@ root wheel OSInstall.mpkg (date) (time)
The @ was puzzling me. A hard googling says that @ is the extended attribute.
But I don't know how to remove the @ in that terminal with only limited functionality (during installation). And a review in the failed installation log file complained that it cannot extract OSInstall.mpkg blah blah blah..
So what I do, is to re do all the steps, however, making sure that OSInstall.mpkg is copied from a FAT32 USB instead of NTFS. That will remove the extended attributes. i.e. Save the OSInstall.mpkg in a FAT16/FAT32 disk instead of a NTFS formatted disk (e.g Vista), and copy it over to the big USB install drive.
Also, I only removed, from the Essential Software list, the dictionary (I think the last one) and something around the 3rd check box and make sure it can fit. I did not remove everything as suggested in either Vincechew's list or from this forum's install FAQ. But I kind of follow the sequence of the software listed in the FAQ here to figure out what is needed the least. I make it around 200MB left (i.e. non-red) on the disc and install. (I also delete the languages, speech and printer driver of course). After install, I have about 1GB space left on my SSD
2. After all that trouble I still get the grey screen. I powered it off (in frustration and says that's it for OSX).. Then out of frustration I powered it on again, but in the BOOT screen (after typing 82 for the SSD
), I also force it to boot in safe and verbose mode. i.e. -x -v just to see why it is not booting..
Without much hope in my mind, it booted but somehow it managed to get through that grey screen and ask me for some setup question for a first time!!.. Could not believe my eyes
!! Suddenly I was so happy and smiled till the end of the day.. :mrgreen:
Hope that helps.l. I don't know if the OSInstall or -x-v make it work or a combination of both or just plan luck..
Now everything runs very good ..
Let me know how it goes.. Good luck.. it is do-able if you try hard enough