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Mac mini Server (Late 2012 and Mid 2011): How to install OS X Server on a software RAID volume

Follow these steps to create a software RAID volume (stripe or mirror) using the two drives in your Mac mini Server (Late 2012 or Mid 2011), then install OS X Server on it.

Before you start

  • Be aware that these steps will erase all data on both drives in your Mac mini Server. You will be able to reinstall OS X Server, but you should make sure that other data on these drives has been backed up.
  • Note that you cannot create a recovery partition on a RAID volume. Because certain features of OS X are not supported without a recovery partition, you should consider using the Recovery Disk Assistant to create an external recovery disk before creating your RAID volume.
  • You'll need a broadband Internet connection via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Your network connection must meet the requirements for Internet Recovery described in the "Requirements for reinstalling OS X" section of this article.

OS X Server (Mavericks)

  1. Create a bootable OS X installer.
  2. Start up the server from the bootable OS X installer.
  3. Choose your preferred language.
  4. Choose Disk Utility in the OS X Utilities window and click Continue.
  5. In Disk Utility, select one of your hard drives and click the RAID tab.
  6. Enter a name for your RAID set, then choose the desired RAID type (Striped or Mirrored).
  7. Drag each of your two hard drive icons from the left side of the Disk Utility window into the list in the middle of the window. Important: Drag the disk icons (which are indicated by a size like 1 TB) and not the partition icons (which are indicated by a name like Server HD).
  8. Click Create.
  9. When your RAID set is shown as Online, quit Disk Utility.
  10. Choose Reinstall OS X in the OS X Utilities window and click Continue.
  11. Proceed through the installer and select your new RAID volume for installation. As noted, a message should appear and state that some features of OS X are not supported for this disk because a Recovery Partition cannot be created on a RAID volume. Click Continue.
  12. Allow the installation to complete. This may take a few hours, depending on your Internet connection.
  13. Complete the OS X Mavericks Setup Assistant.
  14. Open the Mac App Store.
  15. Select the Purchases tab.
  16. Click the Accept button.
  17. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  18. When download is complete, open the Server app and complete your server setup.

OS X Server (Mountain Lion)

  1. Start up your Mac mini Server while pressing and holding the Command, Option, and R keys to start up in Internet Recovery mode. This may take several minutes. Release the keys when you see "Starting recovery process from network."
  2. Choose your preferred language.
  3. Choose Disk Utility in the OS X Utilities window and click Continue.
  4. In Disk Utility, select one of your hard drives, then click the RAID tab.
  5. Enter a name for your RAID set and choose the desired RAID type (Striped or Mirrored).
  6. Drag each of your two hard drive icons from the left side of the Disk Utility window into the list in the middle of the window. Important: Drag the disk icons (which are indicated by a size like 1 TB) and not the partition icons (which are indicated by a name like Server HD).
  7. Click Create.
  8. When your RAID set is shown as Online, quit Disk Utility.
  9. Choose Reinstall OS X in the OS X Utilities window and click Continue.
  10. Proceed through the installer and select your new RAID volume for installation. As noted above, a message should appear and state that some features of OS X are not supported for this disk because a Recovery Partition cannot be created on a RAID volume. Click Continue.
  11. Allow the installation to complete. This may take a few hours, depending on your internet connection.

Additional steps for Mountain Lion

If your Mac mini Server came with OS X Mountain Lion, you will need to perform the following steps to install OS X Server after the Mountain Lion installation is complete.

  1. Complete the OS X Mountain Lion Setup Assistant.
  2. Open the Mac App Store.
  3. Select the Purchases tab.
  4. Click the Accept button.
  5. Enter your Apple ID and password.
  6. When download is complete, open the Server app and complete your server setup.
Last Modified: Jan 3, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jan 3, 2014
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