How to install OS X Server using a software RAID volume on a Mac mini

If your Mac mini with OS X Server has two built-in drives, you can follow these steps to create a software RAID volume (stripe or mirror). You can also install OS X Server on this RAID.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Before you begin

  • These steps erase all data on both drives in your Mac mini. You can reinstall OS X Server after erasing your drives, but you should make sure that other data on these drives is backed up.
  • 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 need a broadband Internet connection (Wi-Fi or Ethernet) to reinstall OS X. Your network connection must meet the requirements for Internet Recovery.

Adopt Server app

Important: Make sure that you associate the version of OS X Server included with your Mac mini with an Apple ID before you erase its drives. Use these steps to assign your copy of OS X Server to an Apple ID.

  1. Complete the OS X Setup Assistant.
  2. Open the Mac App Store.
  3. Click the Purchases tab.
  4. Click the Accept button.
  5. Enter your Apple ID and password.

Create a RAID volume

  1. Start your Mac mini while holding down Command+Option+R. This tells your Mac to start from Internet Recovery. This can take a few 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, then 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, then 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.

Install OS X

  1. Choose Reinstall OS X in the OS X Utilities window and click Continue.
  2. Proceed through the installer and select your new RAID volume for installation. A message should appear 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.
  3. Allow the installation to complete. This may take some time, depending on your Internet connection.
  4. Complete the OS X Setup Assistant.
  5. Open the Mac App Store.
  6. Click the Purchases tab.
  7. Sign in.

Once you are signed into the Mac App Store, install any OS X Upgrades you have purchased. Restart the computer if needed. You can then install OS X Server.

Install OS X Server (Mountain Lion or later)

After the current version of OS X is installed, you can install OS X Server.

  1. Open the Mac App Store.
  2. Click the Purchases tab.
  3. Download OS X Server.
  4. When your download is complete, open Server app and complete your server setup.

After installing OS X and OS X Server, you should use Software Update to make sure all of your installed software is up to date.

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