Mac Mini - Software issues


Well-Known Forumite
Hi there,

I have a Mac Mini, model A1176 with some odd issues.

Upon booting it up to the desktop home screen, all is well. However when there is any attempt to open up a program or perform any function the system get stuck with the eternal pinwheel of death.

I have left the mac running for up to an hour to see if the processor was simply struggling to think about completing a task of opening a program, but alas nothing....

I think the only way to sort the issue is to reset, reformat and reinstall the iOS system which I believe is iOS Sierra? I

Can any one help me or advise on how I can achieve this please?

Cheers in advance

Studio Tan

Well-Known Forumite
Sierra is incredibly RAM hungry - is Mac mini A1176 around 2006 vintage ? If so I doubt there’d be enough capacity for the required extra RAM. Previous system El Kapitan is better and less hungry. But why not re-install the system you’re currently using ? Otherwise there are various other tricks you can try like resetting the ‘PRAM’ :
Shut down the computer.
  1. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  2. Turn on the computer
  3. Immediately press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys.
Or type in the symptoms on the Apple support discussion group for answers posted by the Apple community :


Well-Known Forumite
Thanks @Studio Tan sadly I don't have a copy of the original OS, and you are correct, it is of the 2006 vintage.

Will give a reset the PRAM and SMC and see if that cures the issue?



Well-Known Forumite
What were you running before Sierra? Did you recently update it? I’m genuinely surprised it can run any of the newer macOS versions but hey, Macs last a hell of a long time.

11 years for a mini PC may be pushing it though.


Well-Known Forumite
To be honest I'm not was purchased second hand and has been sat unused for the passed 3 years....booted it up the other day and would only load the desktop....try and click on anything and the pinwheel spins for eternity...I tried the PRAM and SMC reset and neither worked.

A little stuck now as what to do next bar re-formatting it, problem is I dont have the macOS to reload on to it :/

Ideas are all welcomed


Well-Known Forumite
Wife had a Mac Mini that she didn't get on with particularly and a few months ago she gave it to me. She had set herself up as the only account and by the time I got it she had forgotten her password (she was an IT teacher, what do you expect) so it was impossible to access it. No operating system disc so was in danger of becoming an expensive door stop. Stormfront Retail in central Telford charged £10 to re-install the os & restore it to factory condition.


Forum O. G.
The early Mini Macs were not 100% effective in stormy conditions.