Mac mini ----> Windows Kodi HTPC

Hi All,

Recently I was given a 2011 Mac Mini. I thought it would make a good HTPC/Media player in the lounge room that I could stream Kayo sports on from a media centre interface.

So after a number of days looking at the options and as I was familiar with Kodi on Windows I decided to turn the Mac Mini into a native Windows machine that runs Kodi Mediacentre.

This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be as there were a number of roadblocks on this machine.

So this is how I did it:

Installing Windows (ONLY- no OSX) Kodi without MacOS on Mac Mini 2011 without BOOTCAMP on a blank hard drive

[Edit: New users ca only put one image in a post, two links- see the .pdf for the full How To]

Things you need:

  1. Mac Mini 2011
  2. 16 gb USB thumbdrive
  3. Blank hard drive
  4. A Windows OS boot disc or .iso Link
  5. Rufus disc utility Windows only Link
  6. Apples Bootcamp drivers for Windows 8 https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1721?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
  7. Torx 8 tool
  8. Torx 6 tool

Direcions:

Part 1: Remove existing hard drive:

Follow EVERY step in this video.

WARNING: to get the hard drive to come out you will need to slide the logic board out about 1 cm. If you do not unplug the fan cable and IR cable there is a risk that you could rip the cables or the headers on th logic board- so you MUST unplug those cables

Do not install the new hard drive yet until it has formatted as per Part 3

Part 2: Prepare a Windows bootable usb thumb drive

Start Rufus and set it up like this ( it uses a Windows 10 iso)

I don’t know why but if you don’t set it up like this you will get a black screen when you install the Apples Intel video drivers inside windows. So this is a MUST

Also for me Windows Disk Management and Diskpart would not partition my drive to 	with MBR.

Copy the Apple Bootcamp zip file to the USB thumbdrive and unzip it.

Part 3 Format the new drive in windows using rufus as per below

Image

The device is the name of your hard drive

Part 4.

Install the newly formatted drive inside the Macmini as per the video

Plug in the USB thumbdrive

Start up the Macmini and hold the R Alt ( if you are using a Windows Keyboard) or R Option key on Mac Keyboard.

Start the Macmini HOLDING the R Alt/Option key until a screen with two Windows drives shows up. One will be the blank hard drive the other the Windows Boot USB thumdrive. You should select the Windows Boot USB thumbdrive- this was the right side drive on my screen.

Part 5 Install Windows

As the windows install proceeds you will reach the Windows hard driive format/partitioning utility. Select your hard drive that you will install Windows on and create a new partition and format format it. Follow the Windows Installation. Select to Do No Install Windows Updates automatically. NEVER INSTALL WINDOWS HARDWARE DRIVERS THAT ARE NOT FROM APPLE

Part 5 Install Apples bootcamp drivers

When you Windows desktop is ready, Open the Boot USB and find the Bootcamp folder. Double click on the install file and allow the Apple Drivers to be installed. Windows will reboot several times and you may see a black screen for a short period.

Part 6 Fix HDMI audio.

Audio over HDMI did not work for me

I fixed it by :

Device Manager–> Audio–> Intel Display Audio–>Disable–> Re boot.

Part 7 Longish boot white screen

Turns out all I needed to do was go into the windows bootcamp control panel, click the startup disk, and click apply. My white screen delay went from ~20-30 Seconds to 5 seconds.

Windows kodi on macmini.pdf (154.4 KB)

Wecome to the community!

These machines are excellent for HTPC’s with everything onboard in one neat little package. I used to run one with OSX + Kodi for a long time controlling it with a Logitech remote. It did work most of the time, but there were odd issues occassionally.

I’ve since moved to an Apple TV 4 (then onto the ATV4 4K) which provides so much more flexability in a much more stable way. You can use MrMC which is based on Kodi if that’s what you like, or move to Plex (which is what I ended up doing after trying other solutions).

You can use the Mac Mini as a NAS to store videos, MrMC relies on the AppleTV to locally transcode, Plex (seems to) mostly transcode on the ATV but can and will do things at the Plex Server level. Pretty much all streaming apps (including Kayo) have ATV apps for download.

If you want to tinker, a HTPC is very flexible and fun to play with. If you just want it to work, ATV4 all the way!

Thank you The_Hawk

Thank you for telling me about MrMC. I have a large MKV library of bluray rips of discs I own- will playbackt work on the AT4?

I didn’t realize Kayo was on AT 4 (d’oh) which with Netflix the main streaming use for my HPTC.

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I’ve never really tried on MrMC, but Plex plays most of my content locally on the ATV, I assume MrMC would also do that.

I’m not sure if the price has gone down on the ATV HD’s, they are listed at $209 from Apple direct, but plenty of people on Gumtree and eBay are asking more than that. I’ve only ever bought the 32GB version which has never once been an issue since you don’t store anything on it. Even the 4K version is still the same price I paid in July last year so it’s just eBay being dumb apparently :stuck_out_tongue:

While these units go on a shelf and never get touched which makes most second hand units in pretty good nic, I wouldn’t want to pay any more than $150 for a second hand one, anything more and you might as well buy new.