Big Sur clean install can only see macOS base system

gera101

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Help. Mac mini (2014 on big sur) freezes when trying to login, crashes and shuts down. Trying to do a clean install can’t see my hard drive can only see macOS base system. Already tired Option, Command, P, and R to reset ram. Anyone any ideas what’s going on?? Waiting on new MBP to upgrade
 

EdwinG

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Hi and welcome to iMore.

From what I understand, you're in macOS Recovery and you chose Disk Utility.

By default, Disk Utility only shows volumes (e.g.: the container where macOS is installed on, which is a subdivision of the drive) and hides devices like your drive.

If you click on the View button at the top, and choose Show All Devices you should see the drive appear in the left sidebar. From there, you should be able to select and erase the drive (losing any remaining information on it).
Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 22.53.49.ong
Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 22.53.49.png
 
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gera101

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Thanks for the advice. Did it, nothing came up. So I pressed Shift-Option-Command-R to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. That seemed to work as of now. Was able to erase. Now trying to find to the hard drive to install macOS since I now have the folder with ?
 

gera101

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Just reconfirming. yeah I did what you mentioned in the picture. The hard drive still doesn’t appear. Just says Apple disk image media (3.22gb) and macOS base system (2.88gb)
 

EdwinG

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To be certain, can you send a picture of what you're seeing in Disk Utility?

I wish Apple still bundled their System Information utility with macOS Recovery, it would be very helpful right now.
 

EdwinG

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So that’s not a Big Sur recovery image, it’s much older. (Which helps me)

This said, it does not seem to see the drive.

Can you see if you have access to “System Information” or “System Profiler” in the main “Utilities” menu.

If so, open it and select SATA in the left sidebar. We should see the drive show up there.
 

gera101

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Yes indeed I went back from Big Sur to Yosemite to make it “easier”. No lucky on finding the hard drive still, and can’t click system information under utilities as you mentioned or to login into my Mac (As seen in picture, grayed out not clickable).(never changed anything hardware wise on this Mac, just one morning couldn’t login) Any other ideas??
 

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EdwinG

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It's greyed out because you're in Disk Utility.

However, I have different approach that might be easier :)

Restart your computer, and before the power-on chime sounds start pressing "D". Keep pressing it until the screen either turns blue, or you have a "Checking your Mac" message.
That's Apple's diagnostic tool. It should pick up any issues with the original hardware.
 

gera101

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Cool meant not clickable (not gray). Pressed D says “No issues found Reference Code: ADP000”. So basically means any problems are possibly Software related then. Lol
 

EdwinG

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Okay, let's do one last thing. I'm running out of ideas.

Start the macOS Yosemite recovery disk, go into the "Utilities" menu and choose "Terminal". Do not run Disk Utility. Please provide pictures of those, to see what we have found :)

Once you are in the terminal, run the following commands (type and press Enter):
system_profiler SPSerialATADataType

This one will list all the hard drives your computer has. It should result in a similar output to this (note, I had to run a command more aligned with my computer which has an NVMe Drive):
Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 19.43.03.png


diskutil list

This one will list all volumes, with no filtering, that your system has found.

The output will be similar to this:
Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 19.44.04.png
 
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EdwinG

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(Thanks got busy this week)
Just reporting back my results

No worries for the delay.

Do you see anything underneath the “Intel 8 Series Chipset” entry, similar to how you have “Unknown” under “Apple SSD Controller”?
 
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EdwinG

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So, in the two pictures of system_profiler, I don’t see a hard drive.

I’m suspecting it could be the “Unknown” device.

It could very well be that your drive stopped functioning (aka died).
 

gera101

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Thanks for the help, ima wait to see what Apple releases this 2021 summer/fall (meanwhile will use a surface and borrow an older Mac) anything I should do to disassociate my apple id from this Mac mini?? (Since drive died)
 

EdwinG

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Of course, since the drive no longer works, it is difficult to retrieve or modify data on it. A very determined person might be able to, but you need highly specialized tools, and even then, it would be a stretch.

On Apple’s servers, you might want to mark it for erasing it from your account on https://iCloud.com, just in case.
Choose “Find iPhone”, the click the “All Devices” at the top and select the MacMini. Then, you should have a “Erase Mac” choice.