How to install amd64 in a 64bit CPU with 32bit EFI

particlefeever

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I have a Mac Mini mid 2007 with Debian 10 32 bit running just fine... but there is almost nothing to really work on it... 32 bit, despite my efforts, it's a dead architecture. So it's just to install a 64 OS or upgrade this one right? Well... This Mac Mini got no optical drive (I will try tu put one but is not guarantee it will work), so I have to boot from USB. I have tried a lot of different OSs with both architectures and the systems that will boot are:
  • Mac OS X Lion - works badly, will flood memory and stops in couple hours, besides, it's abandoned by Apple and everyone. But I keep it in a small partition, just in case.
  • Windows 7 32 bits - works good, but it's abandoned by Microsoft. Not reliable, not using right now. It's half abandoned by the market.
  • Debian 10 32 bits - works nice! It's almost totally abandoned by the market.
As I researched and discussed around the web, I have some paths to follow:
  • Upgrade this Debian to 64 bits - but there is low documentation about, not sure if this one will work due to the age: https://wiki.debian.org/Migrate32To64Bit, http://www.ewan.cc/?q=node/90 Many people doubt will work 100% or if will even work.
  • Try to make a custom bootable USB stick - no documentation for Debian, only for Ubuntu. But the start point is Ubuntu 32 bits that is not recognized either. There is a claim that is possible, but the optical media will be required. There is an old article in Ubuntu site and this one: Medium Article
  • Try to install in a new partition using this installation - not sure if it possible, I might try to make a clone of this partition to try some experiments and not lose the only OS is working right here.
Any ideas?
 


sp331yi

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Quite a find! Thanks, arochester, as I will email the referred page to a Mac-using friend of mine!
 

jglen490

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O.K., so the mid 2007 Mac mini had a Core 2 Duo 64 bit processor, which is the only way a 64 bit OS will run. Learn something every day, as I thought the Mac mini from that era only ran 32 bit :cool:
 

particlefeever

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O.K., so the mid 2007 Mac mini had a Core 2 Duo 64 bit processor, which is the only way a 64 bit OS will run. Learn something every day, as I thought the Mac mini from that era only ran 32 bit :cool:
In fact 64 bits OS won't run officially. I don't know why Apple did like this, but I suppose their wish was to make more with the little box. But the Intel GPU is really above expectations, plus the box was sell with 256MB RAM that barely could run Leopard, and the 5200 HDD was really slow. They did Snow Leopard that was one of the best OS ever that could make the box a real working tool, but the market was not interested in the hardware, almost no game will run. Than Lion came heavy and full of glitches, and than the hacks begin, not only Windows by bootcamp, but Linux, and changes in the poor hardware, more memory (than officially supported) and a SSD. But with Lion being such bad OS and newer OSs pure 64 bit not officially supporting the mini, it was over. I can say the box payed for itself during ten years I used it heavily, but now I am interested in to make work these old machines because I won't see they been drop it in the top of the huge pile of garbage we are creating in this planet. Being honest, a Mac Mini with 4GM RAM and 64 Bit OS is all most of people need to daily work, right?
 

particlefeever

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I tried those instructions. First I tried with Ubuntu, no luck. Maybe worked with version 14, I tried using Lubuntu 19 and 16 LTS. Than I realize I was already in the middle of the process with Debian, but got no luck yet. But it's kinda interesting, I am learning a bit about boot. Also my boot is a mess because of some trash of hybrid partition schema, I will have to fix it. Won't be easy, I will use boot-repair (don't know anything else) and it's complicated to install it because a lot of dependencies, I will create a live Debian 32 just for that - and save it for future need.

Let's move on!
 

particlefeever

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Just giving a feedback of the sate of things. I can't work all the time on this, have just some portion of the day, besides, my mind got stressed sometimes.
The point now is not what to do, but how to do. I am learning about boot and how Grub works. However, my PCs are not ready for the task, there is always something missing, this will make it difficult, if not impossible.
My next goal is to make a bootable ISO for BIOS booting to avoid some EFI limitations of the Mac Mini. I will try to pick the boot part of a Debian 32 bit install and mix it with an amd64 install, making the proper modification in grub.cfg so it will call the 64 bit stuff. I am now looking for the proper tools for that, the first boot code must be in the sector 0 etc... hope to have some news next week...

Let's rock!
 


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