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HDD of my Mac Mini (2011) died. I wanted to install Ubuntu on it -- single boot from a USB. So, I replaced the HDD with a working disk and created a bootable USB drive as mentioned here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-ubuntu

When I boot the machine, it waits about 30 seconds to show "try Ubuntu", "Install Ubuntu" menu. No matter what I select, the screen goes black to never come back.

Can someone tell me how to get around this issue?

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Sounds like hardware problem. Are you sure you plugged EVERYTHING back in when you replaced the HDD? You computer might overheat if you forgot to plug in any cooling fan, and since computers have overheat halt, it shuts itself down so heat won't cause any damage.

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