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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:16 AM   #1
seveej
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New computer, older OS ?

This may have been covered, but I did not find a thread... So here goes:

I know, that the practice with Apple is that you usually cannot install an operating system version, which is older than the OS the computer came preinstalled with.

What I do not know, is the actual mechanism how Apple enforces this, and I would like someone to enlighten me.

I've surmised, that the OS installer disk (at an early stage) checks whether the machine is "allowed", and I assume this can be circumvented somehow...
I also assume that the actual problem may be more related with drivers, but I still assume that a cunning hacker (not me) could recreate the OS installer so that the hardware support would/could be added

Are there any other caveats? So say I want to buy a new Mac, but that I'll definitely need Rosetta (necessitating leopard or snow leopard), would it be possible to hack a installer, which would allow installing say 10.6 on the new hardware?

And BTW: I'm fully cognizant of that the eula would not sanction this, but frankly do not care, so spare me the lecture.

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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:25 AM   #2
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Not possible. If you need 10.6 you're better off buying a Mac that will support it.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:30 AM   #3
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Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard does not contain drivers for 2012 Macs or the 2011 MacBook Air's Thunderbolt chip for example, that is how Apple "enforces" you to buy an older Mac if you want to use a better OS.

If a Mac for example was released with 10.7.4, then one can only either install that special build of 10.7.4 onto that Mac or 10.7.5.

There are two exceptions though, the late 2011 MBPs can still run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, but only because 10.6.5 contains drivers for that Mac, the same goes for the Mac mini from 2011.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by seveej View Post
What I do not know, is the actual mechanism how Apple enforces this, and I would like someone to enlighten me.
When they wrote Leopard, they couldn't foresee Retina Displays, Thunderbolt, USB3 and all the latest hardware components that go into a 2012 Mac.

The OS needs to have the drivers that relate to the newer hardware. It's not Apple being sneaky and forcing you into anything.

Given that, what will you need Rosetta for? Perhaps there's an alternative application that is up-to-date which can work, instead of relying on some older software.

My experience (switching from 68000 to PPC, from OS 9 to OS X, from PPC to Intel) is that holding onto to outdated apps is only a temporary measure. If your hardware gets updated, then you should be prepared to get your software updated and discard anything that doesn't work.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by seveej View Post
...
Are there any other caveats? So say I want to buy a new Mac, but that I'll definitely need Rosetta (necessitating leopard or snow leopard), would it be possible to hack a installer, which would allow installing say 10.6 on the new hardware?
...
Device drivers wouldn't be available. That includes whatever is needed for the processor support chips. This covers USB 3.0, Graphics/Display, Thunderbolt and who knows what else is difference enough to have issues.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard does not contain drivers for 2012 Macs or the 2011 MacBook Air's Thunderbolt chip for example, that is how Apple "enforces" you to buy an older Mac if you want to use a better OS.
The thing I do not understand is, whether there really is such a huge difference between say Windows or Linux on one side and MacOS on the other. I can (with 99% probability) buy any new desktop PC, install an outdated OS (say WindowsXP), and then install the drivers.
I appreciate that Apple does not force me to play with drivers, but OTOH, why should the drivers not be available?

Also (in operating systems I'm not well-versed) what actually hinders someone from copying the drivers from a 10.7 release onto a 10.6. installation?

BTW, 10.6.8 Supports the first thunderbolt-enabled macs, but as we all know you cannot get 10.6.8 from apple, as apple only sells 10.6.3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benwiggy View Post
The OS needs to have the drivers that relate to the newer hardware. It's not Apple being sneaky and forcing you into anything.
Oh come on. Considering that Apple has the benefit of a very limited set of components it needs to produce drivers for, It should not be a big problem of releasing the drivers through Software Update (or a similar system).

The fact is that Apple is sneaky and is forcing users to adopt new systems - a fact which would not create problems if they would not simultanously stop supporting a lot of systems (Rosetta being only one of the things which were scrapped at 10.6->10.7).

Quote:
Originally Posted by benwiggy View Post
Given that, what will you need Rosetta for? Perhaps there's an alternative application that is up-to-date which can work, instead of relying on some older software.

My experience (switching from 68000 to PPC, from OS 9 to OS X, from PPC to Intel) is that holding onto to outdated apps is only a temporary measure. If your hardware gets updated, then you should be prepared to get your software updated and discard anything that doesn't work.
Well, in this specific case it's an old app I myself were part of creating, and which I need to continue supporting until 2015... My current approach is to have a Virtual (Parallels) version of 10.5 Server on my main workhorse - an approach which I hope I need not say to be utter madness.
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Last edited by seveej; Jan 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM. Reason: stilistics...
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by seveej View Post
Oh come on. Considering that Apple has the benefit of a very limited set of components it needs to produce drivers for, It should not be a big problem of releasing the drivers through Software Update (or a similar system).
What? Apple should continually produce updates for Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and so on to work with all the Macs that will ever be produced in the future?
In terms of resources, it's just not worth the investment. The market for downgraders is tiny. Apple should employ people for this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seveej View Post
The fact is that Apple is sneaky and is forcing users to adopt new systems - a fact which would not create problems if they would not simultanously stop supporting a lot of systems (Rosetta being only one of the things which were scrapped at 10.6->10.7).
Apple clearly marks APIs in its Developer Documentation as deprecated. It does this for several OS versions, and then if people still haven't got the message, it pulls the plug. Astonishingly, companies like Intego and FontLab were still selling PPC-only code six years after Intel Macs were introduced.
Apple has to draw a line somewhere. Should they still support Mac OS 7 apps for the Motorola 68000? Of course not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seveej View Post
Well, in this specific case it's an old app I myself were part of creating, and which I need to continue supporting until 2015... My current approach is to have a Virtual (Parallels) version of 10.5 Server on my main workhorse - an approach which I hope I need not say to be utter madness.
No chance of recompiling it? Where's the code?
And no alternative product on the market or that could possible be written?

If it's only till 2015, then why not just buy a second-hard Mac? There are plenty of good machines out there that will run Snow Leopard and still be going well for the next three years or more.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 01:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwiggy View Post
What? Apple should continually produce updates for Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and so on to work with all the Macs that will ever be produced in the future?
In terms of resources, it's just not worth the investment. The market for downgraders is tiny. Apple should employ people for this?
IMO, apple should either support older operating systems on newer machines or they shoud stop downgrading their operating system. The question whether the market for downgraders is small is debatable. There is clearly a lot of people out there who do not want to go past SL, see
http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...ing_Apple_s_XP

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No chance of recompiling it? Where's the code?
And no alternative product on the market or that could possible be written?

If it's only till 2015, then why not just buy a second-hard Mac? There are plenty of good machines out there that will run Snow Leopard and still be going well for the next three years or more.
The system is a custom made production management system. One client company, seven sites, around 3000 computers. Originally started in 1994 it runs on windows machines and ppc macs (and intels until 10.6). It is some hundreds of thousands of lines of code, spread out over a number of languages (clientside and serverside) and a number of interface technologies. If you'd draw a diagram it would not be pretty, but then again, custom software which adopts to changing needs of the user need not be neat, it just needs to work. And yes, it does work. The problem is that the parts of code which are PPC-only are third party commercial modules, and thus not easy to upgrade.

A new version is in the works, but is not expected to be ready until late 2014 (the project is estimated at 5,5 man-years), but it might take longer.

Until the new system is up and running i need to keep supporting the client side systems for macs, meaning that I need a system which either does ppc or knows ppc. I could get one more PowerBook (the ones I'm currently managing are used by my father, mother and mother-in-law), but then I'd need to travel (which I do weekly) with multiple machines. As I said, I'm currently handling it by running a virtual leopard server when needed, but that frankly is an exercise in patience. I would much rather be able to multiboot or run my MBP with the operating system it was supposed to have (I expressly made sure I got a version preinstalled with 10.6, alas it was not).

So yes, maybe this is a pet peeve for me but OTOH, neither is it solely my problem nor without some objective merit. (I could go on to write volumes about how OSX, IMNSHO has taken a radical turn for the worst with all these iOS influences)
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 02:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by seveej View Post
I know, that the practice with Apple is that you usually cannot install an operating system version, which is older than the OS the computer came preinstalled with.

What I do not know, is the actual mechanism how Apple enforces this, and I would like someone to enlighten me.
while thanking the helpful would who have contributed so far, I'd like to focus the discussion on the main point of my original post (see bold).

We know that the installers do some sort of hardware check, and we also know that that check can be bypasses/circumvented (e.g. Xpostfacto), when installing newer operating systems on really old hardware.

I've also seen a working installer .dmg of universal tiger (the one which was ony shipped with the first intel macs) with support for all macs up until that date (this was late 2009) and the admin who showed it said he had circumvented the hardware check and added the drivers of newer machines (assumedly from newer installers) to the installer, but when I tried to pry for details on how, he just grinned and talked about trade secrets.

So I have reason to assume that it can be done, at least to some point (whether we could get thunderbolt support in tiger is beside the point), and would have liked to hear the opinions and hints of esteemed macrumors members.

RGDS,
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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Follow-up question: I assume, the question I am asking is such, that I might get some sensible answers on a hackintosh forum. Can anyone recommend a suitable starting place?

RGDS,
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 03:30 PM   #11
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Follow-up question: I assume, the question I am asking is such, that I might get some sensible answers on a hackintosh forum. Can anyone recommend a suitable starting place?

RGDS,
Have you tried the following Hackintosh specific fora and websites yet?
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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BTW, 10.6.8 Supports the first thunderbolt-enabled macs, but as we all know you cannot get 10.6.8 from apple, as apple only sells 10.6.3.
By the way, 10.6.8 only supports the dual channel Thunderbolt chip found in 2011 Macbook Pros and 2011 Mac Minis. It does not support the single channel chip in 2011 Airs or any newer Thunderbolt chip like those used in the 2012 iMacs or 2012 Minis.
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 06:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by seveej View Post
This may have been covered, but I did not find a thread... So here goes: I know, that the practice with Apple is that you usually cannot install an operating system version, which is older than the OS the computer came preinstalled with. What I do not know, is the actual mechanism how Apple enforces this, and I would like someone to enlighten me.
Apple does not enforce this. Apple supports certain processors in the OS X kernel and kernel extensions (power management extensions, for example). Snow Leopard for example, does not “know” what the Ivy Bridge or Haswell processors supports. That means, no power management support for these processors (probably no Turbo Boost & HT) and no USB 3.0 support. Linux and Windows have usually the same problems, so it is not a problem of OS X.
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 12:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard does not contain drivers for 2012 Macs or the 2011 MacBook Air's Thunderbolt chip for example, that is how Apple "enforces" you to buy an older Mac if you want to use a better OS.

If a Mac for example was released with 10.7.4, then one can only either install that special build of 10.7.4 onto that Mac or 10.7.5.

There are two exceptions though, the late 2011 MBPs can still run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, but only because 10.6.5 contains drivers for that Mac, the same goes for the Mac mini from 2011.
I would appreciate it very much if you would direct me to instructions for installing Snow Leopard on a 2011 Mac Mini. If possible, I'd like to put it on the 2011 i7 quad core server Mini, though I don't need to have the server version of 10.6. I have the family pack disc of 10.6.3, and am currently running 10.6.8 on my 2010 Core 2 Duo Mini. I'd love to have the greater speed of the i7 quad core for running Photoshop CS4, which does not like 10.7 or 10.8. I'm not an iOS fan either...
Thanks!
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 06:47 AM   #15
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I would appreciate it very much if you would direct me to instructions for installing Snow Leopard on a 2011 Mac Mini. If possible, I'd like to put it on the 2011 i7 quad core server Mini, though I don't need to have the server version of 10.6. I have the family pack disc of 10.6.3, and am currently running 10.6.8 on my 2010 Core 2 Duo Mini. I'd love to have the greater speed of the i7 quad core for running Photoshop CS4, which does not like 10.7 or 10.8. I'm not an iOS fan either...
Thanks!
I have the same Mini & would love to do the same, mostly for running Rosetta-reliant software, games included. However, one needs access to another Intel Mac, which I didn't have. Eventually, I abandoned the idea. This previous thread covers the gist of a SL installation on a 2011 Mini:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1202095
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 10:45 AM   #16
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"Follow-up question: I assume, the question I am asking is such, that I might get some sensible answers on a hackintosh forum. Can anyone recommend a suitable starting place?"

You're going to get pretty much the same answers there as here.

If you have a newer Mac, you cannot run older iterations of the Mac OS on it.

It's really that simple….

(exception: it _may_ be possible to run something under _emulation_, as one can use SheepShaver to run the Classic OS while booted on OS X. But to BOOT to an older system -- no….)
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 11:19 AM   #17
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I have the same Mini & would love to do the same, mostly for running Rosetta-reliant software, games included. However, one needs access to another Intel Mac, which I didn't have. Eventually, I abandoned the idea. This previous thread covers the gist of a SL installation on a 2011 Mini:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1202095
Thank you very much!

I'm going to have to study that thread carefully to make sure that I understand why some people get great results and some have problems.
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 12:09 PM   #18
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Thank you very much!

I'm going to have to study that thread carefully to make sure that I understand why some people get great results and some have problems.
You're welcome & GL! Needless to say, but just in case, also be sure to back up all of your important work before you begin. As you point out, for some people the process turns out far more convoluted than it is for others.

BTW. I'm genuinely interested in how this works out for you, so please consider updating the thread later as time permits. Regards.
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