Downgrading El Captain to 10.7?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jch02140, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. jch02140 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    #1
    Hi,

    My original Mac mini that shipped with 10.7 is having SMART problem now and need to be replaced. I am wondering if it is still possible to erase El Captain and reinstall 10.7 on the current Mac mini models?

    Best Regards,
     
  2. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #2
    The oldest operating system that can run on the current Mac Mini is 10.10. https://support.apple.com/HT204319#macmini
    If you have some older application that requires 10.7, you could just replace the disk in your existing Mini, but it's likely that your software will work in the newer versions of OS X. (there are exceptions to that).
     
  3. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #3
    To clarify, if the system has a SMART status saying something is bad, it's the disk (HDD or SSD) that's bad, not the system itself. Replacing the disk should take care if it.
     
  4. jch02140 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    #4
    Thank you for the help. I used the Time Machine to backup my Mac mini. Just wondering does the Time Machine backup the entire Mac system (everything from app installed, settings, documents, etc)?
     
  5. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #5
    Yes it completely back ups the entire system, then does hourly backups if set to automatic, or all the changes since the last backup if set to a manual backup. (Once off)
     
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #6
    Yes, so when you replace your drive, you can boot into the Time Machine volume on startup (hold Alt), and then format your new HDD/SSD through Disk Utility -- then Restore Time Machine to the new drive. It'll be exactly as you left it. :)
     
  7. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #7
    Time Machine should do everything necessary to get the system running as it was. However, I found out that it won't do certain system text files. The Time Machine backup for my 2012 Mini goes back to when I first purchased the Mini and still has space remaining (no backups have been deleted). It no longer contains the kernel panic files from when it was running Yosemite (it's there on my last clone before upgrading to El Capitan). I'm guessing that in upgrading to a new OS, it flags certain files to be removed from the backup. There are also ephemeral system files that are deleted upon shutdown that won't get backed up. Most people don't care about these files but if you do, then you should do a clone as well (I keep a clone of the last time I used specific versions of the OS - ML, Yosemite, etc.). I'm pretty certain that clones don't copy the ephemeral files either.
     

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