Download new OS on old MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Multifaceted, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Multifaceted macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2014
    I have a mid-2007 Macbook. I bought a copy of Mountain Lion and wanted to download it for use with another computer but the system will not let me. It says, "We could not complete your purchase. OS X Mountain Lion is not compatible with this computer."

    I want to use it with **ANOTHER** computer! Why did it let me pay them if I couldn't download it!? Obviously, I can't download it from the other computer or I would. Is there any way to bypass the check so I can download the installer? I know that it is incompatible with my Macbook and I have no intentions of trying to install it onto it.

    I paid for it, I should be able to download it from any computer I want, compatible or not!

    Please help, if you can. Can it be done, or should I be looking for other sources?
  2. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Try holding Option while clicking on the Download button.
  3. MCAsan, Aug 23, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014

    MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Every OS release has minimum requirements. If you pick an OS from the App Store the OS is not delivered to your Downloads folder as a large dng file. It is delivered and executed. So if the receiving Mac is not within the minimum requirements, no download. If you want to the OS on another Mac, use the other Mac and your Apple ID to download and install on the OS.

    Here are the requirements for Mountain Lion.

    OS X Mountain Lion system requirements
    To install Mountain Lion, you need one of these Macs:

    iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
    MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
    MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
    MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
    Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
    Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
    Xserve (Early 2009)

    Your Mac needs:

    OS X v10.6.8 or OS X Lion already installed
    2 GB or more of memory
    8 GB or more of available space

    Here are the requirements for Mavericks.

    To install Mavericks, you need one of these Macs:

    iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
    MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
    MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later),
    MacBook Pro (15-inch or 17-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later)
    MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
    Mac mini (Early 2009 or later)
    Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
    Xserve (Early 2009)
    Your Mac also needs:

    OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard v10.6.8 already installed
    2 GB or more of memory
    8 GB or more of available space
  4. Multifaceted, Aug 23, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014

    Multifaceted thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2014
    Are there no other options?

    @nemal: I already tried holding option; it didn't work, sadly.

    @mcasan: your reply is very condescending. I know this information already. So, I don't care, it should download to the apps directory and execute just like normal and THEN tell it it's incompatible. Or it should tell me it's incompatible and ask if I still want to download the file. Heck after that it wouldn't need to execute. And, gee, why the hell haven't I tried downloading it with the other computer? Oh wait! I clearly tell you in my post that this isn't an option.

    My grief with all of this is that I wanted to get the operating system the right way. So, I went to Apple, saw that they wanted $20.00 for it and gladly paid it for the operating system I needed. I went through the rigmarole of buying it and waiting nearly two days to get the email with the PDF, putting in the password from that other email just so I could get the redeem code, and then doing the redemption process. All from the selfsame Macbook, that, just as I was going to download said I couldn't. At nowhere in my trek through this idiocy did it say that I wouldn't be able to get the thing for what I paid. Only after I jumped through the hoops like a good circus tiger did they tell me there was nothing on which to land on the other side. If they had said it right up front, I wouldn't have gone through it in the first place. But once I have paid for it, I should be able to download the thing anywhere I am and for any reason; on any computer or operating system. Then, have the installer itself tell me I can't use it on that system or architecture. At least I would receive the object for which I paid. I liken it to my buying an xbox game when all I have is a PlayStation. The clerk didn't take my money for the xbox game and then stop me from taking the xbox game home with me because of the incompatibility. I still have the xbox disc, even if it is useless to me. The same should apply here.

    And thanks but if I wanted the system specs for the operating systems I would have asked Google for them. And why did you feel the need to include Mavericks, as well? Again, I clearly stated this was concerning Mountain Lion. And if you were going to copy and paste the specs, which you did, why did you link to the articles? Couldn't you have just included the links? Nah, that wouldn't have been nearly as pretentious, would it?

    Please, take a moment, read a post, and try to answer the questions asked. And try to not be so condescending with that reply, next time, mmkay, friend?
  5. logana macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
    I think we are wondering why you would pay for Mountain Lion rather than get Mavericks for free ?

    The system requirements are exactly the same and at least it would not have cost you anything to find out you cannot download it...

    Is there a reason why you cannot download it to the Mac it is intended for ?

    Or is the "other" computer not a Mac ?
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    What you are experiencing with the App Store is completely normal.
    I have Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks as Purchased Apps list in App Store.
    I have an older MacBook that will boot to Lion (nothing newer), and a mini that has a minimum of Mountain Lion.
    I can download Lion on the MacBook, but not on the mini.
    I can download Mountain Lion on the mini, but not Lion.
    I purchased both Mountain Lion, and Lion on the MacBook, but could only download Lion.
    So, you need a Mac that will boot to Mountain Lion to download the installer for Mountain Lion. You sign in to the App Store, and download Mountain Lion. It will show up on other Macs, if you sign in with your AppleID. You don't need to purchase it again, but you can't download on a Mac that can't boot to the system.
    I have heard that you could run Snow Leopard under a VM, and download on hardware that won't boot Mountain Lion, as the server assumes the system is valid (I think). I've not tried the VM method (I don't need to)

    All this assumes that your "other" computer does not have OS X installed, but will run Mountain Lion. You COULD install Snow Leopard, or Lion on that newer Mac, then sign in to the App Store, and download Mountain Lion.
    You COULD also use someone else's Mountain Lion-compatible Mac, again, by signing in to the AppStore under your AppleID. Download, but quit the installer, as you don't want to install there. Copy to a portable drive of some kind. Run the installer on your chosen Mac - and there you are!
  7. Multifaceted thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2014
    Yeah, that made me mad too when I found out. I got two Macs, first the little MacBook I'm using now which was a gift from a friend after he upgraded.

    The second is a desktop Mac all-in-one deal I bought off eBay. This is the "other" computer I was referencing although I do have a couple throwaway Dells and my main which is an Asus. I'm going to try and Hackintosh one of those later when I get a day off from work.

    The Mac from eBay came with Mountain Lion on it. Since these two Macs are my first foray into the Mac world (I'm wanting to use them to code for iPhone but my little MacBook can't install xCode which requires Mountain Lion; hence the eBay Purchase), I didn't know one cost $20 and the other was free until it was too late. The desktop Mac boots to a crossed circle. The guy I got it from said simply, just reinstall Mountain Lion. This is when I went and bought it and the beginning of my current frustration with the incompatibility issue.

    When my friend gave me my MacBook he told me it couldn't be upgraded any farther but he failed to mention that I couldn't even download the latest OS I paid for with it.

    This stopped being about fixing the other computer some time ago. It's just frustrating.

    I didn't consider this potential solution. It would be a few more hoops to jump through but it should work. I just got hung up on the not-being-able-to-get-what-I-paid-for bit that I really stopped looking for a solution. I thank you.

    Does anyone know what would caused the slashed circle boot screen?

    Also, I must say that I've been a Windows and Linux user my whole life but I really do like the Mac OS a heck of a lot more than I thought I would. I just wish little things like this didn't exist.
  8. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    The slashed circle (prohibited sign) usually means that the wrong OS X version is installed, or that the installed system is either corrupted, or an incomplete install for some reason. If Mountain Lion is the system on that Mac, then boot to the the Recovery system (Restart, holding Command-R). You will boot to a menu with several choices - Disk Utility, Reinstall OS X, some others. Reinstall OS X, which means that you have to be connected to the internet. A simple ethernet will do it.

    If that doesn't do anything for you, the system still may be incorrectly installed, preventing the Recovery system.

    Tell us which Mac you have - processor, how much RAM memory is installed, screen size, year - whatever info you want to provide.

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