How to force "old" Leopard to install new iMac drivers?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by apricum, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. apricum macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    I am referring to my problem description posted in this thread and was adviced to post part of my problem here to get the attention of the OSX experts who might know how the updates are delivered.

    My problem is that my new iMac (2,93 GHz 4 GByte RAM, ATI Radeon 4850) is supposed to work with an older installation of Leopard (10.5.6, MBP dump, no retail, all updates included). Reason: I want to use an external drive with all applications and documents on different Macs. It worked on the MBP and an older iMac perfectly.

    Unfortunately, the hardware of the new iMac is not perfectly supported by my "older" Leopard OS yet. Sleep does not work, dimming of backlight does not work and the graphics card is stuttering (screen saver, HD video etc.).

    It looks like there are some drivers missing. How can I ensure the upcoming Leopard 10.5.7 update to deliver the missing drivers? Will it deliver new drivers at all? Can I influence the update process? Or do I have to expect it to deliver the MBP update files (only) even when I connect the hard drive with my iMac? I have no clue how updates work. Until today, I hit the update button and was fine.

    If it can help sorting things out, I add the recent Leopard build numbers for both my MBP Leopard and my iMac Leopard installation, both with all available updates, fixes etc. installed:

    - Leopard 10.5.6, Build 9G55 ("old" Leopard = MBP OEM dump with problems)
    - Leopard 10.5.6, Build 9G3610 ("new" iMac pre-installed OS working ok)

    Thanks for your comments and thoughts!
  2. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Make a back up first (of the "old" working version of Leopard), in case the following creates problems.

    Connect the "old" Leopard disk to the new machine, booting from it. Apply the COMBO 10.5.6 update from - see if that fixes the problem (it doesn't matter what machine the drive was on when you download the combo update). Your prior updates may have been incremental updates and may not have included drivers you didn't need on the machine you were on when you applied the updates.

    [Just curious - is the "old iMac" an Intel machine also?]
  3. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oh, that sounds promising. I cannot do it right away, have to organize another backup medium first.

    Yes, the old machine is Intel-based, as well, but it is not an iMac but a MacBook Pro. The external HDD/OS works on an older (Intel) iMac flawlessly but not on the new early 2009 one.
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You can look for the ATI drivers and copy them to the external drive, likely you will miss some "other" stuff required for this machine.

    You can try installing the restore DVDs OS onto the drive using archive and install.

    You can wait for OS update 10.5.7 ...

    While your new machine is working with 10.5.6, it is working with an updated version of this OS that isn't available for public download from Apple ... common problem when a new machine with new stuff appears after the last OS update.
  5. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Hi Sun Baked,

    so you suggest to wait for the 10.5.7 update then? Should I download the complete package manually as BobZune described?

    I have too poor understanding of how Mac works under the hood to do some copy-pasting on my own so I don't think this would be a good idea.
    I think I cannot follow you here. Could you be so kind and explain this thought a bit or direct me to a source to read on my own, please? Thank you!
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yes and yes. This was suggested because there's a much better chance that it will work properly with the 10.5.7 combo update than with the 10.5.6 one, since by definition your machine shipped after the 10.5.6 update (hence the custom version), while by definition the 10.5.7 combo update will include all files updated to that point, including ones specific to your system.

    The Combo updates are designed to be universal, so that you can download once and install it on a variety of machines.

    I've never tried what you're wanting to do without having full OS install discs that will boot the newer computer (in my case going from 10.2 on a G4 to 10.3 on a G5); I presume that 10.5.7 combo updater will include all files that didn't exist in 10.5.6 standard, including any specific to your machine, but it is theoretically possible that if files in the special install of 10.5.6 aren't going to be updated yet, that they won't be in the 10.5.7 combo updater, in which case you'd have issues until 10.6. I doubt this, though, as Apple is pretty good about trying to keep OS installs consistent across everything.
  7. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Ok, thank you for the detailed answer. I will follow your advice, wait for 10.5.7 and use the combo update file.

    The external disc usage is very handy in my daily workflow so it has to work somehow. It is something one cannot do with Windows (think of all the activations one would have to do all the time) so it is great that Apple lets us boot from external drives. Unfortunately, they don't support it officially and point to forums (like this) instead.

    Hopefully, Apple will release the update soon and it will work as you suggest. I know no one can guarantee anything but I appreciate your help, shared thoughts and effort very much :).
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002

    It is called the USERS MANUAL .... -- search for archive and install.

    Of course choose archive and install.

    Edit: And it is still a good idea to make sure you preserve all your DATA and backup somewhere else in case you nuke the data by choosing the wrong install choice.
  9. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks for the heads up. For my defence, I don't use an English version of Mac OS and have to translate tech terms as good as possible. Now I know what you mean.

    I am not sure if this would be the workaround of preferred choice but I will consider it if 10.5.7 won't work. Thanks again.
  10. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Hello my friends,

    I feel the strong desire to thank you all for your help. I have installed the combo update yesterday and all my problems are gone. Sleep mode works, backlight adjustment works, I can play DVDs now (didn't work before due to missing quartz extreme) and the new iMac is overall faster now. The best: your assumption was correct. I got the newer, missing early 2009 iMac/ATI drivers additionally to the older ones I need for my MBP with nVidia GPU. Both systems - iMac and MBP work like a charme with the very same OS from USB again.

    I am such a happy camper. And I am glad I did not send the iMac back. It's a great machine now :).

    Thanks again for the constructive help. It is very appreciated. I will recommend this community.

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