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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2009
Hi all :)

I have a late 2009 white unibody Macbook, and I have a question: is it possible to totally sweep the harddrive and do a fresh install of OSx mavericks or Yosemite? Originally the Macbook came with 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Original specs, didn't alter or upgrade components.

The reason I ask this, while working and surfing on the Mac is still possible starting up is taking quite a while and some apps take their time to start as well. Working with apps still goes fine, sometimes a bit of a lag. I think it is from upgrading 10.6 to 10.7 and 10.8 with apps and documents in place. So would I benefit from a fresh install? Or would I also need to bump up my memory to 4gb? Or is it better to save that money for a new Mac in the future? It still works good though.

Thanks in advance :)


macrumors newbie
Aug 16, 2014
I have the same mac as you with a 1tb 5400rpm hard drive and 4GB of RAM. I believe I have OS X 10.10 consumer beta 3 installed and I gotta tell you, it actually runs better than I expected. Apps do take a wee bit longer to launch, but it doesn't feel like much. There isn't any lag at all on my machine, But I do have 4GB of RAM. Since you have only 2GB of RAM, I advise to stay away from Yosemite at all costs until you can get that 4GB of RAM installed.


macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
OS releases have requirements pages. You can easily see if your Mac can do the release.

OS X Mavericks: System Requirements
Learn about the system requirements for OS X 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


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2009
Thank you :D

But how can I do a fresh install of Mavericks without installing Snow Leopard first, that originally came with my Macbook? Is that even possible?


macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2006
If you are suffering slow start-ups and apps lagging I would suggest replacing the hard disc before you install 10.10. It sounds as if the disc is failing and installing a new OS is about the worst thing you can do to a disc (constant writing to it for 30-45 minutes),

Upgrade the ram to at least 4GB and google Yosemite usb installer and follow those instructions to do a fresh install of Yosemite.
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