New iMac+ATI 4850 - problem with "old" Leopard installation

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

  1. apricum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    #1
    Hi there,

    this is my first posting but I am desperate and need some help Apple could not provide. Here is my situation:

    - new iMac 9,1 2,93 GHz, 4 GByte, ATI Radeon 4850
    - pre-installed OS: Leopard 10.5.6

    I have access to a MBP and an older iMac. The MBP had a defective logic board some months ago so I decided to copy its content (after repair) to an external hard drive. I used this hard drive as my primary OS and used it with the MBP or iMac and did have the same data all the time - excellent time-saver for me.

    Now the new iMac was shipped yesterday. I tried to boot it from the very same external hard drive as well. It worked but there are some annoying facts I need some help to deal with:

    • I cannot activate sleep mode with the new iMac
    • the graphics card seems not to work well: stuttering screen saver, slow high definition video playback, slow spaces etc.
    • I cannot dim the monitor's backlight with F1/F2 keys nor the monitor setup

    All these problems disappear when I boot from the internal HDD but that is not an option for me. It looks like the "old" Leopard installations lacks of some drivers. Is there a way to add them, is there another solution or will an update of Leopard 10.5.7 - at least most likely - solve the problem?

    Apple support did not feel the need to help for "exotic configurations". I was told a fresh installation of a retail Leopard copy on an external hard drive COULD work (no guarantee) but it would take me too much time to re-configure and I don't feel the desire to set up my system fresh and new like in old Windows days. So my hope rests in your hands. Any advice is welcome.

    Thanks for reading this long posting.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Why you need to boot from external? You can copy all files to internal too. And yes, 10.5.6 is the only OS X which has drivers for 4850. You have to update for that
     
  3. Tom Dahl macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    Massachusetts USA
    #3
    Presumably so that he can continue to swap back and forth between the laptop and desktop, using the same software environment (O/S, documents, applications, etc.) via moving the external hard drive between machines.
     
  4. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #4
    It's a bit much to expect that an old OS installation is going to work with brand new hardware including a brand new video board.

    Update the OS X installation on the external drive to the latest with all updates and see if it will then work with the iMac.
     
  5. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2009
    #5
    Exactly that is the point.
    Sorry that I did not mention it above. The OS X installation on the external drive is up-to-date. It is 10.5.6 with all security and software updates available. And still - no go :(.
     
  6. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #6
    It sounds as though the iMac has some custom drivers or bits of 10.5.7 in it to get the ATI card to work. You will probably have to wait for 10.5.7 to ship in the next few weeks and update to it before you will be able to make your 10.5.6 external drive work with the new Mac.
     
  7. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2009
    #7
    That sounds very promising for me. The only thing scaring me is why does Apple support don't point out the coming 10.5.7 update? The support staff recommended to buy a retail Leopard copy to get access to all available drivers.

    So you think 10.5.7 would most likely solve all the issues? I have to decide within two weeks to keep the new iMac or not.
     
  8. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #8
    I can't say for sure because I don't know enough about how OS X driver detection and updates work. If Apple automatically distributes all hardware drivers with the OS X load regardless of detected hardware then you will probably be okay. If the answer to this is that they do not, then it would probably require a bit of hacking, etc, to get things working.

    I would pose your question in the OS X forum and see what they can do for you.
     
  9. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #9
    I have a couple thoughts. If you made the external from the MBP's disk, I wonder if your MBP came with Leopard, or if it was a retail copy install. I'm assuming it came with it, and you only have the restore discs for the MBP.

    But I'm assuming you're running the external like a copy of the MBP's disk, which is like trying to install the restore discs on the new iMac, which wouldn't work either since it only has the drivers for the specific model machine it came with. I think a retail copy fresh install on the external would fix your issues as it'd have drivers for both the new iMac and MBP.

    I would hope, but wouldn't count on 10.5.7 to fix everything, because most updates are different for different people. That's why you get people comparing file sizes for different machines. Maybe if you had the external plugged into the new iMac when the update came out, it would think it needed the new iMac update, but I wouldn't count on that either.
     
  10. Lordedmond macrumors regular

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    Oct 24, 2008
    Location:
    Tilchestune UK
    #10
    did/does it work correctly with the installed software as supplied ?

    does it wok correctly with the OS installed from the supplied install disks ?


    if either of these is a true then the iMac is ok


    they come with a modified version of 10.5.6 ,mine is a 130 gpu and the os reports build 9G2030 not the one for 10.5.6
     
  11. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2009
    #11
    You are perfectly right. The MBP came with Leopard pre-installed and I duplicated the disc to the external HDD.
    Ok - since the 10.5.7 seems to be available "soon", I think it would be worth a shot to wait for it. I will use the external HDD with the new iMac and try to get the lacking drivers if no one suggests something else. The retail disc thing can be tried if the update does not work as expected. If there is a way to influence the update process to deliver the missing drivers, I would be a happy camper :).
    Yes, it works fine with the installation out-of-the-box (booting from internal HDD). None of the described errors occurs with the pre-installed Leopard on iMac's HDD so I don't think the Mac is defective, too. Apart from that I can return it for up to 14 days after buy without any reason (law thing over here).
    Ok, I will have a look later. The "old" Leopard installation (MBP dump) is Build 9G55. Will check the iMac's Leopard version later.
     
  12. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2009
    #12
    Ok, I booted from the internal HDD to add the different Leopard Build number:

    - 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)
     
  13. G-Force macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2006
    #13
    Can't you transfer the information to the internal hard disk using Migration Assistant and then clone the new installation to your external disk? It should work with both Macs.
     
  14. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

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    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #14
    But then you'd have specific drivers for the new iMac and not the old MBP, and you'd probably run into issues on the MBP. That's why they make the retail copy so it'll work will all models. I don't think the iMac has "added" drivers, I think it just has specific ones.

    OP, I think you're right to wait for 10.5.7 if you can. After a retail version is installed, then you could use migration assistant like G-force said.

    I'm not sure if the updater looks at the version of OS you have, or if it looks at the hardware you're running it on. I'm assuming it looks at the OS, in which case the x.7 update wouldn't help, but I could easily be wrong about that. Come back after x.7 and let us know what happened.

    You might you might not have to wait too long for 10.5.7 looking at the MR front page news.
     
  15. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2009
    #15
    At first, I am overwhelmed by all your constructive hints. I am very grateful, thanks! I took jmpage2's advice and posted the Leopard update specific question in the Mac OS X forum (this thread).

    Maybe someone over there knows how to set the trigger right and how to get the files I need?

    I chatted with Apple support again and the phone agent was not sure about the iMac bundled Leopard. It could be it has added drivers or it could be it has hardware specific drivers only. Only the retail disc could be expected to deliver both but even that could not be guaranteed. Oh well, I hope so much the 10.5.7 update will solve the problem. Don't want to spend hours with try & error :(.

    Edit: Thanks for the link, cawesjmu.
     
  16. G-Force macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2006
    #16
    As far as I know, bundled installations contain all the previous drivers. I've seen many people use bundled installations on completely different Macs (using the Target Mode method).
     
  17. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

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    Apr 4, 2004
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    Richmond, VA
    #17
    Interesting. I was unaware. Definitely worth trying then if x.7 combo updater doesn't work. I'll keep that tip in mind though. Learn something new every day.
     
  18. G-Force macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 25, 2006
    #18
    I'm not 100% sure, so I guess this stays a mystery. :p
     
  19. apricum thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2009
    #19
    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.

    I will post the same in the 2nd thread I opened in the Mac OS forum.
     
  20. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

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    Richmond, VA
    #20
    Glad that worked out for you. Thanks for the update.
     

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