Newest OS for 2006 iMac? And how to get...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Rob.G, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    NW Oregon
    A friend has an old 2006 iMac (Core 2 Duo) and it won't boot anymore and needs an OS reinstall. My best guess is it'll run Snow Leopard but nothing newer.

    How is the best way to get her a copy of the OS to install? Is this Mac too old to boot off of a USB jump drive? I.e. will it have to be on a DVD? Assuming its SuperDrive is a DVD.

    Help please? :)


  2. redheeler macrumors 603


    Oct 17, 2014
    Lion is the newest officially (provided the iMac has 2 GB or more RAM), but Mountain Lion can be installed unofficially using MLPostFactor. It can boot off a USB formatted properly with an installer.
  3. Rob.G thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    NW Oregon
    She's not a power user at all so I'm thinking whatever is supported so we'll stick with Snow Leopard.

    BUT... whichever one we pick, how do we go about getting it? Will the App Store still let us download it? I'll have to look up how to make the USB drive bootable. Can that even be done on Windows or do I need to do it and send it to her, since she has a Windows laptop but no access to another Mac.
  4. AppleNewton, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016

    AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    Apple used to have Snow Leopard available at
    You may need to call them to order it instead. otherwise it may no longer be sold.

    For Lion, it used to be linked here:

    But again currently OS X Mountain Lion is the last one available for purchase:

    You may just have to source an installed CD from Amazon or eBay for Snow Leopard. Or Amazon has Lion Install USB Sticks from Apple as well.

    Part number for the USB is: MD256Z/A
  5. CoastalOR macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    The Snow Leopard DVD's are still available on Amazon or eBay. Apple has removed Snow Leopard from their site, but even when it was for sale it was for the physical DVD's. It was never available as a download.
  6. varian55zx macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2012
    San Francisco
    Looks like you're right in the window where you can still relive the glory days of Snow Leopard.

    Snow Leopard was a wonderful OS X iteration, and its interface still brings back memories.

    With a machine that's that old, why upgrade? Surely performance would suffer anyway.
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001

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