Old iMac. How far (OS X) can it go?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jdm7, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. jdm7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    #1
    I have a mid 2007 iMac. Trying to push it to the most up-to-date OS possible. Currently working without issue at 10.4.11.

    I'd like to get it to at least Mountain Lion so it can have access to items already purchased in the Application Store.

    Anyone out there that has done this before? Suggestions? Upgrade path how-to's?

    Thank you for any help available.
     
  2. MJWMac1988, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015

    MJWMac1988 macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #2
    Your iMac is fully compatible with El Capitan (10.11). I have a friend who upgraded her son's Mid 2007 iMac to Yosemite a couple of months ago, and she had no problem. Read this MacRumors member's account of installing and using El Capitan on his Mid 2007 iMac.

    You will have to get someone who has at least Snow Leopard installed on his/her Mac to download El Capitan for you since you won't be able to do it with Tiger. Just make sure that person doesn't unwittingly install it on his/her own computer after downloading it and before giving it to you on a USB flash drive. If he/she does that, the installer will delete itself afterward (maybe you already know this).

    You will have to back up your iMac's entire hard drive with either CarbonCopyCloner (if you search the internet you may still find the old, free version; maybe the older version at that link is free???) or some other free backup app, like LaCie SilverKeeper 1.1.4. (run SilverKeeper several times just to be sure it doesn't miss anything). Then erase your iMac's drive and install El Capitan.

    P.S. You should be aware that your old PowerPC apps, if you have any, will not work in anything newer than Snow Leopard (10.6.8).
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    Mountain Lion should do fine on that iMac.

    Be aware that once you "go beyond" 10.8.5, you may start experiencing "speed problems", usually related to having a platter-based HDD as your boot drive.

    This is often a matter of "personal perception".
    What bothers me may not bother you.
    But for the newer iterations of the OS, I think an SSD (or fusion drive) is almost mandatory these days.
     
  4. patternjake macrumors member

    patternjake

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    #4
    It will handle Yosemite fine, but if you have performance issues, hit the reduce transparency option in System Preferences.
     
  5. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #5
    If you are using software that doesn't require newer OS X version it might be better to only update to 10.6.8 Snow Leopard by ordering DVD from Apple. While it won't get any security updates its still safer than 10.4 and almost certainly much faster than Yosemite.

    I previously had similar iMac and Yosemite was intolerable slow. El Capitan might be faster but I am a bit sceptical because most of the speed improvement is due to Metal which isn't supported on older Macs...

    If you have only 2 Gb of RAM I strongly recommend upgrading to 4 Gb because Mavericks and later versions are very slow without 4 Gb of RAM.
     
  6. MJWMac1988, Sep 21, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015

    MJWMac1988 macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #6
    I completely agree with all of that, Ebenezum. My first comment was a bit too wordy when I first posted it, so I returned and deleted several sections, including the suggestion that jdm7 might first upgrade his/her iMac to Snow Leopard in order to be able to download El Capitan.

    I'm still using Snow Leopard as my main OS on my primary partition, and I have no intention of upgrading it. I've tried Lion (I still have it on a 2006 iMac), Mountain Lion (Mountain Lion performed horribly on a friend's Late 2007 iMac; it was so glacially slow that I had to downgrade it back to Snow Leopard for her), Mavericks and Yosemite (Yosemite is on another friend's iMac; it didn't impress me at all). I still have Mavericks installed on a separate partition on my iMac. I "play around" in it occasionally; however, I still vastly prefer Snow Leopard. I also need it because I have several PowerPC apps that I use all the time.

    If jdm7's internal hard drive is large enough, or if he/she has a spare external hard drive, he/she could install both Snow Leopard and a newer version of OS X, as I have done.

    We Snow Leopard users seem to be becoming a rarity, at least in these forums, so I bit my tongue (not easy for me to do :)) and answered jdm7's question as it was asked (what's the newest compatible OS for his/her iMac?). I'm glad you broached the subject, Ebenezum. :)
     
  7. jdm7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    #7
    Thank you everyone for your advice and help. I've ordered the Snow Leopard install disk. Fingers crossed it does the trick.
     
  8. MJWMac1988 macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #8
    That's great to hear.

    The Snow Leopard disk will probably be version 10.6.3. You will have to update to 10.6.8 after that in order to have the App Store app. Unless Apple fixed/updated the 10.6.8 updater since I last downloaded it, there is a small software update that you will need to install before it will allow you to install the 10.6.8 updater. It is an update for the software update process itself. Either before installing this "software update" update, or before installing 10.6.8 itself (I don't remember which), I've always had to temporarily set the computer's clock back to anytime in 2010, 2011 or 2012 (don't remember the specific year), because the installer won't work if you don't do that (see here). I just don't remember the exact sequence of events. Just keep hitting and missing with the date until you get it right. Maybe there is an easier way, but I have found it. Just don't forget to go back to the correct time as soon as you have run the updater.

    Let us know how it goes and what you think of Snow Leopard.
     
  9. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #9
    I installed 10.6.8 for a client last month, there was no need for previous updates or changing computer clock.

    Remember to clone your Mac to external drive before you install 10.6! Use Disk Utility, SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.
     
  10. MJWMac1988, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015

    MJWMac1988 macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #10
    That's nice to hear. When you installed 10.6.8, did you use the Software Update option under the Apple Menu? If not, maybe they have fixed the problem with their independent installers, and I still have older copies (although my 10.6.8 installer's date is the newest one available). Just a few minutes ago, I suddenly remembered that most people used to use Software Update (before the App Store took over), which probably doesn't exhibit the problem I described. I, on the other hand, always downloaded and kept most installers and updaters, especially combo updaters. I did this because I used to help lots of people, and it would have been very time consuming for me to repeatedly download the same updates via Software Update. I'm still so used to my method that I forgot I probably didn't need to write my previous post.
     
  11. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #11
    I used Software Update. I have also used Combo update 10.6.8 v.1.1 from Apple downloads for previous clients but I didn't have it with me at the time. Both methods are reliable in my experience.
     
  12. MJWMac1988, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    MJWMac1988 macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #12
    I also have the Combo update 10.6.8 v.1.1. I don't know why it does what it does to me with regard to the clock, but it has done it on several different computers over the past few years. If it was just an accidental fluke that happened only once, or maybe more than once on one computer, I could understand it, but it has happened on several different computers. I found two or three forums where others have had the same experience. It seems to be a rarity, though. I don't know what to think. It's good to know that it isn't a universal problem with regard to the combo updater, though.
     
  13. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #13
    I've been fighting with SL every time I've installed it over the past few months. I have both SL and SL server DVDs(btw, if you ever potentially see the need for SL Server, buy it, as it's only $20 for an unlimited client license).

    The physical media Apple shipped back in May and June respective for Server and Client were both 10.6.3.

    Since I've done my fair share of Tiger and Leopard installs(I play with PPC Macs a lot) I just hit "software update" after installing and thought all would be good and well. In every case-across multiple computers(Mini, Mac Pro, 2x Macbook Pro, iMac 5,2) and with both the client and server OSs, hitting "software update" would cause the computer to get stuck on the reboot that comes as part of the OS. I let my Mini sit overnight at one point and it didn't progress any further.

    I ended up downloading the 10.6.8 combo update from Apple's website and was able to install it manually just fine(it's downloaded as a package that is run). After that, all the other updates through software update were fine.

    As a side note, about a year and a half ago Apple removed the ability for anything older than 10.4 to connect to the "software update" servers. The updates are still available for download on their site, but have to be downloaded and installed one by one. It wouldn't surprise me if 10.4 and 10.5 lose that ability before too much longer.

    For that reason, I have a 16gb flash drive with every combo update+security update for every version of OS X from 10.0 to 10.5. As I said, I still do a lot of 10.4 and 10.5 installs, and it saves me having to download a couple GB of data every time I do an install(my 10.4 disk is 10.4.3 and my Leopard disk is 10.5.0). The 10.4.11 combo update plus all the security updates are around 1.5gb from my recollection, while the 10.5.8 combo update+security updates runs close to 2gb.
     

Share This Page