Old OS on MBP?

poiihy

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Original poster
Aug 22, 2014
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I've heard that you may not be able to install an OS earlier than shipped with your mac, but some combinations may work.
If I try to boot Tiger on Mid-2009 MBP, would it work or not, and how well would it work?
Can I have a list of what OSes will work on what Macs? Thanks
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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It wouldn't even load past the Apple logo. Nothing older than what shipped on it will work.
 

poiihy

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Original poster
Aug 22, 2014
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It wouldn't even load past the Apple logo. Nothing older than what shipped on it will work.
Is that with absolutely any Mac? Any older version than what was shipped with will not work on any Mac? At all?
 

Intell

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Very much absolutely. Those few that can run an older version, do so with kernel panics and other problems that prevent the system from being anything other than a proof of concept.
 

Ccrew

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Feb 28, 2011
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Very much absolutely. Those few that can run an older version, do so with kernel panics and other problems that prevent the system from being anything other than a proof of concept.
Very much not true. Many times machines that existed as an OSX version upgrade went into place didn't see their hardware updated until months later although they shipped with a newer OS if they shipped after the introduction. In a case such as that they'll run the previous version just fine with no issues at all.

Heck, try it. I wouldn't spend much time on it if it boots and panics, but nothing ventured nothing gained.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Very much not true. Many times machines that existed as an OSX version upgrade went into place didn't see their hardware updated until months later although they shipped with a newer OS if they shipped after the introduction. In a case such as that they'll run the previous version just fine with no issues at all.

Heck, try it. I wouldn't spend much time on it if it boots and panics, but nothing ventured nothing gained.
You're misinterpreting my posts. What I stated is still accurate. Macs cannot run an older version of OS X than their original shipping version when they were first released. Even simple speed bump upgrades cannot run what their predecessor model ran. There are a few rare exceptions to this like the 2012 Mac Pro which can run Snow Leopard desipte being shipped with 10.7.3 and later 10.8 and 10.8.3.
 

Eithanius

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Nov 19, 2005
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Very much not true. Many times machines that existed as an OSX version upgrade went into place didn't see their hardware updated until months later although they shipped with a newer OS if they shipped after the introduction. In a case such as that they'll run the previous version just fine with no issues at all.

Heck, try it. I wouldn't spend much time on it if it boots and panics, but nothing ventured nothing gained.
HELLO...!!! The topic implies running an OS last supported in 2007 on a 2009 hardware...

I'd be inclined to know which hardware did Apple not update between those periods...? :rolleyes:
 

orestes1984

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It wouldn't even load past the Apple logo. Nothing older than what shipped on it will work....

Very much absolutely. Those few that can run an older version, do so with kernel panics and other problems that prevent the system from being anything other than a proof of concept.

Actually this is quite incorrect and not always the case. The MacBook Pros from early 2011 can run Snow Leopard just fine, although macs that were released new as of July 20, 2011 or later, will generally not run Snow Leopard .

Even though the early 2011 MacBook Pro's shipped with Lion and all the function keys for Lion, they can run Snow Leopard and that's just the first anomaly I can think of off the top of my head. There are many interchangeable oddities in Macs released around that period with Snow Leopard.

I specifically bought my 2011 model MacBook Pro as its the most modern MacBook Pro that can run Rosetta which I need from time to time for old PPC apps. It will install Snow Leopard off a disc with the 10.6.6 update, it just wont install off a generic retail disc.

There are actually numerous people who rolled back to 10.6 because of the numerous bugs and performance issues it had early in its life cycle, just Google it. It's not just for the reason I said, but that's the reason that's applicable to me.

There is some software and particularly most Mac games prior to the release of Steam that are only PPC binaries and due to having third party developers like Aspyre most are unlikely to have updates with fat binary patches. Without Snow Leopard I couldn't run them.

Off the top my head, all Mac Pros that look like this can run Snow Leopard:



Mac minis with at least 1 GB of RAM and 4 and 5 USB ports on the rear as shown in the image below will run Snow Leopard, those with less than 4 USB ports will not run Snow Leopard.



All iMacs which look like this will run Snow Leopard:



  • 10.6.1 10.6.2 Delta 10.6.2 Combo 10.6.3 v1.1 Delta and 10.6.3 v1.1 Combo 10.6.4 Combo, 10.6.4 Delta, 10.6.4 Mac Mini Mid 2010
  • 10.6.5 Combo, 10.6.6 Delta, 10.6.6 Combo, 10.6.7 for early 2011 MacBook Pro.
  • 10.6.7 Combo, 10.6.7 Delta, 10.6.7 font update to all previous updates 10.6.8 delta v1.1 (7/25/2011) and Combo v1.1 (7/25/2011), and the followup Thunderbolt update for 2011 iMacs and MacBook Pros for installation after 10.6.8

You will want to install 10.6.8 for ThunderBolt enabled Macs.
 
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Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
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HELLO...!!! The topic implies running an OS last supported in 2007 on a 2009 hardware...

I'd be inclined to know which hardware did Apple not update between those periods...? :rolleyes:
I wasn't being specific. I was addressing the "will never work" larger statement.

----------

You're misinterpreting my posts. What I stated is still accurate. Macs cannot run an older version of OS X than their original shipping version when they were first released. Even simple speed bump upgrades cannot run what their predecessor model ran. There are a few rare exceptions to this like the 2012 Mac Pro which can run Snow Leopard desipte being shipped with 10.7.3 and later 10.8 and 10.8.3.
I think orestes1984 sufficiently covered the subject.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Actually this is quite incorrect and not always the case. The MacBook Pros from early 2011 can run Snow Leopard just fine, although macs that were released new as of July 20, 2011 or later, will generally not run Snow Leopard .

Even though the early 2011 MacBook Pro's shipped with Lion and all the function keys for Lion, they can run Snow Leopard and that's just the first anomaly I can think of off the top of my head. There are many interchangeable oddities in Macs released around that period with Snow Leopard.

I specifically bought my 2011 model MacBook Pro as its the most modern MacBook Pro that can run Rosetta which I need from time to time for old PPC apps. It will install Snow Leopard off a disc with the 10.6.6 update, it just wont install off a generic retail disc.

There are actually numerous people who rolled back to 10.6 because of the numerous bugs and performance issues it had early in its life cycle, just Google it. It's not just for the reason I said, but that's the reason that's applicable to me.

There is some software and particularly most Mac games prior to the release of Steam that are only PPC binaries and due to having third party developers like Aspyre most are unlikely to have updates with fat binary patches. Without Snow Leopard I couldn't run them.

Off the top my head, all Mac Pros that look like this can run Snow Leopard:

Mac minis with at least 1 GB of RAM and 4 and 5 USB ports on the rear as shown in the image below will run Snow Leopard, those with less than 4 USB ports will not run Snow Leopard.

All iMacs which look like this will run Snow Leopard:

  • 10.6.1 10.6.2 Delta 10.6.2 Combo 10.6.3 v1.1 Delta and 10.6.3 v1.1 Combo 10.6.4 Combo, 10.6.4 Delta, 10.6.4 Mac Mini Mid 2010
  • 10.6.5 Combo, 10.6.6 Delta, 10.6.6 Combo, 10.6.7 for early 2011 MacBook Pro.
  • 10.6.7 Combo, 10.6.7 Delta, 10.6.7 font update to all previous updates 10.6.8 delta v1.1 (7/25/2011) and Combo v1.1 (7/25/2011), and the followup Thunderbolt update for 2011 iMacs and MacBook Pros for installation after 10.6.8

You will want to install 10.6.8 for ThunderBolt enabled Macs.
The early 2011 Macbook Pro originally shipped with 10.6, not 10.7. Because of this, it can run 10.6. All of those machines you outlined, except for the iMacs, originally shipped with Snow Leopard. iMac's starting with the late-2011 cannot run Snow Leopard due to missing kexts for the Thunderbolt chip used in them or incompatibilities with the chipset in them. Also, when viewed from the front, there is no way to tell a 2011 iMac apart from a 2013 iMac. My original post is still correct.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 22, 2014
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You're misinterpreting my posts. What I stated is still accurate. Macs cannot run an older version of OS X than their original shipping version when they were first released. Even simple speed bump upgrades cannot run what their predecessor model ran. There are a few rare exceptions to this like the 2012 Mac Pro which can run Snow Leopard desipte being shipped with 10.7.3 and later 10.8 and 10.8.3.
That is what I want. A list of rare exceptions of this.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
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The early 2011 15-17 MacBook Pro runs 10.6.6 with a unique dvd for that particular chassis. If you try a stock 10.6 DVD it won't boot it. Late 2011's are lion onwards.

The Mac Pro 5,1 2012 I am not so sure 100% about running 10.6 out the box, but know for sure that the 5,1 2010 model does run snow leopard despite being exactly the same hardware as the 2012 bar the identifier and types of Xeons offered.

Though the Mac Pro can be hacked like no other Macintosh. Marvellous machines. There are 1,1 and 2,1's booting with Yosemite already and the majority of Rosetta FCP7 users I still know who use 10.6 run these cheese-graters bar a few exceptions..
 
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YanniDepp

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2008
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HELLO...!!! The topic implies running an OS last supported in 2007 on a 2009 hardware...

I'd be inclined to know which hardware did Apple not update between those periods...? :rolleyes:
The Mac mini comes pretty damn close. It was updated in August 2007, then March 2009.

The sad thing is, that's not even a record. If there's no new Mac mini tomorrow, it'll hit the "2 year" mark next week. The current model was released in October 2012.

There's also the non-retina MacBook pro. I'm typing this on a June 2012 model, which is still the newest version. But, to be fair, the non-retina pro is about to join the iPod Classic.
 

orestes1984

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The early 2011 Macbook Pro originally shipped with 10.6, not 10.7. Because of this, it can run 10.6. All of those machines you outlined, except for the iMacs, originally shipped with Snow Leopard. iMac's starting with the late-2011 cannot run Snow Leopard due to missing kexts for the Thunderbolt chip used in them or incompatibilities with the chipset in them. Also, when viewed from the front, there is no way to tell a 2011 iMac apart from a 2013 iMac. My original post is still correct.
Actually excepting they very rare occasion on initial released they shipped with Lion, and 10.6.8 incorporates Thunderbolt support, you're quite wrong, but whatever... I'll let that slide.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Actually they shipped with Lion, and 10.6.8 incorporates Thunderbolt support, you're quite wring, but whatever...
The early 2011 Macbook Pro, EMC numbers 2555 and 2563, was released in February of 2011. Five months before Lion was released in July of 2011. Unless Apple was shipping Lion beta on those machines, they originally shipped with Mac OS X 10.6.6 and later Mac OS X 10.6.7. Early 2011 Macbook Pros never shipped with Lion, even after its introduction in July of 2011. Snow Leopard only has Thunderbolt kexts for the dual channel chip used in that Macbook Pro and the mid 2011 iMac. It does not contain kexts for the single channel chip in the mid 2011 Macbook Air that was shipped in July of 2011 or any other new Thunderbolt chip like that used in the Mountain Lion shipped iMacs. The mid-2011 iMacs never shipped with Lion, only 10.6.6 and 10.6.7. Only the late 2011 education iMac did. Also, 10.6.6 is the first public release of Mac OS X that support Thunderbolt. My post is still accurate.
 
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orestes1984

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The early 2011 Macbook Pro, EMC numbers 2555 and 2563, was released in February of 2011. Five months before Lion was released in July of 2011. Unless Apple was shipping Lion beta on those machines, they originally shipped with Mac OS X 10.6.6 and later Mac OS X 10.6.7. Early 2011 Macbook Pros never shipped with Lion, even after its introduction in July of 2011. Snow Leopard only has Thunderbolt kexts for the dual channel chip used in that Macbook Pro and the mid 2011 iMac. It does not contain kexts for the single channel chip in the mid 2011 Macbook Air that was shipped in July of 2011 or any other new Thunderbolt chip like that used in the Mountain Lion shipped iMacs. The mid-2011 iMacs never shipped with Lion, only 10.6.6 and 10.6.7. Only the late 2011 education iMac did. Also, 10.6.6 is the first public release of Mac OS X that support Thunderbolt. My post is still accurate.
They shipped fully prepared for Lion and with an intention of shipping natively with Lion as was first noted upon the release with the Lion ready function keys for mission control and for Launchpad unless you're magically saying they intended to roll Launchpad into Snow Leopard :rolleyes:
 

Intell

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They shipped fully prepared for Lion and with an intention of shipping natively with Lion as was first noted upon the release with the Lion ready function keys for mission control and for Launchpad unless you're magically saying they intended to roll Launchpad into Snow Leopard
Nearly every Mac is intended and fully prepared for the next version of Mac OS X in the pipeline when shipped. The early 2011 Macbook Pro continued to ship with the expose/dashboard keys until it was updated in October of 2011. The early 2011 iMac's included keyboard wasn't using the updated F3 and F4 keys until after the introduction of Lion when the external keyboards were redesigned to have the mission control and launchpad keys.
 

orestes1984

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Nearly every Mac is intended and fully prepared for the next version of Mac OS X in the pipeline when shipped. The early 2011 Macbook Pro continued to ship with the expose/dashboard keys until it was updated in October of 2011. The early 2011 iMac's included keyboard wasn't using the updated F3 and F4 keys until after the introduction of Lion when the external keyboards were redesigned to have the mission control and launchpad keys.
Actually I'm looking at my keyboard from an Early 2011 MacBook Pro and it has the Mission Control/Launchpad keys :rolleyes:
 

Intell

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Actually I'm looking at my keyboard from an Early 2011 MacBook Pro and it has the Mission Control/Launchpad keys
That is incorrect. I have personally setup about 50+ of those machines, most of them purchased before July of 2011, and they all have pre-Lion keys on them. They didn't start to have the Lion keys on them until they were speed bumped in October of 2011.
 

orestes1984

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That is incorrect. I have personally setup about 50+ of those machines, most of them purchased before July of 2011, and they all have pre-Lion keys on them. They didn't start to have the Lion keys on them until they were speed bumped in October of 2011.
Well your obviously wrong and I can take a picture to prove it should you so wish.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Well your obviously wrong and I can take a picture to prove it should you so wish.
No need to take a picture, I'm holding one right here. Besides, a picture wouldn't be able to differentiate between a late 2011 and an early 2011 Macbook Pro. It was purchased in May of 2011 and has the pre-Lion keys. Even the manual for those machines sold before July 20, 2011 have the Snow Leopard keys in them. Attached is the original Users Guide for the early 2011 Macbook Pro, the keyboard is outlined in page 22. Now then, this thread has been derail enough. Let it end.
 

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orestes1984

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Jun 10, 2005
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No need to take a picture, I'm holding one right here. It was purchased in May of 2011 and has the pre-Lion keys. Even the manual for those machines sold before July 20, 2011 have the Snow Leopard keys in them. Attached is the original Users Guide for the early 2011 Macbook Pro, the keyboard is outlined in page 22. Now then, this thread has been derail enough. Let it end.
Ok well you're wrong and here's why... Do you think I just make this ***** up for fun, or that I deliberately pulled apart my entire MacBook Pro to fit a new top case?







Would you like to argue with some facts, or hows about some sensibility?
 
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