Possible to install two different versions of OS on MBP?

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by jeffreyfranz, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. jeffreyfranz macrumors member

    jeffreyfranz

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    May 21, 2012
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    California
    #1
    I have legacy software that is important to me, and the developer has informed me that they will not be updating/modifying it to work with OS 10.14 (brand new version from Apple). I tried searching, but I get volumes of posts re technical issues that are not germane to my question.

    Now, I am due to buy a new MBP, and I am wondering if I can install both OS 10.13 (works with my software) and 10.4 (support for eGPU). Please forgive me if this is a dumb question. I am not a techie, barely computer literate, and, yes, old. If this is an issue of partitioning or something like that, I will be happy to learn how and do that. Just need some suggestions. Thank you in advance. - Jeffrey
     
  2. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #2
    I believe you just need to make at least 2 partitions on your drive, and you can install the new version of MacOS to another partition. You can use "Target Disk" mode to select which on you want to boot to. Another option would be to get yourself an external drive and install the alternate version of MacOS to it, as Macs can boot to external drives. That would probably be the better way to go, as if the new version of MacOS has serious problems, your drives are totally separate.
     
  3. chrfr macrumors 604

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    #3
    Apple released 10.13.4, not 10.14. Are you sure your software doesn't work in 10.13.4?
     
  4. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

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    #4
    Another option if you need to run legacy software is to Use Parallels to install macOS on a VM. I have Snow Leopard, Yosemite, El Capitan & Sierra installed in separate VMs. I don't store on my internal drive for space reasons. I like the ability to be able to run without booting into the old version. (Snow Leopard install required SL Server software, but all others were installed with the macOS installer.)
     
  5. jeffreyfranz thread starter macrumors member

    jeffreyfranz

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    #5
    Yes, thank you. I just wrote it down wrong. Sorry.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 31, 2018 ---
    Thanks to all who responded. You have given me directions to pursue, and I will know a whole lot more about my computer(s) by the time I'm done. BTW, Darmok N Jalad, if I decide to try the way you suggested, does the Apple Super Drive qualify as a "separate disk drive?"
    --- Post Merged, Mar 31, 2018 ---
    DianeofOregon, thank you for your suggestion. I will read up on the processes involved and give it a try. :)
    --- Post Merged, Mar 31, 2018 ---
    Darmok N Jalad: See this post (or one above if not merged) thanking you for your suggestions. - Jeffrey
     
  6. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #6
    The SuperDrive would not work, as it’s an optical drive. Even if you could get an OS on a DVD, it would be a horrible experience!
     
  7. jeffreyfranz thread starter macrumors member

    jeffreyfranz

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    #7
    OK, thanks.
     
  8. KlingonSpy macrumors newbie

    KlingonSpy

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    Dec 26, 2017
    #8
    Use VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox and create a virtual machine running another version. You can control the resources devoted to the virtual machine and delete just as easy as deleting a file because it is a file. Messing with disk partitions and all the other stuff to trick the machine just isn't worth the effort with virtualization available.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote:
    "Now, I am due to buy a new MBP, and I am wondering if I can install both OS 10.13 (works with my software) and 10.4 (support for eGPU)."

    The problem is that the NEW MacBook Pro probably will not boot from your OLDER version of the OS.
    You cannot change this.

    What you CAN do:
    You could install something like VMWare Fusion, Parallels, or even the free "Virtual Box".
    Then you could install and run an older version of the Mac OS, running "under emulation".

    This will take a little time and effort, but it's really the only path available to run an older version of the Mac OS on a newer Mac.

    What I would do:
    DO go the "virtual machine" route as above, but...
    ...DON'T get rid of the older Mac (the one that runs the older software now).
    If the software involved is that important to you, keep the older Mac going for as long as you can. Maintain it as a "dedicated platform" for the older app...
     
  10. alvindarkness macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #10
    I do this all the time. My MBP has High Sierra, Lion, and Ubuntu all natively installed on the internal drive, no issues. The advice you have above is spot on, you can just shrink your current partition, create a new one, and install whatever OS is compatible with your MBP. But the issue is, as Fishrrman pointd out, you cant go too much older (macOS wise) than whatever originally came on your Mac, as the version of macOS has to support the architecture of your CPU, and whatever chipset/hardware is on board.

    Therefore the virtual machine advice might end up being best. It depends on exactly which MBP you get and exactly what version of macOS you want to run. You might prefer to run the older OS in a virtual machine anyway, as it might suit your work flow better, and there is no need to reboot to use the legacy software etc. It might be worth while experimenting to expose yourself to both approaches and see what works best for you.

    You mentiond DVDs, but one thing you can do is install macOS onto a USB stick, which if it is a decent USB3 stick would run "ok" and is something you can easily experiment with without potentially losing any data on your internal drive. Something I do all the time also, works well enough, and very useful in emergencies or to do repairs.
     
  11. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #11
    Not to thread-jack, but I'm trying to get SL going in VB, but I get the "waiting for root device" error. Did you already have a copy of SL Server, or is there some sort of work around on the installer?
     
  12. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

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    Jul 1, 2014
    #12
    This. Particularly the information re: new Mac booting older OSes.
     
  13. jeffreyfranz thread starter macrumors member

    jeffreyfranz

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    #13
    Thank you. Excellent, detailed reply.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 1, 2018 ---
    Thanks. I will proceed with caution.
     

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