Suggestions on breathing new life into an early 2006 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by VictorVictor5, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. VictorVictor5 macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #1
    Greetings all,

    New to the forums here and decided to register when I saw that there is hope for older systems using newer Mac software.

    One of my relatives has a 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo iMac from Early 2006 (I believe) with 2 GB RAM (max) and 150 GB HDD. So he asked if there was a possibility of upgrading this to something other than Tiger (which he currently uses), and I did some digging and some users have had success with 10.9 on 32 bit systems.

    With that, here come the questions.

    Now - obviously a new HDD is in order. I believe iMacs are SATA?

    Second - just doing preliminary research on my end - seems as though you need a Core 2 Duo to make 10.9 run. Is this true? Or can I get way with the current setup? I hear swapping processors in IMacs are fun! ;)

    If this is the case could you link me to a swap guide?

    Ultimately, what can I do to this machine other than send it to the junk heap? I've torn into laptops and such before with swapping processors, but never did an iMac. So I know of some things, but am a bit of a newbie in this area.

    Thanks!
    VV5
     
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
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    #2
    Putting any money into an 8 (almost 9) year old machine is foolish, however if he insists upgrade the RAM and install an SSD.This would be like putting a V8 in a 59 VW Bug. You can't turn a pig into a thoroughbred but you sure can make an awefully fast pig.

    BTW no way he's going to Maverics the CPU installed.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    At a minimum, you can upgrade it to Snow Leopard without any hardware upgrades. You can upgrade the memory to a maximum of 3.3GB via updating the iMac's firmware. You do need a Core2Duo CPU in order to be able to use Lion or newer. I suggest an Intell T7200, T7400, or T7600. They do take standard desktop sized 3.5" SATA hard drives. Upgrading to 10.8 or higher is difficult and a bit buggy. The highest you may want to go to is 10.7. You'll still need to remove one file to be able to install and boot it, but it won't have any bugs and it'll run well.
     
  4. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #4
    Hey I get it - thanks for the reply.

    Outside of SSD and RAM - I take it 2 GB DDR2 was the max? What about overclocking - is that even possible?

    And - bit of a long shot here, but what about this?

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1593194&highlight=early+2006

    ----------

    Intell,

    Thanks for the heads up. Since I am new in updating Macs (I've done Windoze) - 2 quick questions.

    1.) What backup utility do I use to back up all the data before I upgrade? Time machine? Or was there a native application on Tiger? Right now the HDD is 150 GB and it's just about full (ugh - shakes head). So I'd like to backup anything pronto and try an at least get him off Tiger for now and do more advanced stuff as we go along. I do have a copy of 10.6.8.

    2.) You also stated that "You can upgrade the memory to a maximum of 3.3GB via updating the iMac's firmware." How do you do that? Any guides would be appreciated.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #5
    2GB is the maximum with the current firmware. You need to upgrade it to the next model iMac's firmware to be able to use an additional 1.3GB of ram. You cannot overclock it.
     
  6. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #6
    Intell,

    Ok - this is going to be a beginner question but I ask it for the sake of clarity (again not used to upping Macs).

    Upgrading the firmware - can you please clarify? Do you mean I have to change out the whole mobo to say a late 2006 and not just the processor to a T7600? Or am I way off?

    Also, if you can advise on a backup utility that is Tiger capable that would be great (or if there was a native one).

    Thanks!
    VV5
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    Use a search engine and search for "iMac4,1 to iMac5,1" That will help you with the firmware upgrade. It's almost like updating the BIOS on a Windows machine. A good backup utility for Tiger would be CarbonCopyCloner.
     
  8. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
  9. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #9
    Note that the SATA is only 1.5Gb/s on these machines so SSDs will be severly hampered. If you are having trouble with OSX, I would suggest installing Linux instead. You could use the machine as a file server if you install a big 3.5" drive.
     
  10. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    flopticalcube,

    Thanks for the suggestion on Linux. I've used Linux before (Puppy), but if Linux is the choice, can Linux read Mac files? Didn't know if journaling had to do anything with it.

    Thanks!
    VV5
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    Most Linux distributions can read Mac formatted drives without any additional changes.
     
  12. VictorVictor5, Aug 11, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014

    VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #12
    All,

    Don't know whether to start a new post, but I'll go ahead and keep this one rolling.

    Ok, so I've backed up this 10.4.11 system, and I have a legit 10.6.8 iso on a usb stick, but this system will not boot from the stick (tried holding the option key, and it only identified the internal HD).

    My question is - should I make a DVD of the ISO and try that?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
    VV5
     
  13. khedden macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2014
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #13
    You can't boot from an iso. You need to (a) convert the iso to a dmg, then (b) copy the disk image to the usb stick. IIRC, you can do this (step b) via Disk Utility. Step a takes some command-line tools, I believe. Google it and you should find what you need.
     
  14. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #14
    Thanks khedden,

    Converted and transferring over to USB stick. I'll post back what happens.

    Thanks!
    VV5
     
  15. mpainesyd macrumors 6502

    mpainesyd

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    #15
  16. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    That's an excellent point about the SATA I. However, keep in mind that the bandwidth will mostly affect sequential transfers of very large files (i.e. copying very large files), and even that should do better than those older HDD. Even an SSD limited to SATA I should still offer great benefit to booting, opening apps, general system performance.

    While I agree with an earlier post that I wouldn't be dumping money into a system like that, money aside, an SSD is about the best upgrade you can give an old computer.
     
  17. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #17
    Ok,

    The iso converted to dmg successfully, so I tried to put it on the old system, no luck.

    Here's what happens.

    1.) When I hit the DMG, it opens up the Snow Leopard Install DVD.
    2.) I hit Install, and it says that I need to restart.
    3.) Hit restart, and I hold the option key, and only the hard drive shows up.

    The USB stick is formatted GUID and Mac Extended Journaled. Any other ideas?
     
  18. khedden macrumors member

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    Charleston, SC
    #18
    You shouldn't have to "hit" the dmg. You should be able to boot from the USB stick and install from there as if it were the DVD.
     
  19. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #19
    Quick question - is there a hard drive storage limitation on iMacs of this age? And what I mean by that is, old PCs have BIOS limits (like 8.4 GB, 137 GB, etc), where you can put a large hard drive on the system, but the limit will be one partition, and the rest will be another partition.


    I know Macs don't have BIOS, but I didn't know is there was indeed a hard drive storage limitation.

    Thanks!
    VV5
     
  20. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #20
    There is no drive size limitation on the iMac that will be reached during your lifetime.
     
  21. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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  22. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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  23. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    Ok, so I'm trying to throw Snow Leopard on this machine for time being with a install (legit) DVD. But it says that "Mac OS X can't be installed on this computer. If you want to restore your system from a Time Machine backup, click "Restore from Backup."

    And then it gives the options to Restore from Backup and Restart.

    Now, when I hit Restore from backup, it warns me that restoring my computer from a backup erases the contents of the selected destination disk.

    I thought that when upgrading Snow Leopard installs on top of itself and I didn't have to wipe anything.

    Problem is Tiger doesn't have Time Machine, so I used CCC for a backup.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
    VV5
     
  24. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #24
    Is the Snow Leopard disc a black retail disc or a grey restore disc?
     
  25. VictorVictor5 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 5, 2014
    #25
    It's gray - does it make a difference (just curious no offense)?

    VV5
     

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