trying to update iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jenray646, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. jenray646 macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2017
    I am trying to help my dad update this computer. He has an older iMac (early 2008) that is running 10.5. Sometimes when I restart I get a suitcase and question mark symbol. I am thinking that updating the OS might help. When I spoke with apply that said I would have to purchase 10.6 because it is not available to download. I found an old 10.6 install disc that came with my old MacBook. Can I use that on an iMac or are install discs machine specific?

    Second question, once I install 10.6 will I be able to update to El Capitan (10.11) or will I need to purchases other OS discs?
    Thanks! Any advice is welcome

    iMac (early 2008)
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    only 60 of 250GB being used
  2. nambuccaheadsau, Apr 20, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017

    nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    One word. No. The silver grey cdiscs are extremely model specific.

    If you are sure of thebyear of manufacture, you can buy from Apple Online Snow Leopard OS X.6 for the grand sum of $20, including postage. If you live in a larger city, Apple will tell you if you can pick it up from a an Apple Store. After that you will be able to download to El Capitan after upgrading to OS X.6.8 but it will be necessary to establish an Apple to access the App Store.

    Then put some memory into it. That iMac can handle 1 x 4GB and 12 x 2GB modules and suggets getting them from Crucial or OWC. 1GB will do nothing!
  3. jenray646 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2017
    Awesome. Thanks for the info. Should I wait to add memory until after I have updated the OS? I looked online and it seems like adding the memory is fairly straight forward to this machine. And I right in assuming it is something that I can do myself?
  4. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    It is a snack to upgtrde yourself and I have included a link to OWC, Mac specialists.

    Now be seated, and take hold of the arms of your chair before looking at the price. When you see the precise memory for the iMac, you may be able to pick some up second hand on eBay etc. Many have gone to Mac heaven andf are sold for parts. Make sure you get the correct memory.
  5. Fishrrman, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd do this:

    1. Download 10.8 "Mountain Lion" from wherever you can.
    2. Create a bootable 10.8 installer on a USB flash drive.
    3. Download CarbonCopyCloner (free to download and use for 30 days)
    4. Create a cloned backup of the internal drive on an external drive (it might even fit on a 64gb USB flash drive)
    5. Now, boot from the USB flash drive (that has the installer on it)
    6. Go to Disk Utility and re-initialize the internal drive
    7. Install the OS from the flash drive
    8. When the install is done, shut down and remove flash drive and connect external backup
    9. Boot from the new OS. Go through the initial setup
    10. When Setup Assistant asks if you want to migrate data, "aim it" at the external cloned backup and import accounts, apps, and data.

    This should get things up and running with a clean install of the OS with all the previous apps, accounts and data.

    You want Mountain Lion because it is THE LAST VERSION OF THE OS that seems to run smoothly on Macs with platter-based hard drives.

    Backing up, re-initializing and then doing a clean OS install followed by a restore from cloned backup will "clean off" the internal drive and then "rebuild" it without any fragmentation of the OS, apps, or data.
    Regardless of what others may attempt to tell you, this can be a severe problem on an older Mac with a platter-based hard drive.

    A few extra steps, but worth the time and effort.

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