Install OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview on Old Unsupported Macs

Feb 18, 2012 - 33 Comments

Unsupported Mac running OS X 10.8

If you read the OS X Mountain Lion system requirements and got discouraged that the next version of OS X won’t support your computer, don’t give up hope for that old Mac quite yet!

A crafty MacRumors Forums member has managed to get OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview working on an officially unsupported mid-2007 white MacBook, a model with the unsupported Intel GMA 950 GPU, 2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, and just 1GB of RAM. Not only does OS X 10.8 run on the old MacBook, it reportedly works very well and with full graphics acceleration.

mid-2007 MacBook running OS X Mountain Lion

The method has reportedly been tested on MacBook 2007 MacBook2,1 and MacBook 2008 MacBook3,1 but presumably will work on other unsupported Macs as well. If you want to try this yourself, be prepared to get your hands dirty, and backup your Mac before beginning. You’ll need access to the Dev Preview, an officially supported Mac in addition to the unsupported Mac to copy some files over, the guide calls for switching hard drives but you could do the same with target disk mode. Regardless, you’ll need a fair amount of patience.

Here are the full instructions according to hackerwayne on MacRumors forums:

——
1. Get a copy of Mountain Lion, I got mine from Apple. If you’re not a dev, maybe you can get it at “the bay full of pirates”

2. Make sure you have a Mountain Lion compatible Mac, Im using a MacBook 2.4GHz Aluminum 2008

3. I have no FireWire to do target disk mode, so i removed the HDD from the MacBook White, pop it into the ML compatible Mac and install Mountain Lion like normal.

4. Get everything set up, until you reach the desktop

5. Now, remove the HDD from the compatible Mac, pop it into the MacBook White. Restart the MB White and hold down “CMD + V”. It should say “Incompatible Mac detected. Reason: Mac-F4208EC8″ the “Mac-F4208EC8″ is a unique ID for your Mac, so copy that down.

6. Remove the HDD from the MacBook White, and again, pop it into the compatible Mac, reboot back into Mountain Lion. U Now, navigate to ‘/System/Library/CoreServices’ on the Mountain Lion partition. Unlike 10.7 Lion, users delete PlatformSupport.plist. In ML 10.8 add that unique ID that you copied just now to PlatformSupport.plist. If you try to delete that Plist file, a Kernal panic will greet you during boot.

7. In PlatformSupport.plist, remember to add your model identifier, if you are using a MacBook White like me, add MacBook2,1 right above MacBook6,1. This step is important as the EFI reads this by sequence.

For MacBook 07 and 08 add this line right above MacBook6,1

For 07: MacBook2,1
For 08: MacBook3,1

For Mac Pro 06 and 07 add this line right above MacPro4,1
For 06: MacPro1,1
For 07: MacPro2,1

8. Now, boot it back using the MacBook White and confirm that the ML is booting. If you did everything right, you should be able to reach the desktop, but have no accelerated graphics whatsoever, only framebuffer. (for MacPro1,1 and 2,1 with upgraded graphics card, you should get a perfectly working ML)

9. 2 ways to perform this step:
a) Manually copy and install the right kext.
b) Use kexthelper (skip 10 – 13)

MacBook2,1 - AppleIntelGMA950.kext, AppleIntelGMA950VADriver.bundle, AppleIntelGMA950VLDriver.bundle
MacBook3,1 - AppleIntelGMAX3100.kext, AppleIntelGMAX3100VADriver.bundle, AppleIntelGMAX3100FB.kext, AppleIntelGMAX3100VLDriver.bundle
MacPro1,1/2,1 - upgrade graphics card to GT210 or HD 5770 No kext required. 7300GT untested!

MacMini2,1;3,1 iMac4,1;5,1 untested. Please try using above method depending on which graphics card you have and report back results! Thanks!

For ATI graphics card, i do not have a Mac to test them, I believe its the same, try ATIRadeonX1000.kext, ATIRadeonX1000GL.bundle, ATIRadeonX1000VA.bundle, ATI- yliadxos.bundle and report back.

10. Back to the MB white, install the kext using KextHelper and reboot.

11. After it reboots, you should be able to see a pop up message saying that the kext isnt compatible. If yes, reboot.

12. Boot into Single User Mode (Command+S ) and type the following:

chmod -R 755/Volumes/~MLPartitionName/System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntelGMA950.kext

chown -R root:wheel /Volumes/~MLPartitionName/System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntelGMA950.kext

Then remove cache and rebuilt:

rm -rf /Volumes/~MLPartitionName/System/Library/Extensions.mkext

kextcache -k /Volumes/~MLPartitionName/System/Library/Extensions

13. Reboot

14. Working Mountain Lion on not supported system.

——

The whole process is pretty similar to getting a Hackintosh running on unsupported Mac hardware, and assuming Apple doesn’t change anything it could be theoretically possible for custom third party OS X 10.8 installers to be created down the road specifically for the unsupported Macs. Maybe even with an easy USB installer? Who knows, but it’s also possible that Apple will bring support to these Macs in the final OS X Mountain Lion build, and it’s equally as possible that the next Developer Preview build will remove the ability for the above method to work at all. Ultimately we just won’t know until OS X 10.8 is finalized from Apple.

We don’t have a Mac to test this with, so if you run into any problems the best place to troubleshoot is probably the origin Forums thread on the matter at MacRumors.com.

If you try this, let us know! yliadxos

Update: Have a Mac Pro instead? Here’s a guide on how to install it on Mac Pro 1,1 and Mac Pro 2,1

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

33 Comments

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  1. […] This development suggests Apple is intentionally rendering recent Mac computers obsolete and not because there is anything wrong with older hardware: Install OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview on Old Unsupported Macs. […]

    • XT says:

      Absolutely Correct. It’s Apple’s way of purposefully obsoleting perfectly fine computers in a attempt to collect more money from you on a already severely overpriced product. Must be a way to recoup the monetary losses on their joke of a OS Lion.

      I have Windows 7 and Kubuntu 12.04 LTS on a Pentium 4 3.0Ghz with a Radeon 9600XT from 2003. I threw in 2 gigs of ram and it works beautifully for everything I want to do with it. I run the latest version of Firefox, iTunes, and other apps. There should be no reason that I could not run 10.8 on My Core2 MacBook with a GMA950 with the horsepower of the Core2, as long as I’m not gaming. I turn off a lot of the eye candy anyway on my newer machines, so that option should be available for users of older Mac hardware, or have it auto adjust.

  2. Potato says:

    If it runs that well I suspect Apple will wind up supporting them. If it runs OS X Lion it can run Mountain Lion, in fact I think Mountain Lion is faster.

  3. […] Fatto! Possiamo riavviare e goderci una installazione funzionante di Mountain Lion su un Mac non supportato! Il metodo funziona, per quanto non tutti i vecchi Mac siano stati testati. Non è chiaro se le prossime versioni beta di Mountain Lion, così come la release finale, saranno in grado di funzionare con questo trucchetto, staremo a vedere. Via | OSXDaily […]

  4. Mario Gaucher says:

    this procedure does not seem to work on a MacPro 2006/2007 (MacPro1,1 and MacPro2,1)…

    It boots… I get the desktop… but everything give me a cl_kernels error.

    • trifero says:

      In My mac Pro 2006 runs full ok. MAybe it´s the Graphic card? Mine GeForce 8800GT 512Mb

      • Andrew says:

        Thats good news ! I have the same setup as you…

        I am happy on Snow Leopard for now, but I was thinking, given that Windows 7 runs so well natively on older intel macs, and scales so well, wouldn’t it be ironic if windows 8 ran well on those machines and Mountain Lion did not work at all ? I will have to try this sometime :)

        • Fernando says:

          I have a Mac Pro 1,1 2006 GeForce 8800 GT 512MB but I get kernels error too :-(

          I don’t know where is the problem. trifero, Do you give more info about your machine? I want to know the difference between your machine and the mine one

  5. JeffK says:

    Hi got the same problem as Mario, but if I install the kext files then the startup stays spinning under the apple logo – would be cool for this to work.

  6. coolio2004 says:

    Same happen to my MB late 2007 3.1 Took the kext from 10.6.2 3100 64 bit and kext from 10.7.3 but always cl_kernels errors. Any suggestions?

  7. Pietro says:

    Salve a tutti, ho provato come hai detto tu ma sfortunatamente non riesco a risolvere il quartz extreme e il core image con la scheda grafica ATI x1000 Series ! con OS X Snow Leopard ed OS X Lion bastava con estrema facilità aggiungere l’ID dentro il .plist del ATIx1000.kext in qui già e integrato nativamente per potere avere QE/CI !
    Quindi visto che in OS X Mountain Lion i kext e plugin x1000 stranamente Apple li ha fatti fuori, ho provato a reinstallare quelli di OS X Lion con kexthelper ma assurdamente questa procedura non funziona… anche se mi sono accorto che su SystemProfiler in Scheda Grafica dice chiaramente che rotazione e supportata !
    La barra dei menu non traslucida e il dvd player di Apple non avviabile dichiarano perfettamente che Quartz Extreme non e abilitato ! ho provato anche a sostituire IONDRVSupport.kext, ATISupport.kext, ATIFramebuffer.kext di OS X Lion ma senza successo…
    Ho anche provato con i kext di OS X Snow Leopard ma neanche questi sembrano funzionare purtroppo… credo che ancora manchi aggiungere qualche altro kext assieme a questi ma proprio non so quale… attendo vostre risposte grazie a tutti per la collaborazione ;)

  8. trifero says:

    It runs superb on my Mac Pro 2006. Thanks ¡¡¡¡

  9. iNeedS1R1&osx8 says:

    Could someone be so kind and post the AppleIntelGMAX3100VLDriver.bundle online and give the address to let me download it? I erased my disc before installing mt lion and can’t access them. Please don’t tell me to install lion on virtual machine and get it there Plz Plz Plz

  10. juanerson says:

    Here I uploaded all my X3100 drivers from Lion 10.7.3:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?04cmhb84q57bnfq
    But is NOT working very good in M.L.

  11. Vito says:

    tried this on my old macbook pro 2006 core; all I get is a circle with a slash throught it, no apple, no installer, no joy.

  12. Ertavarez says:

    This method will work with the model MacBook Air Late 2008?

  13. […] which Macs can run Mountain Lion – a point which is given further weight by the reports that some enterprising Mac users have managed to get Mountain Lion running very well indeed on older, unsupported Macs […]

  14. Waqas says:

    This method and the one given by 3terrorist worked on my MacBook A1181 model identifier 4,1. But I get no videos and flash even after installing kexts from 10.7, 10.7.2 and 10.7.3.
    Someone said that I don’t hv quartz extreme and core image for my graphics card intel gma x3100.

    What to do?

  15. Hello.

    i installed it on my blackbook late 2007 graphic x3100.
    everything is working well doesn’t crash launchpad launch perfectly i can take an snapshot and doesn’t crash. the only problem is i can’t watch videos on youtube even if i can hear them :( and my bar is not transparent :(

  16. Kyle says:

    Like iNeedS1R1&osx8, I erased my HD, and need intel GMA 950 drivers. Can someone upload those please?

  17. viennaustria says:

    i don’t understand this:

    7. In PlatformSupport.plist, remember to add your model identifier, if you are using a MacBook White like me, add MacBook2,1 right above MacBook6,1. This step is important as the EFI reads this by sequence.

    For MacBook 07 and 08 add this line right above MacBook6,1

    For 07: MacBook2,1

    in my PlatformSupport.plist* i’m missing macbook 6.1 were i should put the line macbook2,1 above

    plz help me – thx

    *looks like this:

    SupportedBoardIds

    Mac-F2268DC8
    Mac-F4208CAA
    Mac-F22C86C8
    Mac-F22587C8
    Mac-F2218FA9
    Mac-F2218EA9
    Mac-F42D86A9
    Mac-F22C8AC8
    Mac-F22586C8
    Mac-942B59F58194171B
    Mac-F226BEC8
    Mac-F4218FC8
    Mac-942459F5819B171B
    Mac-F4218EC8
    Mac-F2208EC8
    Mac-F22C89C8
    Mac-F22587A1
    Mac-F221DCC8
    Mac-F42388C8
    Mac-F223BEC8
    Mac-F4238CC8
    Mac-F222BEC8
    Mac-F227BEC8
    Mac-F4208AC8
    Mac-F22788A9
    Mac-F4238BC8
    Mac-F221BEC8
    Mac-F2238AC8
    Mac-F4208EAA
    Mac-F22788C8
    Mac-F22589C8
    Mac-F4228EC8
    Mac-F22788AA
    Mac-F42C86C8
    Mac-F4208CA9
    Mac-942C5DF58193131B
    Mac-F2238BAE
    Mac-F42289C8
    Mac-F2268CC8
    Mac-F4208DC8
    Mac-F2218FC8
    Mac-F2218EC8
    Mac-F4208DA9
    Mac-F42D89C8
    Mac-F4208CAA
    Mac-F42D89A9
    Mac-F2268AC8
    Mac-F42C89C8
    Mac-942452F5819B1C1B
    Mac-F42786A9
    Mac-F42D88C8
    Mac-F42187C8
    Mac-94245B3640C91C81
    Mac-F42D86C8
    Mac-F2268EC8
    Mac-F2268DAE
    Mac-F42C8CC8
    Mac-F42C88C8
    Mac-94245A3940C91C80
    Mac-F42386C8
    Mac-942B5BF58194151B
    Mac-F42189C8

  18. tom says:

    Same problem, where do i enter the Mac-F code and the model?
    yring this

  19. tom says:

    Same problem, where do i enter the Mac-F code and the model?
    Trying this with the GM.
    Please help.

  20. Barry says:

    F-22788A9
    MacBook4,1

    Tried putting those in and I get a momentary “do not enter” sign on-screen then it just boots to another HD (that’s running Snow Leo). I was able to get Lion running without any hack.

    Suggestions are welcome.

  21. spook says:

    ok, “ADDING” the Mac-F****** code in the SupportedBoardIds and MacBook2,1 in the model list is easy with the xCode plist editor tool… and gets the system pass the support test. You need the modified boot.efi to get the system to accept your 32bit efi and boot (note this limits you to 4 Gigs of ram… I have a laptop with 4Gigs I don’t care) But where in the universe can you find the 64 bit drivers needed to make the IntelGMA950 work? The release of ML has no 32 bit support… Some of the DP’s did have some 32bit support… So using old drivers with 10.8 GM doesn’t help…. Any clues? Thanks!

  22. Pablo says:

    Anyone got an idea how to get that Mac-F*** code from a running system?
    I don’t have a mountain lion compatible mac atm, but if you extract the install.dmg to a flashdrive, why shouldn’t you be able to manipulate the PlatformSupport.plist in advance?
    My other Idea would be if one of you could install ML on a compatible mac and upload an Image? pretty sure that I could do the rest myself, gonna keep my Lion sys anyway so I could use it to edit the ML installation.

    Anyway, I would really appreciate any help or other ideas, meanwhile I’ll start looking for a MacBook to borrow for a day..:D

    • Sakura says:

      I’ve been doing everything from an external USB boot drive. (2.5 drive in a case…) And using a USB image of the os10.8. You do have to run the cmd-v from a cold boot to get the originating code. you have to have the OS installed first- and you can’t modify it from the USB install… I’m currently having problems with adding the codes in… i keep typing them in wrong.

  23. Michael says:

    hi there
    i have smal problem. This i have after start macbook late 2006 whitehttps://www.dropbox.com/s/zvpoczsbhyei6hl/MacBook.JPG
    plz can you help
    tx

  24. […] version of OS X to be installed on older, officially unsupported Macs. The process used to be quite complicated, but with MLPostFactor it’s easier than ever and can now be done by creating a partition, […]

  25. Dmitry says:

    Hi guys, can you help me, please?
    I’m installing 10.8.4 onto Macbook 2007 black, but having a problem.
    I’m running in verbose mode, after all loadings are complete it’s start graphics with Apple in the middle and system shutting down after that immediately.

    Any ideas?

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