Some old MacBook Pro questions

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Now that I have my new toys (a 16" MBP specifically), I figure that it is time for me to take a look at some of my older MBPs.

My old 17" MBP which I gave to my mom (and which since has been replaced with a current model 24" iMac) is the mid/late 2007 model. Before you ask: nah, it's not worth resale as is. Its current hard drive is problematic in that it does NOT fully boot up (gets about 75% through the boot-up proces then reboots), AND the screen has a number of memory(?) flaws such that there are small but scattered patches which partly obscure small bits of the screen. Those patches change with each bootup.

Right now I am downloading the install version of macOS X 10.11 El Capitan--the last version which is compatible with that 17" MBP--onto my old 15" MBP. From there I plan to run that installation to a 32 GB USB stick, or do I have to do that? Can I just copy that version onto my USB stick and get the 17" MBP to boot up with that? Sorry, it has been a while since I last dealt with just the install version.

Anyway, my plan is use my USB stick to boot up my old 17" MBP to wipe the contents of its hard drive. Yeah, yeah, it just had my mom's stuff on it and she isn't at all likely to have anything on it which she needs to keep private but I'm paranoid about such things. AND this is assuming that I can access the 17" MBP's hard drive since it is still very problematic.

If I cannot get the 17" MBP's hard drive reformatted and cleared, I might be forced to pull out its hard drive and render its contents unreadable. I have an old 2.5-inch hard drive that I could swap in to make that 17" MBP "usable".

After that, I don't know what to do with this rather old and decrepit 17" MBP. Any sugggestions?

-----

THEN my plan is to reformat my old 15" MBP--a mid 2012 model--to become my traveling MBP.

But which version of macOS X was the last one which could run macOS 9 software? My memory and search-fu have failed me.

OH. It just now occurred to me that I should partition that 15" MBP SSD into one partition running that version of macOS X still compatible with running macOS 9 software, AND a second partition which has Mojave 10.15.3 (I suspect that 10.16--whenever that comes out--will NOT be compatible with it). I would have to remember to boot up the Mojave partition whenever I connected my iPhone to it.

My thanks for any help.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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If the logic board/display weren't having issues, I'd argue with you over resale. You might be surprised what even older Macbooks go for.

As for MacOS 9, that was PPC only. The last know Apple machine capable of running was the 12" Powerbook G4 (https://lowendmac.com/2005/12-powerbook ... arly-2005/)
ukimalefu last throes
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No, my core 2 duo mini ran OS 9... but wait... it may have done it with rosetta...
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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It most certainly did, as OS9 was never ported to Intel. Also, I may have been wrong about that Powerbook running OS9 natively. Apparently it was running Mac OS X with an OS 9 emulation as well. Which would make the 1GHz Powerbook G4 the last machine capable of natively booting Mac OS 9 (https://everymac.com/systems/apple/powe ... 4_1.0.html).

Why anyone would want to natively run 9 at this point is beyond me, though. I never developed the love for the older System N software that so many people did, and I felt Mac OS X was a massive upgrade.
But wasn't there a version of OS X which could run Os 9 software natively without requiring that Mac to be booted into OS 9? Like something really early like 10.6?

Or maybe I am thinking about my first MBP PowerMac G4? Ah, I found it: a 15" PM G4 from 2004. Its battery slot is empty because the old battery had swollen up to about 50% more volume than the original battery. It has been so long that I don't even know what is on its hard drive or recall how large of a hard drive it had.

<sigh> I should take care of that TOO while I'm in a cleaning/clearing-house mood. And also my white iBook G3 that I got in 2001.
DEyncourt posted:
But wasn't there a version of OS X which could run Os 9 software natively without requiring that Mac to be booted into OS 9? Like something really early like 10.6?

Or maybe I am thinking about my first MBP PowerMac G4? Ah, I found it: a 15" PM G4 from 2004. Its battery slot is empty because the old battery had swollen up to about 50% more volume than the original battery. It has been so long that I don't even know what is on its hard drive or recall how large of a hard drive it had.

<sigh> I should take care of that TOO while I'm in a cleaning/clearing-house mood. And also my white iBook G3 that I got in 2001.

I think up to 10.4 After that they used Intel. And iirc os9->OSX apps used cocoa APIs while OSXPPC->OSXintel used carbon APIs.

I haven't touched a mac in maybe half a decade so i could be mistaken.
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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Yes, up to 10.4 supported the "classic" mode. No Intel macs do.
OK. Oh well, it looks like my 15" MBP is limited to macOS X 10.7 or later. That on top of being an Intel-based Mac, then it looks like I'm out of luck for the running of Mac OS 9 software on it.

Hrumph. OWC no longer offers any PowerBook batteries so I'm not sure where I might go to find a replacement. I shall dredge up its power supply and run it while plugged to satisfy my paranoid side that its hard drive is as empty as I can make it.

I guess I could get my old iBook running again for my OS 9 needs. Its hard drive was beginning to have problems but way back then I was able to transfer its contents to my PowerBook G4 and on upward from there to my current 16" MBP. While I had replaced my iBook's hard drive twice, I'm not looking forward to tearing it apart again just to have another running Mac. It wasn't actually hard to do, just a whole mess of fiddly little bits to keep track of.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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You can get batteries for that rig pretty cheap, but at its present age, that might be easily explained. I found one for $26 on Amazon.
Couldn't you just run OS9 in an emulator like SheepShaver? I know there is one that let's you run the ppc OS9 on Intel OSX.
Robert B. Dandy Highwayman
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There is a utility out there that will let you update OSX for unsupported Macs. I have a 2010 MBP running Catalina, although some features won’t work, of course.
juice Inadvertently correct
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I have a Mac Pro 1,1 (2006) running El Cap. That's as far as I can go even with the utility Robert referenced.
<sigh> Some trouble getting El Cap installed on a USB drive.

So I found Apple's page for installing El Cap. I copied that link to said USB drive to get Safari on my old 15" MBP to that page and then download the STUB installation program to that MBP. I then ran that program but when I tried to select the USB drive it said that it wasn't "eligible".

As near as I can figure the problem appears to be that my USB drive does NOT have any earlier version of macOS X on it. The El Cap page is ONLY for UPGRADING to El Cap and cannot be used for JUST installing it.

<sigh>

I'll try to kill 2 birds with one stone by installing 10.5.x Leopard from CD (I'm sure I have that SOMEWHERE) on to my USB drive (I do have an Apple SuperDrive). The reason for using such an early version is so that I can use it to boot up my old PowerBook G4. For THAT machine I found an old battery and power supply in storage BUT for whatever reasons the PB doesn't even give me a startup bong. It sounds like it is TRYING to powerup the hard drive but fails at that point (although quite frankly it has been well over a decade since I last tried anything on that PB and I don't recall what was the state of its hard drive).
Betonhaus posted:
Couldn't you just run OS9 in an emulator like SheepShaver? I know there is one that let's you run the ppc OS9 on Intel OSX.

I could never get SheepShaver to ever run properly even on my older Macs.
Or, you can do what I did.. I have a MBP circa 2011 or so, that was pretty much useless as a machine until I put an SSD and installed Debian + XFCE4 on it

I can't post links because I just created the account, but you can assemble your own from this:
github /timnetworks/Platinum9
Success with the 17" MBP: after I booted it up with my USB drive with macOS X 10.5 on it, I used Disk Utility to wipe and reformat the 17" MBP's hard drive. Then I used my macOS X 10.6 Snow Leopard CD (which I also found while dredging through my stuff) to reboot this MBP and install that version upon it.

Its screen has gotten worse. While its problems are very sporadic and change upon each reboot, NOW when I bring up something which has more contents than the visible window (like a web page), when I try to scroll up or down on that page the contents of the page will "smear" across the screen during that scrolling. No idea on how to fix this short of finding an old ExpressCard/34 video card which I believe existed at one point but no idea if they still do.

In any case: hard drive wiped and reloaded and--for the moment--rebootable (which it wasn't before). For completeness I will "update" it to 10.11 El Capitan, that being the latest compatible version.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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I tried to explain to an Apple salesperson what a Lombard and a Ti Mac were. He was born after those. I tried to explain to him that the Lombard was black and weighed like a 100lbs. :D
Robert B. Dandy Highwayman
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I had a Wallstreet. Man, that was the high life. Then I sold it and got a TiBook. Still have that in a box somewhere.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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Robert B. posted:
I had a Wallstreet. Man, that was the high life. Then I sold it and got a TiBook. Still have that in a box somewhere.

That was it! I couldn't remember the name Wallstreet! That came right before the Lombard?
Lombo Opiofiend
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Yes. I had one also. Hence my username. I had 192mb of RAM and I was the human waste ! It costed 7500$ can.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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justine posted:
Robert B. posted:
I had a Wallstreet. Man, that was the high life. Then I sold it and got a TiBook. Still have that in a box somewhere.

That was it! I couldn't remember the name Wallstreet! That came right before the Lombard?


It did. For some reason, I thought the Pismo came after the Wallstreet, but that was the 4th gen G3 powerbook. Lombard was 3rd gen.
This is frustrating.

I would like to update macOS X on my old 17" MBP to 10.11 El Capitan. Currently I have 10.6 Snow Leopard installed on it.

I found the download page for El Capitan and copied it to my 17" MBP. I downloaded the initial installation program but when I tried to run it, it objected. Looking at its log, there is an error saying that the installer is too new, being version 2.<something> when the Snow Leopard installer is 1.<whatever>.

The same thing happened with the installer for macOS X 10.10 Yosemite.

Older than Yosemite I am running into the problem of how macOS X 10.7 through 10.9 were during that time when Apple charged for those versions. Even now Apple does NOT offer any of these for free.

I am sure I actually have those installation disks--having bought them when they were new--but so far I have NOT found them.

Grumph.
Lombo Opiofiend
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What is your MBP version ?

Also did you try to download it from a Mac that have the App Store installed on ?

https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac-software/download-old-os-x-3629363/

Finally the link I gave you was from someone who made his download link private after I thought I had copied the actual dmg from him. Sorry.
What is your MBP version ?
The 17" MBP model is A1261, called the "Early 2008" model.

Also did you try to download it from a Mac that have the App Store installed on ?
Well, those Catalina and Yosemite installers are big enough to be full installs, just that their versions of the actual installation programs are incompatible with Snow Leopard (10.6).

https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac-software/download-old-os-x-3629363/
Thanks! But <hrumph> my Snow Leopard does NOT have the Apple App Store. Hmm...maybe it's because I only have 10.6.0 installed and maybe the App Store came with a later .X version?

The mid-range versions of macOS X are NOT among my purchases on the Apple App Store I THINK because I actually bought them at Apple Stores.

Finally the link I gave you was from someone who made his download link private after I thought I had copied the actual dmg from him. Sorry.
Ah. That's OK, but thanks for the offer.

-----

Hey! I found this page which tells how to upgrade from Snow Leopard to Mavericks (10.9)--bonus: it showed (<sigh> reminded me) how to upgrade Snow Leopard to the last version 10.6.8 which apparently DOES include the Apple App Store. I am now giving that a try--now doing the 10.6.8 upgrade.

Hmm. If that Mavericks update doesn't work then I'll just leave this MBP with Snow Leopard.
DEyncourt posted:
Betonhaus posted:
Couldn't you just run OS9 in an emulator like SheepShaver? I know there is one that let's you run the ppc OS9 on Intel OSX.

I could never get SheepShaver to ever run properly even on my older Macs.

Really? Well i'm going to try because it's been some time since I played Glider Pro https://winworldpc.com/product/mac-os-9/92

Seems it only supports up to Mac OS 9.0.4?

Last edited by Betonhaus on Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:49 am.

After the 10.6.8 upgrade, I thought: "Why the hell not?" and started the El Capitan upgrade...and it is installing right now!

I guess that upgrade included the needed update to the Snow Leopard installer.
Betonhaus posted:
DEyncourt posted:
Betonhaus posted:
Couldn't you just run OS9 in an emulator like SheepShaver? I know there is one that let's you run the ppc OS9 on Intel OSX.

I could never get SheepShaver to ever run properly even on my older Macs.

Really? Welli'm going to try because it's been some time since I played Glider Pro https://winworldpc.com/product/mac-os-9/92

Admittedly I didn't try too hard to get SheepShaver to work because it was just a curiosity for me. It was not necessary for me to get it to work.
BTW: the suggestion on that Tom's Guide page for the user to go through the Apple App Store to find the 10.9 Mavericks updater was not helpful because at the App Store the "Mavericks" updater is no longer there.
Any ideas about my old PowerBook G4? It is a model A1095 which was sold by Apple from between April 2004 and January 2005.

Even if the hard drive is dead (and I have no idea about it), I did try to boot it up with my USB drive that has macOS X 10.5 installed on it, even holding down the Option key in order to get to the screen to select the boot drive. This did not help: all I can hear is that its SuperDrive clicks just once but then it just stops. After that I have to wait several minutes before I can try this again.

I tried inserting my 10.5 Leopard installation disk into the slot. Now the PB SOUNDS like it is trying to read that disk BUT its screen is completely blank such that it appears to be NOT getting power at all.

And now my Leopard install disk is stuck inside. Grumph.
DEyncourt posted:
After the 10.6.8 upgrade, I thought: "Why the hell not?" and started the El Capitan upgrade...and it is installing right now!

I guess that upgrade included the needed update to the Snow Leopard installer.

Rats! But it did not complete.

It looked like it was running through its paces, but when I next checked on my 17" MBP the install program was done without any reported error, but the window did NOT have a RESTART button as per usual when an updater gets completed. I tried rebooting it but it is sill on 10.6.8.
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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DEyncourt posted:
BTW: the suggestion on that Tom's Guide page for the user to go through the Apple App Store to find the 10.9 Mavericks updater was not helpful because at the App Store the "Mavericks" updater is no longer there.

They are not in the App Store, but they are still available on Apple's website if you search for them...usually through googling and navigating other more helpful sites.
Metacell posted:
DEyncourt posted:
BTW: the suggestion on that Tom's Guide page for the user to go through the Apple App Store to find the 10.9 Mavericks updater was not helpful because at the App Store the "Mavericks" updater is no longer there.

They are not in the App Store, but they are still available on Apple's website if you search for them...usually through googling and navigating other more helpful sites.

Well, I tried that Googling for Mavericks. ALL of the sites that I tried either no longer exists or linked to ANOTHER page or site which likewise no longer exists.

I checked at Apple Support and the "help" there declares that Mavericks cannot be downloaded even from Apple EXCEPT via a previous purchase of the Mavericks updater (so like the last cats of 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion).

-----

I tried downloading the El Cap installer again thinking that perhaps something happened to that previous download. I started it last night but some networking problem was somehow slowing my overall download speeds such that at some point it gave up. I got it to complete this morning.

When I ran that new copy it LOOKED promising because it did take longer to process than my previous copy, but in the end it failed to reboot. My 17" MBP is still on 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.

Trying to download the 10.10 Yosemite download again now.

-----

Heh. Maybe I'll take my PB G4 and 17" MBP into my local Apple Store and see they can help. For my PB I am willing to take it apart if only to recover my Leopard install disk and then to remove the hard drive in order to make sure that its contents are deleted before further deciding what to do. I guess that overall at least it is usable for spare parts (maybe not the screen if it is fouled up).

Hmm. The IFixIt guide for removing the hard drive of my PB is about as intimidating as that for my 2001 iBook.
HA! Stupid me.

I was thinking that the download was the actual installer and so got frustrated when after running it that no update happened.

But when I was looking around at the contents of 17" MBP I now saw that the ACTUAL installer was dropped into the Applications folder. I saw one for El Cap and another for Yosemite. D'oh!

Running the El Cap now.
DEyncourt posted:
HA! Stupid me.

I was thinking that the download was the actual installer and so got frustrated when after running it that no update happened.

But when I was looking around at the contents of 17" MBP I now saw that the ACTUAL installer was dropped into the Applications folder. I saw one for El Cap and another for Yosemite. D'oh!

Running the El Cap now.

Yeah I noticed that.

Last edited by Betonhaus on Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:09 pm.

Grumph.

Oddly after running that El Cap updater my 17" MBP is running ALMOST EXACTLY how it did before when I first tried starting it up: the boot seems normal then at about 75% to completion it either shuts down or locks up.

I gonna try installing Yosemite after I wipe its drive back to Snow Leopard (though after I update it to 10.6.8).
BTW: if you must do something similar with any Mac, you should run "Software Update" TWICE following the 10.X installation. Software Update was an option under the Apple Menu for earlier versions of macOS X before it became a System Preference.

Chances are that your installer will be basic, the 10.X.0 version, and that there will be at Apple an updater to the final version, let's call that version 10.X.F.

There is a good chance that there may be other intermediate Apple software updates which cannot be installed on 10.X.0 but should be installed on 10.X.F.
Well, I ran the El Cap updater on my 17" MBP but it stalled at about 75% of the way during the installtion process following the first reboot.

I reloaded its hard drive with Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and then ran the Yosemite updater. This time the process stopped about 15% of way through.

I have been suspecting that the real problem may be something with its hard drive (incidentally a 500 GB disk), so I also set up a 32 GB USB drive with Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and am now trying the Yosemite updater on that. It has gotten past that 15% point but hasn't completed the installation yet. <GRUMPH> it stalled at about 30%.

<sigh> Re-installing Snow Leopard AGAIN.

-----

Incidentally you might think that with 32 GB my USB drive shouldn't have any problems with the Yosemite or El Capitan updaters, but here's the problem:

Snow Leopard 10.6.8 takes up about 10 GB of space.
Either updater takes up about 6 GB of space, so a total of 16 GB.
When that updater is run, the resulting application of "Install OS X Yesemite/El Capitan" takes up about 6 GB, so now a total of 22 GB.
Each installer requires over 10 GB, thus there isn't enough hard drive space remaining.

Of course NOW I know that I can delete the initial updater thus freeing up enough space.

-----

Question: how can I copy the contents of a bootable drive to another drive AND make that second drive bootable?

I had tried that with my USB drive using Disk Utility (the Snow Leopard version) to copy my 17" MBP's hard drive's contents to my USB drive, but in checking with the Startup Disk System Preference I found that it did not recognize my USB drive as being bootable.

Not recalling an easy way of doing this (there was some sort of "blessing" upon the System file in macOS 9 and earlier that was required) and having my search-fu fail me, I just did the installation of Snow Leopard the hard way.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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This is feeling more and more like a bad disk and less like a bad computer. I don't know about there, but you can get reasonably cheap Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD's here for about $60, or the Crucial MX500 250GB for about $50.

It might make that old rig fast enough that you decide to keep it after all. I put a 860 EVO 250GB in a Macbook Pro, and it is now a daily driver. Your MBP has the slightly older Core 2 T7550 vs the T9550 in the early 2009, so I wouldn't be surprised if it holds up.
Well, I'm gonna give it one more try at updating but with an external drive. If I cannot get El Cap to install on that, then I shall just mark it all as "some" hardware failure and maybe see if someone like iFixIt.com might offer me something for my 17" MBP for spare parts.

I do have my more recent 15" MBP (a 2012 model) which has current Catalina (10.15.3) on it though with a flaky keyboard for which I have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard. I plan on using that as my travel laptop (although it looks like it might be quite a while before I will be able to do THAT).
maurvir posted:
This is feeling more and more like a bad disk and less like a bad computer.
[snip]

Well, here's the thing about that: I installed Snow Leopard (10.6.8) onto an external drive and--AFTER making certain that there was no remnant of an El Capitan or Yosemite upgrade on my 17" MBP's internal hard drive--I tried upgradeing it to El Capitan.

Its installation process got to around 90% towards completion on the external drive but then it shut down. Upon reboot it would pick up again at that same point but only run for about 15 seconds and then shut down again.

How would a bad internal drive affect that El Cap upgrade on an external drive? I know that the upgrade is only on that external drive because when I let my 17" MBP boot up by itself I only got on its screen a largish folder icon with a question mark on it.

I have installed 10.6.8 Snow Leopard on its internal drive just to leave it in a bootable state. It is salvageable probably only needing to get its video function replaced which <UGH> will cost at least $900 from iFixIt.com (there being no separate video card).

-----

Anyone with any ideas for my old 15" PowerBook G4, a model A1095? I cannot even get it start up into Target Mode just so I could reformat its hard drive, so I guess I will forced to open it up just to remove said hard drive and possibly just crack open that hard drive to make certain it is unreadable (not that it has anything particularly personal or embarrassing on it since I had set it up as my mom's handmedown computer after I upgraded to my 17" MBP above).

I have tried to reset its PRAM but it shuts down--literally in much less than a second--before reacting to those keys being held down.
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Some old MacBook Pro questions

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