How I installed Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on my 2006 MacPro 1,1 and other non-supported Macs.
We all know how cool OS X Mountain Lion is with Twitter and Facebook integration, updated safari, iCloud and many other features that are taken directly from iOS. There is one bad thing about this upgrade, it kills support for many popular Mac models including Mac Pro from 2006 and 2007. These machines are very powerful ones since they come with two quad-core processors and 6GB of RAM. It cost around $3000 for users to buy Mac Pro but now they can’t install Mountain Lion that costs mere $19.99.
The blogger names Jabbawok has found solution to install Mountain Lion on the first Mac Pros from 2006. He used hackintosh tools, originally made for booting Mac onto a Windows PC, to install latest Mac operating system on the older Mac Pro.
Before you get too excited it should be pointed out that Jabbawok wasn’t able to use a pure Mac Pro 1,1, because the older NVidia 7300 GT is not supported by Mountain Lion. The Mac Pro was updated to a relatively newer Apple branded version of AMD HD5770 which is already 3 years old.
Jabbawok faced several other compatibility issues: the lack of 32-bit support in Mountain Lion and the fact that first generation Mac Pro is not listed in the operating system’s list of supported hardware. The hack’s author had to use Chameleon bootloader to emulate EFI64 protocols in Legacy Boot, which was installed on a second SATA SDD drive. After that hacker edited the PlatformSupportValues, and installed custom software to enable proper HDMI output.
Needless to say that this hack is not for everyone and unless you are engineer or technology fanatic this solution will not work for you. This hack requires new hardware which will be attached to 6 year old machine so it isn’t very logical but still doable. It’s interesting to see how hard many Apple fans are trying to get the latest OS upgrade working on outdated hardware. I guess it won’t take too long for some other geeks to develop some simple software solution to install Mountain Lion on any Mac computer.
If you want to read more about this solution or try it (not recommended though) you can head to Jabbawok’s blog.
Is it worth to spend a lot of time developing and installing such system just to get some iOS features to six year old computer?