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10.9 on Unsupported Mac running 10.6.8 - install advice


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so from what i have read this is doable.. but first things first, it is, right?? funny one gets the error from the app store that it isn't ;)


this 2006 model (5,1, 2.16 core 2 duo 2gigs ram, ATI Radeon X1600 128mB video, tank, love it, not a dead pixel yet and that wonderful flat mat screen) is running 10.6.8 now on the second partition with 10.5 on the first partition (at least the ones i see, theres a hidden one right?).. wanting to install on the 10.5 partition


i am familiar with digital dreamers script, installing kexts, and modifying dsdt, just wondering what the best approach is?  i know i could just wipe the whole drive and perhaps start with an mbr setup as was mentioned in the script.. but is there a non-desctructive approach - can i keep the drive as is and just install the bootloader? of course everything will be backed up to an external first


guess i could use all the legit smc data from this machine and just change the number to a compatible one? if the script even needs it


just starting this off i don't even know if i can boot to chameleon right into the usb stick (like with the Asus lappy i am also working on) or if i have to make a bootable dvd to chain load the usb


looking forward to getting somewhere i didn't see much mentioned about older i mac installs so thought a post would be worthy to document

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If I understand you the right way, you have  Leopard running on the first first partition of your hd and added Snow Leopard on the second partition of the drive. If you have guid partitions, there is not any problem.  You can do with your partions what you want. If you have formatted with mbr ther is also no problem, if your first partition with Leopard has the same size, as the second partion with running Snow Leopard.


You have just to get Carbon Copy Cloner install it on your Snow Leopard partition, erase with diskutility the content of your Leopard partition, and clone your Snow Leopard to the first partition. In case of mbr partitioned hd the warinings of CCC in this context are just to ignore.


Important: After cloning you have to install the Chameleon bootloader version, you are running or a newer compatible one, on your clone to be again able to boot from your first partition.


Then try to boot with flags -f -v to your clone. If you can boot to it, and everything else is working, you can do with your second partition what you want.

If your clone is not bootable, just boot to your original Snow and correct the issues.


Have fun.

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Styrian - the imac drive has three guid partitions and I am wanting to install Mavericks on the first guid partition, ideally, but guess it really doesn't matter


-so one way to do this would be to clone the SL to the first partition, get it up and booting with Chameleon, with modified smbios and then go to the app store and download and run the upgrade (if it would work)


-another way is to create a bootable usb and install Mavericks from USB, the only catch here i think is that i cant make the usb mbr format because on a mac holding the option key down will only allow a guid formatted usb to boot


going to do the second way so I don't need to clone the SL install - your post still helps though as a good start would be to get SL booting from chameleon instead of the default efi boot.. if anything goes awry i can boot from the SL DVD

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ok so to start it would be nice to get current SL booting with chameleon instead of the default mac bootloader.. one thing i noticed with the bootable SL install usb stick this forum helped me make is that when i boot it on the asus laptop the chameleon bootloader shows up with the usual picture and boot options, but when i tried it on the mac it was recognized by holding the option key, but it skips the chameleon bootloader stuff and just directly segways to the OSX install screen.. odd.. anywho..



-should chameleon go on the efi or on the os partition?

-if i want to dual boot SL and Mavericks can i install the bootloader on the efi partition?

-should i reformat the drive and lose the efi partition and go with MBR?


sorry if bad logic on that last one i dont fully understand the difference between efi setup verus mbr with guid partitions

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After we have cleared up by pm, what you disere is, I want you to tell here my humble opinion of upgrading your iMac 2006, 2 GB ram, to newer OS then Snow Leopard:


With system 10 7.0 began the real resource eating of OSX on the Core 2 Duo Mac platforms with ddr2 ram and the need of upgrading of ram. I had Lion running for some weeks on an MBP 4,1, 2,4 Ghz 4 GB ram, before it died the Nvidia gfx death.

In Comparison with running Snow Leopard on this device, it became under Lion less reactive, booting had lastet longer, and running it has therefore not made so much fun as before under Snow Leopard.


As far as I know, you should offically be able to upgrade the ram of your iMac to 3 GB, perhaps undocumented to 4 GB with limitations, depending on your nearer specs.

The biggest deal breaker of upgrading your iMac to Mavericks could be it´s gfx. This seems to be not compatible with the OpenGl 4.0, that is used by Mavericks, and it is not upgradeable, because of being soldered on the mainboard. (If I am right x1600 with 128 mb, neccessary X1600 256 mb)


In any case you have to hackintosh your iMac and format it MBR. I have collected some links for you worth to read:



(About upgrade 32-bit MacPro with upgradeable gfx)




The most important for you seems to be that one: (patched x1600 kexts available?)



If you search in google with arguments: unsupported mac Mavericks or unsupported mac Mountian Lion, you will find tons of matches, You should also do a search for patched kexts for your gfx.


My conclusion is the following:

If you have time and it makes fun for you to hackintosh your iMac you could try it with Mavericks, if you are able to find verified working patched gfx-kexts. You can also try to install Mountain Lion, if you can find out, if your gfx is working without patching or if patching is neccessary, then only, if it is verified working.

But as I have written before, I doubt, that using the system itself makes real fun. If you could get it working with Mavericks or Mountain Lion and you want to use it for more then fun, then you should think about trying to upgrade ram to 4 GB and a SSD harddrive with about 240 GB space.


In any case, if you try to hackintosh your iMac, you have to clone your partitions to an external Guid partitoned harddrive with CCC and keep them save. After installing Mav/ML you have just to clone them back and install chameleon on the clone to be afterwards able to boot the cloned system.


You can make your usb installer for Mavericks or Mountain Lion following this guide:



Please post here your results.


Have fun.

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Styrian, thanks for all the info!  Much appreciated.. I will look into all your links. Funny I was reasearching exactly what you mention - the graphics card issue which I was getting up to speed on today.  Yes it is the Radeon x1600, what I didn't know was that its soldiered to the mainboard.  I was hoping for the off chance that it could be upgraded.  I was researching 2006 Mac Pros (1,1) that were being upgraded to 10.9 successfully with gfx upgrade and thought that meant it could be doable on the i-mac.

So I agree with your mention of the patched 1600 kexts availability being the important issue right now.  I cloned all the partitions using the disk utility application, I assume this is the same as CCC.


And I fully understand many a reader who would just be thinking, "geez dude, go build your own desktop and just choose compatible hardware", which is definitely what I am planning on doing for my next project.  This was just an idea for fun and the neat irony as well.  So the gfx could be a deal breaker on this one, I mean it runs just fine on 10.6.8 it would be nice to get some of the added features is all like messaging and whatnot.


Well its been very educational succeeding with my first hackintosh, and looking into a second project.  I will continue to research this in the meantime, at some point this mac may just retire running Linux as a router :)

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In some times iMac 2006 is only retro and cult. Nice to have one originally working.

Diskutility should work too. Try to proof it, by booting the clones.


As I wrote in my pm, a used one of the mentioned platform should also do the trick. If you can get the things for a fair fee, you could do the deal. An other advantage is, this platform is well supported by Ermac and many others. You can find here everything you need for a smooth running system.


The nice features are just for fun. You must proof, if they are worth the price of a slowed down system, like the windows way with the nt-kernel, always grabbling on the harddisk in virtual ram. :wink_anim:


Have fun.

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After days of research, update it appears to be doable!  However it remains to be seen, but the folks doing the development are claiming X1600 support, now until an update is posted there are questions about whether this refers to X1600 on Mac Pro (1,1) only  or iMac (5,1), and MBP from same era, but there is mention of X1600 and 10.9 running on an old 2006 iMac on that thread you referred me to.

Can't get any more hopeful than this!  Ram is being upgraded to 4Gig - now the person doing it said he's not sure whether the board will recognize 3 or 4, but he did mention he has a MBP that is only supported to 4 and he has 8 recognized in it so hopeful to get the 4.

As far as functionality goes for common things like videochat and messaging, bonjour, etc, well just have to wait and see..


I know what you mean about the nt-kernel you should have heard my Asus laptops SATA drive clicking away all the time (the one in my sig)... drove me nuts!  SL runs like a charm!


Once again Styrian I want to thank you for taking the time to respond and point me in the right direction.

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