Mac OS forum


Adventures of a MacBook upgrade to Mountain Lion

by cdisxm / January 19, 2013 7:18 AM PST

Firstly, I am completely new to Apple, but I am a networking engineer with some 30 years experience. Still I had to be humble. A kind person gave me a MacBook (late 2008) aluminum unibody). It looks new and has done no work, and yet I know very little about Mac except how to network them like any other device.

So I decided to post to ask some wiser heads what I can do to with this Macbook 5.1 Core 2 Duo 2 Ghz, 2GB with Leopard.

Here is the post to Cnet forum without much response.

Well I wanted to go to Snow Leopard and add some memory. I was warned on the Apple board it would just scrape in for SL and no chance with Lion or Mountain Lion unless I want to drive with the brakes on waiting forever to load applications.

Still, I knew RAM speeds everything up ahead and ordered 2 x 4GB for under $50 after reading the Mac will recognize 8GB and not 4GB as published. Next I bought SL online for $20. It actually worked faster than Leopard and was breeze to upgrade.

Next I went to my local Apple store and they told me I needed another Mac, an i5 Retina. They said it would not even run properly because of the sloooowwww processor even with 8GB. I smiled and thanked them for the sales advice.

Next I checked the boards and sure enough the purists said it can't be done. Too big an OS. Conflicts with Office, etc etc.

Well it looked like I had to be content with Snow Leopard and 8GB, but still wanting to see if we can really let this cat loose, I called Apple. The tech searched the spec and said without hesitation, go to Mountain Lion, no problem. <div>
So another $20 later and a 4 hours download I wake up to an installer of Mountain Lion sitting on the dock.

I read about backing up the OS installer to a spare external drive with a neat little free tool Lion Disk Maker 2.0.2 and in a few minutes I had a bootable drive of the OS. It works for both Lion and ML. <div>
Also got to find out about Time Machine, so that was another spare SATA external lying around.

So for $90 I have a 2008 Mac that flies along. I cannot understand what these buffs are doing with ML, maybe they are calculating Kolmogorov equations of nuclear fusion or something, but I am just using the apps included with ML, which are awesome, and Office 2008 which came with it from new.

For a guy who knows nothing about Mac I sure learned a lot very fast. Don't get taken in by all the store salesmen's hype. Mountain Lion is a very fast OS. The applications are running faster on ML than Snow Leopard with the 8GB, but that's not a scientific measurement.

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER">My advice is don't dump those older Macs just yet. Check your options. For my purposes this aging MacBook is a worthy addition that will last for some years to come.

Hopefully my little adventure helps someone.


<div>PS: I really do like the fact that the OS has been 64-bit for years based on BSD which I cut my teeth on in the 80s, so I guess I am now an Apple convert.


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I'm back with another rocket to strap on that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 19, 2013 7:29 AM PST

My laptop got an upgrade last month with a 750GB Hybrid HDD. It's much snappier.

Sorry but if you are following the show you see that more users are becoming just that. Users. They rarely tinker and sadly many of them don't know what CANNED AIR is and how important it is to keep your gear out of the shop.

Thanks for the story.

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750GB Hybrid HDD - will they all work?
by cdisxm / January 20, 2013 5:41 AM PST

You're welcome Bob.

I think you are right and that a little tinkering with some knowledge goes a long way. I had a look inside and it looks clean.

So what is the procedure to upgrade the hard drive? You said hybrid, by that I guess you mean non-Apple supplied? It is only a 160GB Toshiba so can I use any SATA drive and do a Time Machine restore to it?


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This is the last one I got.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 20, 2013 8:19 AM PST
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