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Install macOS Sierra on unsupported Macs

Apple recently released macOS Sierra, the new operating system for Mac. With this update, many Macs produced between 2008 and 2009 are no longer officially supported. This means that you will not be able to install macOS Sierra if you have one of these Macs. Specifically, these are the Macs no longer supported:

  • Mac Pro, iMac or MacBook Pro early 2008.
  • MacBook Air or MacBook Unibody in aluminum end 2008.
  • Mac Mini or MacBook White beginning 2009.
  • Xserve early 2008.

If you have one of these Macs and would like to install the latest Apple operating system, in this guide I will show you how to install macOS Sierra on unsupported Macs.

1. Introduction

Before proceeding with the installation, it is good to know what are the problems with this type of update. Not being an officially supported update, some components may not work properly. Specifically, these are the problems you might encounter if you want to install macOS Sierra on unsupported Macs.

  • Some Wi-Fi cards are not supported. Specifically, Macs with Wi-Fi module Broadcom BCM4321 they will not be able to use Wi-Fi features with macOS Sierra. One possible solution is to buy a Wi-Fi pen to insert into the Mac USB port like this one. The unsupported Macs are as follows: MacPro3.1, MacBook5.2, MacBookPro4.1, iMac8.1, Macmini3.1, is MacBookAir2.1. You can check if the Wi-Fi module of your compatible Mac. To do this click on the Apple logo on the top left and then select Information on this Mac. Now click on System report and, under the heading Network, select Wifi. If near the voice Card type: c written (0x14E4, 0x8C) or (0x14E4, 0x9D), then you have an incompatible WiFi card. Any other combination instead supported by macOS Sierra.

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  • Macbook5.2 trackpads are not fully supported by macOS Sierra. Although it works and is totally usable, Sierra recognizes it as a standard mouse. This will prevent you from changing some trackpad settings.
  • There are some problems with the iMac8.1 audio. In some iMac8.1s, the volume of the audio does not seem to change even if the volume bar appears on the screen when the relative keys are pressed. Volume Up is Volume-. The audio still works, even if it remains at maximum volume all the time.

After reading what the issues may be, here is the guide for install macOS Sierra on unsupported Macs.

2. Pre-Requisites

  • A pendrive of at least 8GB.
  • The tool macOS Sierra Patcher Tool which you can download from this link.
  • A copy of the macOS Sierra installer that you can download from here.

3. Install macOS Sierra on unsupported Macs

  • Connect your pendrive to the Mac. Make sure you have made a backup copy of the data in it, because it will be formatted.
  • You open Disk Utility (Applications -> Utility -> Disk Utility).
  • In the left sidebar select your pendrive. Click on the tab Initialize, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as a format, type MacOS as a name and then confirm the operation by clicking on Initialize.

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  • Start the tool macOS Sierra Patcher downloaded previously. When prompted, open the file Install macOS Sierra. the installation copy of macOS Sierra downloaded in the previous section.
  • Make sure the tool successfully verifies the macOS Sierra installer loading.
  • On the next screen, select your pendrive in the section Target Volume and then click on Start Operation.
  • Wait for the operation to complete, which can take up to 20 minutes depending on the speed of your pendrive.
  • At the end of the process, turn off your Mac. Restart it by holding down the button halt of the keyboard, until a screen appears from which you can choose which disk to start.
  • Select the disc OS X Base System.

At this point you can proceed in two different ways. You can decide to perform a clean installation of the system by formatting the disk. Or you can upgrade from an old OS X installation. In both cases I suggest you make a backup copy of your data on the Mac.

3.1. Format the disk for a clean installation

If you don't want to format the disk but prefer to upgrade the operating system, you can skip this section.

  • To format the disk, select Utility -> Disk Utility.

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  • From the left sidebar select the main disk of your Mac (normally the disk is called Macintosh HD).
  • On the section on the right, open the tab Initialize. Name the record Macintosh HD and how format selects Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

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  • Confirm the operation by clicking on Initialize.
  • Once formatting is complete, you can close it Disk Utility.

3.2. Install macOS Sierra on your Mac drive

At this point you can proceed with the macOS Sierra installation.

  • From the macOS Sierra installer home screen, click on Keep it going.
  • Select the disc Macintosh HD and click again Keep it going.
  • Follow all the instructions and wait for the installation to complete.
  • Once the installation is complete, restart your Mac. Open the installation drive again by pressing and holding the button halt when turning on your Mac and selecting OS X Base System.
  • The top selects from the bar Utility -> macOS Post Install.

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  • A new window will open. Select the model of your Mac so that the tool knows the optimal configuration. The exact model is suggested above the menu on the side with the writing Detected Model:.
  • After selecting the Mac model, click on Patch.

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  • At the end of the procedure, select Reboot. The first reboot can take longer than usual.

At this point you start your Mac with macOS Sierra installed. If you encounter any problems with starting your Mac, restart the tool again when you turn on your Mac. Go to Utility -> macOS Post Install and then click Force Cache Rebuild. Now restart your Mac.

4. Conclusions

Through this guide you will be able to install macOS Sierra on unsupported Macs. If you have any problems, write us through the comments at the end of this article.