• 4

Any problem with using a newer Mac laptop to install macOS Sierra onto an external hard drive, then install into an older Mac laptop? (assuming both Macs are Sierra-capable, obviously)

Are there any issues with booting and running an older Mac from a macOS created with a newer Mac? For example, does the Sierra installer install drivers specific to the Mac on which the Sierra installer app ran?

FileMaker Pro 10 works great in High Sierra, but you need to install it on a 10.6 Mac, then copy the installed folder "/Applications/FileMaker Pro 10/" to the High Sierra Mac. If you don't do this you cannot connect to a remote FM server

  • 1
Reply Report

Mac OS Sierra 10.12 was released on September 20, 2016.

Mac OS High Sierra 10.13 was released on September 25, 2017.

Mac OS Mojave 10.14 was released on September 24, 2018

Only 10.12 and 10.13 operating systems have the same minimum system requirements.

10.14 requirements are the end of this tip.

A few Macs which came with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard can install Sierra.

10.6.1 shipped new with the MacBook Late 2009 and the iMac Late 2009 (can use 10.6.3 retail for install).

10.6.3 shipped new with MacBook Pro Mid 2010, and 10.6.4 shipped new with the MacBook Air Late 2010, Mac Mini mid 2010, and the Mac Pro Mid 2010 (all must use the AppleCare provided 10.6 installer disc for the model if you are missing it).

System requirements for Sierra require the App Store of Mac OS X 10.7.5 to install Sierra. All the Macs which are compatible listed above have firmware updates available that offer the internet restore functionality with installing 10.7 or later.

Check Apple support website for relevant firmware:

Computers that can be upgraded to use OS X Internet Recovery - Apple Support

So once you have determined if your Mac can install Sierra, be sure to read the compatibility guidelines before installing 10.7 or later, and then 10.7.5 to make the update to Sierra.

10.8 can take you up to High Sierra for the same Macs that can go to Sierra from 10.7.

Some older Macs that came with 10.4 and 10.5 can install up to 10.11, but not Sierra.

Only some Mac Pros that shipped with 10.6 can be updated to 10.11, and then 10.14 Mojave.

  • 1
Reply Report

This should work fine; the installer will install all drivers needed for all supported Mac models, so you can move drives between models pretty freely.

Update: Starting with High Sierra, this is no longer supported. The OS itself will be fine, but unless you run the High Sierra installer on that computer, and with a live Internet connection, the computer's firmware may not be properly updated to support the new OS. According to Apple support article HT208020:

If you try to use a monolithic system image [equivalent to transferring an HD with the OS installed], required firmware updates will be missing from the installation. This causes the Mac to operate in an unsupported and unstable state.

See this TidBITS article for more info.

BTW, just to give you some idea of the possibilities for trouble: there was an issue with Mac OS X v10.2 (yes, long ago) where if you installed it on an iMac DV model that hadn't had its firmware updated, it did something bad to the video configuration, and the display would be blank. The display would remain blank, even if you booted back into an older version. This made it really hard to run the firmware updater and make the computer usable again. I was working in a repair shop at the time, and we had a lot of iMacs come in with this problem.

suspect the current firmware compatibility worries have to do with compatibility with the new APFS volume format, so the worst that should happen is that an un-updated Mac won't be able to boot from a High Sierra volume in APFS format. Probably. Maybe. No promises, though.

  • 4
Reply Report

Related Questions

Trending Tags