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converting a Mac Mini to a legacy system?

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Robert Withers
converting a Mac Mini to a legacy system?
on Sep 1, 2017 at 2:53:16 pm

I'm running OS 10.8.5 on a 2012 MBP to maintain access to video editing versions of Final Cut and Premiere that won't run under more recent Mac OS versions. I'd like to keep this legacy system and software, but need current Mac OS for other reasons, and wondering if there is an alternative to buying a new Mac and putting this one on the shelf? I think this MBP could then perhaps be updated to Sierra.

For example, could I buy a new (or old) Mac Mini and clone the MBP system and software to it, then update the MBP to current Mac OS versions? But won't the new Mac Mini come with the latest Mac OS? Is there a way to load the OS 10.8.5 onto the Mini with all legacy software and files? Aside from some partition thing, though I guess that might be an option.

Thanks for any thoughts,
Robert

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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John Rofrano
Re: converting a Mac Mini to a legacy system?
on Sep 1, 2017 at 11:49:32 pm

[Robert Withers] "Is there a way to load the OS 10.8.5 onto the Mini with all legacy software and files?"
The problem that you might have is that the older OS X version won't have drivers for the newer hardware in the Mac mini. In particular the graphics drivers.

I had a similar problem with my 2010 Mac Pro. I upgraded my graphics card to the Radeon HD 7950 and apparently while OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard could use it, my old Final Cut Pro 5 complain that it wasn't a Quartz supported card and refused to even open. ☹ Not big deal for me because all I use from the Final Cut Studio HD suite these days is DVD Studio Pro 4 which works fine.

Partitioning is certainly an option or you could clone your hard drive to an external drive. Either a 7200 RPM USB 3.0 drive or even an external SSD drive. Then update your MacBook Pro to Sierra and when you need to use OS X 10.8.5, just plug in the USB drive and restart your Mac while holding down the Option key when you hear the boot chime. Continue to hold it until you see a screen that allows you to select your boot drive and when you see it, select the external USB drive. You will boot into OS X 10.8.5 and all of your applications will work as they do now. This is how I run my 2010 Mac Pro. The primary drive is Sierra with FCP X and the second drive is OS X 10.6 with DVD Studio Pro.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Robert Withers
Re: converting a Mac Mini to a legacy system?
on Sep 2, 2017 at 6:45:45 pm

Thank you, John, that's a lot of helpful information and an interesting suggestion. It sounds like you're saying that I could clone my current drive and OS 10.8.5 to a bootable disk, boot into the old OS from my current machine, and use the disk as a "legacy machine." That sounds really interesting and I could even try it out before changing OS on my MBP.
Is that the idea?
All best,

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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John Rofrano
Re: converting a Mac Mini to a legacy system?
on Sep 3, 2017 at 4:31:22 pm

Yes, thats the idea. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to make bootable copies. You can use the free version but I bought it because I use it a lot. I fact, I do this once a month and then boot from them to make sure that they work so if my Mac gets wiped out somehow, I can go to any of my other Mac's and boot with this external hard drive and keep working. Literally zero-downtime.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Robert Withers
Re: converting a Mac Mini to a legacy system?
on Sep 3, 2017 at 7:28:24 pm

Thanks, John. And there are no issues with different drivers or GPUs when you reboot from another machine?

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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John Rofrano
Re: converting a Mac Mini to a legacy system?
on Sep 3, 2017 at 8:06:18 pm

At the OS level, obviously the OS needs to support the machine hardware. So, for example, I can't boot my macOS Sierra drive from my 2010 Mac Pro on my 2008 Mac Pro because the 2008 doesn't support OS X after El Capitan. At the GPU level drivers for graphics cards, I'm pretty sure if you booted a drive from an AMD GPU Mac on an NVIDIA GPU Mac that it would still work with generic display drivers that don't take advantage of your graphics card but at least would give you a display. It's an emergency measure for sure but at least its an option.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Kirk Pitts
Re: converting a Mac Mini to a legacy system?
on Sep 4, 2017 at 11:35:55 pm

You would need to buy a used mac mini that came out before the version of MacOs you want to use. The 2012 mac minis ran 10.8. Another idea is to use Parallel's Desktop. I have 10.6, and 10.9 running as virtual machines with Parallels Desktop.

Kirk Pitts.
video amateur.
Personal skateboard and band historian. ;)


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