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Latest OS for mid-2011 MacBook Air #112

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scripting opened this Issue Mar 22, 2019 · 18 comments

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

I have a mid-2011 MacBook Air that I want to update to the latest OS that will run on it. I asked for help on Facebook, but none of the suggestions work. So let's start over.

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I understand it can run 10.13. But I have yet to find a download that will install 10.13.

And there was a change in the dmg format somewhere along the line, so that might also be an issue.

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rosskarchner commented Mar 22, 2019

I looked at the Facebook thread, and didn't see any mention of downloading it from the Mac App Store. Does this link do anything for you? https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/macos-high-sierra/id1246284741?ls=1&mt=12

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

@rosskarchner -- we definitely tried the Mac App Store, but your link works, but didn't yield a download. Here's the error message.

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roenass commented Mar 22, 2019

I believe Mojave will not run on it, but more importantly, Software Update/App Store should include the latest applicable OS version (and maybe the inapplicable ones as well). High Sierra should be available.

Doesn't it? Then the issue is probably that you're still running Lion (10.7) and the installers are requiring Mountain Lion at least. Can you find Mountain Lion in the App Store and update to that first?

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

We're now repeating what we did in the Facebook thread. Searching for the OS versions by name in the Mac App Store does not get you the OS, it gets you things that mention it in their description or title.

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rosskarchner commented Mar 22, 2019

It seems like the world opens up if you can just get 10.8, according to this page, you can get a download code for $20 https://www.apple.com/shop/product/D6377Z/A/os-x-mountain-lion

But I also see elsewhere that Mountain Lion isn't on the mac app store anymore, so I'm not 100% sure it'll work. But then, you'll at least have a customer service issue with Apple? Yay?

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mcenirm commented Mar 22, 2019

If you already have a different Mac running at least 10.8, then you might be able to use the High Sierra direct app store link to download the full installer. Then you can create USB installation media. I think the current USB media size needed is 12 GB.

Any Mac running an OS before 10.8 can't upgrade, because of the app store problems that you encountered. Instead you need to have a full installer on external media. Unfortunately, there is no way to download a full installer (legitimately from Apple), without using the app store on 10.8 or later.

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mcenirm commented Mar 22, 2019

How to upgrade to OS X El Capitan (10.11) suggests there might be an option:

If you're using Leopard, upgrade to Snow Leopard to get the App Store. Then check for software updates by choosing Software Update from the Apple menu. After installing all Snow Leopard updates, you should have the App Store app and can use it to download OS X El Capitan. You can then use El Capitan to upgrade to a later macOS.

Since 10.7 (Lion) is later than 10.6 (Snow Leopard), maybe those instructions apply to your situation. Make sure all the updates are installed, then try the direct link for 10.11.

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

@mcenirm -- yes I have a machine running 10.13.6 here, and at another location a couple of fully updated Mojave machines.

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

@mcenirm -- I am downloading El Capitan now. 37 minutes. That's encouraging because previous downloads were much smaller. Will keep you posted.

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

It's installing El Capitan. Looks quite promising. 💥

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dsearls commented Mar 22, 2019

That model (MacBookAir4,2) can supposedly run the latest OS (Mojave) with a patch that's here: http://dosdude1.com/mojave/ There are cautions listed. Otherwise High Sierra is the limit. We have one of those here, and upgraded it to High Sierra. Works fine.

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

Bingo!

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Thanks @mcenirm -- you win the prize in this thread.

There's more to do. For now I'm happy where I am. It means the screen isn't this anachronistic jarring thing. It's just a hobby thing. Kind of like getting an old Mac 512K to run Frontier (which of course it can't).

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

I'm now installing High Sierra.

@zahidhanif

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zahidhanif commented Mar 22, 2019

I have Mac Mini (Early 2011) and went through a similar process. Make sure your create a time machine backup as I have had to re-install recently and had to spend a couple of hours getting back to High Sierra.

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timguy99 commented Mar 22, 2019

Interesting. I have a Mac Mini (although might be too old) that I thought couldn't be upgraded. Always just figured the App Store would provide the right upgrade path. I may have to try this method.

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scripting commented Mar 22, 2019

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@ChristopherA

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ChristopherA commented Mar 23, 2019

I have a mid 2011 MacBook Air running High Sierra with no problem. It does not upgrade to Mojave. Booted it off of an external usb drive to install OS.

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scripting commented Mar 23, 2019

@ChristopherA -- see the message before yours in the thread. We got there. ;-)

@scripting scripting closed this Mar 23, 2019

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