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Think Your Mac Can’t Run Mountain Lion? Take Another Look!


With each new major operating system release, more and more Macs lose OS X upgrade support from Apple. This means many previous generation models will never get to see the benefits of the latest and greatest operating system. This can prove frustrating for users who are looking to upgrade the software on their “older” Macs that still function great.

However, with a clever workaround, some of the older, unsupported Macs can be made to run Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion after all! Special software and installation instructions have been posted in the forum by “hackerwayne” with step-by-step instructions to help many unsupported Macs run OS X Mountain Lion. (A video guide detailing the installation of the software has also been made available.)

Of course, in order to run OS X Mountain Lion and benefit from its features, there are certain pre-requisites that are outlined. For example, your machine must have at least 2GB of RAM installed to get desirable results.

Check out the list of previous generation Macs that can run Mountain Lion. You might be able to bring new possibilities to your machine that you previously thought impossible!

Note: OWC has no affiliation with these software offerings and receives no benefit related to this support (other than a benefit we all share in the continued support of these applications). If you appreciate the function or functionality this software offers, we encourage you to support the authors.

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  • Is there a 3rd party company who can pick up the slack in Apple’s wake perhaps and sell security upgrades to users stuck on Snow Leopard. I do have a far newer Macbook pro that can be upgraded the whole way, but I do most of my work on the Mac Pro, so would like ot keep it on line if it can be kept secure somehow….

  • Re: an “adjustment” for the NSA?

    Is that to give new capabilities to the NSA or to remove some now that they were “caught”? ;-)


  • Gary, your speed and boot issue both remind me of issues I’ve encountered with bad RAM. Have you done a thorough extended memory test and compared the times with another similar machine (OWC may be able to give you benchmarks on what you should see, if you call them!)?

    ECC RAM like Apples commonly use can compensate for problems to an extent, but slows everything down dramatically.

    If your RAM checks out and you want to run Snow Leopard, I suggest disconnecting all drives except the one you want to boot from and your optical drive, and give it a go. If your 2006 install doesn’t boot your 2012, it’s probably due to the motherboard and CPU firmwares being considerably different, so while I’ve found Apple OS installs remarkably cross-compatable, there are exceptions and you may end up having to do a clean install.

    But hey, in the search for speed your clean install could be to an SSD, or better still to one of those new PCIe SSDs!

    Good luck, and strongly suggest that memory test and maybe even run the full hardware diagnostic disk a couple of times over the weekend because I expect you’ll find a problem there.


    • No but I will. I have both TTPro& memtest. I’ll give it a shot. All memory is straight from Apple.

      I will let it run overnight and see what memtest comes up with. I can try TTPro tomorrow night.

      Is OWC still giving credit for memory if I wish to buy large RAM modules?

      Will let you know

  • Lion & Mt. Lion are two of the worst operating systems Apple has ever created, next to iOS. The more they integrate iOs into OSX the more like a inker toy set it become.

    Apple is becoming more and more like Microsoft and so is OSX. I have a 2012 dual six core Mac Pro with16GB of ram and it runs like a snail!

    I wish someone could tell me how I could get it to run on Snow Leopard.


    • Gary, my ML runs perfectly on my 2008 Mac Pro! I would suggest taking your Mac to the Apple Store to have them check out your set up! It should not be running like a snail on your 2012 machine!!


      • Thank you much for your reply Jeff but I am not the only one that feels this way about Lion & Mt. Lion. I have been running OS X since Panther and have watched it peak, and now degrade.

        I think Apple has become too arrogant with it success. My first Apple computer was purchased in 1982, an Apple II+. I had to teach myself basic programming to justify it’s purchase price of $2000. It helps the value of my stock but not my opinion of the company and it’s direction.

        Since breaking away from RISK CPUs and going to Intel processors OSX has inherited much of the problems and baggage resembling Windows. Can you remember a time where there was more and more maintenance required prior to that move?

        Thank you and I’ll follow your advice and make the 120 mile round trip to the Apple store.


        • Hi Gary,

          Since you live that far away from an Apple store, I’d suggest calling AppleCare (800-275-2273) to see if they can help to figure out the issues over the phone. If they are not able to resolve it, they should offer you to ship the system to them at their cost (assuming your Mac Pro is under AppleCare).

          My experience with Lion & ML is that they may run slower on an older Mac, bur definitely not on a 2012 Mac Pro!

          I assume you’ve already checked for disk corruption and you are not low in free space with the boot drive. In most cases, a clean re-install will eliminate other potential issues.

          Best of luck,


          • Thank you Jeff. Out of curiosity is there any way I can get this thing to run on Snow Leopard.

            If so I could use SNow Leopard for my heavy video needs.

            Thank you once again!


            • Hi Gary,

              Yes, that can be done, and there are multiple ways of doing that depending on what kind of backup you have or the type of data that needs to be backed up.

              If you have a bootable backup of SL before upgrading to ML, you can then restore ML by cloning it from your backup drive to the boot disk. Of course you should back up all of your updated data files separately before rolling it back and then restore them accordingly.

              If you don’t have a bootable SL backup, you will then need to erase and re-install SL from the CD, see instructions here –

              See also –,2817,2389334,00.asp

              You may also want to install SL on a 2nd partition if you have the room on your drive, see instructions here –

              Always make sure you have a full backup before trying and re-installation!!

              Good luck,


              • I have tried several ways such as buying a HDD sled from OWC and screwing it to a 500GB HDD and slipping it into an empty drive slot. I selected the drive in Startup Disk, it acted as though it would but but as soon as the rotating “second hand” under the Apple quite that’s as far as it would go.

                Perhaps I should have removed theMt. Lion boot and it’s back up so the only choice would be Snow Leopard.

                I do have Leopard and Snow Leopard install disk . . . I suppose I could erase the drive and install Snow Leopard only.

                What do you think? That way I could have the best of both worlds (chocking on the second half of that world being Mt. Lion)! What do you think?


                • I see no reason why ‘Disk Utility’ is not able to format the new drive successfully unless the drive is bad somehow! Have you tried putting it into one of the other free drive slots?!

                  Since you do have available drive slots, the best is to preserve the one with ML, and install SL to a new drive. That way, you can select which OS to boot as needed.

                  Not sure the answer to your second question. What is NSA?!


                  • I’m sorry for not being clear. The drive I used was a boot drive from my 2006 Mac Pro and was running Snow Leopard 10.6.8. I thought it should work fine but not so.

                    If you have suggestions would you mind giving me a step by step procedure?

                    I would truly appreciate it.


                    • If you are able to install and mount the boot drive from your 2006 Mac Pro to your 2012 Mac Pro, you should be able to boot it up (by holding down the OPTION key while booting and select the 2006 boot drive)! Give it a try!

                    • I can mount it, access files and run zoos, built will not boot. I was booting from it in my 2006 Mac Pro.


                    • Jeff I wish to thank your for your help. I tried another HDD that had two partitions, one SL 10.6.8 and the other with Lion.

                      This one was slow to boot the first time to SL. But after repairing permissions and defraging with iDefrag it boots as it did on old Mac Pro . . . fast!

                      I haven’t checked the boot partition but perhaps there is something amiss there.

                      Thank you again!



              • I know this is offtopic but . . . do you know if the OS 10.8.5 supplemental update an “adjustment” for the NSA?


    • Gary Im having the same problem and echo your comments verbatim in regards to Lion,ML, iOS, IOS7 even looks horrible as if a third grader designed it with a box of crayola’s. Not at all the eye pleasing esthetic richness that has for so long been a part of all of Apples products.
      My MBPro is a late 2011 2.8GHz corei7 1600MHz DDR3 with 16GB of memory and IntelHD Graphics 3000 512 MB any video I watch on u tube has to be done at the lowest selection or my system starts to crash or gets stuck in the never ending spinning arrow your snail is Secretariat in the Belmont compared to mine , so it could be worse if that makes you feel any better.
      I have a 2007 model that came with a defective memory and bad graphics chip that Apple did replace in the first year, that gets so hot even with it never being turned on with out the aid of an additional cooling fan application that increases the fan speed as well as an external one but runs so hot the entire bottom of the case has warped so badly that it sits an inch separated from the bottom and poped the screws out so that its now held together with duct tape as it has been starting at about 16 months old the entire insides of the computer sit openly exposed but I dont dare try to move it because it actually still works and works faster than the 2010 and the 2011 models I also own.
      I’ve never used anything but Apple And Iphone since day one and Am currently exploring my options for switching from both as it seems all of the reasons I previously felt justified the high price have disappeared and this is a sentiment I see increasing with others who have been loyal supporters of Apple. It’s not the same company it was and the service is becoming increasingly unspectacular.
      It feels as if they have lost their direction and becoming extremely average as far as the quality and reliability of their products and services. At this point I really wish I could say it makes since to stay and follow my heart because I really don’t want to switch but from a business stand point and casual use as well where I use to feel Apple put me ahead of the curve lately I find myself in awe of other friends and associates systems, and for a lot less money .
      By the way the 2010 MBP I barely make a mention of because to be fair the track pad doesnt respond and the screen flickers after about 3 minutes of powering it on so its speed isnt really comparable

      • I feel just like DBWalch. I too am a long, long time loyal Apple computer user. I started with one of those thick black and white screen notebooks. I too have seen the quality of Apple’s products decline sharply compared to under Steve Jobs when everything had to be perfect and so was and guess what. That’s why Apple became the biggest company in the world. Because they made amazing stuff and to very, very high standards. That’s why they were successful. It;s not rocket science. I too am considering non apple products, for the first time ever and it’s mainly because I resent them telling me that they are no longer going to protect me, this loyal customer of theirs because I’m on Snow Leopard, and have been happy here on this version till now. But I find out today that my Mac Pro V1.1 which is an awesome machine with the SSD drive in it cannot be upgraded beyond Snow Leopard. So apple expects me to throw away a perfectly awesome computer because they won’t take the time to look after the security of their users. I’m dumbfounded by this logic and it really doesn’t fit in at all with the company that I’ve grown so fond of since the mid 90’s… There’s no warm fuzzy feelings towards Apple anymore. That’s unfortunate……