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Questions about upgrading from 10.5.8 to newest software

144 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 25, 2012 7:33 PM by frederic1943 RSS
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Nov 25, 2012 6:22 AM

I have OX X 10.5.8 on my MacBook.  Since I'm not a tech shopper I didn't realize how outdated my operating system had become.  Now I'm having trouble accessing and/or viewing stuff on the internet.  New downloaded software and updates of existing apps will not work because it requires the new OS X operating system.  If I upgrade, will I lose any documents or files that were saved under the 10.5.8?  Do I only have to download the newest upgrade, or do I have to go through the process of upgrading from oldest upgrade to newest to make it all work?


I was also wondering why these updates/upgrades are not offered through the weekly software update search.


Thanks in advance for your help.

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • frederic1943 Level 6 Level 6 (9,970 points)

    You have to understand the difference between an Update and an Upgrade.
    An Update is a free change to add to the base code or as a bug fix within an existing Operating System. Such as the .8 added to 10.5.
    An Upgrade is a complete new Operating System that must be purchased. Such as 10.5 Leopard to 10.6 Snow Leopard.
    10.5 Leopard was based on Power PC code and was written to be able to run on both Power PC and Intel processors.
    10.6 Snow Leopard has completely rewritten code and only runs on Intel Macs.
    10.7 Lion used some 32 bit which allows it to run on Late 2006 through Early 2008 MacBooks and a lot of 64 bit code.
    10.8 Mountain Lion is pure 64 bit, which excludes more systems than Lion did. It can only run on the Late 2008 through Mid 2010 MacBooks. It's not something you can add memory to, for example, as it involves the base architecture.


    The 10.6 Snow Leopard DVD is back in the Apple online store. You can now get it for $19.99 without having to phone the store.


    The Early 2006 model 1,1 Core Duo can only run a maximum of 10.6 Snow Leopard.

    The models Late 2006 Core 2 Duos 2,1 through Early 2008 4,1 can only run a maximum of 10.7 Lion.

    The Late 2008 model 5,1 Aluminum Unibody through the Mid 2010 White Unibody model 7,1 can run 10.8 Mountain Lion.


    To see which model you have go to the Apple in the upper left corner and select About This Mac, then click on More Info. When System Profiler comes up check the Model Identifier and post it back here.


    Once you are at 10.6.8 Lion is still available from Apple. You will have to call Apple Customer Care 1-800-692-7753 or 1-800-676-2775. to purchase it. Then within 3 days you will get an email with a code which you can use to download Lion from the App Store.  The price is $19.99.


    You must have at least a model 2,1 MacBook. Lion will require at least 2gb of RAM but really needs 4gb to run smoothly.


    As for third party programs see this list for compatibility with 10.7


    Also Lion doesn't run any Power PC programs. To see if you have any Power PC programs go to the Apple in the upper left corner and select About This Mac, then click on More Info. When System Profiler comes up select Applications under Software. Then look under Kind to see if any of your applications are listed as Power PC. Universal and Intel will run under Lion.

      Before Mac switched to Intel processors in 2006 they used Power PC processors from 1994 to 2005. Power PC 601 through 604, G3, G4 and G5. Applications written for the Power PC processors need the application called Rosetta to run on Intel processors. This was part of the Operating System in 10.4 and 10.5 but was an optional install in 10.6. With 10.7 Lion Apple dropped all support for Power PC applications

  • frederic1943 Level 6 Level 6 (9,970 points)

    The model 5,1 num-13-late-2008-unibody-specs.html can use up to 8gb of RAM (Random Access Memory). Thats the Memory in the overview. These are good online stores for Mac compatible RAM.

    OWC - They offer Mac tested RAM at very good prices.

    Data Memory Systems - another good, cheap place to buying RAM if you live in the U.S.

    Here are video instructions on replacing the RAM on the Aluminum Unibody.


    If you don’t have the tools to open up the MacBook OWC has a set for $5.


    You would have to upgrade to 10.6 and then update it to 10.6.6 to use the full 8gb of RAM and to get the App Store which you can use to upgrade to 10.8 Mountain Lion. You can go straight from 10.6 to 10.8 without installing 10.7 Lion.


    10.6 -

    10.7 -

    10.8 -


    I can't really advise you on Mountain Lion since I'm still running Snow Leopard.  You might try posting in the Mountain Lion forum


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