Previous 1 2 Next 24 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2013 7:19 PM by Terry Otness
kestrel9532 Level 1 (5 points)



I own a MacMini (Late 2006, Model-ID Macmini1,1) which originally had a 1.83 GHz CoreDuo (T2400) CPU.


Encouraged by several upgrade reports (e.g. I upgraded the Mini to a 2.16 GHz Core2Duo (T7400) CPU

and it works so far without any problems in 64bit mode, albeit with a 32bit kernel.


I tried to switch to a 64bit kernel with 'sudo systemsetup -setkernelbootarchitecture x86_64', but the kernel still

boots with 32bit version.


Not really a problem, but do I have a problem running Lion? I made the upgrade exactly for the new OS!


I found (with 'ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi') that this mini has a 32bit EFI and now I want to know:


Does LION need a 64bit CPU or a 64bit CPU *and* a 64bit EFI?



Thank's for your replies - Matthew

Macmini1.1 (Late 2006), Mac OS X (10.6.8), aluminium keyboard (with cable)
  • revillug Level 1 (5 points)

    Hey, same problem mate, you find an answer? or did you install it?

  • kestrel9532 Level 1 (5 points)

    No, nothing new so far.


    But it seems (or it is assumed) that Apple doesn't check for a 64bit CPU but identifies the logic board. :-(


    In the moment I'm waiting for my memory upgrade (to 4GB / 3GB usable).


    Furthermore I'm asking myself if I get my money back (not that it's really a huge amount of money ;-) if it doesn't work because Apple doesn't talk about distict models but says "64bit CPU and at least 2GB RAM" - that's what I have in fact!


    It's not typical for that kind of mac mini but it's real! :-)


    Furthermore I "wait and see" :-) because not *everyone* is amazed about 'Lion' and the hackers probably need some time to find out how to install 'Lion' on not supported hardware. In the meantime I read John Siracusa's report on Lion at arstechnica (, which takes some time...

  • revillug Level 1 (5 points)

    ahh, yeah well that was my original thought, however, if this is true and it doesnt matter about the 32-bit kernel, surely there could be a way of manipulating the type of mac, and changing it to a one thats compatible? say a 2010 mac mini?


    i have a core 2 duo 2.0ghz mac mini Early 2006, which also has 2gb of ram, it just seems silly because our macs would be capable of running lion.


    I had a look at my friends and the new features do look nice, i guess we do just wait!


    really wouldnt mind having it though!

  • revillug Level 1 (5 points)

    Hey, i finally found a fix and i now have it running on my mac mini (early 2006) core2duo



    basically follow what 4JNA says...

    what i did...


    1. bought and downloaded the retail 10.7 from the app store (11A511)


    2. saved the image to an 8gb usb drive


    3. installed 10.7 on an known supported device (MBP 2,2) on an external drive.


    4. modified the installed 10.7 on the external drive by removing /System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist


    5. took the external drive and booted the mini, used superduper to image the internal drive, and it works! apps all work, app store, software update, everything. even with the sucky 950 all the animations and eye candy work, no noticeable lag.


    best of luck to all the 1,1 upgraders!





  • PeterHutnick Level 1 (20 points)

    This is great!


    It seems as if bringing up the 32-bit EFI system up in target disk mode attached to a supported Mac and running the upgrade (along with the PlatformSupport tweak) would allow a nondestructive upgrade.


    I just ordered a firewire cable, but I can't try it until next weekend.  Anyone else try this method?



  • PeterHutnick Level 1 (20 points)

    Just did this and it seems to have worked perfectly.


    So, again:


    0. Installed a 64bit CPU (Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz) in the 2006 Mini.

    1. Made a Lion install thumb drive.

    2. Booted the Mini in Target Disk Mode (hold "t" key on boot).

    3. Connected a FW400 to FW800 cable to Mini and a 2009 MacBook (MacBookPro5,3).

    4. Booted MacBook with "option" (alt) key.

    5. Selected the Mini's drive for boot.

    6. Ran "Install Mac OS X Lion" from thumb drive.

    7. After the reboot, renamed /System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist to PlatformSupport.plist.JustKidding

    8. Shutdown both machines.

    9. Unplugged FireWire and booted Mini.  Saw the "question mark folder" for a moment, and then it booted Lion.


    To be clear, this allowed me to upgrade my existing Snow Leopard install on my 2006 Mini -- with an aftermarket 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo -- with 32bit EFI.  Boots right up.  No bootloaders or cloning needed.



  • click-gr Level 1 (0 points)

    That´s exactly what I was looking for! Very easy and no need for torrent downloads or to create any special drive for installation. Thanks Peter!


    P.S. Lion works perfectly now on my old macmini 1,1 with upgraded core2duo processor, however on System Software overview under system report, 64-bit Kernel and Extensions is not activated for this machine.

  • PeterHutnick Level 1 (20 points)

    Glad you had success!


    Apple has always disabled 64 bit kernels on 32 bit EFI systems.  I don't think there's any technical reason for this.  In any case, it isn't really worth your while to hack around this.  The 32 bit kernel doesn't preclude the use of 64 bit apps, and you can't address more than 3GB of RAM on that system regardless of the kernel.



  • pmlevere Level 1 (0 points)

    Is thier any reason to beleive this wouldn't work on an iMac that has had an upgrade from a core duo to a core 2 duo?  I have a co-worker with a 20' iMac 2.0 core duo (T2500 Processor) and was going to install a a core 2 duo so he could run Lion, either a 2.0 (T7200), 2.16 (T7400), or 2.33 (T7600).  It seems like this would be the same as upgrading the Mini, any thoughts before i tell him to go buy a processor?

  • PeterHutnick Level 1 (20 points)

    To answer your direct question, I don't have any reason to believe this wouldn't work.  But I don't have such a system, so I can't be at all certain.


    It looks like the upgrade is possible, but iFixit doesn't have instructions.


    Their instructions for CPU fan replacement are rated "difficult".  You'll need three different torx bits to do it.  Not for the faint of heart! 18-CPU-Fan/1095/1


    Finally, when I did my CPU upgrade I broke one of the barbs on one of the nylon pins that holds the heatsink under tension.  Uncharacteristically, I prepared for this by first obtaining nylon bolts, washers, and nuts.  I imagine the same ones would work on the iMac, and I have plenty of spares.  Email me if you want me to hook you up.


    Good luck!



  • mattyp101 Level 1 (0 points)

    Is there any chance that the fix described as the correct answer will work for a mac mini 1,1 without a cpu upgrade? Or if not can I run lion in a VM instead?



  • PeterHutnick Level 1 (20 points)

    I believe that it will NOT work.  I have a device with a 32 bit CPU running Snow Leopard, and it cannot boot from this modified drive.  But this is not . . . a MacMini.


    I'm not entirely clear on which Lion components are 64 bit-only, but the evidence suggests that some important low-level userspace components are.


    That said, YMMV.  You could certainly install it on a USB (or better, firewire) drive on a supported system, make the modification to the install, and try to boot it on your Mini.  I'm sure may people would be interested in your results.


    As for running in a VM, I think this is probably a dead-end.  First, I think it is technically feasable to run 64 bit processes in a VM on a 32 bit system, but it is probably very impractical from a performance standpoint.  Second, 3GB isn't really enough RAM to run OSX on a VM in OSX.


    Might be time for a shiny new Thunderbolt Mini for you ;-)



  • Sjazbec Level 4 (1,670 points)

    the Mac needs to have a physical 64bit capable CPU "core2Duo" on its board in order to run the OSX GUI after the 32bit Kernel has been booted, because Finder is 64bit.


    Lions installer does some checks prior to Installation:


    • MEMORY - 2* 1024MB = 2048


    • CPU 64bit


    • Is a Server =  yes/no, if so what version and what hardware.


    • has a DVD Drive = yes/no, if so, install


    • SMBIOS revisions /Board ID s



    - first gen Mac Minis and other Mac IDs are blacklisted inside the Lion installers "distribution" file that sits packed in "OSINSTALL.MPKG". -- Xcode's "flat package editor" lets you open it, if you want to peek inside all the checks the script runs prior to installing Lion. Surely the Installer can be "modded", but what brings if the OS installs but refuses to load ?


    I am sure most of the checks that Apple has in the installer makes sense to save the users from themselves so to say.



    And there are other files that have an impact on what machine can run Lion :


    In Lions System/Library/CoreServices  we find "PlatformSupport.plist" and "InstallableMachines.plist". Both full of Machine ID's.


    Message was edited by: Sjazbec

  • pmlevere Level 1 (0 points)

    I am planning to upgrade my Core Duo iMac and install Lion following the above guidelines.  Their are a lot of Core 2 Duo processors around that are pulls from PC's, and these are much cheaper than pulls from Mac's. Below are several questions I need help with:



    Can i install a Core 2 Duo processor with the same ZIF socket from machines that are non-Mac?



    Does anyone know where i can find information on what ZIF Socket pattern my iMac uses?



    My iMac uses a 667MHz system bus, does the processor i install have to have that same rating, or will 800MHz processor run?



    My Machine:  iMac 20' 2.0 Core Duo (Early 2006 MA200LL, Processor T2500)



    Thanks for any help you can provide.

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