Monday, 25 July 2011

Now for the best way to install Lion on unsupported hardware...

Looks like there's been a lot of interest in these installation methods and now that Lion has been released to the public, many people are suggesting that the best way to install Lion on an upgraded older Intel Mac is as follows (Edited to include correct target, as shown in comments):
I'd like to chime in and say that the best way of doing this is *definitely* to use a Lion-approved system, buy Lion from the App Store and then install onto the Macmini1,1 using Target Disk Mode.

Once you've installed onto your Macmini1,1 internal drive, boot your other Mac (the one you've used for the install) normally and add:


to the appropriate place in 
/Volumes/<name of target drive>/System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist I would advise not deleting the file; always best to work with the software, rather than binning something it's expecting to find.

Also, ignore all the comments about the 32-bit kernel being a problem. The MacPro1,1 is a supported system which also uses the 32-bit kernel, as (I believe) does the MacMini2,1. If you're having problems, the kernel is not the issue. Make sure you're using a genuine copy of Lion which you bought from the App Store, make that one change to PlatformSupport.plist and you should be fine.
Thanks to the commenter who suggested that and thanks to everyone that has commented on the blog so far. I'm still going to hold off installing Lion again on my Mini until the issues I was having with waking it with the Apple Remote and using WOL are sorted out (hopefully in 10.7.1).

However, this probably isn't much good to you, unless you have access to another Mac to do the update on! In that case, you could always try the original method and see how you go with it. (Some commenters are saying they are finding no problems with it). As always, when trying to circumvent Apple restrictions, your mileage may vary!

I'll probably be using this new method when I install Lion again on my Mac Mini. The only problem is that In order to make it look as neat as possible in my media centre, I plastered the cables into the wall. That's going to make using it in Target Disk Mode a problem, because the power cable is stuck in the wall!

Look ma, no cables!

So it'll be a case of dragging the iMac into the living room and doing the install from there. Ah well, something for the weekend, I suppose.

Thanks again and good luck with your newly Lion-ised systems! :)


  1. Ooh, my comment got a post of it's own! ;)

    Just to clarify, when I said:


    I did of course mean:


    Otherwise you'd just be editing the file on your iMac (or other Lion-supported Mac, of course). Make sure you're adding the board ID to the Mac mini and all will be well.

  2. Gah! The comments system edited out my < > content!

    It should have read:

    /Volumes/<name of target drive>/System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist

  3. Am trying this tonight...I was the one who posted that the other method worked fine, but it didn't; software updates are now dead for it.

    Will report back following install and checking software update. Just doing a time machine backup in case!

  4. The 10.7.2 update will install a new PlatformSupport.plist (didn't see this with 10.7.1), and upon reboot during installation, the machine will fail to boot (big red circle with a line through it). Use target disk mode from some other machine to go in and "fix" the PlatformSupport.plist, power cycle, and it should boot to 10.7.2. So far no issues with 10.7.2 once that was done.

  5. Hello!, your work has been very helpful! I didn't notice that you said after 10.7.2 that the plist would be affected and I thought that since I made it to 10.7.1 by downloading it from another site and installing it manually that I could just use software update after and update it to the 10.7.5 but although it installed , like you said it fixed the plist so now im locked out. Im going to try and remove it via terminal using my snow leopard dvd to boot from. Ill let you know how it works out, I am running iMac 4,1 early 2006 -upgraded to T7200 Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz , 2GB Ram.

    1. I have the same setup as yours. Were you able to make it work?