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Thread: Tower vs. Laptops: Same or Different Backward Compatibility After Firmware Updates?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Tower vs. Laptops: Same or Different Backward Compatibility After Firmware Updates?

    Some firmware updates make it impossible to boot a Mac from an older version of the operating system that used to work. I have been unable to find any information about whether my MacBookPro7,1 (13-inch laptop, mid-2010) would be able to boot from its current OS, Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, after I were to install 10.11.13, El Capitan. I'd like to be able to run the newer OS, but must retain the ability to boot from the older one, due to some important legacy software that will not run on newer operating systems.

    I can boot my MacPro3,1 (tower, early 2008) from 10.6.8 after upgrading to 10.11.13. Would this necessarily mean that I would also be able to boot my MacBookPro7,1 from 10.6.8 after making the same upgrade, or can towers and laptops respond differently to whatever (possibly different?) firmware updates are needed to run the newer OS? I do not want to flash the laptop's ROM to allow the upgrade El Capitan, only to find that I had killed the possibility of booting from Snow Leopard!

    The laptop used to be sluggish, but is dramatically improved after installing an SSD. I am expecting for El Capitan's memory compression to further improve its performance on its current 4GB of RAM, a desirable edge until the budget allows installing a full 16GB.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    310

    Default Genius Bar Says El Capitan EFI will Not Block Snow Leopard

    The Genius at an Apple Store researched this for me, and verifies that the firmware update required to run El Capitan will not prevent the MacBook from booting into Snow Leopard. I have not actually tried this yet, but will after installing more RAM in my MacBook.

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