I installed Linux Mint on my 2006 MBP 15" this weekend before hearing that the system will not enter a compatible firmware mode for Linux/Windows without rEFIt or rEFInd installed first.

Well, I do not have another Mac available, and I do not have an OS X install disk to recover from (not 10.5 anyway).

I can boot Linux by holding down CMD at boot, and launching the install from the Boot Manager, but this is much less than ideal, and while I imagine I can install Windows 7 much the same way I installed Mint, if I am still stuck with booting with CMD, my wide is not going to be happy (it is for her, and she is less than a Power User by any stretch).

Any helpful advice out there?

  • What OS do you intend to end with on the hardware? – bmike May 14 '14 at 22:42
  • I, now, intend to end with Windows 7. Linux did not meet her needs – Mike May 14 '14 at 22:52
  • Is there any particular reason you need Windows? – Alexander May 15 '14 at 4:31

You're in luck! That machine will run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, available from the Apple Store for $19.99. The Apple Store now has guaranteed next day delivery. Installing is very simple -- just insert the disk and hold down the c key on boot and follow the easy on screen instructions. Installation should only take 20-30 minutes. If you need help installing, you can take it to any of the Apple Retail Stores and they will install the System for you. But there is still plenty of online support from Apple and the web to get you back up and running quickly.

If you want to run a Linux or Windows desktop, since the hardware supports virtualization, then I still recommend leaving Mac OS X intact on the hardware, and, unless you need it for gaming, run the other systems in a virtual machine. This way the systems you work in will fully support the hardware, and there will be no performace degradation. With virtualization software like Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac you can run virtual machines in full screen, and never even know that OS X is running. Also available for free is Virutal Box; here is a download link for a version that will work in Snow Leopard.

Once OS X is installed, you can also install Windows or Linux directly on the hardware using BootCamp, and have a dual+ booting machine.

In general, its a good idea to leave Mac OS X on the mac hardware, as removing it will reduce your options.

  • Pirating 10.8 to be able to install Mavericks via the app store is the way to go IMO. – Alexander May 15 '14 at 4:29
  • @XAleXOwnZX well, then you'd be wrong. Neither 10.8 nor Mavericks will run on his hardware. But thanks for the suggestion. $20 bucks is $20 bucks, amiright? – chillin May 15 '14 at 4:38
  • Ooops, didn't catch that. It's a bit less conventional, but it's possible to install mavericks on his MacBook: forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1593194 – Alexander May 15 '14 at 4:45
  • @XAleXOwnZX : But why would you want to? There's a reason it isn't supported, its because it won't work well. Furthermore, I'm not sure why users are obsessed with the bleeding edge. If you were arguing for 10.8, or 10.7, I'd have a difficult time arguing against that. But Mavericks, being the newest, its actually not a good thing. It has more undiscovered software bugs, security issues, and is necessarily less stable. Presumably the user wants to use the hardware. Not fight with it. – chillin May 15 '14 at 4:49
  • I've been using mavericks on a 2006 white plastic macbook since a few weeks after release, and it's outstandingly responsive. The mavericks RAM compression feature is completely indispensable and breathes new life into old hardware. – Alexander May 15 '14 at 5:07

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