I am unable to get Lion to download and uprgrade my Mac Mini as it gives an error message - "We could not complete your purchase. This version of Mac OS X 10.7 cannot be installed on this computer." My Mac Mini originally had a Core Duo in it but was upgraded with a new Core 2 Duo 2Gz processor and it has 2 Gb of memory. About this Mac confirms this setup. I am using an external drive to boot from. There are two users on the Mini, and seperate drives to boot from. Neither the internal drive when booted from will allow to upgrade to Lion or my external one. I have contacted Apple Support and they had me capture and upload my complete system configuration to them using a little program they emailed to me. I sent this over a month ago now and have not had a response.

Has anyone else had this issue and found some way to resolve?


Apple determines Lion compatibility based upon the original shipping configuration of your machine. Since there was never an "official" upgrade offered from Core Duo to Core 2 Duo, according to Apple your machine is not supported.


There are workarounds out there, if you are willing to get a little creative.

The simplest method is to install Lion onto a drive using a supported machine. Once Lion is installed, it will boot and run just fine on your upgraded Mac Mini.


Lion requires a 64-bit processor. As you stated, your Mac Mini now has a Core 2 Duo (a 64-bit processor) but originally shipped with a Core Duo (32-bit processor). Although your machine may meet the technical requirements for Lion because of the CPU upgrade, it may be a configuration untested by Apple and therefore unsupported for Lion. The App Store is likely basing the installation requirements from your machine's model name (e.g. MacMini1,2) or the part number (e.g. MA607), rather than just the CPU.

  • Not true actually, Lion supports core duo's perfectly, it's just that apple has made a plist to exclude core duos from being eligible for Lion. – Alexander - Reinstate Monica Aug 7 '11 at 23:46
  • @XAleXOwnZX ... probably because some part of Lion (already or in the very near future) does not support core duo perfectly. – Thilo Aug 8 '11 at 4:00
  • @XAleXOwnZX can you cite any references? – bahamat Aug 8 '11 at 8:04
  • Yes i can, but you could have just googled it lol, which likely would have led you to this MacRumours link forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1107457 which has both a screen shot and instructions as to how to perform this "hack" – Alexander - Reinstate Monica Aug 8 '11 at 18:47

Do you have bootcamp installed, or any other unusual partitioning of your drives? In certain circumstances, because Lion creates a new "recovery" partition at the beginning of your disk, this can them bump the remaining partitions up by an increment of 1, and if your windows bootcamp partition is higher than 3 it cannot boot. Therefore, if Lion detects that bootcamp is already partition 3, and installing would make it 4, it won't install as it knows it will screw your bootcamp installation up.

  • Nope, don't have BootCamp installed. I do have Parallels installed but my Windows virtual machine is in one of my other partitions and my other boot disk doesn't have Parallels installed – Gary Squires Aug 7 '11 at 21:41

I suggest you go on another Mac and log into the Mac App Store with your Apple ID and download lion. once the download completes follow the 1 step instructions on this article by OS X Daily. It will remove the Preference List file that lists the core duo Macs as unsupported by lion (even though they are). Having completed that simple hack, just install Lion like normal :)

On a completed Lion installation the file is located under /System/Library/CoreServices/PlatformSupport.plist

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