I'm looking at upgrade options for a Macbook 2,1 with the following specs:

  Model Name:   MacBook
  Model Identifier: MacBook2,1
  Processor Name:   Intel Core 2 Duo
  Processor Speed:  2 GHz
  Number Of Processors: 1
  Total Number Of Cores:    2
  L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
  Memory:   1 GB
  Bus Speed:    667 MHz
  Boot ROM Version: MB21.00A5.B07
  SMC Version:  1.17f0
  Serial Number: XXXX
  Sudden Motion Sensor:
  State:    Enabled

I'm seeing conflicting reports on various forums.

Can someone tell me definitively what needs to happen to get this onto Lion?

Cheers, Rob

  • Feel free to edit your question if some specific conflicting advice has you worried. I'd go the USB key + 4G ram + inexpensive external HD for a new bootable backup as the easiest and most re-sellable/re-usable option in case you only use this mac for a year or two.
    – bmike
    Dec 2 '11 at 20:30

You need more RAM and Lion and you are good to go. I linked to one of many providers for RAM that works on your model.

If costs are tight, 2 GB of memory is the minimum requirement for Lion, so that's the only hardware problem assuming your hard drive isn't so full that you can't free up space for the initial install of either Snow Leopard or Lion (you have two paths to get Lion installed).

  1. Get the Lion USB key and hop straight to Lion realizing you will need to erase and migrate things by hand from your backup.
  2. Get a retail Snow Leopard DVD (and optionally the Box Set if you want iLife to be updated but not purchased through the App store). Once you have the updates applied, you can then buy Lion upgrade from the App Store app.

Plan on all your apps not working and you can be surprised if some of them do work. Do make a great backup (bootable one would be best on an external drive) so you can migrate a couple of times or boot and run your old system as you start using the new OS in case you forget some "old documents" or pictures or whatever is missing 3 or 6 months down the road.

Have fun!


According to Apple's own site, you need to upgrade first to Snow Leopard which requires these minimum requirements (Intel processor, 1GB memory, 5GB available disk space). From the Lion upgrade page, the requirements include:

Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion. Find out if your current Mac has one of these processors by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then choosing About This Mac.

Since your machine meets those requirements, purchase OS X Lion and proceed with the upgrade. Backing up would be a very good idea, since you'll be doing two OS upgrades.

  • You don't need to go to Lion via Snow Leopard. There are plenty of articles out there telling you how to go straight to Lion. Personally I prefer not going through the upgrade route, although OS X usually handles that kind of thing very nicely.
    – macaco
    Dec 2 '11 at 16:55

Yes, your machine will be able to run Lion as its processor has 64-bit support.

However, I strongly recommend that you upgrade the RAM to the machine's max - which is 4GB fitted whilst the machine will only address 3GB. You can mix the modules, a 1GB with a 2GB module or use two 2GB modules.

I'd generally not recommend going all the way up to Lion on this hardware though, I've seen it pinwheel a lot more than with Snow Leopard (10.6).


Yes that computer can be upgraded to Lion, but Apple requires (recommends?) 2GB of RAM so you should upgrade that. Also you need to upgrade to Snow Leopard before you can upgrade to Lion.

Step 1. Install more Ram

Step 1.5 Make sure you have a good backup

Step 2. Install Snow Leopard

Step 3.Upgrade to Lion from The App Store.




I just bought your same MacBook (however I have 2GB installed) for my 4th grader for her at school work. It has been upgraded to Mac OS X version 10.7.5. and it works great! Although I am planning to upgrade the memory to 2x2GB, shortly, but not because of any system issues...just because 4 is bigger/better than 2!

  • We upgraded the RAM and put Snow Leopard on it and it's working really well for the past few months. Like a new machine. Dec 14 '12 at 10:12

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