I would like to restore my 9 year old MacBookPro6,2 to its former glory. And to get rid of anything that might be slowing it down. I have original discs. Do I have to go down that path to original OS or is there a way to restore it to some intermediary OS online?

Once I do that can I update it straight to High Sierra (highest OS that my configuration supports) or do I have to go through all the updates one by one?

  • What version of macOS is currently installed? – David Anderson Apr 4 at 15:15

What state is it in now? If you can access the Mac App Store, then you should be able to install High Sierra directly from there.

If you can boot to a Recovery Partition (Command R on boot), then you can erase the hard drive and do a 'clean' install of the current OS, if that is what you want to do, and then update to High Sierra from the App Store.

It's unlikely that age or software is 'slowing it down'. A full, or failing, mechanical hard drive might do that.

The best way to keep it useful is to replace the Hard drive with an SSD, and max out the RAM.

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  • It is in a fair state. Rolling ball from time to time. Slow to start (10 mins). Had a problem with HD from the start, Apple replaced it, but probably with second-hand one. They said they cannot guarantee they will use the brand new one. – Zel Apr 4 at 16:53
  • How simple is it to replace the HD with SSD. I have tools, I cann follow the guid, that enough? Which SDD you would recommend? Shall I change the memory (have 2+2, would change it to 4+4, which is the max, I think) – Zel Apr 4 at 16:56
  • @Zel Yes, very easy on those models: take the back off, unscrew the old drive and put the new one in. You'll find instruction on iFixit.com. Also: get a replacement SATA cable for your model. You can find them on eBay for $10. The original ones can become temperamental, leading to slow downs, which could be the cause of your problems. Yes, max out the RAM to 8Gb. – benwiggy Apr 4 at 17:19
  • Great comment, thanks. Once I install the SDD, will I have completely fresh start? I guess I will thereby lose all my data, including OS. How to start afresh from there? Will I be able to access AppStore or shall I have ready same sort of "bootable USB"? – Zel Apr 4 at 17:42
  • @Zel Yes, the new SSD will be completely blank. But you can use a USB-to-SATA cable to clone your existing disk, either before or after swapping them. You should never lose your data, because you have a backup, at the least. – benwiggy Apr 4 at 21:59

Follow this guide to get the latest build your Mac supports, no need to run all the intermediate installers. The erase step erases everything: programs, documents, settings, pictures.

Everything is gone and a fresh OS awaits.

Mid 2010 Macs typically top out on macOS 10.13 and you may or may not have full internet recovery but should have a recovery HD option that works equivalently.

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