Please confirm if one can help me update unsupported mac book late 2008
HFS+ to APFS Last 2008
current OS X Lion Mac book 5.1 Omt; Cpre 2 Duo processor 2 GHZ 1 processor 2 cores L2 cache 3mb Mem 2gb Bus speed 1.07 ghz boot Rom Version MB51.007d.B03 Serial number W891......c8QR Hardware UUID Sudden Motion sensor State enabled

  • You can’t because it’s not supported. What exactly is the question here?
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 5:13
  • Even if you could, you'd be running Catalina on a 12-year-old computer -- a Core 2 Duo with 2 GB RAM, which is really insufficient for Catalina's needs. Add to that a very old hard drive, and your 'user experience' is going to be brick slow. Can you explain why you suddenly want to jump from Lion to Catalina and use the APFS format?
    – benwiggy
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 9:14

2 Answers 2


There is software on the logic board which is referred to as firmware. This is the software that first executes when a Mac starts up. The firmware is capable of reading partitions using various formats such as JHFS+. When Apple introduced the APFS format, Apple only provided firmware updates for certain Mac models. Older Macs can not boot from APFS formatted partitions, because the firmware does not recognize the APFS format. Your Mac is one such model. There is no way to fix this. The macOS 10.15 operating system can only boot from APFS formatted partitions.

  • This. Plus APFS is designed for SSDs, not HDDs. There’s no benefit to trying to get APFS running on there even if the firmware magically supported it.
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 16:49

There are reverse-engineered EFI APFS drivers you could use such as this - you could look at these Macrumors threads OpenCore on the Mac Pro and macOS 10.15 Catalina on Unsupported Macs

Alternatively a simpler solution is macOS Catalina Patcher which is compatible with "Early-2008 or newer Mac Pro, iMac, or MacBook Pro"

If it works it will run (possibly unusably) slow - I have a 2006 MBP which is supported up to Lion. I tried a patched El Capitan which worked but was too slow to use so installed Windows 10 which runs well enough for Office etc. This is always another option for old hardware.

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