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I needed Mountain Lion because some of the newer software of Apple, such as Xcode, requires Mountain Lion, but besides the iMac 27 I have, sometimes I need to go on trips and need to bring a white Macbook that I bought near end of 2007.

It is indeed a very decent Core 2 Duo notebook (besides the screen dimming a little after so many years because it is not LED type), with an Intel graphics card that is capable of playing all videos and Flash games I tried, but wonder, this Macbook can't install Mountain Lion and so I need to buy either a new Macbook Air for about $1200 or a Macbook Pro for $1800 to $2200 (depending on whether it is Retina). Is there a reason why Mountain Lion can't be installed on this notebook? Since it is to run Xcode mainly, graphics card performance is not needed if that may be a reason -- or for other reasons?

  • Would "Back to my Mac" to get back to your home base be an option? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 5 '13 at 10:20
  • but I need to do programming on the road... such as ski trips for a few days... – 太極者無極而生 Feb 5 '13 at 10:47
  • Then you need a new laptop or stay with an older version of XCode. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 5 '13 at 11:41
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Apparently it has to do with 32-bit graphics cards drivers, as they do not support 64-bit EFI.

While Mountain Lion is compatible with any Mac capable of running a 64-bit kernel, the kernel does not support loading 32-bit kernel extensions. So, since the early 64-bit Macs use 32-bit drivers, Mountain Lion won't load them.

You can find out if your computer has a 32-bit or 64-bit EFI by running the command: ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi

It will return either <"EFI64"> or <"EFI32">.

  • so it would only be possible if a 64-bit driver is written for the old graphics card? (or what if it is just a mapper (just a facade))? – 太極者無極而生 Feb 5 '13 at 10:51
  • If you manage to upgrade your graphics card, then, theoretically, it should work. Perhaps with a facade you'll cheat the System into letting you install it, but I will cause a bunch of issues, afterwards. – Thecafremo Feb 5 '13 at 10:56

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