Evgeny Pokhilko's Weblog

Programmer's den

Old MacBook Overheating and Installation of Mac OS 10.4 on New Hard Drives

I have an old white MacBook Pro that I bought in 2007. The specs were the following:

  • 13 Inch
  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
  • 1 GB RAM, 80 GB
  • Mac OS 10.4.7

Then I upgraded the OS to 10.5 Leopard and replaced the hard drive with 320GB Western Digital.

I want to talk about solutions to issues I had with my MBP: bad performance and installation of 10.4 Tiger on a new large (more than 120 GB) hard drive.

Problem 1. Bad performance and overheating.

  • The laptop became slow.
  • The fan was noisy with more than 6000 rps.
  • CPU reached 80-90 C
  • Occasionally force shutdown prompt after which you have to hold the power button for 5 seconds

After doing the research in the internet I found that my MBP didn’t support Mac OS 10.5 Leopard very well. The OS was too demanding for resources and my old laptop overheated. Upgrading to 10.6 Snow Leopard improved the performance a bit but it didn’t solve the problem completely. The solution was to go back to Mac OS 10.4 Tiger. Obviously 10.4 was not so resource hungry and the laptop was designed for it. Now we come to the next issue.

Problem 2. Mac OS 10.4.7 Installation disks don’t work with large hard drives.

I had two partitions on my MBP that I could switch with Boot Camp: Mac OS 10.6 and Windows 7. I decided to replace Windows 7 partition with Mac OS 10.4. I wanted to have both Tiger and Snow Leopard on my laptop to have a portable zoo. I needed 10.6 for new Mac OS apps that didn’t work with 10.4 and I needed 10.4 because of problem 1 above.

When installing 10.4 Tiger I had another problem. My hard drive 320 GB Western Digital was not recognized correctly by the installer. In the disk tools I saw that my hard drive was 7 TB and I had IO errors when I tried to do anything with it.

Here is the solution:

  • I connected a small USB external hard drive 80 GB Western Digital and installed 10.4.7 Tiger on that hard drive.
  • Booted from the USB drive and upgraded Mac OS to 10.4.11, which supports large hard drives.
  • Booted from the 10.6 Snow Leopard installation disk and used its Backup/Restore tools to backup the 10.4.11 from the external USB drive and restore the image to my former Windows 7 partition.

Happy ending

After having worked in Tiger for some time I noticed that my CPU doesn’t go above 70 C often, the performance has improved and the fan noise has almost disappeared. I had issues with Safari opening some web sites. I updated Safari and Java and now the web sites are operational. I also had to install an old version of Skype that supported 10.4 from here (http://www.oldapps.com/mac/skype.php?old_skype=37). Skype audio works but if you want to use video, you need to have an old Skype on the other side two.

March 18, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment