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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5 Laptop Macs
I was able to get Mac OS X 10.4 to run on a new OS X 10.5-based Intel MacBook. To make this work, you need to own an intel iMac or Mac mini that runs on 10.4, as well as a USB hard drive. Here's how I got it working:
  1. Connect the USB disk drive to the iMac or Mac mini.
  2. Run Disk Utility, in the Utilities folder.
  3. Click on the USB disk's icon, then on the Restore tab.
  4. Drag your iMac or Mac mini's disk drive from the left hand column over to the source area.
  5. Drag your USB drive to the destination area.
  6. Check Erase Destination and then click on the Restore button. (This will take a while!)
  7. After this completes, take your USB drive over to your new MacBook.
  8. Remove the battery and remove the screws so that you can take the MacBook's hard drive out.
  9. Plug in your USB drive and power up your new MacBook. It will then boot into 10.4, off the USB drive.
  10. Go to System Preferences and click on Startup disk. Change your startup disk to the USB hard drive and restart your MacBook.
  11. Before you restart your MacBook, and while it is still powered up, plug its internal hard drive back in. [robg adds: The original hint submission was unclear about which disk is being reconnected, and no contact email address was provided. I'm assuming the internal hard drive is the one that needs to be connected, as its currently not in the MacBook.]
  12. After your computer starts up, repeat steps two to six again, but make your source the USB drive and your destination your MacBook's hard drive.
  13. When this completes, you should be able to go to System Preference » Startup Disk, and change your startup disk to your MacBook's hard drive.
Reboot to boot your new MacBook into 10.4 on its internal hard drive.

[robg adds: I have not tested this hint, nor would I recommend it for most users. If you are going to try it, however, I would recommend first cloning (via Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper) the MacBook's 10.5 drive to a separate external drive -- just in case you ever want to easily go back to the existing 10.5 setup.]
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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5 | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: dmc6960 on Aug 13, '08 08:17:40AM

While 10.4 will indeed boot on new MacBooks (3,1 and 4,1), graphics drivers will NOT work. You will be running a basic display driver with no CoreGraphics, OpenGL, Quartz Extreme, etc.



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: jyu on Aug 13, '08 09:04:08AM

Seems complicated. Not that I would recommend this topic at all, but if you have to do it, why not just connect the MacBook to iMac as firewire target drive and restore OS to it directly, without using the USB disk?



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: fitzage on Aug 13, '08 09:17:35AM

VERY BAD IDEA.

My boss tried this, and it appeared to work. However, the resulting system was highly unstable and had serious video driver issues as someone else mentioned.



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: macavenger on Aug 13, '08 09:40:12AM

Even ignoring the other comments, all of which I fully agree with, why on earth would you remove the internal drive of your macbook? if the computer will recognize the external drive as a valid boot drive (which obviously it does if it will boot from it) then all you need to do to get the computer to boot from it is either a) hold down the option key at startup to get the boot disk selector, and choose the external drive, or b) let the computer boot from the internal drive, then go to the startup disk preference pane, select the external drive, and reboot. I'm sorry, but this hint has issues on a number of levels.

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Aluminum iMac 20" 2.4 GHz/3GB/300GB HD



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Why?
Authored by: SuperCrisp on Aug 13, '08 09:41:25AM

Can anyone suggest some reasons one might want to do this? I'm still on 10.4, and I plan to migrate to 10.5 this winter with a new MacBook (Pro?). Are there pitfalls out there about 10.5? Are there other reasons to do this? That, reasons other than shear nerdy perversity, which I applaud in all its misguided forms.



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: ptone on Aug 13, '08 12:49:42PM

Just another voice of a Mac school administrator saying don't do this!

Bad idea on several levels.




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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: drmacnut on Aug 13, '08 02:07:10PM

DO NOT DO THIS!

Also from a Mac tech guy, I do not at all recommend doing this, aside from the lack of its apparent utility. Moving the MacBook around and plugging in its internal hard drive while the MacBook is powered on is seriously asking for trouble.

Most likely, a simple Carbon Copy clone from a working 10.4 external drive to the pre-formatted internal is all that is needed here, although as other commenters have wondered, I am not sure why one would want to run Tiger on a Leopard-native MacBook.

Sorry, but this hint needs a "0" on the rating scale; I can't even give it a "1"!



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: Mr. H on Aug 15, '08 02:08:49AM

SATA HDDs are hot-plugable, so that part of the hint isn't so bad (ignoring the fact that taking out the internal HDD in the first place is totally unnecessary)



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: gctuser on Aug 13, '08 05:12:50PM

to give one answer to the question why someone would like to do this: working with network accounts in an environment with tiger directory-servers.

apart from that i totally agree that this won't work as expected.



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: jyu on Aug 13, '08 06:27:38PM

My MacBook Pro is running 10.5.4 using the a mobile account that created on a 10.4.x Server and have no problem at all.



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: leamanc on Aug 13, '08 07:03:58PM

To answer "why would you want to do this?", at my company we were in a situation where we needed to buy new MacBooks to continue a company-wide upgrade project. But our VPN client hadn't been upgraded for 10.5 yet.

We used an image (of the NetRestore/Apple Software Restore variety) to make the install 10.4 on the 10.5 MacBook. As others have pointed out, graphics looked like crap, there was only one resolution to choose from, and external monitors/projectors didn't work.

We tried fiddling with it, copying GPU .kexts from 10.4 MacBooks and such, but it was a no go. We just bought refurb'ed 10.4 MacBooks in the meantime.

I noticed later that Apple posted, on the ADC developer site, a Graphics Drivers .pkg, but by that time the VPN client had been upgraded. I don't know if it would have helped or not, though.

Long story short, you won't have a very nice MacBook at the end of this if you follow this hint.



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: Tiresias on Aug 15, '08 03:51:00PM

This is a terrible idea, as already pointed out. Every new machine has a special build of OS X with all the bug fixes for that hardware. If you revert to a version of the OS which was not tested on that machine, you could be missing key components such as thermal sensor drivers and you could fry your machine. Also note that removing your hard drive as this hint suggests will void your warrantee so you can't get it replaced when it dies.

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I Think Different



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Use OS X 10.4 on a MacBook that came with 10.5
Authored by: sipatel on Aug 26, '08 03:10:01PM

I needed to run an app in 10.4.11...

I simply connected my MacPro 2008 to my Macbook Late 2006 in Target Disk mode, installed 10.4, updated to 10.4.11, restarted the MacPro then ran the 10.4.11 Combo Update again.

Runs just fine except for slow screen redraws.



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