15 Steps to Install Mountain Lion on Unsupported Macs

This trick would help you install Mac OS X Mountain Lion on your unsupported Mac machines, by just changing some plist files and also some kext files. Here’s how to do so!

Mac OS X Mountain Lion dropped support for some older models of the Mac Computers to enable smooth running of the software on the Macs. Mountain Lion required the GPU power that are not very well equipped in the older versions of Macs. But still, if you are dying to install Mountain Lion on your old Mac, then this tutorial would help you out.

Before starting off with the tutorial, I would recommend you to take a backup of your HDD via Time Machine or some other source. I tested this out only on MacBook Pro 2008 model and it worked. Do this at your own risk. But many forums say that this trick works just fine with MacBook Pro 2007 too. Thanks to a member at hackerwayne forum for letting us know this. You will need to get a copy of Mountain Lion from Apple’s Mac Developer Channel, before you could go ahead with this.

How to Install Mountain Lion on Unsupported Macs

1. Get a copy of Mountain Lion from Apple’s Mac Developer Channel.

2. Make sure you have a Mountain Lion compatible Mac, Im using a MacBook 2.4GHz Aluminum 2008

3. I have no FireWire to do target disk mode, so i removed the HDD from the MacBook White, pop it into the ML compatible Mac and install Mountain Lion like normal.

4. Get everything set up, until you reach the desktop

5. Now, remove the HDD from the compatible Mac, pop it into the MacBook White. Restart the MB White and hold down “CMD + V”. It should say “Incompatible Mac detected. Reason: Mac-F4208EC8? the “Mac-F4208EC8? is a unique ID for your Mac, so copy that down.

6. Remove the HDD from the MacBook White, and again, pop it into the compatible Mac, reboot back into Mountain Lion. U Now, navigate to ‘/System/Library/CoreServices’ on the Mountain Lion partition. Unlike 10.7 Lion, users delete PlatformSupport.plist. In ML 10.8 add that unique ID that you copied just now to PlatformSupport.plist. If you try to delete that Plist file, a Kernal panic will greet you during boot.

7. In PlatformSupport.plist, remember to add your model identifier, if you are using a MacBook White like me, add MacBook2,1 right above MacBook6,1. This step is important as the EFI reads this by sequence.

For MacBook 07 and 08 add this line right above MacBook6,1

For 07: MacBook2,1
For 08: MacBook3,1

For Mac Pro 06 and 07 add this line right above MacPro4,1

For 06: MacPro1,1

For 07: MacPro2,1

8. Now, boot it back using the MacBook White and confirm that the ML is booting. If you did everything right, you should be able to reach the desktop, but have no accelerated graphics whatsoever, only framebuffer. (for MacPro1,1 and 2,1 with upgraded graphics card, you should get a perfectly working ML)

9. 2 ways to perform this step:
a) Manually copy and install the right kext.
b) Use kexthelper (skip 10 – 13)

MacBook2,1 – AppleIntelGMA950.kext, AppleIntelGMA950VADriver.bundle, AppleIntelGMA950VLDriver.bundle

MacBook3,1 – AppleIntelGMAX3100.kext, AppleIntelGMAX3100VADriver.bundle, AppleIntelGMAX3100FB.kext, AppleIntelGMAX3100VLDriver.bundle

MacPro1,1/2,1 – upgrade graphics card to GT210 or HD 5770 No kext required. 7300GT untested!

MacMini2,1;3,1 iMac4,1;5,1 untested. Please try using above method depending on which graphics card you have and report back results! Thanks!

For ATI graphics card, i do not have a Mac to test them, I believe its the same, try ATIRadeonX1000.kext, ATIRadeonX1000GL.bundle, ATIRadeonX1000VA.bundle, ATI- yliadxos.bundle and report back.

10. Back to the MB white, install the kext using KextHelper and reboot.

11. After it reboots, you should be able to see a pop up message saying that the kext isnt compatible. If yes, reboot.

12. Boot into Single User Mode (Command+S ) and type the following:

chmod -R 755/Volumes/~MLPartitionName/System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntelGMA950.kext

chown -R root:wheel /Volumes/~MLPartitionName/System/Library/Extensions/AppleIntelGMA950.kext

Then remove cache and rebuilt:

rm -rf /Volumes/~MLPartitionName/System/Library/Extensions.mkext


kextcache -k /Volumes/~MLPartitionName/System/Library/Extensions

13. Reboot your Mac and That is it!

14. Working Mountain Lion on not supported system.

This tutorial originally appeared in the forum and I tried this and it completely works fine, at least for the Developer Preview of the OS. I’m not sure what Apple would do with further updates that are to come for the OS. If Apple fixes this issue in the next update, then we’ve gotta find another solution to this! Until then, enjoy Mountain Lion on your Mac.

  • minasi

    It doesn’t works for me. I had a Macbook White 2,1 and the incompatible massage continue to appear. What can i do?

  • minasi

    It’s not enough just do replace the plist. I have found this tutorial in MacRumors forum and it works for me:

  • the only OS related two features are gatekeeper (advanced version of current firewall on lion) and airplay (why dont you buy more iDevices). the all other notes, notifications, twitter, reminder etc. can be achieved via third parties. messages also new ichat which is also available for lion as beta. leopard and sl came out with lots of new and useful features, lion had less, and mountain lion looks almost no useful/significant features.

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