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Offline DCurry

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Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« on: May 12, 2020, 12:33:18 PM »
Some of you were talking about SSDs in another thread and I got jealous, so I bought one for my late-2009 iMac. I know how to take it apart and install the drive, but I'm wondering if anyone has any tips as to the best way to keep my old OS.
I have a full Time Machine backup of the current drive. It is running El Capitan and I would like to keep it that way with the new drive because I have some older software (before Adobe went al subscription) that I'd like to keep functional. I could potentially go up to High Sierra but would need to research that before commiting.

Can I just re-image the whole magilla from Time Machine? Should I? I know it's better to put a fresh install OS on a new drive but it might be tricky to find an installer for El Cap, plus it would have to be bootable?
I used to know how to do this stuff but it's harder/more complicated than it used to be.
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Offline Joe

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2020, 02:04:51 PM »
Since you have a full time machine backup I would install your chosen OS fresh on the SSD and then use the migration assistant to bring back your account and all of your apps. I have had good luck with all of the adobe apps coming over intact and ready to run. Just make sure your older apps will still run on the OS you are going to install.
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Offline DCurry

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 08:56:52 AM »
I think that might be the issue - finding an installer. I haven't looked too hard but I know in the past it's been a pain. I don't think I can install over the internet unless I'm installing latest and greatest OS.

I'll have to do some digging when I get around to actually taking the plunge.
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Offline Joe

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2020, 09:00:39 AM »
I think using the internet method it will put the OS on it that it shipped with. Or at least it used to. Apple might have changed that though.

I have an El Capitan, Sierra, and High Sierra installer if you need it.
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Offline DCurry

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2020, 09:45:10 AM »
I'd love to get the El Cap one from you.
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Offline Joe

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2020, 10:28:07 AM »
Uploading now. It is going to take awhile as it is about 6 GB.
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Offline DCurry

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 10:43:17 AM »
Cool, thanks. I won't be downloading it til tonight at home anyway.
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Offline Joe

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 07:21:15 PM »
Here ya go: [Link Removed]

Just Unzip and you will have the file that you install directly from within OS X. If you need a bootable disk like a USB stick you need to create it with something like Install Disk Creator or DiskMaker X.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 12:02:06 AM by Joe »
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Offline DCurry

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 07:35:42 PM »
Much obliged!
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Offline rotarypower3

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020, 07:43:42 AM »
If you don't want to do a fresh install and just want your system as is but on the ssd, you can also create a disk image using Disk Utility.
I've done it successfully both ways now (Time Machine & disk image).
I found it best/easiest to put the ssd into a usb housing and get the system running on that first. Of course you need to do it from recovery.
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Offline DCurry

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2020, 12:34:21 PM »
I like the idea of installing the OS onto the SSD in an external housing first. I didn't think I had one, then I just took apart my external time machine drive and as luck would have it the connection inside is the same so I'm going to put a fresh OS install on it while it is still external, then boot from it to test it out before cracking open the iMac to install it. Then I will use the Migration Assistant to bring everything from my TM backup (after re-assembling it, of course.)

I wanted to get all this done and tested before my next 2-week stint of working remotely from home, but that starts next week and I'm not sure I'll get around to it but we'll see what happens.
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Offline DCurry

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2020, 09:40:36 AM »
Well, that was fun. NOT! I attempted to install El Capitan onto the new SSD in an external housing and kept getting an error about package contents.

Did a little interwebs research and apparently there is a certificate in the installer that checks the date and if it is after a certain date it just won't install (but of course won't tell you that's the reason.) So I turned off automatic time/date in System Prefs, changed the date to mid 2017 and tried again but still no joy. Made a few more attempts (every attempt takes at least 10 minutes to know if it was successful) and it kept changing the date back on its own. Eventually I turned off wi-fi and disconnected my ethernet cable, changed the date and then it worked.

Then while it was hooked up and running I just imported user data and applications from the still-installed old HD. So now all I have to do is crack open the iMac and put the new SSD in and everything should already be in place and ready for action.

Very frustrating when software has a sunset date like that programmed in. I get that Apple doesn't want to support old OSes forever, but at least let us use it easily as long as we are willing to forego official support.
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Offline Joe

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2020, 09:52:32 AM »
Oh yeah. I had run into that with Sierra and High Sierra installers but didn't think they did that back in El Capitan. I have the updated installers for Sierra and High Sierra though. Have you tried running the new install of El Capitan with the internet connected and the date set. I would not be surprised if it doesn't run once it checks the date since it is a security certificate issue. Seems like it could update to get the new certificate but who knows. Apple thinks differently than me most times.
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Offline DCurry

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2020, 09:57:28 AM »
Yes, I had it running off the external SSD today with auto date/time. Also it is and has been running on the original hard drive all along.
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Offline Joe

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Re: Upgrading older iMac to SSD
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2020, 10:00:18 AM »
OK that is good.

In case anyone needs installers with the correct certificates:

Redownload Archived macOS Installers to Address Expired Certificates

New installers for:

  • macOS 10.15 Catalina
  • macOS 10.14 Mojave
  • macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • macOS 10.12 Sierra
  • OS X 10.11 El Capitan
  • OS X 10.10 Yosemite
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