Released June 2009 / 2.66, 2.8, or 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor

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Sierra upgrade possible on a MBP mid 2009

I have a customer with a:

Apple MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.8 15" (SD) Specs

Identifiers: Mid-2009 15" - MB986LL/A - MacBookPro5,3 - A1286 - 2325*

It has a 64 bit Architecture and therefore should be able to take Sierra.

But then so does my early 2009 MacPro and I had to do a firmware hack to make it think it was a 2010 before I could install.

Does anyone know how to get it to install, or if it will?


The system should run on this machine so I'm thinking of duplicating her hard drive onto another drive. Put that drive onto a newer machine, install Sierra then swap the drives and see if it runs?

UPDATE 10/1/16

Tried to start up from an external SSD drive with Sierra on in and got the circle with a bar on it. So it's a no go unless I can either do a firmware upgrade or possibly change the plist.

UPDATE 7/11/17

This may be the way to do it:

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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@mayer - Apple lists 2010 or later for the MacBook Pro's so the installer may not let you. I think you should be able to cheat by using a different system to prep up the HD. The only thing I can think would be if the video drivers are missing in the build.

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I think I'll try booting first from an external with a clean Sierra install. If the drivers are missing, then do the install on an existing 10.11.6 with know good drivers.


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I know this is late, but my mid 2009 MBP has been running Sierra for a few days now and apart from some thermal issues at the start when it was setting everything up. Now it runs pretty smoothly and performance is comparable to El Capitan. I used the dosdude method and patcher, just make sure you back up the HD before you go ahead

My spec:

Mid 2009 MacBook Pro 13"

Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.26GHz

4GB DDR3 @1,066MHz


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It's never to late as long as the solution is in question. Thanks for confirming the fix ;-) Welcome to the site.


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mayer will be eternally grateful.
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