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Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Clean up, compatible OS for this vintage , and "harvesting"programs..?

Yay, I scored this 17" baby. It had been spilled upon, frying the keyboard, but operational; with remote keyboard. But very sluggish. Currently running, or better, dragging El Capitan.

I am about to replace the keyboard (been there ,done that successfully before on other MBPs) Also would like to perhaps clean, (q-tip dap) the logic board stick sections, perhaps with alcohol. Is that a good idea?

Finally, being a lover of OS10.6.8 on my various 2009 Macs , I am not sure what to do about the currently installed newer OS. Is it a good idea to run such a new OS on a 2010 processor, or should I wipe this off this machine and do a clean instal of and earlier OS?

Finally, can I make a disc image somehow of the current OS, El Capitan, and save it for future tinkering? And can I save some of the programs currently installed, as disc images for future use on other restore projects?

Update (01/02/2017)

Yes, I am eternally grateful, a profound state of mind, I shall remain in. Thank you for the pointers. One other question remains regarding copying programs currently installed onto a USB, so I can reinstall them later when I wiped El Capitano off the machine and replaced him with my Snow Leopard. Is it possible to just copy the icon out of Application Folder into a USB drive, or are there extra steps needed to re-create a disc image to reinstall it elsewhere.

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Thank you Mayer. I will get back to you once I have fixed the keyboard and cleaned the logic board. I do not want to boot it up until after the clean up, to avoid posible further shorting out caused by any of the goop in the keys.In general the programs I saw on it were Mac versions of Word/ Office and Adobe graphics programs, which I would like to retain and reinstall on a fresh version of Snow Leopard .


I will upgrade the Ram to whatever this rig can take, probably 8GB.


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Go for the alcohol on logic board; just be sure to be using 80-98% isopropyl alcohol, and that all liquid evaporates before trying to use it again. Don't use an anhydrous isopropyl alcohol, as it can do all sorts of funny and unpredictable things.

I would run an older version of OS X, especially since what seems to be happening is Apple's engineers decided to make each new version of OS X harder to run on older hardware to encourage people to upgrade to new devices.

Yes, you can make a disk image, and make an OS X USB bootable using the instructions here: I know, its' for Mac OS X 10.1, it'll work just fine with newer versions of OS X as well. When you download the new OS from the App Store, make sure that you QUIT the installer, which will open just after the download is finished.

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OK, so the programs installed an of interest to me are the CS4 suite, Dream Weaver, Photoshop, Illustrator and In Design, as well as Word for Mac. Can they somehow be retained? They were paid for by the PO, and sold to me with the Mac. I see no copyright infringement by keeping them, but trying to run them on Snow Leopard.


To make an exact clone of the drive, I use SuperDuper.


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Hi Jurgen,

I saw your post so I thought I'd give you some encouragement.

I have a 17" Mid 2010 i7 2.6G (6,1).

It maxes out with 8GB Ram. I replaced the HD with a 1TB SSD - what a huge difference it made!

I run the latest El Capitan available. I do a lot of Adobe LightRoom and Photoshop stuff. Sure, I suppose it could be a fraction of a second or two faster - but at my present proficiency level - I'd just be making mistakes faster. I also do a lot of Microsoft Office (For Mac) and was also running a VMware Virtual Machine running Windows XP. It had some of my legacy apps that won't run on Mac (Visio and MS Project). I no longer use the VMWare - but it ran fine when I did.

Mine is like new, well taken car of (pampered). I'd definitely max the memory out and get an SSD. The 17" Matte Screen is really tough to get these days in a laptop.



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I just noticed your post about the owner transfership with Adobe. I was able to do it with both Photoshop and LightRoom. The previous owner needs to facilitate it and he will need to fill out a form, along with your email and submit it to Adobe. They create a case number and then you will be contacted for details. Once completed, ownership transfers very quickly.


Thank you all for the pointers. I did succeed, installed new keyboard and its 80 some screws, and am running it with a 500GB drive on Snow Leopard...and love it. The little stuff I do on here it handles with ease. Cheers all and keep on keeping them running way beyond the best before date...


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Jurgen will be eternally grateful.
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