Question iMac Late 2009 model with macOS High Sierra v10.13.6

natkin

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Hi - My Seagate 'Barracuda' 1TB SSD recently failed on my iMac but I am hopeful of recovering some of the data stored thereon.
I was under the impression that because of the age of my iMac (late 2009 model) I could not upgrade the MacOS from High Sierra to later versions.
I will install a Brand New SSD but before doing so can I install a later MacOS onto the new SSD ( something like Big Sur or Monterey or Ventura) and would it be worthwhile doing so?
My failed SSD obviously had the macOS High Sierra v.10.13.6 installed on it and assuming I can recover some or all of the data that was stored on it, would I be able to recover that data, onto the newly installed SSD which would (if possible) have a later version of a MacOS installed. In other words would the newer MacOS be backward compatible with the High Sierra version of data stored on the failed SSD?

The full specs of my Apple iMac are:- 21.5" LED 16:9 Widescreen. EMC 2308. Model A1311. Late 2009 with Intel 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor, 8GB DDR 3 1067MHz RAM with ATI Radeon HD4670 256MB Graphics card.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you.
 

EdwinG

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Hello there

Replacing the system’s hard drive, whether it’s solid state or spinning, will not allow you a more recent version of macOS. The Late 2009 iMac is limited to High Sierra as the most recent version. There are other components in the system that don’t have drivers in more recent version of the operating system.

On using your hard drive with a more recent version of macOS. Assuming it is still functioning, it should work. I wouldn’t trust the drive to hold any information however.
 

natkin

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Hi Edwin G.
Thank you very much for your advice and comments.
I will obviously have to think again about installing a more recent software version.
I suspected that it would be a 'no no' but had heard that other iMac users had managed to install and use more recent versions onto late 2009 iMac's.
Like you I don't hold much hope of being able to recover data from the old SSD but will give it a try.
Kind regards and thanks again.
Tony (natkin)
 
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EdwinG

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Hi Edwin G.
Thank you very much for your advice and comments.
I will obviously have to think again about installing a more recent software version.
I suspected that it would be a 'no no' but had heard that other iMac users had managed to install and use more recent versions onto late 2009 iMac's.
Like you I don't hold much hope of being able to recover data from the old SSD but will give it a try.
Kind regards and thanks again.
Tony (natkin)

Hi,

It is true that it might be possible to install more recent versions, but I advise against it because it involves modifying the system kernel which means that you won’t get the embedded security features of macOS.
 

natkin

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Thanks again Edwin G.
Some good news, I managed to hook up the SSD from my iMac as an external drive to my MacBook Pro and lo and behold it recognised it and virtually all my data appears accessible. Am now busy copying everything to DVD's/CD's etc .
It now confirms what I thought from the outset that the problem wasn't with the SSD but was in fact with the Graphics Card.
Now looking to upgrade the graphics card ATI Radeon HD4670 which hopefully will resolve the problem.
Kind regards,
Tony (natkin)
 
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natkin

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Hello and welcome to iMore
Hi Annie_M
Many thanks for your welcome.
I have a 2009 iMac, a newish MacBook Pro M1, iPhone 7 and a dated iPad 2 or 3 (can't remember which)
I have always been a Windows User and finding the switch over to MacOS a little daunting and frustrating at times.
I liken it to learning a new language but trying to the best of my abilities.
Kind regards,
Tony ( natkin)
 
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natkin

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Thanks again Edwin G.
Some good news, I managed to hook up the SSD from my iMac as an external drive to my MacBook Pro and lo and behold it recognised it and virtually all my data appears accessible. Am now busy copying everything to DVD's/CD's etc .
It now confirms what I thought from the outset that the problem wasn't with the SSD but was in fact with the Graphics Card.
Now looking to upgrade the graphics card ATI Radeon HD4670 which hopefully will resolve the problem.
Kind regards,
Tony (natkin)
Hi again Edwin G,

Sorry to bother but due to wife's health problems not got round to doing what I intended with the iMac.

I have purchased a new SSD which I intend to install along with a (new to me) used and working ATI Radeon HD4670 graphics card. I also intend to download and install MacOS 'High Sierra V.10.13.6 which was the OS installed on my old SSD.

I am informed that I will probably need to FORMAT the new SSD in a particular way (Journalled?) - do I need to do this formatting before installing the new SSD or will when I attempt to install the downloaded MacOS 'High Sierra' will it recognise that the new SSD is not formatted and prompt me to format it with suggestions?

When I install 'High Sierra' will it recognise the newly installed ATI Radeon graphics card?

Similarly, having replaced the original SSD (bearing in mind that there will be no MacOS installed at this stage) and Graphics Card when I turn on the computer (which will at that point be connected directly to my router via Ethernet cable) will I then be able to connect to the internet and download the MacOS 'High Sierra" v. 10.13.6 directly to the new SSD or will I have to download the MacOS first onto say a DVD or Flash Drive or Memory Card and then copy it over onto the new SSD.

Sorry if the questions are a bit naive but am more au-faire with Windows than Macs.

Kind regards,
Tony (natkin)
 

EdwinG

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I am informed that I will probably need to FORMAT the new SSD in a particular way (Journalled?) - do I need to do this formatting before installing the new SSD or will when I attempt to install the downloaded MacOS 'High Sierra' will it recognise that the new SSD is not formatted and prompt me to format it with suggestions?
No to the first one.

macOS Recovery has all the tools necessary to initialize the drive and then install macOS on it.

I can’t recall if it will prompt you to initialize the drive as part of the process, or you need to do it from Disk Utility.


If it doesn’t list a disk to install macOS, Apple provides the steps to initialize the drive here:
When I install 'High Sierra' will it recognise the newly installed ATI Radeon graphics card?
I cannot find any information confirming that AMD Radeon HD4670 cards are supported by macOS.


Note that the installation process will use the card that is on iMac’s logic board. It’s only with the full macOS installation that will reveal whether the AMD Radeon HD4670 works (or not).

Reminder: the iMac is an all-in-one device. The graphics card that’s on the logic board cannot be replaced.
Similarly, having replaced the original SSD (bearing in mind that there will be no MacOS installed at this stage) and Graphics Card when I turn on the computer (which will at that point be connected directly to my router via Ethernet cable) will I then be able to connect to the internet and download the MacOS 'High Sierra" v. 10.13.6 directly to the new SSD or will I have to download the MacOS first onto say a DVD or Flash Drive or Memory Card and then copy it over onto the new SSD.
You can use Internet Recovery to reinstall macOS. Note that it might install the originally shipping version that you will be able to upgrade.

You can also use a USB Thumb Drive to install macOS, which needs to be created with the createinstallmedia app that comes with the macOS Installer.
 
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natkin

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No to the first one.

macOS Recovery has all the tools necessary to initialize the drive and then install macOS on it.

I can’t recall if it will prompt you to initialize the drive as part of the process, or you need to do it from Disk Utility.


If it doesn’t list a disk to install macOS, Apple provides the steps to initialize the drive here:

I cannot find any information confirming that AMD Radeon HD4670 cards are supported by macOS.


Note that the installation process will use the card that is on iMac’s logic board. It’s only with the full macOS installation that will reveal whether the AMD Radeon HD4670 works (or not).

Reminder: the iMac is an all-in-one device. The graphics card that’s on the logic board cannot be replaced.

You can use Internet Recovery to reinstall macOS. Note that it might install the originally shipping version that you will be able to upgrade.

You can also use a USB Thumb Drive to install macOS, which needs to be created with the createinstallmedia app that comes with the macOS Installer.
Many thanks Edwin. Your reply and the links therein will be a tremendous help.
At least I am not now batting in the dark and feel more confident to tackle the job in hand.
I have in the past successfully built my own Windows based computers but Macs are a new entity to
me. Thank you again for your time.

Kind regards,
Tony (natkin)
 
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