OpenCore Legacy Patcher gifted a brand new Macbook to me – and an iMac 27″. Sonoma 🥳!

10 years ago (almost exactly) I invested a very significant amount of money (more than 3000 €, then!) to buy a MacBook Pro, the almost the best one available (quad core I7, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, Nvidia Geforce GT 750). I really enjoy(ed) working with this machine, being more than sufficient for all my needs being quite big: I was working as a developer, researcher etc. Every year working with this machine was a joyful experience. Two years ago there was a problem with Thunderbolt – irregular reboots almost drove me crazy (who knows) but a little helper program solved this. And then the “end of life” was there: no more updates after Big Sur. Changing to an iMac 2017 this year brought big screen (27″) and relief: Ventura running fine.

Why should this bother anyone else? Because I tried (again!) not to buy a new laptop but to repair my beloved old companion. And this time that was a close call. But having some time I tried “Open Core Legacy Patcher” instead of trying to solve some sudokus. Knowing this could result in bricking my machine I was audacious. And I almost failed. This time without Laphroig.

Being old, almost a dinosaur, I do not enjoy reading technical advice anymore. Most times. Changing tires for winter is no task I do myself – my garage does this. So I did not want to know how to do this, but a YouTube video was the final temptation: “Click here, do this, click that…” was music in my ears. The presenter, looking a bit like Otto, communicated confidence. So what.

First try failed me being too impatient. Second try resulted in a running machine (imagine me jig around in the background). Checking some essential apps I found out that no internet was present. Googling around, checking all suspects did not result in any success. After two hours pausing I discovered a network setting to disable LittleSnitch I had used for years. Success!! Disabling solved this problem and now my Macbook is running for one day giving ALL the options like a new machine. AND anything is running smoothly!

Summary: to buy a very capable machine is fine. But end of support does not know my still well equipped laptop and locks it out. OpenCore does a great job in reviving it and is able to unlock all features my laptop is able to do, regardless of its age. This is a tool for sustainability, Hooray!

Update: This success made me try to do the same with my workhorse: an iMac 18,3, locked to Ventura (not so bad). Beware to try this yourself: it was not that easy. But, to the crazy ones – a short report about being successful even with this machine. In the end at least – on the third attempt. TL;DR: Do a clean install to an external SSD if your primary drive is a Fusion Drive and migrate afterwards.
So my iMacs internal drive is a Fusion Drive, rather slow. Following Apples own guidelines I installed an external LaCie SSD, working great (but booting absurdly slow). Installation of OCLP failed after hours showing a kernel panic, leaving my SSD unbootable. Worst case scenario. Not possible to downgrade. Time Machine backup (done a day before: good!) not accessible (bad!!). Last chance: install to Fusion Drive. After one hour of installation everything running smoothly, migration assistent copying everything from my SSD to my now main drive. Phew. I thought. After two days bluetooth disconnections of my Magic Mouse drove me mad. And horrible startup times for programs. So my last chance was trying to install onto my (in the meantime) fresh SSD. No idea why but this time everything went smoothly and FAST! Boot time just some 10 seconds. Migration from Fusion Drive flawlessly and finished in about 5 hours (1 TB!). Really fine fast machine, Sonoma flying!! TBH I would never have tried this without my Macbook running for productive work which I used while doing these tasks.

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