Installed macOS Catalina on my MacBook Early 2009

I still have my Early 2009 MacBook for my kids. It runs El Capitan and Windows 10 (bootcamp). Installation of macOS Catalina on my macbook 5,2 is unsupported. With the Catalina patcher from DosDude1 the installer can be tricked to allow installation.

Keep in mind that the software will be patched and the hardware remains the same. Catalina has features (continuity, handoff) that rely on certain hardware and will not be available. For Catalina to work I’ll need to patch the BootROM to enable booting from an APFS formatted disk – do this first!

After 2 hours my old MacBook showed the apple logo on a grey background. The progress bar hadn’t moved for some time, so I rebooted the machine. Turns out this is a bug reported on github (see references) and rebooting is the workaround 😉 I was greeted with the wizard to configure macOS Catalina and login to my iCloud.

macOS Catalina on macbook 5,2

The custom intel SSD supports TRIM. I enabled the TRIM support by running the following command and confirming the change:

sudo trimforce enabled

I noticed that the reboot took a long time. Also the next boot was slow. I booted from the Catalina patcher USB stick and applied the patches manually. Just before the reboot I enabled the checkbox Force Cache Rebuild.

force cache rebuild option in Post-install patches screen

Boot times are back to normal. I’ve only installed Daisydisk and Microsoft Team and both work fine.

Maybe upgrading the memory next time …


About erictummers

Working in a DevOps team is the best thing that happened to me. I like challenges and sharing the solutions with others. On my blog I’ll mostly post about my work, but expect an occasional home project, productivity tip and tooling review.
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2 Responses to Installed macOS Catalina on my MacBook Early 2009

  1. Gus says:

    Hi 👋🏽
    Did you get the camera to work?

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