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2.26 or 2.4 GHz / White plastic unibody enclosure

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Mac OS Won't Upgrade

I have a Unibody MacBook that I purchased used and it’s in great condition.

I don’t have the original install discs, but I do own the full Mac OS 10.6.3 (Snow Leopard) install that I purchased for another computer back in the day. I used that to do a wipe and clean install, and have downloaded the updates from Apple to get it up to 10.6.8.

I would like to get it as updated as the Unibody will allow, but 10.6.8 on this machine will not connect to the AppStore. So I searched and downloaded both Lion and Mountain Lion upgrades directly from Apple Support.

They are both large files (4.72GB and 4.45GB respectively) but when I mount the disc image and run the install pkg files, they both tell me something similar to “This install will require 25MB of disk space” (which seems REALLY low to me for an OS upgrade) and when they finish installing, (which they both say they did successfully) it doesn’t tell me to restart or anything, and nothing seems to have changed. I manually restart it, and still I’m on 10.6.8.

Anybody have any suggestions? Can I buy install media that might do a better job of this from someplace and upgrade it directly to 10.13.x? I can’t do anything through the App store for this machine, and my iMac (which can access the App store) can’t install 10.13, so it won’t even let me download it.

EDIT - I found the Installer apps for both of these in the Applications folder, but when I run them, after typing my computer password, I get a message saying the Image could not be verified and may have been tampered with or failed during download. And the installer quits. Repeated downloads have shown no difference.

So again, both of these install’s have failed. I also tried downloading 10.11 from Apple. and that download just failed completely on its own without giving me the opportunity to try and mount the image.

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There are two versions of this system:

13" MacBook 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo (Late 09) - 8 GB Max RAM

13" MacBook 2.4 Core 2 Duo (Mid-2010) - 16 GB Max RAM

Both can support upto High Sierra (10.13.6)


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I would recommend upgrading to MacOS Yosemite, then upgrading to MacOS High Sierra.

You can download MacOS Yosemite on your Mac by opening and clicking the link at the bottom of the page that says MacOS Yosemite (can upgrade Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard)

To install the new MacOS, double-click the DMG file and run the package installer inside. Now find the installed app called Install Yosemite and run it.

Go to the in the Safari browser (this is very important). Click the link that says MacOS High Sierra (can upgrade Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain).

You should be taken to a listing in the App Store. Click the “Download” or “Get” button. Wait for the app to install.

“Install High Sierra” should open automatically. Go through the on-screen prompts and wait for the new MacOS to install.

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This worked perfectly! I was doing everything you said already, but didn't realize my choice of browser was the problem!! Safari in 10.6.8 doesn't handle web navigation well - something to do with Javascript I assume, but either way, I was browsing with and using Chrome originally. But Safari made the difference!! Yosemite installed just fine, and I'm in the process of getting Sierra. I'm opting out of High Sierra for now because of the potential problem one other post to my question pointed out. Thanks for all your help!!


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@erikastone - I suspect you are fighting a few different issues here. The first is available space on your drive. I would clean off what you can to free up space.

I would recommend setting up an external OS installer thumb drive (32 GB) to make things easier and remove the installers you have on your drive as they won’t be needed and are wasting space

Now the next issue is the OS installers have a certificate which have an expiration date! So the error you are getting “Image could not be verified and may have been tampered with or failed during download” is an expired installer! Here’s a bit more on this If you've got an old macOS install image, it will probably stop working today

OK so where do I get new installers?? Here >> How to get old versions of macOS

I would recommend sticking with Sierra (10.12.6) Vs High Sierra (10.13.6) This gets into the file systems these two have. Sierra offers HFS+ whereas High Sierra offers the first version of APFS which was not very good! The first version of macOS with a good version of APFS is Mojave which your system won’t run. And if you have the older late 2009 model the 8 GB RAM limits you more so.

To setup a bootable thumb drive first reformat the drive to GUID and a journaled file system, then follow this guide to setup the thumb drive How to create a bootable macOS Sierra installer drive.

Last issue is your drive! Make sure your drive (HDD or SSD) is able to run at 3.0 Gb/s (SATA II) finding a fixed 3.0 Gb/s speed drive is getting hard! And many drives today are fixed speed 6.0 Gb/s (SATA III) which are too fast for your system! There are still a few auto sense drives, ones that adjust there I/O speed to what the system supports. You need to review the given drives spec sheet to discover if they are auto sense! As an example Samsung 870 EVO SSD note the Interface’ line SATA 6 Gb/s Interface, compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s & 1.5 interfaces if your drive doesn’t state it clearly like this get a different drive or one that clearly states 3.0 Gb/s not 6.0 Gb/s!

And you have at least 1/4 of the drive free, 1/3 if you have a SSD 256 and smaller. As your system needs the elbow room (more so if you have a 8GB system) for Virtual RAM & Caching.

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My drive space wasn't an issue (the laptop had just gone through a clean erase and fresh install of 10.6.3) and I wanted to avoid using any extra drives or flash drives as a needed solution. (More cost = no bueno for me). But I greatly appreciate the insight into Sierra versus High Sierra!! I will definitely stick with Sierra for now.


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