Want to know how (and why) I upgraded my iMac 2007 to El Capitan? Here you go. Enjoy the (sometimes bumpy) ride!
I wanted to connect a Wacom Intuos tablet to my good old iMac 20″, initially to use it with Photoshop (but I opted for another software, more on that later).
A few months ago I upgraded my iMac 20″ to Snow Leopard (with a CD I bought from Apple.com), because I needed Snow Leopard (10.6) to upgrade my browser to be able to watch Amazon Prime videos on my good old Mac.
I thought it would have been a sufficient upgrade to simply connect a USB device like the Intuos tablet. But it wasn’t. I started the installation process and it immediately triggered a warning pop up telling me that I needed at least Mac OS 10.9 to use that device on my iMac.
I did a quick search to see whether I could simply upgrade my iMac to Sierra, the latest Mac OS as I’m writing those lines (Jan 2017), just as I did with my vintage Macbook Pro 2011 in December 2016. But you can’t upgrade Snow Leopard directly to Sierra. You need to first upgrade to El Capitan. That’s what I found out by visiting this page on Apple’s website.
So I opened the Appstore on my iMac. First I had to run a software update because no installation would start after I clicked on “get” (install). The Appstore was stuck, frozen. When the download finally started (after the software update which required to restart the machine), I saw another warning pop up: El Capitan required at least 2GB of RAM and my iMac only had… 1 GB. No more. Shit…
Fortunately, it was still possible to buy additional ram, to upgrade the RAM this iMac 20″ 2007 to 2 * 2GB = 4GB. Yes! So I searched for “RAM iMac 20″ 2007” on Amazon Prime and found a 4GB kit from Komputer Bay, right here, for £37.87. It was delivered 24 hours later (Prime rules).
Then I had to open the iMac, take out the 1GB stick (a bit tricky, see here) and insert both 2GB memory modules.
Then I switched on my computer. It worked, I could see 4GB of RAM now installed on the iMac. But it’s not the end…
I was so happy. I switched off my iMac, cleaned my screen, positioned the computer properly on my desk and then restarted the machine with the aim of finally installing El Capitan to enjoy my Intuos tablet (you remember, that was the motivation of this whole upgrade adventure).
I pressed on the power button but my iMac didn’t initiate its correct booting sequence. It just started beeping. Multiple times. OMG… WTF… I thought I had just ruined the whole thing. I thought it was the end of my good old iMac 2007. I was so scared (yes, I know, I’m over-reacting, a bit too paranoid in some adverse situations).
So I went back to Google, my good old research friend, and typed “fix beeps iMac 2007 startup” (or something similar). And I found out that there are actually different kinds of system errors depending on the # of beeps you hear when you switch on your computer. Here’s what you can read on Apple’s website.
My pattern corresponded to the last example. I didn’t what to expect. Again, I thought it was the end of my iMac. RIP.
But then I found out that I could fix this “EFI ROM Corruption” by resetting the firmware of my computer. Unfortunately I didn’t know where to find the original installation CD… But Apple had a fix for this, providing a downloadable CD image via their website, which I burned on a CDr.
Then I followed the instructions to reset the firmware. And – miracle – after hours of research, struggle, despair, hope and some late night coffee I was finally able to restart my computer now equipped with 4GB of fresh RAM.
Then I installed El Capitan (this took an extra 2 hours of downloading – installing – restarting the machine) and I installed the Wacom Intuos Tablet (it was 2.30 AM). Which I finally decided to use not with Adobe Photoshop but with a little piece of software called Super Photocut, which for $14.99 works better than Photoshop to cut out the background of images in order to create transparent PNGs for my brand new creative project, StickPNG.com (hand-curated catalogue of transparent PNGs).
Now I’m ready to add a new working station to my setup. Finally. BTW, this is a transparent PNG I’ve just created. A souvenir of my circus period.
I hope this article helped you to understand how (and why) I upgraded my iMac 2007 to El Capitan. I’m so happy that I add my iMac transparent PNG to StickPNG.com. See here.