Salvage an old MacBook [SOLVED}

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Relative
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Salvage an old MacBook [SOLVED}

Post by Relative »

A friend had given up on her MacBook as too old and unsupported by Apple along with a battery that won't charge.
She gave it to me with the stipulation that I wipe the drive of all her data. I took it out of the machine and connected it to
my laptop and ran DOD wipe on it.

I reinstalled the MAC software just for grins and to play with it since I had never had the chance before. Ran into all sorts
of problems trying to install current apps from the Apple store. She was correct - not much available that would work on this
old machine.

Decided to try Linux on it. I use Mint on all our machines so that was the obvious choice. Was eventually successful and
have listed the steps here in case anyone else has one of these 'old' MacBooks around. This is one of the first MacBook
models - 2,1 that came out in late 2006. Intel Core 2 Duo. This particular one is dated 06/27/07.

I started with the 80G PATA drive that came with the MacBook.

Could not get it to boot from a USB stick so I burned DVDs.

Tried Mint 19.3 64-bit and it said it couldn't read the disc.

Booted the live DVD of Linux Mint 19.3 32-bit version.
Used GParted to delete all partitions on the 80G drive. (Noticed it had 200mb as EFI partition at beginning of drive)
Created a 2mb space before the first partition and created a partition as a 200mb fat32 partition that would become EFI.
The 2mb space was reserved for the boot partition.
Created a 20G ext4 partition that will be for root
Created a 54G ext4 partition that will be for home
Created a 2G Linux-Swap partition

(These are all rough sizes)

I then edited connections to give ethernet the correct IP for my internal network.

Started the install - selected English, then English, Macintosh for the keyboard.
Selected install 3rd party software.

For 'Installation Type' I selected 'Something else'.

Selected that first 2mb space and selected the option 'Reserved BIOS boot area' (It then used only 1mb of it - oh well)
Selected the 200mb as efi, 20G as /, 54G as /home, and 2G as swap. No idea if this was of any use with the 32-bit version.

Normal selections during install as with any other PC. Did updates to latest kernel, etc.

Later decided to connect a USB mouse since the Apple trackpad and single button were infuriating.

So far, it's working quite well - a little on the slow side, but working.

Have attached the results of inxi -Fxzd for your look-see.


System:
Host: MacBook40 Kernel: 5.0.0-37-generic i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc
v: 7.4.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.14.1 Distro: Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia
base: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic
Machine:
Type: Laptop System: Apple product: MacBook2,1 v: 1.0 serial: <filter>
Mobo: Apple model: Mac-F4208CA9 v: PVT serial: <filter> BIOS: Apple
v: MB21.88Z.00A5.B07.0706270922 date: 06/27/07
CPU:
Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core2 T7200 bits: 64 type: MCP
arch: Core Merom rev: 6 L2 cache: 4096 KiB
flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 7979
Speed: 998 MHz min/max: 1000/2000 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 997 2: 997
Graphics:
Device-1: Intel Mobile 945GM/GMS 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics
driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0
Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.4 driver: intel
unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa resolution: 1280x800~60Hz
OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 945GM x86/MMX/SSE2 v: 1.4 Mesa 19.0.8
direct render: Yes
Audio:
Device-1: Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio
vendor: SigmaTel STAC9221 Codec driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel
bus ID: 00:1b.0
Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.0.0-37-generic
Network:
Device-1: Marvell 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet driver: sky2 v: 1.30
port: 1000 bus ID: 01:00.0
IF: enp1s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Device-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR5418 Wireless Network Adapter [AR5008E
802.11bgn]
vendor: Apple AirPort Extreme driver: ath9k v: kernel port: 1000
bus ID: 02:00.0
IF: wls1 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:
Local Storage: total: 74.53 GiB used: 6.29 GiB (8.4%)
ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Toshiba model: MK8034GSX size: 74.53 GiB
Optical-1: /dev/sr0 vendor: MATSHITA model: DVD-R UJ-857D rev: KBVB
dev-links: cdrom,cdrw,dvd,dvdrw
Features: speed: 24 multisession: yes audio: yes dvd: yes
rw: cd-r,cd-rw,dvd-r state: running
Partition:
ID-1: / size: 19.21 GiB used: 5.89 GiB (30.6%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
ID-2: /home size: 51.66 GiB used: 403.3 MiB (0.8%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda3
ID-3: swap-1 size: 1.95 GiB used: 9.8 MiB (0.5%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda4
Sensors:
System Temperatures: cpu: 60.0 C mobo: N/A
Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
Info:
Processes: 175 Uptime: 30m Memory: 898.0 MiB used: 325.2 MiB (36.2%)
Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 7.4.0 Shell: bash v: 4.4.20
inxi: 3.0.32

Battery still won't charge - begins charge for 90 seconds when first connected then quits. I don't know how the hardware
determines to quit charging.

Mike
Last edited by Relative on Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lenovo T430, Lenovo L430, Dell N7110, Toshiba A215, Fujitsu C2220, Dell Inspiron 8600, Raspberry pi 3b+ and pi 4, Old home-built P4 desktop and recently rescued a MacBook 2,1 with Mint Cinnamon 19.3 and MacBook Pro2,1 with same 64-bit software.

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absque fenestris
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Re: Salvage an old MacBook

Post by absque fenestris »

Hi Mike.
I know these old Macs also have one. When the battery is over, it is better to operate the device without battery, which only gets hot and the cooling of these MacBooks is not the best.
What you can do is install a SATA SSD (you can also use it later) and give the device more RAM. 2 x 2 GB are detected about 3.2 GB of it is used. Of course, this is only worthwhile if you can find the RAM's practically free of charge. Especially an SSD accelerates an old device immensely and a lot of RAM never hurts.

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macb ... #macspecs1
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

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Portreve
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Re: Salvage an old MacBook

Post by Portreve »

If you do some searching, you can probably get a replacement battery.

I would otherwise second the suggestions above.
Please be polite and remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

Presently running Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.3.

“The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.” — Ambassador Kosh

Still looking for a new job.

Pulegium
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Re: Salvage an old MacBook

Post by Pulegium »

Thanks for sharing your experience Relative . It's good to see these old Macs getting a second life .
It sounds like you have one of the early 64 bit Macs with a 32bit EFI . As you have already discovered 32bit Linux runs fine on such a device . However it is possible to install a 64bit system on your machine . There is an excellent web page dedicated to such an installation here ;
https://mattgadient.com/linux-dvd-image ... 06-models/

I bought a battery on eBay for such a MacBook for under $30 US . You get what you pay for and at that price I wasn't expecting much of it . It's a bit loose in its socket and at best It only lasts for about an hour and a half per full charge . That seems adequate if you are just using it for basic tasks around the house and the battery's raison d'etre is to avoid having to shut down just to move to the other side of the room . You could probably find something better for more money but buying after market batteries is always a bit of a crap shoot .
I have also bought 2x2 GB of Ram on eBay for this device for under $10 US .

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absque fenestris
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Re: Salvage an old MacBook

Post by absque fenestris »

Pulegium wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 3:35 pm
Thanks for sharing your experience Relative . It's good to see these old Macs getting a second life .
It sounds like you have one of the early 64 bit Macs with a 32bit EFI . As you have already discovered 32bit Linux runs fine on such a device . However it is possible to install a 64bit system on your machine . There is an excellent web page dedicated to such an installation here ;
https://mattgadient.com/linux-dvd-image ... 06-models/

I bought a battery on eBay for such a MacBook for under $30 US . You get what you pay for and at that price I wasn't expecting much of it . It's a bit loose in its socket and at best It only lasts for about an hour and a half per full charge . That seems adequate if you are just using it for basic tasks around the house and the battery's raison d'etre is to avoid having to shut down just to move to the other side of the room . You could probably find something better for more money but buying after market batteries is always a bit of a crap shoot .
I have also bought 2x2 GB of Ram on eBay for this device for under $10 US .
Just as a warning: I have seen several batteries of these white MacBooks from 2006, which inflate visibly. I don't know how long it takes for such a thing to burst. But when it bursts - it gets annoying.
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...

Relative
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Re: Salvage an old MacBook

Post by Relative »

Update to the salvage operation:

Have installed 2x2G memory in both machines (can never have enough). Seems to report 2.8 in use. Can probably just use 1x2G and 1x1G for a total of 3G.

Installed 500G SSD in the MacBrook Pro - Makes a HUGE difference!

Still need to get a new battery, but the MacBook runs fine when simply plugged in. However, it is real easy to accidentally knock out the magnetic power connector.

Now for the real question:

I installed 32-bit Cinnamon 19.3 on both laptops. Matt Gadient (recommended previously) has the website that pre-compiles a 64-bit version of each of the Mint offerings that can run on specific range of MacBooks (including mine). When I installed the 32-bit version, I told Cinnamon to encrypt my /home partition. My question is in two parts:

1. Is it possible to install a 64-bit version without losing any of data currently in my encrypted /home partition? (The /home partition is separate from the remainder of the / partition.)

2. Once installed (if the above is possible), how would an upgrade to 20.0 need to be done? In other words, another fresh install from DVD or the online update normally available for upgrades?

This is the first time I have used encryption of any sort and have no experience with upgrading when encryption exists.

Mike
Lenovo T430, Lenovo L430, Dell N7110, Toshiba A215, Fujitsu C2220, Dell Inspiron 8600, Raspberry pi 3b+ and pi 4, Old home-built P4 desktop and recently rescued a MacBook 2,1 with Mint Cinnamon 19.3 and MacBook Pro2,1 with same 64-bit software.

Pulegium
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Re: Salvage an old MacBook

Post by Pulegium »

1. Is it possible to install a 64-bit version without losing any of data currently in my encrypted /home partition? (The /home partition is separate from the remainder of the / partition.)
Apparently this is technically possible but very difficult . Add to that the encryption and the weird hybrid 32bit EFI / 64 bit architecture and it would be very, very, very difficult . Much easier to backup , re-install , restore - all pretty quick with your new SSD .
2. Once installed (if the above is possible), how would an upgrade to 20.0 need to be done? In other words, another fresh install from DVD or the online update normally available for upgrades?
I haven't tried but suspect because of the anomalous 32bit EFI / 64 bit architecture an online update as with 19.1 to 19.2 might break the boot loader by over writing it with a 64bit EFI . Probably best to do a fresh install of 20.0 from a Matt Gradient DVD . Unfortunately I don't know how encryption would effect that .

Relative
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Re: Salvage an old MacBook

Post by Relative »

Finally got the last questions answered.

Burned a Mint Cinnamon 64-bit from the Matt Gradient site.

Used it and did a 'normal' install, including formatting the 32-bit / partition and not formatting the /home partition. Also told it to encrypt the /home partition (it was encrypted in 32-bit mode) and install completed with no errors. As far as the EFI partition is concerned, during the install process told installer to simply use it as EFI partition. Brought everything current with an update.

Re-installed the same software I had previously installed and now have a fully operating 64-bit Linux system on a 2006 MacBook2,1.

Now that I know it works, I intend to get a battery and possibly a 500G SSD. Will probably do the update on the MacBook Pro2,1 when I get a chance.

Once 20.0 comes out, I'll know the answer to that question.

Marking this as SOLVED.

Thanks for the help I received on this project.

Mike
Lenovo T430, Lenovo L430, Dell N7110, Toshiba A215, Fujitsu C2220, Dell Inspiron 8600, Raspberry pi 3b+ and pi 4, Old home-built P4 desktop and recently rescued a MacBook 2,1 with Mint Cinnamon 19.3 and MacBook Pro2,1 with same 64-bit software.

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Moem
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Re: Salvage an old MacBook [SOLVED}

Post by Moem »

Relative wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:21 pm
how would an upgrade to 20.0 need to be done? In other words, another fresh install from DVD or the online update normally available for upgrades?
Most likely another fresh install from a live medium. Upgrades within a major release can be done through the Update Manager, upgrades from one major release to another have so far been new installs. But as you know, you can leave your /home intact.
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