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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realize the 2017 MacBook Air was shipped with OS 10.12, but since it seems to be only a small upgrade from the MBa 2016. I thought there is a chance the 2017 will run on OS 10.11 as well.

Anyone know for sure?

Thanks
 

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If you have a bootable external version of El Cap try to boot from it. If successful you should be able to clone it onto the MBA. Be sure to create a solid bootable clone of the current system first.

You might not be successful attempting to just do an install from the Apple website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, but that doesn't really help me.

One family member has a late 2011 MacBook pro which originally shipped with 10.7.2 but I managed to install 10.6.8 on it because we wanted to run Snow Leopsrd.
We eventually had to update the OS to El Capitan before an important webinar website we used no longer supported Snow Leopard.

Now that MacBook pro has a problem with a few of the keys that won't work, so instead of replacing the keyboard we thought it might be time to upgrade the hardware.
Trouble is that 2011 MacBook pro has 16 GB RAM, a 500 GB hard drive. FW800 which is used regularly and an SD card slot which is also used regularly.
And for a new MacBook we wanted something lighter if possible.

The closest MacBook I can find with an SD slot and El Capitan compatible is a 2016 MacBook Air, but there are no 2016's on Apple's refurb aite, only 2017's. They also only have 8 GB RAM soldered in and up to a 256 GB SSD.
So with the SSD, I assume 8 GB RAM is OK since virtual memory swaps would be fast, and to overcome the 256 GB limitation I was going to use a 256 GB SD card for storage not used that often.
FW800 is ancient history it seems, nothing I can do there except buy USB 3.0 enclosures for the FW800 enclosures I have now and move the drives.

So...I do have a number of bootable external drives with El Cap software on them - but these were made as backups for the 2011 MacBook pro - so I don't know if I can even boot from those with a MacBook Air regardless of the year.

Bottom line is that I'm trying to figure out what to buy - I don't have a 2017 MBA to try this on.
Moving from Snow Leopard to El Camino was a bit of a nightmare for that user - a number of features were no longer supported, iphote was apparently much better than photo (I don't use either myself) and therre were plenty of other flaws in El Capitan which I myself see every day.

PS: Initially I was going to buy a new 2018 MBA but there are just too many negatives.
 

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I would say not, I am sure Apple has done something to stop this. The only real answer will be making a bootable installer and trying it unless you find someone who has managed it.
 

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The closest MacBook I can find with an SD slot and El Capitan compatible is a 2016 MacBook Air, but there are no 2016's on Apple's refurb aite, only 2017's.


I don't know if any 2016s would eventually show up in the Apple refurbished store and I don't know if they even list 2+ year-old models.

Maybe try some stores that do, that also give a warranty like Macsales.com and others. They seem to have a good reputation.



- Patrick
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't know if any 2016s would eventually show up in the Apple refurbished store and I don't know if they even list 2+ year-old models.

Maybe try some stores that do, that also give a warranty like Macsales.com and others. They seem to have a good reputation.
- Patrick
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Apple used to sell older refurbished MacBooks years ago because I purchased a few.
However, just checking the US site - the oldest ones there are 2017 as well.

I got a bit confused because refurb.me lists older ones, but it turns out these are all from other sellers.
One reason I like to go with Apple on a refurb is because I can get Apple Care if I want.
Not that I would necessarily buy it, but at least I have the option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would say not, I am sure Apple has done something to stop this. The only real answer will be making a bootable installer and trying it unless you find someone who has managed it.
I may end up having to do just that, although, like I said, I had the MacBook pro running fine on 10.6.8 even though it was originally shipped with 10.7

Worst thing that can happen is that we have to use 10.12 which I was really trying to avoid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I finally got around to boot up the 2017 Mac Book Air I bought before Christmas.

I ended up with a 2.2 GHz i7 rather than an i5 because I wanted a 500 GB drive and at the time all the 2017's i5 came only with smaller drives.
In the meantime I have seen a few 2017 i5's with a 500 GB drive, but for the extra money I will just keep the i7 - might be easier to resell if it comes to that.

The 2017 MBa came preinstalled with OS 10.13.6, battery cycle count was 2, so that was great.
Initially tried booting up from an external with 10.11 by holding down the option key.
That didn't work - the OS loaded with the progress bar going about 2/3 across and then the screen just went dark.

I shut the MBa down and booted it up again with the installed OS 10.13.6. Went through the prompts, language, keyboard etc. to get to the main screen in 10.13.6
The rebooted holding down the option key and selecting the external 10.11 back-up.
This time the Mac booted fully on 10.11 and from what I have tried so far, it seems to run fine on El Capitan.
Tonight, I will do a full backup of the current older MacBook pro that is being replaced and withh then clone that back up to the new MacBook air.

But so far, the answer to my original question is "Yes", the 2017 MBa will run El Capitan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Those 2017 MBAir models should all be able to boot and use OS X Yosemite and later, up to the latest:
Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.10.2 (14C2507) Maximum MacOS: Current*
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook-air/specs/macbook-air-core-i7-2.2-13-2017-specs.html

So you've got a fair range and a variety of choices.




- Patrick
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This information on everymac.com doesn’t make any sense to me.

The 2017 MacBook Air was introduced on 5 June 2017

The Mac OS versions were introduced to end users on:

16 Oct. 2014 for 10.10 Yosemite
30 Sept 2015 for 10.11 El Capitan
20 Sept 2016 for 10.12 Sierra
25 Sept 2017 for 10.13 High Sierra
24 Sept 2018 for 10.14 Mojave

so the original software release for the 2017 MacBook Air would have been 10.12
This is what I found on everyMac.com when I researched this originally and that is what is in my first post in this thread.

So it seems since my first post, everymac has figured out that the 2017 MacBook Air will apparently boot with OS 10.10, but it surely wasn’t originally shipped (ie pre-installed) with OS 10.10 which would have been two releases behind the then current OS when the 2017 MacBook Air was introduced.
 

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This information on everymac.com doesn’t make any sense to me.

Well they don't normally make mistakes, but you could certainly contact them and confirm or check.

Mactracker seems to agree with you and your logic:
Original OS macOS 10.12.4 (16E195)

But don't forget that Apple didn't always prevent released date models from running previous dated OS versions, but that's not exactly what everymac says as you pointed out.

But just checking again, I get this data from this page:
Apple MacBook Air "Core i5" 1.8 13" (2017*) Specs
Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.12.5 (16F73) Maximum MacOS: Current*

Anyway, it seems that you have been able to sort out the answer for yourself Just by trying. Well done, And some others might benefit from that info as well.
This time the Mac booted fully on 10.11 and from what I have tried so far, it seems to run fine on El Capitan.



- Patrick
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just sent a message to everymac.com about that.
Let's see if this gets fixed.

I really hate these message forms many websites use - I can understand why, but they should at least offer the option to send a copy of the message to the originator. Otherwise it gets too easy for these sites just to ignore the message and if one doesn't remember to keep a copy before it is sent, the message just disappears into the cloud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I also made a mistake I see, I quoted the specs for the i7 MBAir and not for your i5 MBAir model.

But still, it's questionable specs I would question:
Apple MacBook Air "Core i7" 2.2 13" (2017*) Specs
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook-air/specs/macbook-air-core-i7-2.2-13-2017-specs.html




- Patrick
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Well, I wouldn't call that a mistake.
I was looking for the i5 model since I don't need the more powerful CPU and the i5 is a bit cheaper, but in the end I bought the i7 model since the i5 model was not available with a 500 GB drive at the time.
everymac.com shows the i5 model as shipping with 10.12 originally but the i7 with 10.10 originally.
I pointed that out to everymac.com as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just checked the everymac website.
Still shows the i7 model as having shipped with 10.10.2
So now everymac has lost a lot of credibility for me as far as the information is concerned they publish.
 

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I just checked the everymac website.
Still shows the i7 model as having shipped with 10.10.2
So now everymac has lost a lot of credibility for me as far as the information is concerned they publish.

Did you perhaps check with Mactracker??? See what it says.

Mactracker





- Patrick
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Forgot about Mactracker

Site is actually better than everyMac, not as detailed but much easier to locate anything specific one might be looking for.

It shows the original software for the 2017 MBa as 10.12.4 which sounds right.

BTW - Mactracker lets you compare specs between models very easily by just flipping the page back and forth - very convenient if one tries to decide which Mac to buy.
 

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Lets cut the bullshit here, this MBA model will certainly run El Capitan, fingers in the nose.
Hell, my 2011 MBA runs El Capital!

Downgrading a newer model to El Capitan might prove to be more difficult.

However, there is a nearly forgotten function in Disk Utility which will probably do exactly what you want, it is called the "recover" function:

- Start your old Mac in Target Mode.
- Connect it to the new MBA with a USB3>FireWire or Thunderbolt2 adapter cable (30$ or so), or via something like a Belkin Thunderbolt Dock.
- Altstart your newer MBA from the system on your older Mac.
- Open Disk Utility, and reformat/partition the SSD in your new MBA to "Mac OS Extended, non-Case Sensitive", with a "GUID" partition table,
or, if you want, to "APFS".
- Use the "recovery" feature of Disk Utility to clone the contents of your old Mac onto your new MBA.
Source Disk will have to be the HDD of your old Mac, Target Disk will have to be the SSD of your new MBA.
- Uncouple your new MBA, start it up, and see if it works.

Et voilà, business as usual...
Thanks to a nearly forgotten function in Mac OS/ Disk Utility itself.

And mark this well: FireWire doesn't have to be obsolete, even on a 2017 MBA.
I for one use all my FW 400 stuff on a 2011 MBA successfully, via a Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Dock and its FW 800 port.
FW 400 gear linked through an elderly LaCie D2 enclosure.

There must be a way to connect FW 800 devices to USB-C, no worries.
Might be pricey, though.
E.g;:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/usb-c-to-firewire-800.2061747/

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Lets cut the bullshit here, this MBA model will certainly run El Capitan, fingers in the nose.
Hell, my 2011 MBA runs El Capital!
I'm really surprised that you would post this after having more than 1300 posts.

The 2017 MBa model was shipped originally with Sierra and as should be well known, new Macs will normally only run with the OS they were originally shipped with or newer ones.

Your comment about your 2011 MBA running El Capitan is totally irrelevant.

The only reason I thought the 2017 MBA shipped with Sierra might actually run El Capitan is because the change from the 2016 MBA (which was shippwed with an older OS) was very minor.

But I tried it - not the way you suggested which may or may not work - and posted that right in this thread more than a month ago.
So far it seems to be OK although I have seen a few strange things, like not being able to open some MSWord documents, but I'm not sure if this is because of the macOS.
 
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