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Old July 16th, 2013, 06:53 AM   #1
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How to Install FCS 2 on Mac Pro Running Mountain Lion

I posted this information at the end of a long year old thread on the Adobe Creative Suite area of the forum about updating my Mac Pro (CUDA graphics card, RAM and OSX upgrades etc.). The critical thing was I wished to retain use of the FCS 2 suite. However, Final Cut Suite 2 (and perhaps 3) users who may be interested in this may not find it over there - so here is a summary in the correct forum section.

By the way, if you want to see this information in full context, look here:

To the point. I have finally found a window in my schedule and have successfully updated my Mac Pro to Mountain Lion (10.8.4) and installed a second-hand NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 Mac graphics card, not a flashed PC one (thanks to Nigel on here for selling me it) and I'm now running CS 6 Production Premium (I'm not interested in the CC subscription model). I also have CS 5.5.2 AND Final Cut Studio 2 successfully installed (with all the updates that got me to FCP 6.0.6 end point for that suite).

I decided to go to the (current) latest OSX to keep the system as future proof as possible, at least for a while. I've been in "lock-down mode" with Leopard since 2009 so it was probably overdue that I upgraded. Thought hard about sticking with Snow Leopard on the Mac Pro but my recently acquired top spec retina MBP is on Mountain Lion, and works beautifully with CS 6, so I really wanted both units to be on the same OSX version. Also, the ability to easily view AVCHD clips on a Mac is useful (I always had to use VLC Player before).

I'm in the final stages of testing (after several days work on this!) but all looks good.... so far... before I "lock down" this system for another couple of years (or so). About the only software glitch I've found is with some old disc printing software from Canon - and that never worked totally correctly even with OSX 10.5.8 (Leopard) - works fine with my Windows 7 box!

The interesting thing was getting FCS 2 on my system - and yes, I STILL have corporate clients wanting re-edits/updates of old projects done in Final Cut! BTW, I never went to FCS 3 and have yet to try FCPX.

After much web trawling and a lot of conflicting information, one of the very few ways it can be done is as follows. Just Google search to get more detail. Obviously, just make sure to fully back up everything and make at least one bootable OSX HDD image/clone - and test it before you start...but you should already have that as an emergency back-up anyway.

1. Do a fresh install of Snow Leopard with the 26 Apple OSX disc - This was the last OSX version to have Rosetta.
2. Then install FCS 2 from the discs, fully update the suite from Apple (Pro Apps Update 2008-5 which got me to FCP 6.0.5).
3. Then do another software update from Apple and you get to the "final" FCS 2 suite versions (e.g. FCP 6.0.6).
[At this point I installed CS 5.5, updated to 5.5.2, again for proven functionality with any legacy projects plus I installed other software that I need/know works well with Snow Leopard from past testing].
4. Then, do an OSX upgrade (not fresh install) to Mountain Lion (no disc - has to be bought Apple store as a 14 download).
5. Then install CS 6 and get the updates (not to CC!) and any other important software (DNxHD, VLC player etc.).
6. I then installed the GTX 285 (see note below).
7. TEST...TEST...TEST! ...still doing this before I re-start paid work on this system.

Obviously, at each critical stage keep cloned hard discs of the full OS as an emergency back up. I ended up using the excellent Carbon Copy Cloner as I've discovered after much frustration that it's not possible (as far as I now know) to use Disk Utility for this once you've gone past Snow Leopard - I think because of the hidden recovery partition on Mountain Lion. Anyway, CCC does it all perfectly.

About the only thing I screwed up on was that I should have installed my GTX 285 before I loaded CS 6 on - as I now have to manually set that card up for Mercury Playback, CUDA etc. (or re-install CS6 so it detects the card perhaps). That's today's work - again Google easily finds how to do that. UPDATE - This is now done with some editing in Terminal, works a treat!

I have to say I'm already impressed with how much quieter this card is over my old Radeon ATI 4870 and things (even without final tweaking mentioned above) seem to zip along nicely in test edits with CS 6 - still think my mid-2013 rMBP is faster though! FCS 2 is a slow as treacle when rendering - but it always was - at least it all seems to still work!!! (subject to further testing)

Of course, I have retained my original 10.5.8 OSX hard drive and the ATI 4870 GPU (as the GTX 285 won't work in Leopard anyway, no Mac drivers for that far back...). So if the worst comes to the worst, I can swap back to the 2009-2013 set-up in about half an hour for any FCP projects that get tricky. Hopefully, that won't be necessary though, certainly from what I've seen during my tests so far. I'm no longer an extensive user of FCS 2 (Premier is so much faster...) so there may be some gotchas I don't know about yet - time will tell. I still have my mid-2008 MBP with Leopard and FCS 2 on too as a further fall back, although that baby seems very slow now! Hopefully, all bases are covered for a while.

Also, installing FCS 2 on recent Apple hardware (like my 2013 Retina MBP) is I think MUCH more tricky - from what little information I've seen about that.

I learnt a lot about Mac software these last few days - I hope sharing this will at least help someone that may need Apple FCS2 (or FCS 3) installed on more recent Mac OSX versions such as Lion and Mountain Lion.

Please feel free to post any information relating to running the legacy Final Cut Suites that may help others now using these more recent Apple OSX versions.

That's it!
Andy K Wilkinson -
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 11:15 PM   #2
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Re: How to Install FCS 2 on Mac Pro Running Mountain Lion

That is true. Keep a backup of your hdd in case something goes wrong. That's what i did when i started messing with the system to make my gtx670 work with adobe cs5.5. So far i have been a happy camper.
Learning to become a better videographer.
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