2012 MBA - anyone else still running one? what version of MacOS?

My 2012 MBA running High Sierra was on perma-loan to a family member when it suffered an SSD failure. It’s now back in my care until I can get it back on its feet again.

The MBA originally had a 128GB SSD.

  • 2018, I replaced that with a 480GB and put the original in an external housing for emergency use.
  • 2019, upgraded the 480GB to Mojave, it promptly overheated and failed. I received and installed a warranty replacement 480GB, and installed High Sierra on it.
  • 2022 - the second 480GB failed and does not appear in disk utility. The MBA is now running on the original SSD in its external housing, still with High Sierra. I could put this SSD back inside the machine or leave it in the external housing for better cooling.

At one point I was looking for software installs for it; I found that High Sierra was listed on this page: How to create a bootable installer for macOS - Apple Support but when I attempted to download it, it appeared to be no longer available. I did manage to download a Catalina installer. I’m wary about installing anything newer than High Sierra.

In a few weeks the family member will get an upgrade and the MBA will come back to me. So I’d like to ask any other owners of this MBA if they are still running it and what OS they use. I have some possible uses for it, and always liked the small size and light weight, but am not keen to run such an outdated OS.

I have been keeping old Macs and kind of have a little museum going. I have a late 2010 13" that I bought new. I also have a mid 2011 11" that my son owned. Both are on High Sierra and are very stable. I do not use them much though. I did use the late 2010 quite a bit for work a couple of years ago. Mac Tracker shows High Sierra to be the last supported version so unless you are silly, like me and playing around with old computers, I would say High Sierra is the go.
By the way, I still think the 13" MacBook Air from back then is one of best computers Apple ever made.

I see you can go a bit higher in version, Like Catalina, but High Sierra kind of reminds me of Snow Leopard. Very stable release before Apple made some very big changes to the operating system.

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I’m thinking original internal SSD should be put back inside with High Sierra. Possible external boot SSD with Catalina, which is the newest the hardware can support.

I have an old 2012 MacBook Pro that runs well on an internal ssd and Catalina.

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We replaced HDDs with SSDs in 3 MBPs of that era. The MBA is different inside. The replacement SSD is a bare circuit board, with a heat conducting pad that makes contact with the case. Something seems to overheat either with a higher OS than High Sierra or with a bigger SSD than the original.