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Old Apr 1, 2012, 11:25 AM   #1
jonny33
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Smile Snow Leopard on MBA 2011 fully working

Hi, since I bought my new MBA 2011 I was in searching how to install SL on it cause I don't like Lion at all. I finally maanaged to install it fully working and since there are a lot of people here who wants to do that here what you'll need

1. MBA 2011
2. Snow Leopard Retail DVD
3. USB flash 8GB or more
4. external display (and the cable to connect it to MBA obviously)
5. Another USB or SD card

So first you have to make it the usb drive an install disc. Here's how

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1011768 (follow the instructions made by sup3r1or

then you have to download the attached file to your second usb flash/sd card

then insert the usb in your MBA restart and while booting hold down the option key which will ask you from which disk to boot. You have to choose your flash drive (the USB one). Then you have to format your Lion partition (and all the data on it so make a Backup first). Once done you can freshly install Snow Leopard. After installation you will probably get stucked on the startup screen. Don't worry it's just a missing driver. Then Connect your mac to the external Display and you'll see the new freshly installed Snow leopard. From here you can make the system update to 10.6.8 and then insert the drive with the attached file (which is a kext) into the air and install it, repair permissions reboot, aaand you're good to go with Brand new snow leopard installed
Attached Files
File Type: zip driver for intel HD.zip (793.7 KB, 359 views)
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Last edited by jonny33; Apr 2, 2012 at 10:38 AM.
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 02:24 PM   #2
oneMadRssn
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This works? It's stable and everything?

Where did you get that kext?


I'm diying to try this... but final exams are right around the corner and I cannot risk a borken computer at this time. I'll definitely try this after finals though...
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 03:29 PM   #3
jonny33
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It is stable and everything yes, it's because basicly the hardware configuration of the MBA is like the one of the MBP 2010 I mean the processors are the same and MBP runs on SL and the only thing that is different is the Graphics and the kext is taken from here

http://www.osx86.net/downloads.php?do=file&id=1537
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 03:54 PM   #4
oneMadRssn
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Awesome! Now the question of the year: is it actually better / faster than Lion on a 2011 MBA?
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 04:00 PM   #5
mac26
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Out of curiosity would Thunderbolt also work?
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 04:22 PM   #6
jonny33
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for is it better I can't say because I don't mesure the time at boot up and stuff but it actually consumes less battery, and for the thunderbolt it works as display port but as actual thunderbolt I can't say cause I don't have any adapters

Update: I found this so I think that it should probably work http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1476
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Last edited by jonny33; Apr 1, 2012 at 07:32 PM.
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 09:14 PM   #7
thestickman
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Bare with me here. I read the readme that comes with the drivers and I don't know what S/L/E is. Could you elaborate, please?

This is looking very promising as wife and I spend much time outside where I do various tasks on the MBA including streaming video. Peace

EDIT: Figured out it was System/Library/Extensions

Downside is, my 2011 MBA won't boot with the Snow Leopard USB which was made from retail Snow Leopard CD.<sigh>
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Old May 1, 2012, 04:38 AM   #8
jonny33
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1. for the display, yes I have this but it's not much of an issue for me cause I use only my laptop display (did you try the thunderbolt update that I gave to see if it will solve this)
And what do you mean by "it doesn't seem to recognize it's own display that well." I can't understand
2.For the trackpad, after update works fine for me, but you can try this
http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1066 I know it's for pro but the trackpad's are the same, right?
3. For these keys it's normal because the 2010 models (mba,mbp etc) come with slightly different arrangement of that keys and that's why you don't have the same thing that is on the specified key but actually you can rearrange the buttons to do what you want as they are all the same size http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh88c...feature=g-vrec

Here how it is on the MBA 2010
http://benchmarks-reviews.com/laptop...yboard_top.jpg


Hope this helps
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Old May 1, 2012, 07:21 AM   #9
oneMadRssn
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I restored back to Lion last night (thank you CCC) but I will try this again, with your advice. Unfortunately I forgot about the thunderbolt update, and I will try the trackpad update.

For installing SL, 10.6.3 retail never worked for me. I ended up finding a restore disk for a Early 2011 13" MBP with 10.6.7 on it. It wouldn't boot when I used Disk Utility to restore the imagine to my flash drive, but when using CCC it booted just fine, but then presented that this was not a supported computer.

The workaround for that problem I found here: http://hints.macworld.com/article.ph...20123175902871
Basically, this works for turning any locked restore disk into one that will work on any computer. Follow these steps:
1. Use CCC to clone the disk imagine to the flash drive.
2. Make sure the drive is named "Mac OS X Install DVD"
3. Run the following terminal commands (not the ones that start with #):
Code:
#expand OSINstall.mpkg
/usr/sbin/pkgutil --expand /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.expanded

#modify Distribution script in place with no backup
/usr/bin/sed -i '' "s/modelProp\ \=\=\ hwbeSupportedMachines\[i\]/1/g" /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.expanded/Distribution

#modify Distribution script in place with backup (for sissies)
#/usr/bin/sed -i '.original' "s/modelProp\ \=\=\ hwbeSupportedMachines\[i\]/1/g" /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.expanded/Distribution

#remove original OSInstall.mpkg package
/bin/rm -rf /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg

#flatten new package
/usr/sbin/pkgutil --flatten /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.expanded /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg

#remove expanded folder 
/bin/rm -rf /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.expanded
This creates a SL installer that will boot on any machine, like the retail, but can be made from a version that shipped later than 10.6.3.
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 08:32 AM   #10
AL-Baby
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Smile Snow leopard running faster on a 2011 MBA and easier install method

Snow leopard is operating on a 2011 MBA at fast speed.

To do this by my method you need the following:
*Another Mac that operates with SL
*USB HD with more than 20GB-NOT SD card.
* Copy of Carbon Copy Clone (CCC)-free down load-should give contribution when successful.

With another Mac -format USB HD and call it something like Snow Leopard USB . Then From DVD retail -install 10.6 SL.
Upgrade to 10.6.8.
Now you need to upgrade this USB installation for the MBA by changing some kexts.
There are 3 kexts to be changed -2 for the graphics (Thanks to jonny33) and 1 that I have modified so that the CPU is properly recognized (method given by the people from the Mac Mini 2011) This will allow the MBA to run at normal speeds.
Because I have not the time or experience to use Terminal –I use Kext wizard to install kexts.
Follow the instructions of text wizard(TW) –set the USB HD as target and drop all 3 kexts into TW and install.
Use Disk utilities to repair permissions.

Reject USB HD and connect to MBA

Boot up -holding Option key -it will recognize new USB HD use arrow to boot it.
You now should have you 2011 MBA operating from a USB HD which will slow it down a bit.
Notice that all works well except sleep.
If you want you can transfer it to the MBA hard disk.
To do this you need to reboot in emergency mode –run disk utilities and select partition. Press + and use slider to size a partition and name it some like SL HD –make it greater than 20GB-apply and you will have extra partition.
Reboot Lion and use CCC to copy the USB HD to the new SL HD partition.
Reboot the MBA and sect Option key –select the new partition and check its operation.
So now you have both SL and Lion and can test and compare the two
I have checked it using Geekbench (32 bit ) it is 5906 for my MBA which is a i7 1.8MHz model. The MBA using lion was 5870 –so SL is slightly faster.

Real problem now is the sleep-obviously a kext needs to be modified.
For this we need some super experts to take an interest.


Basically downgrading from Lion to SL is all about freedom of choice. For me the new MBA is a great piece of Engineering but I considered the Lion System that came with it to be junk. I love SL but hate using Lion. Its also incompatible with many of my applications I also object to the "Big Brother" culture of Apple. If I pay about $1000 for a computer I want to use what system I choose.

[/QUOTE]
Attached Files
File Type: zip New Kext for MBA_SL.zip (2.40 MB, 157 views)
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 01:18 PM   #11
oneMadRssn
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Have you figured out a way to get the trackpad gestures and all to work?
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 11:34 AM   #12
glsillygili
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does anyone know how to get the macbook display working, graphics are working just not the mba display
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 05:39 AM   #13
yegon
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I don't mind ML on my newer macs (2011 mba, 2012 mini) but it seriously slowed down my old late '08 mbp. Lion/Mountain Lion was an OS too far for that imo. I reinstalled SL and it remains a fast-ish laptop for light/medium tasks.

If I'm totally honest, I actually prefer SL over ML, but I've got used to ML now and for simplicities sake in conjunction with iPhone/iPad/AppleTV/iCloud etc I couldn't even contemplate going back to SL on my main machines now.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:20 PM   #14
solmaker
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Snow Leopard on MBA 2011 ***NOT*** fully working

I took my best shot at this on a maxed-out 2011 MBA11 i7 refurb and failed.

Originally I just cloned over a SL partition from a final maxed-out late-2011 MBP17 i7, which I'd previous got working perfectly with SL. After copying in the kext files (mentioned in this thread) using Kext Wizard, SL booted up fine on the 2011 MBA11, but unfortunately with the following issues: (1) Sleep doesn't work; (2) System Information says no kext was found under Graphics/Displays, which is borne out by huge CPU usage whenever doing anything graphics intensive; (3) trackpad works for clicking but not for right-clicking or any gestures, and is not recognized in Trackpad System Preferences; (4) function key row is completely non-functional. Collectively these problems are show stoppers.

I tried again by cloning over a SL partition from a maxed-out 2010 MBA11 Core 2 Duo. This worked similarly to using the 2011 MBP17 partition as a base, but I noticed something interesting this time... using the original kext files, the 2011 MBA had its screen blacked-out but could be used with an external monitor. Moreover, System Information showed that the Intel 3000 chip was detected and working fine on the external monitor. After overwriting the base kexts with those mentioned in this thread, the native MBA monitor worked, but without graphic card support, and System Information for Graphics/Displays showed that no kext was found... even for the external monitor! So there's something about the replacement kexts mentioned in this thread that allows the native screen to be recognized at a low level, but messes up Intel 3000 support.

Then I went and tried applying the original Thread Starter's instructions exactly. Unfortunately my retail 10.6.0 SL DVD crashed with a black-screen log while booting on the 2011 MBA i7 (regardless of whether it was first restored to a USB drive). So I purchased a retail 10.6.3 SL DVD and tried again, but this also failed to boot (hanging at the Apple logo instead of crashing). So this method was dead-in-the-water for me. I wonder how it could have worked for the Thread Starter? I suppose it could have worked for the 2011 MBA i5 but not for the i7, or maybe due to some differences in the manufacturer of his screen or SSD (mine are both from Samsung), or some other quirky difference. Even if his installer method worked for the Thread Starter, I'm not 100% convinced that his resulting system escaped the 4 problems listed above (sleep, graphics, trackpad, function keys). If the Thread Starter is still following this thread, I'd be interested in his confirming these points.

I later tried copying all the display/trackpad/mouse/etc. kexts from the 2011 MBA's original Lion partition over to my SL test partition, but these updates had no effect, good or bad. So I'm wondering whether the issue was never really the kexts in the first place... I'd bet that the 10.6.8 kext set is good enough to run SL fine on the 2011 MBA, but the problem is somewhere else... perhaps it's misidentifying the hardware somehow? I wonder whether someone from the Hackintosh community would know how to deal with an issue like that.
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Old Mar 1, 2013, 03:17 AM   #15
solmaker
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Snow Leopard on MBA 2011 ***NOT*** fully working

One (final?) update...

I realized that I hadn't given the Thread Starter's method a fair chance because I couldn't get the retail 10.6.3 installer to boot on the 2011 MBA 11" i7. It turns out that there exists a straightforward method to create a universal 10.6.7 Snow Leopard installer, as described at:
http://hints.macworld.com/article.ph...20123175902871

This method worked perfectly (aside from a "disk full" error when copying the 10.6.3 printer files to the 10.6.7 image, but this was easily worked around by deleting the 10.6.7 printer files first).

The resulting 10.6.7 installer booted fine on the 2011 MBA 11" i7, except that the internal screen was black so an external monitor was required. After installation and upgrading to version 10.6.8, Snow Leopard worked pretty well using the external monitor, with full Intel 3000 graphics support and Sleep operating properly. The only problems were that the internal screen didn't work, the trackpad wasn't fully recognized (so no gestures or right-clicking worked), and the entire function key row was disabled.

In order to get the internal screen to work at all, the kext files posted by the Thread Starter needed to be installed to the S/L/E folder. That succeeded in enabling the internal screen, but at the cost of (1) disabling external monitor support; (2) disabling Intel 3000 graphics (making the screen look bad, waste power, and perform terribly); and (3) disabling the Sleep function. In other words, the resulting system was no different or better than what I'd earlier achieved using simpler methods (e.g. just cloning over a 10.6.8 disk image and installing the Thread Starter's kext files).

This tradeoff was unacceptable for me, so I returned the 2011 MBA 11" i7 according to Apple's terrific no-charge/no-questions return policy.

So I'm done with this effort... unless perchance someone else is able to cook up kexts or some other white magic that gets Snow Leopard fully working on the MBA 11" i7 for real.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:00 PM   #16
cedarmoose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny33 View Post
Hi, since I bought my new MBA 2011 I was in searching how to install SL on it cause I don't like Lion at all. I finally maanaged to install it fully working and since there are a lot of people here who wants to do that here what you'll need

1. MBA 2011
2. Snow Leopard Retail DVD
3. USB flash 8GB or more
4. external display (and the cable to connect it to MBA obviously)
5. Another USB or SD card

So first you have to make it the usb drive an install disc. Here's how

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1011768 (follow the instructions made by sup3r1or

then you have to download the attached file to your second usb flash/sd card

then insert the usb in your MBA restart and while booting hold down the option key which will ask you from which disk to boot. You have to choose your flash drive (the USB one). Then you have to format your Lion partition (and all the data on it so make a Backup first). Once done you can freshly install Snow Leopard. After installation you will probably get stucked on the startup screen. Don't worry it's just a missing driver. Then Connect your mac to the external Display and you'll see the new freshly installed Snow leopard. From here you can make the system update to 10.6.8 and then insert the drive with the attached file (which is a kext) into the air and install it, repair permissions reboot, aaand you're good to go with Brand new snow leopard installed
tried it with my MBA mid 2011 but after booting stay on black screen forever
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 05:47 PM   #17
glsillygili
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedarmoose View Post
tried it with my MBA mid 2011 but after booting stay on black screen forever
you need to plug it into a external moniter
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 12:52 PM   #18
solmaker
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I just ordered a maxed-out 2011 MBA11 refurb (currently steeply discounted at the Apple Store), because I'd like to give SL a try... there's a 14 day return option if it doesn't work out.

The main remaining issue I'm concerned about is the function key row, especially (1) getting the backlight keys to work; and (2) not having F12 mapped to the useless Eject button. Is there a kext or something else that could be transferred from the regular 2011 MBA 11 Lion system that would fix this? Alternatively, are there any keyboard remapping software apps that would do the job?
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 03:10 PM   #19
solmaker
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Snow Leopard boots up fine on the 2011 MBP 11" i7 refurb from an external drive (connected via the Thunderbolt/Firewire adapter). But the screen looks a bit fuzzy to me; I could be wrong about this, but System Information says that no kext was found under Graphics/Displays, so that may be related.

The Function key row is completely non-functional, both before & after trying to remap it using KeyRemap4Macbook. System Preferences doesn't recognize a Trackpad, but for some reason is detecting a Mouse.

So SL is usable but not perfect. I wonder if some Lion kexts for this 2011 MBA 11" could be extracted and imported into SL to fix these issues. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 06:44 PM   #20
oneMadRssn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solmaker View Post
Snow Leopard boots up fine on the 2011 MBP 11" i7 refurb from an external drive (connected via the Thunderbolt/Firewire adapter). But the screen looks a bit fuzzy to me; I could be wrong about this, but System Information says that no kext was found under Graphics/Displays, so that may be related.

The Function key row is completely non-functional, both before & after trying to remap it using KeyRemap4Macbook. System Preferences doesn't recognize a Trackpad, but for some reason is detecting a Mouse.

So SL is usable but not perfect. I wonder if some Lion kexts for this 2011 MBA 11" could be extracted and imported into SL to fix these issues. Any help would be appreciated.
There are the exact same issues I experienced. A user on here (Lucky736) has told me in a PM that he was able to get the keyboard and trackpad working properly by cloning a different macbook's harddrive onto the Air. I've been meaning to try this with a friend's 2010 MBA, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
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