Can you downgrade Lion to SL on a Mac with Lion pre-installed? Genius's say no.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by audiowurks, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. audiowurks macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2011
    #1
    Is it possible to downgrade Lion to Snow Leopard on a Mac that came with with SHIPPING Lion pre-installed?

    I have a SL install disk. This seems like a no-brainer question where the answer is "yes, of course, if you do a clean install of SL". But upon asking the Genius's at an Apple store, they say there is absolutely no way to downgrade from Lion to SL on any machine with Lion pre-installed.

    If true - which I just don't believe - this is horrible as I need a new laptop, but Lion is currently incompatible with some mission-critical apps I must use.

    Anyone try this? Advice? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #2
    I have no concrete answer to give but I have a good feeling about cloning/imaging from a 10.6.8 build onto a new Lion-preinstalled machine.

    I see no Lion specific hardware on these Macs. Intel HD 3000, Thunderbolt, and Radeon HD 6000M are all fully supported under Snow Leopard.

    The Geniuses might just be operating from the textbook, "don't install an older version of OS X than what shipped with your computer", compared to some of the exotic things I have encountered on MacRumors.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    If the hardware came out before Lion was released you can roll back to SL. If the hardware is new (MBAs, Minis) you can't without risking severe stability issues.
     
  4. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    #4
    If the machine is supported under SL, sure. That means any current MBP, iMac, or MP should be downgradable just fine. The 2 new machines released today (new mini and air)... well, those are more of a maybe (and have a decent likelihood of being a "no")
     
  5. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

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    #5
    I would assume you could buy SL, wipe the HD with Lion, then install SL.
     
  6. agentphish macrumors 65816

    agentphish

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    #6
    I would bet you can't do it successfully.

    All new logic-board level hardware with a brand new OS. I bet you can install SL, but I bet it won't run right.

    Saw similar things when new systems came out around snow leopard launch, they couldn't run 10.5 properly, they'd boot but have issues.
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #7
    The EFI environment is all pre-boot if you have a disk without an operating system. That should only kick in if the bootloader detects a really major screw up or no operating system to begin with.

    That leaves use with driver support and that is there under Snow Leopard. Imaging and cloning open up a lot of possibilities outside of Apple official. Target Disk Mode is another older fallback option as well.
     
  8. quietstormSD macrumors 6502a

    quietstormSD

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    #8
    I don't really see why not, even on newer hardware. But again, I'm not that familiar with the new hardware. Have you tried sliding in the SL disk and seeing what happens?

    You could always go to an official Apple re-seller or craigslist that has leopard or snow leopard installed on a new Mac.

    I'd go to another apple store to another genius or the same apple store to another genius. I had one genius tell me I needed to pay 100 to fix my MBP and went to another store to another genius and he saw that there was a "you only get it if you have a problem with it" video card re-call (due to NVIDIA's reluctance). And I got it back working for no cost.
     
  9. HawaiiMacAddict macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    You can run a Snowy install disc and go back, but you can not go back to an earlier version than was originally installed on your computer. For example, I have a 2011 MacBook Pro that came with Snowy 10.6.6 on it. I can, after installing Lion, use my install disc to reinstall Snow Leopard , but must use my install disc or a disc with 10.6.7 of 10.6.8. I can not, for example, use my original Snow Leopard install disc (10.6.0) as that version is earlier than the one that came on my computer.

    You obviously had Snowy installed prior to your upgrade to Lion. All you need do is use your original install disc, reinstall Snowy, reinstall your apps, then upgrade to 10.6.8. It may take a bit of time, but you'll at least be able to use your mission-critical apps again.

    I am in the process of re-installing Lion. I was using the GM version, but decided to perform a "clean install" of Snow Leopard (to get rid of a lot of built-up cruft - this is on my iMac), so used my iMac install disc (10.6.2) to reformat my drive, wiping out the Lion install in the process, then install Snowy. At this time, I'm downloading Lion from the Mac App Store and will be installing it once the download is complete. In other words, I was running the GM build of Lion, went back to Snow Leopard, and am again upgrading to Lion.
     
  10. audiowurks thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2011
    #10
    To clarify, I don't own this Lion-needing-to-be-downed to SnowLeopard laptop yet. And I'm not speaking of the new MBA's released today.

    I need to purchase a MBP, but since all Mac's now only come with Lion, combined with the "genius" saying you couldn't downgrade anything to SL, I'm left questioning the accuracy of said genius.

    I think he is full of it. Why could a hardware-unchanged machine that ran SL yesterday not run SL today via clean install?

    Seems the general consensus here is that I was essentially lied to by the Genius having to conform to a party line. Wouldn't be the first time.
     
  11. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #11
    A MBP can be downgraded to Snow leopard currently so you'll have no problem if you can get ahold of the correct disk. When Apple updates them you won't be able to downgrade, but since you're talking about the current model you should have no problems. Just make sure you have either the grey disk from your model of MacBook Pro, or a retail disk that is higher than the version that shipped with the first MBPs of your model. Or you can save money and buy a refurb that will probably still come with snow leopard and a free upgrade to lion.
     
  12. HawaiiMacAddict macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I don't think you were lied to. For example, my iMac came pre-installed with 10.6.2 and I can not boot from my original Snow Leopard (10.6.0) install disc. Even though the hardware, in your opinion, is "capable" of running Snow Leopard, that OS can not be loaded on the new computers that debuted today. That has always been the case. You can not install an OS earlier than the one that originally shipped on a specific computer. With respect to a MBP, you should be OK, as long as Lion was not pre-installed on the comptuer.
     
  13. CaTOAGU macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Assuming they've made no changes to the EFI then there shouldn't be a problem. The rest of the hardware will be the same. During the development cycle I went back and forwards between DP releases of Lion and 10.6.7 without any problems.

    You'll need a retail version of Snow Leopard to do it though. A disc that came with another Mac won't be sufficient unless it's the same model.

    You should be able to boot from the DVD wipe/repartition the drive and then install as normal.

    If you need support from Apple you will likely have to reinstall Lion though.
     
  14. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #14
    The reason for your not being able to install from a retail disk was your iMac model originally shipped with 10.6.1 so a 10.6.0 disk wouldn't work. Your particular computer may have shipped with 10.6.2, but if you had a 10.6.1 disk you could downgrade. So if the OP buys a MBP even if it comes with lion preinstalled he can downgrade as long as he has a retail disk with 10.6.6 or above since that is what the current models shipped with, or a grey disk from a MBP of the same model.
     
  15. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Yeah, he was full of crap on that one. Doubt he lied per se though, just parroting what he was told, most Apple employees aren't very techie.

    Current gen MBPs will install and run SL just fine, though you'll need a disk that's at least 10.6.6

    EDIT: Looks like someone beat me to it, but yeah, go for it!
     
  16. jpavone macrumors newbie

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    Mar 17, 2011
    #16
    MBP shipped w/ Lion CANNOT be downgraded to SL

    I am living proof of this. Ordered my MBP custom and it shipped with lion and the lion booklet, the lion key on keyboard and if I try to boof from a snow leopard disk that I have verified is good it starts to boot and just beeps 3 times over and over (as if the ram was bad). I have tried it all tonight - zap pram - wipe HD first with until - bottom line - this mac hardware will not boot any OS under lion. I had created a lion startup disk - and from that I can boot and re-install lion just fine. Called Apple today and they said I would be able to downgrade - but no dice and they are closed for the day. I think I am returning this MBP tomorrow.
     
  17. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #17
    Are you using a retail disk? That probably won't work, you need a grey disk from your model of MBP.
     
  18. myca macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2005
    #18
    I'm in a similar boat, I need a new Laptop, and my workplace needs some new iMacs, but because we use Pro Tools a machine with Lion is useless, and waiting for Pro Tools to work on Lion could take anywhere up to six months if past history is anything to go by.

    I have just chatted to an apple store rep online, and they stated that their imacs in stock are currently shipping with Snow Leopard, and stated that if I got one with Lion that Applecare should be able to sort out a downgrade.

    I hope this is true, if not it may be quite a hassle to try and find a reseller, or a refurb with the OS we need.
     
  19. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #19
    My guess is that if you try to downgrade a new mac you will be missing important drivers that only exist in Lion.
     
  20. Lexridge macrumors newbie

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    Aug 18, 2011
    #20
    I have the same problem. I just took delivery of 6 MacPros that will be installed into our NewsRoom editing facilities. We use Final Cut Pro Studio 2 (v6.0). Guess what! FCP Studio 2 will not install on Lion!! I spent all afternoon trying to downgrade one of them using a disc that came with another MacPro we purchased about 6 months ago.

    I even did a full install on the older MacPro we bought 6 months ago using the spare drive out of the new one, then moved it back to the new one. Still would not boot. I am hoping that once I do all the updates from the older MacPro, that will fix the situation, but I am not very hopeful after reading this topic.

    I also plan on talking to AppleCare tomorrow, so maybe they can help, but again, I am not very hopeful.

    Apple always manages to piss me off. They have become worse than Microsoft. I had thought about buying one of the six G5s we are retiring, but now, I dont even want one, unless I can install Linux on it.

    Lex
     
  21. iVoid macrumors 65816

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    Jan 9, 2007
    #21
    Have you tried wiping out all the partitions with the Snow Leopard disk utility?

    I guess you could try a new non-apple HD.

    The only reason SL wouldn't install on a pre July Mac is if Apple modified the firmware on the macs when they installed Lion.

    If they did that, they are completely abandoning their old users now.
     
  22. Gomff macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Sounds like that's exactly what they've done.....The door seems firmly shut for new Apple hardware owners who want to use Snow Leopard.
     
  23. Lexridge macrumors newbie

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    Aug 18, 2011
    #23
    These units will not even boot from the Snow Leopard disc. So there is no way to run the disc utility from it.

    Lex


     
  24. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

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    #24
    Most stores still have MBPs with SL in stock. Unless you want a custom MBP why not ask if they have the ones with SL?
     
  25. Lexridge macrumors newbie

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    Aug 18, 2011
    #25
    These are not MacBook Pros. They are 8 Core MacPros.

    Lex


     

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