"Down" to Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by aminadab, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. aminadab macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #1
    I'm currently running Lion, which shipped with my hex core. If I want to go back to SL, I assume I'll need to do a full erase and install on my boot drive, and manually reinstall/rebuild my user folder. This is fine, but I want to make sure that the volumes I've created that contain music and recordings and logic projects, volumes which I created in Lion, will work with my "new" SL boot.

    I should be OK, right?
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    Special 10.6.4 build or 10.6.5+ will be able to boot it. Retail 10.6 disc will not boot 2010-2012 Mac Pro.
     
  3. aminadab thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #3
    I just picked up a retail copy of SL. Very glad I read this post before opening it! How do I get a copy of 10.6.5+? I thought I was doing this the "right" way by paying full price for the OS.
     
  4. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #4
    There are lots of threads about this, but basically the short version is to boot your Mac Pro into target mode by holding down "T" when you switch it on. Plug it into another Mac via firewire and perform a fresh Snow Leopard installation on to your Mac Pro's hard drive using the other Mac as a kind of surrogate for the install. Then run system update, at which point you'll have 10.6.8 installed on your mac Pro's HD and you'll be able to boot with it.
     
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #5
    Check the retail version number though. Some retail discs shipped with 10.6.x with patches. Not all 10.6 discs are 10.6.0 vanilla.
     
  6. aminadab thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #6
    This one is 10.6.3. I figure this doesn't work. My only other mac is my wife's 2010 MBAir. As far as I can tell, I can't do target disc mode over ethernet.

    This is a bummer.
     
  7. iAmRod macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    #7
    I just made to the decision to put SL on my refurbished 2010. I did a lot of digging on these forums and others and found the whole "use your MP in Target Disk Mode" just a tad inconvenient. So, I called Apple support and asked if I could buy a copy of the disk that originally shipped with my MP ... $17 later I'm good to go.

    I was asked by the tech "why?" I would want to do that, and she did say that Apple doesn't recommend "downgrading", but after we got through that part of the phone conversation I was told it would be no problem.

    Save yourself the hassle... why not return what you bought and give Apple support a call to get what originally came with your machine.

    Good Luck!

    ~ i
     
  8. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #8
    I think that's the poster's problem: his machine came with Lion.

    You could call apple support, and (lie) tell them that your 2010 MacPro came with 10.6 (which is what the 2010 MP originally shipped with) and ask for a copy of the system restore disc for the Mac. There is a Snow Leopard system restore disc for your machine and you may get lucky getting one.

    Which version of the MacBook Air does your wife have (is it 1,1 or 2,1, or 3,1 or ...)?
    And what version of OS X is it currently running?
     
  9. aminadab thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #9
    Yeah, that it is my problem, exactly. My wife is running 1,1 with Lion. I'll try to return the retail disc this afternoon and see if I can get any help there. It's a non-apple mac store. My hunch is that calling apple will be fruitless: I expect they'll immediately note that my MP shipped with lion and won't send me the recovery discs. I guess I'm stuck with waiting for some of the SL install discs to pop up on ebay, or stick with Lion.

    To be fair, Lion isn't awful for me. I've been having a few problems here and there, which I suspect to be caused by 10.7, but I haven't confirmed anything. Snow Leopard worked flawlessly for me.

    Thanks for the help. If anyone else has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

    Off topic: does anyone have a link to a detailed review of Mountain Lion? It is to Lion as Snow Leopard was to Leopard -- that is, a code refinement rather than the introduction of bells and whistles?
     
  10. TheMTtakeover macrumors 6502

    TheMTtakeover

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    #10
    Well what exactly are the problems you having with lion? serious issues or minor annoyances? if its just annoying stuff, I'd stick with it till ML comes out and then upgrade. Downgrading to SL isn't a long-term solution.
     
  11. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #11
    Then I believe you can install Snow Leopard on your Mac Pro.

    You will need a USB hard drive (or a sata to USB adapter).

    1) create 2 partitions on the USB Drive.
    1a) Name one partition OS X Installer.
    1b) Name one partition Snow Leopard.
    2) Create bootable USB Snow Leopard installer. You can find guides here on the forum. Basically, restore the DVD disc image to a USB thumb drive. Restore it to the partition created in 1a.
    3) Connect the hard drive to the MBA and reboot it. Hold the option key when you hear the start chime. You'll get a list of boot devices to choose from.
    4) Select the OS X installer partition you created.
    5) Install 10.6.3 normally. For the destination drive, chose the partition created in 1b.
    6) After 10.6.3 is installed. Reboot the MacBook Air. Hold option. Select the new 10.6.3 install that you just created. Create users, etc.
    7) Now that you're booted into 10.6.3, run system update. That will update you to 10.6.8.
    8) Shutdown the MBA.
    9) Connect the USB drive to your Mac Pro. Boot holding the option key. Select the Snow Leopard partition from the USB drive.
    10) Your Mac Pro is now booted to Snow Leopard. Now you can put the hard drive in your mac pro (if you used a usb / sata adapter) or you can use carbon copy cloner to clone the Snow Leopard partition to an existing hard drive.


    Good luck.
     
  12. iAmRod macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    #12
    My apologies, aminadab, I guess I assumed you had a refurb as well. Yeah, not sure how successful you'd be calling Apple with your particular case. It really wouldn't hurt to try, if you're one to do something like that. The worst they can say is, "No".

    Well, not matter what you decide, good luck! I hate to hear about unhappy Mac users.

    ~ i
     
  13. aminadab thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #13
    No Problem! And I don't mean to come off as unhappy. Since reinstalling Lion, things have been better, and hopefully they'll stay that way. I was thinking going back to SL for its principles: refined, solid code which isn't compromised by "features" that I don't really need or want.

    At any rate, I'm really happy with my 2012 hexcore. It's the fastest mac I've had and it should last me a long while.
     
  14. iAmRod, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    iAmRod macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    #14
    I must apologize again for characterizing you as "unhappy"... that was another presumption. Perhaps I should have said "not 100% satisfied" ... maybe? :)

    Back on topic... I just wanted to add that I didn't switch back to Snow Leopard on my Mac Pro due to any quantifiable problems or glitches I was experiencing either. I did it for more or less the same reasons you list above. I'm not sure how I feel yet about Lion. I have it on my MacBook Pro and don't have any particular horror stories there either. So, I guess we'll see as the OS upgrade train continues steamin' on how things will go.

    Again, good luck!!
     
  15. aminadab thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #15
    Quick Update: I returned the 10.6.3 retail disk today. The tech at the store said that the 2012 Mac Pros, which ship with Lion, have firmware that will prohibit, or make it very difficult, to step backwards to Snow Leopard.
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #16
    That's terrible! I like to help a man out though, so I'll happily trade my 2010 quad with Snow Leopard for your 2012 hex. :D
     
  17. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #17
    Apple hasn't done that in the past. Is the firmware really new?

    Applications > Utilities > System Profiler

    drill down into the detailed system info. The Mac Model number is the same I think 5,1 . The firmware version should be there too. I don't have a 2010 Mac Pro handy but I'd be surprised if it was different (between single package 2010 and 2012 or likewise for dual. )

    Folks here have updated CPUs to stuff Apple didn't sell before and the OS installs worked. That firmware update would have to be going extremely out of its way to stop that. For example, it would likely also clog up a VM install of Server Snow Leopard... which likely would only bring Apple grief.

    I don't think Apple wants people to bootstrap a new 2012 Mac Pro back into Snow Leopard, but I'd be surprised if they were proactively blocking it.
    The bootstrap is a huge backdoor because using one Mac to fool the installer into building an OS for what is a really another Mac.


    If it was a new updated motherboard then yes. But for the most part all they did was change the config of the old models with the CPU package speed bumps. That really doesn't require new firmware. The new CPUs do what the older ones do only a bit faster. There is nothing "new" to change about the boot process.
     
  18. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #18
    Just to be safe I wouldn't do this. I'd download the 10.6.4 Combo Updater to this instance.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1048

    Run it. That will give you the minimal 10.4 to boot up the Mac Pro.



    Now download the 10.6.8 Combo Updater

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1399

    and use the Mac Pro to move you up to 10.6.8. If the Mac Pro notices any gaps it needs to move up to 10.6.8 it can fill them in with the Combo data.

    The problem with running the 10.6.3 -> 10.6.8 updater on the MBA is that it won't be looking for Mac Pro stuff (e.g. drivers ). The System Updates can possible "skip" stuck it may think it doesn't need. Generally, it doesn't cherry pick, but your assuming it doesn't. That's the problem with using this misdirect method.

    This approach by-passes the System Updater. It doesn't guarantee won't have missing bits when done but at least the bits were on the drive somewhere... so hopefully the installer snags them all. :)
     
  19. aminadab thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #19
    Interesting, as I thought it sounded weird. System Information Identifies the Model as MacPro5,1, Boot ROM Version: MP51.007F.B03, SMC Version (system): 1.39f11.

    Is this the information I'm looking for?
     
  20. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #20
    I too just checked my firmware information on my 2010 mac pro - says MP51.007F.B03, 1.39f11. - The only thing Apple "changed" was the processor speed by bumping them up albeit using the same logic board. The only way you will know for sure is try to install 10.6.4 retail or get ahold of the 2010 mac pro discs.

    I am sure the know it all tech and or retail kid who works at the Apple Store has no idea what he is talking about.

    Just my .02

     
  21. aminadab thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #21
    To be fair, this wasn't a tech or genius at the Apple Store. This comes from a tech at a non-Apple, mac-only store.

    But of course this doesn't mean that the tech spoke accurately or knows intimately anything about the firmware revision in these 2012 Mac Pros. In fact, I was suspicious about this claim. (Incidentally, this tech came off as very knowledgable about a number of mac-related issues and it was such a breath of fresh air speaking with someone who knows macs (much) more than I do. It's difficult to go into an Apple store nowadays for me. And, in case it's not crystal clear from my posts here, I don't know anything at all!)

    I'll still look around for the Restore/Install discs of a 2010.
     
  22. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #22
    Hello,

    Not sure if this post will be deleted or not, but here's a "grey" solution. Legally, all you're doing is downloading a free update from another source. Shouldn't cause any problem.

    1) Buy a 10.6 retail disc.
    2) Download a 10.6.4+ copy of Mac OS on the net.
    3) Install that newer version on the Mac Pro.
    4) Update to 10.6.8 using software update.
    5) Delete the downloaded copy.

    Loa
     
  23. aminadab thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #23
    Quick Update: I snagged the Install DVD for the 5,1 machine and successfully installed 10.6.4 (and then 10.6.8) on my hexcore 2012 machine. It's running very well so far and I'm happy to have gone down. I'll wait to see how Mountain Lion shakes out. I had installed it and found it nice, but immediately noticed some issues with my USB audio device.

    It's a bit weird reorienting myself to pre-Lion trackpad gestures and Spaces/Expose. But all's well.
     
  24. elvisizer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose
    #24
    good to hear you worked it out!

    you could also slipstream the 10.6.8 combo update into your retail disc using instadmg or deploystudio.
     
  25. Garnick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    #25
    On this same issue, I've been following this thread since its inception, since this is exactly what I have in mind when I place my order for a Refurb MacPro. Within the past week or so I've placed a number of calls to "My Apple" to question whether the refurb would be shipped with SL. The answers were split almost 50/50, so I guess I'll take my chances and follow one of the posts here concerning the procedure for 'stepping back' to SL.

    I do have one question. I'm assuming that I can have both SL and Lion installed on separate HDs/Partitions so that I can boot into SL when needed for certain legacy software. Otherwise I'll keep the G5 going. Of course there's also the distinct possibility that my 'assumption' is totally off base, but that's why I'm posting it here. I'm hoping that some of you good folks will chime in and steer me in the right direction, since I'll be new to both the MacPro and the OS.

    Thanks in advance for any and all replies.
     

Share This Page