How do I dual-boot SnowLeopard on HighSierra?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by StingRy, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. StingRy macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2017
    I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) running High Sierra. It works just fine.

    I want to create a dual-boot situation where I can run Snow Leopard from a partitioned external drive when I choose (I want to use my old Adobe applications that won't run on Sierra).

    I own the original Snow Leopard install disk. When I load the disk into my macbook and attempt to install the old OS on the external drive, I get a message pop up that reads:
    "You can’t use this version of the application “Install Mac OS” with this version of macOS. You have “Install Mac OS” 23.1."

    I hit OK and can't go any further with the install. I've tried booting directly from the disk and immediately I get a multi-language screen (similar to Windows' blue screen of death) that tells me I need to restart the computer by holding down the power button. When I do it just restarts into the normal High Sierra OS. I've tried safe boot with no luck also. I don't know what else to do, and I don't know anyone who has an older mac I can use either.

    Is there ANY possible way I can install my copy of Snow Leopard onto my external drive using my High Sierra macbook?
  2. Bart Kela, Dec 13, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017

    Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

    Oct 12, 2016
    You can't run Snow Leopard on a system that doesn't support it like your Mid 2014 MBP.

    You basically need to find hardware that released in the first half of 2010 or earlier. On a machine of that vintage, you could plug in an external hard drive, boot from the Snow Leopard installer disk and install Snow Leopard on that external hard drive.

    That new Snow Leopard external boot drive would then work on any system that supported Snow Leopard. It would not work on your MBP Mid-2014.

    Since you have no access to an older vintage machine (2010 or earlier), your only reasonable option is to run Snow Leopard in a virtual machine. Not sure how great the performance will be.

    Some machines in the 2010 era can run both Snow Leopard and High Sierra. My Mac mini server (mid-2010) is one such system. I actually have a 10.6 Snow Leopard external boot drive that I can run on this system. This same external drive will not run on my MacBook Air 2013 since that latter does not support it.

    I also have a 10.9 Mavericks external boot drive that I can run on both the Mac mini 2010 and the MBA 2013.

    The point to take home is that you can't run a version of macOS earlier than what was initially shipped on the given device.
  3. Fishrrman, Dec 14, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    You CAN run Snow Leopard on a modern Mac, but it requires "tricks".

    First, you'll need software that creates a "virtual machine" environment. I believe you could use one of the following:
    - VMWare Fusion
    - Parallels
    Both of the above are "pay for" apps, but I believe there is also some kind of open-source freeware environment that can be used (I think it's called "Virtual Box").

    Next, you'll need a copy of "Snow Leopard SERVER" (the "server" is important -- regular, "non-server" versions of Snow Leopard won't work).

    Then... you install SNS into the virtual machine and run it that way.
    You can turn off the "server portions" of the software, and it will behave as would a regular, non-server copy.

    Some work?
    But... it CAN be done.
  4. JOSmith99 macrumors member

    May 31, 2016
    The most common free virtualizer is VirtualBox by Oracle. It's pretty good.

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