How to downgrade Snow Leopard to Leopard

Discussion in 'macOS' started by GSX, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. GSX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I just got a Mac Mini to use as a HTPC. It came with Snow Leopard installed, but I want to switch back to Leopard.

    I have a Leopard disc(legal, official disc), but I can't get it to install.

    I tried inserting the disc and installing from the disc. After I select to install I am prompted to restart the computer, but when I do that the computer just keeps re-booting. I waited for five reboots, but when it did not seem to be working I manually turned off the power.

    I tried to erase the HD with Disk Utility, but it is grayed out and I can't do anything there either.

    I tried booting from the disc, but I can't do that either.

    Can somebody help me out here. This is really frustrating. I can't seem to figure out what the problem is.:confused:
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    You can't install an earlier version of OS X than the version that shipped with the machine.
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #3
    Is the Leopard disc a retail copy or one that came with a computer?
     
  4. GSX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #4
    Really?

    That seems strange. Shouldn't I be able to erase the HD and start over at the very least?:confused:

    It came with my iMac that I got about 2 years ago.

    Does that make a difference?
     
  5. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #5
    Yes, it makes a difference
    It is a restore disc and not a retail disc and it won't work
    It only works with the computer it comes with
     
  6. GSX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #6
    The disc says "Mac OS X Install Disc" on it has version 10.5.2.

    So I thought it was a full copy of Leopard.
     
  7. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #7

    If it is the gray restore disc, it will only work with your iMac it came with

    You would need a retail copy of Leopard
     
  8. GSX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #8
    Yes it is a gray disc.

    Darn.

    Well I guess I am stuck with Snow Leopard then.



    Thanks for the help everyone.

    I probably should had asked these questions sooner though. Could have saved myself a few hours of frustration.:eek:
     
  9. kernkraft macrumors 68020

    kernkraft

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #9
    You just got your question answered, but out of curiosity - why do you need the downgrade? Is it software-specific? I can understand that. Otherwise, I think it's either Snow Leopard or Tiger.

    (Or XP) :D


    By the way, I had a Snow Leopard upgrade disc and albeit it is not 'legal', I did a clean reinstall without having Leopard installed. If you want the strongest version of Snow Leopard, avoid installing UPON Leopard. There are threads about how to do it.

    EDIT: I'm not saying that without owning a legit copy, you should buy the cheap version of SL. What I'm saying is that you can have a clean install of SL without compromising it with another OS installed beforehand.
     
  10. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I'd advise a fresh install of SL, if you haven't already. My upgrade from L was naff, I'm guessing due to the convert from 32bit to 64bit.
    A fresh install has been a breath of fresh air.
     
  11. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #11
    For the record, you have two things in your way to downgrading:

    1) You are trying to use the disk that shipped with a different model of computer, and Apple locks these to the model of computer they shipped with.

    2) Since your computer shipped with a newer version of the OS, the older versions of the OS don't know how to drive the newer hardware. Sometimes you can get it to sort-of work anyways, but this is going to be a bit dangerous since the older OS does not know how to properly drive the fans and other hardware, so you might wind up driving the computer to heat-death. Usually it just does not work.
     
  12. GSX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #12
    Well actually the reason I wanted Leopard over Snow Leopard was over a small piece of software.

    I want to use the Mini as a HTPC. I want to use a combination of Plex and Front Row to handle my movies, music, photos, etc. I want the Mini to launch Front Row automatically when I boot up so it starts right in Front Row.

    There is a plugin at http://www.holeintheceiling.com/blog/front-row-plugins/ that lets me add Plex to the Front Row menu. I can then launch Plex from Front Row.

    With the plugin in for Leopard when I quit Plex it takes me back to the Front Row menu. Unfortunately the plugin for Snow Leopard is buggy and does not work as well as the Leopard one. When I quit Plex it just goes back to the desk top.

    So that is my reason for wanting Leopard over Snow Leopard. It's not a huge deal, but I am just trying to make using the Mini as easy as possible for my family.

    Probably most people will probably think I am crazy though. :D

    Thanks for the tips.

    The Mini is actually an older 2009 model. I got it in the refurb section of the Apple Store. So I think Leopard would not be too much of a problem.

    I'll just stick with Snow Leopard. It's not so bad. My reason for switching was more for convenience than anything else.
     
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #13
    Ummm I believe you can. Anything pointing to why you couldn't if you erase and install?

    Why is Leopard more convenient OP?
     
  14. kernkraft macrumors 68020

    kernkraft

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #14
    In that case, find threads and tips about the clean/clear install. However, If your computer came with SL pre-installed, there might be no need for that either. I've had a mid-2009 MB Pro with Leopard, a clean SL install did it good. (After some serious HDD and RAM upgrade to get rid off beach balls).
     
  15. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #15
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2186?viewlocale=en_US

    So I guess the verdict is you might be able to install it, but the risk of messing your system up is very high.
     

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