I'd like to go back to Snow Leopard, but how?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by yousifabdullah, May 11, 2012.

  1. yousifabdullah, May 11, 2012
    Last edited: May 11, 2012

    yousifabdullah macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2011
    #1
    Dear fellow MacRumorians,

    I have a recently purchased MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2011), which came with OS X Lion pre-installed. I also have a retail Snow Leopard installation DVD (10.6.3) and I want to go "back" to Snow Leopard. Since I don't like to take chances, here are a few questions I'd like to have answered before attempting anything:

    1. Since my Mac came with Lion out of the box, will there be any hardware incompatibilities if I install Snow Leopard? (I suppose the answer is no, since the Early 2011 models were shipped with Snow Leopard and have very similar specifications to the MacBook Pro (Late 2011) model, which I have.)

    2. Is it possible to install Snow Leopard without losing the Recovery HD partition? Furthermore, would Lion Recovery still work afterwards?

    3. Are there any major apps out there that are Lion-only? I don't think there were too many changes in the "250 new features" in regards to developer tools, and since the Mac App Store made its debut in 10.6.6, Snow Leopard should still be useful in the coming years. Do you agree?

    4. My primary reasons to go back to Snow Leopard are Exposé and the old gestures. I don't find the new gestures to be intuitive and Mission Control simply lacks what I liked in Exposé. (Namely the ability to have a true "bird's-eye view", including minimized apps). I also feel the omission of Rosetta and Front Row frustrating at times, even though I have little use for both. Do you consider these reasons to be valid and, for lack of a better word, good?

    I'm looking forward to your replies!
    ~ Yousif
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    #2
  3. yousifabdullah thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thank you so much for the links! (Oddly, I didn't find the first one using the forum search. :eek:)
     
  4. yly3 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I really hope the 2012 models will be able to run 10.6.8
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

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    #5
    They won't, and if they do, then only partially, as 10.6.8 does not have the drivers for 2012 hardware and never will, unless someone writes them.
     
  6. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #6
    Boot from Snow Leopard Disc, wipe, and re-install a fresh copy of 10.6 - easy.

    Edit: Okay, the late 2011 iMacs shipped with Lion.

    Snow Leopard speaking, you would be talking 2010 machines. A 2010 MacBook Pro, 2010 MacBook Air run Snow Leopard.
     
  7. simsaladimbamba

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    #7
    The Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Retail/Upgrade DVD for 29 USD comes with 10.6.3, which will not work with 2010 and 2011 Macs due to missing drivers, thus a workaround is needed.

    I recently upgraded a late 2011 MBP from Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard via a 2009 MBP and Target Disk Mode and a 10.6.3 Retail DVD.
     
  8. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

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    Oct 20, 2009
    #8
    I had the similar issue as the OP and the link that was mentioned. You'll need an image of 10.6.6+ in order to be able to install SL on 2011 machines.
     
  9. yousifabdullah thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Any ideas how I can do so legally?
     
  10. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #10
    If you've got access to a second Snow Leopard capable Intel Mac with Firewire then install 10.6.3 from the older Mac to the HDD in the Late 2011 using Target Disk mode. Apply the 10.6.8 combo update to install the required drivers and the drive will then boot and function fine in your Late 2011.

    I've done it successfully on mine using the Mac mini.
     
  11. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #11
    There were many 2011 iMacs which came installed with Snow Leopard. For instance, my mid year model 2011 iMac came with Snow Leopard installed on it.
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

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    #12
    And they came with special builds of 10.6.6, thus a 10.6.3 installation DVD will not work on them.
    Those 2011 Macs also came with their own grey Restore DVDs, which had those special builds of 10.6.6 on them.

    If there would be a 10.6.6 Install DVD, it would not work either, as the special builds those two 2011 Macs came with did include drivers, that were not available in the normal 10.6.6 update.
    If there would be a 10.6.7 Install DVD, it would work with those two 2011 Macs, due to 10.6.7 having the drivers for those two 2011 Macs.

    Was that understandable?
     
  13. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #13
    Just to chime in, this is a good solution. I've done this a couple times as well. As long as the computer you use to do the install is compatible with the retail disk (or came with Snow Leopard and has it's own disk), then you can do this, just make sure you apply the updates before taking the other machine out of Target Disk Mode or it probably won't boot at all.

    jW
     
  14. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

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    #14
    OP, I'd go with this suggestion.
     
  15. yousifabdullah thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Thank you everyone for the help so far. Unfortunately, I don't have another Mac in the household, so are there any other options? If I need to get a second hard drive, that's no problem. Please bear in mind that I also want to keep the Recovery HD partition, in case I want to install OS X Lion again. (Or does the Lion installer create the partition on its own?)
     
  16. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

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    #16
    Assuming you purchased Lion via Mac App Store, you should be able to re-download and install Lion whenever you want.

    As for other options, I'm afraid there aren't anymore.
     
  17. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Wow, this is an awful lot of work to do because you don't like a small bit of the Finder's interface.

    Get a copy of BetterTouchTool and see if you can make gestures you find more useful. Don't know what you liked in the previous version of Expose, but there are utilities out there that might get you what you need without having to go through this. And of course Mountain Lion is coming anyway. For example, I much prefer DockView for checking out app windows to either the old Spaces or Expose. But YMMV.

    Rob
     
  18. Simplicated macrumors 65816

    Simplicated

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    #18
    You can borrow your friend's Mac to do it, or try cloning the hard drive contents from your old Mac to your new one.

    As for the Recovery HD, you can remove it. You can always get the Recovery HD back by pressing Cmd-R at boot with Internet Recovery.
     
  19. yousifabdullah thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    I'm a heavy multitasker and the actual reason why I switched from Linux to Mac was the old Exposé. I had an app on my Linux desktop called Komposé, which did the same thing, but less elegantly. It took me just a few minutes to say that "this is why I'm getting a Mac". Yet, Apple has taken a different turn and I'm puzzled as to whether the switch was a good idea in the first place! :eek: I've tried some of the apps you mentioned, but nothing in my opinion beats the simplicity of Snow Leopard. It just worked.

    Okay, I must be dumb. Is Internet Recovery etched into the EFI? Is that how some 2010 machines got the Internet Recover feature added, in a firmware update? Also, my friend has a MacBook Pro (Early 2011) and doesn't mind lending his Mac OS X Install DVD with 10.6.7. Would that work? Thanks!
     
  20. simsaladimbamba

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    #20
    I don't know about the EFI stuff, but it would be easier to use your friend's MacBook Pro too.
    Start your MBP in Target Disk Mode and connect it to the friend's MBP.
    Insert the friend's MBP's Restore DVD into the optical disk drive (ODD)of the friend's MBP and start from it.
    Erase the HDD in your MBP via Disk Utility from the installer and via the PARTITION tab.*
    INstall Mac OS X onto your MBP and after that is finished, boot your friend's MBP via holding down the OPTION key right after the startup chime from your MBP's HDD and then runs Software Update.
    After that is all done, you should be able to boot your own MBP with the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard install.

    Again, that is the way I have done with a friends late 2011 MBP and I haven't heard any complaints for the last month.

     
  21. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #21
    It should do, as it's essentially the same machine.
     

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