iMac was running Snow Leo; Genius put Mtn Lion; I NEED Snow Leopard back; have disk

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SophiaSapphire, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. SophiaSapphire macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2013
    I am hoping so much that someone here can help me.

    I've got a 27-inch iMac that was running just fine with Snow Leopard. The Seagate HD was recalled by Apple, and I finally got it in there in August for replacement. What a mistake. What a terrible mistake.

    Mtn Lion is not compatible with my programs. Not a single photograph that was saved before the upgrade is accessible to me now. I can see them as I scroll through the iPhoto library, but only very briefly and when I try to click on individual files, I get the large b/w icon that lets me know the file does not exist. I know they exist. They were on my external hard drive.

    Apple is no longer supporting iWeb, which is fine, but I've got iWeb files saved and one is published online.

    The calendar no longer works with Mtn Lion, either. It is now restricted to a birthday calendar and I get error message "You can't add or change events in the birthday calendar."

    It keeps trying to access my contacts, and this is where I really must draw the line. I do not use social networking, ie, no Facebook and no twitter, none of that for me, because I am sick of the invasion of my privacy. Yet, Mountain Lion is constantly trying to get me to hook all of my devices together. That's not what I want, it's not what I signed up for, and it's never going to be okay with me. I've reached my limit of patience with all of this "data mining." WHat I have on one computer/iphone/ipod needs to stay on that computer or device unless I intentionally transfer the file.

    The fan also runs continuously with Mountain Lion, and I've spent way too much of my life googling away trying to solve that issue to no avail. A fan running without break is not only bothersome, it cannot be good for the hardware.

    Also, since this computer was new in Jan 2010, it was built to run Snow Leopard, not Mtn Lion or even Lion. I was just fine with Snow Leopard and really wish that the had asked me at the store if I wanted this complimentary upgrade. I would have told them no, thank you.

    Because this machine was a replacement for a two-year old iMac (new in Dec 2007, a 24-inch) ,I do not have the original disks for the OS, for iLife, or for iWork. I have borrowed a Snow Leopard disk from a friend, and I have a 1T external hard drive.

    Is there any hope of someone helping me with a fresh installation of Snow Leopard? I have also googled that till I am blue in the face, but I am not a computer tech myself (I made the switch to Apple in late 2007 because of similarly frustrating experiences with Windows .... ugh!). I have seen that I can partition the drive and install Snow Leopard that way, but honestly ,I have no use for Mtn Lion and i'd just like to have my own data/files as they were before this disastrous upgrade, and I don't think that having everything or even lots of files twice on one hard drive and/or one external is of any benefit to me--it takes up significant memory and there's just no reason for it. I'd like to wipe out my machine after a fresh backup of my files and install Snow Leopard fresh.

    The Snow Leopard version I have is 10.6.3.

    Anyone? Help? I'm going crazy, and I need my files to be able to work. I've lost an unbelievable amount of productivity because of this. I'd really appreciate some help.

    Thanks so much.


    If this is posted in the wrong forum, I apologize and would welcome suggestions as to where I should post this. I come in peace ; )
  2. orangezorki, Oct 18, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013

    orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Sorry, can't help you myself, but this might be tricky.

    The problem is that you need the specific install disks for that model iMac, as the first Snow Leopard ones won't have the required drivers, updates etc. There is a small chance that the later disks will support it, if released after the computer.

    There are a few possible solutions I can think of:

    1. Ask Apple, they often try to help, and after all you are only asking for a couple of disks, not a free computer.

    2. Would Lion work? I think it's still available as a download, and if so it is cheap, and you could burn a disk or use a USB drive to boot and install it.

    3. Do you have a cloned backup? If so, you could boot from another drive, then clone it back.

    4. The iMac is hardly a rare computer, you might be able to find a friend, co-worker or someone on here who lives near to you with a disk that does the job.

    5. Safe boot? Perhaps that might work with the old disks, and then you could upgrade to the latest SL from that?

    I hope this helps.

  3. jaxhunter macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2012
    Take the machine back to the Apple Store and make them fix it. The Seagate recall specified that the drive was to be reimaged with either the original OS or the latest one purchased by the customer. They may have been trying to do you a favor by upgrading you at no charge but in this case it was the wrong thing to do. So make them fix it. Take it into the store and explain your problem in a calm and reasonable way remembering that they were probably just trying to be helpful. Ask them to expedite the repair. Apple Store employees are taught to "assume positive intent" and it really helps when customers do so as well. They should be more than capable of setting your machine back up the way you want it and the way it works for you.
  4. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    If the OP's programs in Snow Leopard require Rosetta, then a back-step to Lion would not help either as both Lion & Mountain Lion do not support Rosetta.

    I understand the frustration because I still use old Adobe software which needs Rosetta on SL :rolleyes:, so I have my iMac HDD partitioned for both Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion.

    OP --do you have a Time Machine or cloned back-up of your previous Snow Leopard disk? David is right, you can also use Migration Assistant with Time Machine to transfer your old SL data to a new SL image on your hard drive once you get the disks.

    (I understand your frustration because Snow Leopard has been rock solid for me. I moved over to my Mountain Lion partition a month ago and it's been an adjustment. Ha! Today I had to work in SL on an old project in Illustrator and Safari is so much faster! :p)

    Hoping that taking your iMac back to the Apple store will get this settled for you!
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    To the OP, Are you sure you got it in Jan '10? If so that would make it a Late '09 Model which shipped with 10.6.1. If it's a Mid '10 model, it would have shipped with at least 10.6.3, and the above information would be correct (10.6.3 wasn't released until March '10).

    You can go into Apple - About this Mac - More Info, and it will tell you which version you actually have.

    In any case, call AppleCare and request replacement discs. If they're not free, they aren't going to be too expensive.
  6. SophiaSapphire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2013
    First, thank you very much to ALL who replied to my thread (my SOS).

    To answer a few questions, as best I can recall from the above replies:

    This iMac was a warranty replacement for a 2007 iMac that had been malfunctioning since I'd gotten it. I finally got fed up with how many times I had had to take it in for repairs and got in touch with someone from Apple in San Francisco, and he helped me get a new machine in Jan 2010. It is a late 2009 model according to my "About this Mac."

    The disk that I have was borrowed from a friend. It is SL 10.6.3, which was released a few months after my iMac was replaced, so it's a later version of Snow Leo than I had had on this before the complimentary upgrade. (And no! They never ever asked me if I wanted an upgrade--infuriating).

    As for cloned back ups? I do not know that what that means.

    I have been round and round and round with the local Apple Store about both this machine and this round of errors on their part, as well as a MBA. In both cases, they admitted to me ***verbally, not in writing***** that all of the problems I've been having are their fault, but they won't reply to me anymore.

    I even got the guy from San Fran involved, and he sent an email about a month ago, asking if he could call me that evening. He never did, and he has not replied to any other email attempts to get help. Same with teh store manager. I don't know what their problem is. God knows I have bought a LOT of Apple products, not just for me, but for my children as well; and they admitted both computers were messed up due to their errors (The MBA is whole other can of worms).

    I don't have the time to carry this heavy machine back to APple. Their store is also pretty far from me, and it takes up so much time to do that. I also need this thing to work, and I'm so far behind since this has all been going on since August and I'm still working on things I should have had done two months ago. They won't respond to me, either. Nothing. It's like I got blacklisted after I got in touch with the guy from San Fran again. (If anyone wants to see a copy of that whole email exhange please email me and i will private from my private email account).

    PLUS... as I told them so many times, I cannot keep carrying this heavy machine back and forth. It's not like carrying in an iPod or a phone or a laptop. I have arthritis in my neck and shoulders and I'm actualy concerned I'll drop the thing, which is not going to help.

    As for booting in safe mode, I'm lost there too.

    Is there a way to totally wipe out this hard drive or even buy a new one and just start over with Snow Leo 10.6.3? If it will run Mtn Lion (not well, but it will run), then I would think a late 2009 model would run Snow Leo just fine

    I'vee heard of the Rosetta Stone issues and Mtn Lion, but I don't use that. It is the whole operating system that is not working properly. The calendars, the linking of all of these devices, the missing or ghost files that used to be accessible and that constantly running fan.

    Does that help at all? Can I wipe this out and start over fresh? Snow Leopard worked beautifully for me. This has been a a real disaster and has cost me so much in lost productivity. I'm really quite disgusted with Apple right now. I got such a run around on both computers, they finally said they were responsible and then then have refused to reply to me at all.

  7. SophiaSapphire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2013
    I just checked and I do have the back ups in Time Machine from before Mountain Lion was put on it.

    At this point, I'd even pay for someone who knows what they are doing to come to my home and get this thing up and operating properly with Snow Leopard.

    I've already had to pay $200+ for someone to get me tax documents off of my external hard drive.

    They were all stored on the ever malfunctioning MBA which is running Lion and has been defective since a repair made when that machine was only three months old. The guy from San Fran and the local store would not help me anymore after they said they fixed the MBA one more time in September and I could not even extract the contents of the MBA off of the external because the MBA was not working properly. It is loaded with permission errors and NEVER worked with this iMac with Migration Assistant, etc.

    So that cost me some more money. At this point, I'm ready to admit that the MBA is just a lost cause, oh well. They got me on that. But this iMac is much more important and I'm not willing to buy a new one, esp since it would be running Mtn Lion.

    My MBA runs Lion which is not quite as invasive as Mtn Lion, but I still need my files, etc, from THIS Mac, and I don't think Lion is going to be the solution.

    But yes, do have the Time Machine back ups from before the upgrade to Mtn Lion.

  8. MOFS macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2003
    Durham, UK
    It seems like there are a few issues you might be able to sort out without resorting to a downgrade. Your problems seem to be:

    1) iPhoto. It seems either your iPhoto library is corrupt (the bit that tells the app where the files are). This link on the Apple forum might help remind iPhoto where the photos are.

    2) You can't add Calendar events to the Birthdays on iCal because it auto populates from your contacts which have birthdays in their details. To create a new calendar simply go File -> New Calendar and that'll set up a new calendar for you which you can rename/ colour as you like.

    3) when is it trying to access your contacts? If it's iTunes and when you plug in an iDevice (iPod/iPhone) you can disable syncing contacts etc in iTunes on the device page when it's plugged in. I'm struggling to think of other times when the OS asks re contact info.

    4) iWeb is readily available from Amazon as part of iLife. If you're look for a website builder, I'd recommend as a superior option for blogging as it is more up to date.

    Hope these help.

  9. SophiaSapphire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2013
    reply to last suggestion

    I am wondering, if I click on "restore" from my Time Machine back up, will this restore this machine to what it was like before they upgraded me? That option is there in the Time Machine; on the right, it has the "restore" option.

    Or what about just wiping this machine out and doing a new install with the borrowed Snow Leopard 10.6.3? Is that possible? And then I'd put my data back on with what is saved on my external hard drive.

    With this being a late 2009 model, it was not built to run the later software updates (lion and mtn lion), so I think all in all, I'm much better off getting back to Snow Leopard.

    I also don't like or want or need the data mining. It's become too invasive. It's too much for my comfort level, which is why I did NOT want an upgrade to Mtn Lion. The reviews at that time (over the summer) were pretty bad in the App Store--that it's crashing, etc, not working with upgrades, and the data mining. I did get the calendar fixed with what you shared with me. Thank you : )

    Also, this fan. It runs incessantly. That's not good. Can't be. That started the night I got it back from the Apple Store. That issue is all over the Apple forums: fan won't stop running. (And it's LOUD!!)

    I looked at that thread from the Apple Forums, and that's what was going on before, on the MBA. All those permission errors, I would get those error messages that my library was corrupt (or incompatible, something like that). It said iPhoto library needed to be upgraded or something. I'd do that, and then it would happen again. That MBA is a whole other can of worms, though, and I've just finally accepted it, that they know it was faulty while it was still under warranty ,and they've admitted this, but they're not going to do anything. So? Whatever. I'll have to get a new one (although at this point, I'm considering not buying an Apple for my laptop. The windows machines are about half the price, and for what I need the laptop for, they'll work.)

    Anyway, Word Press, eh? I don't need it. And like I said, iWeb is not the deciding factor. I'd still like to be able to work with what I had saved in there, though.

    So I guess my questions have boiled down to this: Will Snow Leopard 10.6.3 work on this machine (late 2009), and if so, how would I go about wiping it out as it is now, and reinstalling from the disk I have? Or would a "restore' from Time Machine work? This was all backed up when I took it in for the Hard drive replacement, so everything is in there; I just cannot get to it with Mtn Lion.

  10. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States

    What you would need to do to get it back as close as it was before they worked on it is boot from the DVD that you have with 10.6. When it comes up, you will have the ability to restore from a Time Machine backup. That will transfer the contents of the backup to the iMac and restart, and you pretty much will be where it was when the backup was made.
  11. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    You should be able to restore to 10.6 just fine. Put the SL disc in the drive and restart. Press "C" at startup, and it should load the SL disc. Find "Disk Utility" and erase the internal hard drive. Then follow the directions to install Snow Leopard.

    After that's completed, you'll go through the first boot steps including creating a user account. The setup will give you the option to restore from your Time Machine backup.
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Here is what I would do if you put the computer into my hands.

    1. Make sure the data is backed up first
    (You DO have a Time Machine backup, right? You MUST have some kind of backup to work from, to get running again.)

    2. Boot from the 10.6.3 DVD that you have.

    3. When you get to the installer, choose to re-initialize the internal drive (this is why you MUST have a backup you KNOW to be good before going further).

    4. Do a "clean install" of 10.6.3 to the internal drive.

    5. Towards the end of the installation, you should get the option to connect your TM backup drive, and "bring over" your existing accounts, data, etc.

    6. This should get you to where you want to be (that is, with 10.6 installed and you older apps, data, etc.

    7. At this point, you can download the 10.6.8 "combo updater", which will upgrade your OS to the last release of Snow Leopard.

    DO NOT DO THE ABOVE UNLESS YOU KNOW YOU ARE BACKED UP (shouting very intentional).


    Here's an alternate way to do things, but you'll need an external drive to serve as a backup.

    1. Use CarbonCopyCloner (free to download and use version 3.4.7) to "clone" your internal drive to an external backup drive. You can find it here:

    2. You can then check the backup by "switch-booting". Restart, and hold down the option key and keep holding it down. The startup manager will appear. Select the external clone, and hit the return key. The Mac will boot from the clone. The reason for doing this is to know that you have a good bootable backup that works.

    3. Disconnect the backup for now. Reboot the Mac using the 10.6.3 DVD and do a clean install.

    4. Once the install is done, let the Mac reboot. Once you get past the welcome screen, it should ask if you wish to bring your stuff over from another drive. At this point, connect the backup you created and follow the instructions. This should migrate over all your accounts, apps, data, etc.

    5. As in the other method above, once this process is done, reboot and take a good look around, to be sure things are as you like them. Now it's time to download the 10.6.8 combo updater and "get the system current" (like you did above).

    Either of the above methods should work.
    In the future, I suggest you use CarbonCopyCloner to create a bootable backup of your internal hard drive (to an external drive).
    If you had had this BEFORE you had the drive replacement, it would have made "restoration" VERY easy, regardless of what the Apple tech department did.
  13. SophiaSapphire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2013
    Okay, here's where I am now

    I have read all three replies from Fishrrman, JDecko and Monkey Bagel--thanks to all of you for taking the time to help me out.

    I'm going to print out these instructions (which means using a different computer, because the new printer is not installed with this machine--an epson laser printer that is supposed to be Blue Tooth-enabled, but I've not been able to figure THAT out, either, ack ack ack! feels so Windows-esque, I'm having nightmares! ha ha Back To Summer 2007 when I said "NO MORE WINDOWS!!!" lol)

    So I'll print out this entire thread and try to find time tonight or tomorrow.

    Last night, I finally just called Apple at the 800 My Apple number. I explained the whole messy situation one more time, and the tech transferred me to a senior technician, who told me a few things

    1. He said that the reason I cannot access my iPhoto library from the Mtn Lion platform is that it would not be able to read iPhoto copies from Snow Leopard. So I am not crazy .... NOT CRAZY, as the folks at the local Apple seemed to be implying with their silence after this installation ; )

    2. He said that if I wanted to be able to make sure, double sure and triple sure that all of the work I have saved on this iMac while using Mtn Lion, that yes, partitioning the hard drive and running BOTH operating systems for now would probably be the best option. Once I have got both Snow Leopard and Mtn Lion running on here, I'd need to transfer work frm the Mtn Lion partition and then make sure Snow Leopard can read it, and if so, delete the partition with Mtn Lion, because having both will take up a whole lotta memory.

    To answer questions shouted at me (which I COMPLETELY understand!), yes I do have Time Machine back ups from both before and after the upgrade to Mtn Lion. When I click on the Time Machine icon on the upper right, I can see the backups going back to late July (as well as recent ones with Mtn Lion).

    So what does that sound like to any of you? Partitioning the drive, installing Snow Leopard per instructions (the below, from Mac Rumors members ... or the Apple tech?) and doing it like that?

    I'm not sure what it means to be booting from the external drive. My very basic and not tech-savvy understanding of this is that SL would be installed on that external drive, and I'd be booting from there? I really do not comprehend this part more than that.

    For some reason, Fishrrman, your second set of instructions sounds like the better of the two options you presented to me, but I don't know why.And of course, not being a tech person, I do not trust my own instincts with regard to this.

    ALso, the fan has been really, really loud today, in so loud if I were trying to watch a movie, it would probably interfere with the sound even more than it has been. I brought up the fan with the senior Apple tech last night, and he at first tried telling me that it's normal. Well, if that's normal, why was it not doing it with Snow Leopard? He said that I'm probably running some CPU-intensive programs. Not so, I told him. I had open at that time only the disk utility window and a few jpegs from my iPhoto library. He told me that I can probably take care of this by doing a System Management Reset--I am VERY familiar with that because of all the problems my MBA has; I have to do a SMR every day a few times with that one. And further, doing the SMR with the iMac does not stop the fan from running so loudly anyway. It sounds like there is a jet engine in this iMac and that it's ready for take-off on the runway any moment. I mean, it's really really loud.

    Just bizarre.

    Any thoughts on my very disjointed thoughts here?

    Thanks again for all of your help. I am very grateful for the help and comments. ANd yes, it is okay to shout, especially when you're warning someone about backups on external hard drives.

    Oh, speaking of that, would it be a good idea to get another external hard drive and make a back up of the back up?


  14. SophiaSapphire thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2013
    iTunes could present problems too making the switch

    I just remembered I've also added some items to iTunes since Mtn Lion was installed. Not sure how that will work with the Snow Leopard reinstall.
  15. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Fishrrman has an excellent post, and you'd be wise to follow his instructions. It's a more detailed version of what I posted, although I would have put the "Make sure you have a backup" first. :)

    When you say you added itunes, did you purchase stuff from the itunes store, or did you add your own CD's? If you bought stuff from the store, you could always re-download it from itunes. If you ripped your own media, just create a new backup by dragging the individual items from itunes to a flash drive or a hard drive. Alternatively, you could just copy the entire itunes media folder to an external device.

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