Resolved Installing 10.6 on a machine that comes with 10.7

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fullojellybeans, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. fullojellybeans macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2010

    So it's clear, if you're purchasing a machine with 10.7 (Lion) preinstalled on it. You will NOT be able to install 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) as the only OS on the machine.

    The firmware of the board is made to run a specific OS. However you can run a virtual partition and use it that way.

    This should clear up the 25 threads I've read scattered throughout the chain this fine Friday morning.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    It depends on the model. If you're talking the Air and Mini, then yes, that's correct. However, you should be able to install 10.6 on the iMac and MacBook Pro, as they came out before Lion.
  3. fullojellybeans thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2010
    True just like the original says if it's "preinstalled" then it's not possible. If 10.6 is installed then upgraded to 10.7 no problems at all downgrading.
  4. frankieboy, Sep 30, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011

    frankieboy macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2009
    I just installed 10.6.8 on a 13" MacBookPro8,1 that shipped with Lion. No problem, but you need to connect the new mac to an older one that can boot 10.6.3. You make the connection via target mode, so the older Mac will need either Firewire 800, or if it has Firewire 400, you will need a cable or adapter to accommodate the FW 800 on the new Mac. You can get these from Amazon:

    1. Start new mac in target mode, by holding down the T key at startup until you get the Firewire logo on the screen.
    2. Connect to an older mac which is capable of booting 10.6.3 (see above for cabling info).
    3. Boot old mac from 10.6.3 retail installation/upgrade DVD (AFAIK, this is the version of Snow Leopard that Apple sells you when you buy a Snow Leopard upgrade disc, but any 10.6.x installer disc will work as long as the old mac can boot from it)
    4. In 10.6.3 installer, erase the new mac hard drive, then install 10.6.3 to it
    5. Reboot when the installer prompts; at this point, you are booting the old mac from the OS installed on the new macs hard drive in target mode (you would NOT be able to boot the new mac from its own hard drive at this point, as new macs will not boot 10.6.3, they must have 10.6.8)
    6. Install the 10.6.8 Combo installer (to the new mac)
    7. Reboot when the Combo installer tells you, then shut down
    8. Turn off the new mac
    9. Boot the new mac, now in 10.6.8
  5. bobotech macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2011
    You can do it another way.

    Install 10.6.3 on a older Intel mac. Fully update it. Once its fully updated, go ahead and make a disk image of the hard drive using Disk Utility.

    Boot with the new mac in firewire disk mode like above. Then using either asr from the command line or Disk Utility, you can then image the firewire target disk without having to do the full install via firewire and then when you are done, you still have a disk image of 10.6.8 ready to go on your new mac if you have to reinstall down the road.

    Just throwing more options out there for the OP.

    The key is thunderbolt. Thunderbolt macs require 10.6.7 to boot so they normally require the grey install dvds because they can't boot to a retail 10.6.3 Snow Leopard dvd. But you can make an image with the retail dvd and fully update it and then Thunderbolt based macs can boot to that image.

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