Is it possible to downgrade Lion to Snow Leapard for Refreshed MBA

Largo000

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 15, 2011
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I was just wondering, will it be possible to install Snow Leapard on the refreshed MBA? Will Snow Leapard be compatible with the new MBA?
 

0007776

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Jul 11, 2006
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The new air will not be compatible. Or at least that has always been the case in the past with hardware released with or after a new OS.
 
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Largo000

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 15, 2011
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The new air will not be compatible. Or at least that has always been the case in the past with hardware released with or after a new OS.
Should I purchase an MBA now then rather than wait for a the refreshed MBA? I like SL alot more than Lion.
 
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0007776

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Should I purchase an MBA now then rather than wait for a the refreshed MBA? I like SL alot more than Lion.
If you want to run snow leopard yes. The only advantage to waiting is once the new models come out you should be able to get one of the current models as a refurb for an even cheaper price than now.
 
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ralphbu

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2005
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Downgrading Macbook Air 2011 to Snow Leopard

Somebody is going to do it, (come on you hacking geniuses - you know who you are!) No Macs sold before this week came with Lion and there are plenty of models with thunderbolt and other MBA features. Also, they held up delivery of these MBA's so they could be shipped with Lion - that wasn't the initial plan, so there must be a way to load it. Sure would like to hang on to all those rosetta apps I have...
 
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Anonymous Freak

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Dec 12, 2002
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Somebody is going to do it, (come on you hacking geniuses - you know who you are!) No Macs sold before this week came with Lion and there are plenty of models with thunderbolt and other MBA features. Also, they held up delivery of these MBA's so they could be shipped with Lion - that wasn't the initial plan, so there must be a way to load it. Sure would like to hang on to all those rosetta apps I have...
Nope. Apple locks the firmware on their systems own *HARD*. I suppose, absolute worst-case, you could use some of the "Hackintosh" techniques to load OS X onto it where the hardware thinks you're installing Windows, and the OS is installed thinking you're on a Hackintosh; but that would be ugly. And you'd need some of the hardware-specific files since Snow Leopard doesn't have "public" releases that support things like Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt.

Not to mention the Air seems to have a new custom chipset that integrates Thunderbolt directly into the chipset rather than as a separate support chip. No previous Thunderbolt system has had that. It's entirely possible that support for that chipset is absolutely missing in Snow Leopard, making back-porting truly impossible.
 
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WardC

macrumors 68030
Oct 17, 2007
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I wish I could run System 7...ohhhh I love me some System 7!!!

Map Control Panel, Scrapbook, and Wild Eep!
 
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fyrefly

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2004
597
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Nope. Apple locks the firmware on their systems own *HARD*. <snip!> you'd need some of the hardware-specific files since Snow Leopard doesn't have "public" releases that support things like Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt.
What are you talking about? The 2011 MBPs and iMacs have Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt in them. There's lots of support for SB and TB in Snow Leopard still.

BUT... there are new chips like then ew Broadcom Bluetooth 4.0 chip, and like you mention a new Thunderbolt/Intel Controller chip that might cause problems to Snow Leopard.

It's entirely possible that support for that chipset is absolutely missing in Snow Leopard, making back-porting truly impossible.
That's true. But if one could get the right kext's from Lion and get them working in SL, you'd be in business.

So, I'd go with "hard to do", but not "impossible".

Regardless, I dunno why people hate on Lion so much - It's a decent OS, IMHO. There's also always running SL in a VM if you really want to use it w/o much hacking... ;)
 
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