Problems Booting From a Snow Leopard Disc

Discussion in 'macOS' started by JohnDev, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. JohnDev macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    I have an iMac that originally came with Leopard that was upgraded with a Snow Leopard Retail Disc. I want to reformat the System drive and reinstall Snow Leopard, so I can move my data from my Mac Pro (Snow Leopard) over to it. I sold the Mac Pro, but have Time Machine & Carbon Copy Clone backups.

    Should the iMac that's running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 boot from the new retail Dvd, which I think is 10.6.3? I've held down the option key while restarting and all I get is the HD drive showing up on the grey screen and the Snow Leopard disc ejecting. It doesn't show up at all on the finder sidebar.

    The Super Drive reads cds and the original Leopard discs and appears to be working. I tried the older Snow Leopard install disc on the Mac Pro and experienced the same results, so I assumed it was the disc. I restarted using the original Leopard disc and ran Disk Utility, which corrected a few errors on the first pass.

    I'm hesitant to reformat the drive and install Leopard and then try to reinstall Snow Leopard. If it doesn't work, then I'm stuck. I also don't think it's possible to to reformat and reinstall Leopard and just do the migration from the Mac Pro's Time Machine backup. It's my understanding you can't install a system migration backward to a older OS and expect it to update the OS.

    Any ideas?

  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Do you have an 8GB or larger USB stick? If so, see if you can use disk utility to make a disk image of the installation disk. If that works, try to restore the image to the USB stick then see if that will boot/install.
  3. JohnDev thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    I do have a 32 GB stick, but the Snow Leopard disc ejects after 30 seconds, it never shows up in the finder sidebar or on the desktop so I can make a disc image.

    I loaded another software installation disc just to see if it would load, and it popped up on my desktop, which allowed me to open it and proceed with the installation if I had chosen to. That's one of the reasons I'm wondering if the fact that Snow Leopard was actively running, was the reason it ejects the installation disc.
  4. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    In my experience you should be able to load the disk on a running machine and have it mount. It sounds to me like your drive is having trouble reading the Snow Leopard disc. I would not recommend that you format anything until you can successfully read that disc.

  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    If your optical drive mounts and reads other DVDs, and the Snow Leopard DVD is the only disk that it won't read, then that Snow Leopard is a bad copy.

    Have you tried that Snow Leopard DVD in another computer, to check if it will mount?

    You can purchase a new one direct from Apple for only $20 here:
  6. JohnDev thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012

    It's the same same problem with the older upgrade Snow Leopard disc and the new one I ordered off of Amazon, yet various other discs are being read.


    Yes, I tried the disc in my Mac Pro with the same results. That's why I purchased the new Snow Leopard disc, but it's the same problem with it also.

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