Sierra and Snow Leopard Partition - How to?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by now i see it, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. now i see it macrumors 65816

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    Jan 2, 2002
    #1
    I will be getting a (new to me) 2010 Mac Mini to be able to run some Snow Leopard compatible apps. I got this mini because it can run both Snow Leopard and Sierra. This is the last Mac Mini that can do this.

    Snow Leopard is the OS I will mainly use, (I think) but I want to play with Sierra and check it out because one day resistance will be futile.

    I'm going to install a new SSD drive in the mini (there's only one drive in this Mac Mini, its not the server) and I think I want to partition it in half so that one half is Snow Leopard and the other Sierra. Is this a workable plan?

    Or should I just install Sierra on a separate external HD via FireWire 800?

    I've never installed or downloaded any OS beyond SL, so I don't have any of those in my App Store history. I've been living in SL land since 2009.

    What's the best way of going about this?

    1. Can Sierra be installed (after downloading Lion) on one of the partitions that was initially partitioned with SL?

    2. Will I have to install SL on both partitions then upgrade (Via Lion) one partition to Sierra?

    3. And once I have Sierra downloaded in my App Store history, would there be any benefit of starting all over again and formatting the drive with Sierra (vs SL) to be able to have a dynamic partition?

    4. And lastly, would SL even install on a disc that was formatted and partitioned with Sierra's newer partitioning scheme?

    I have the original Snow Leopard restore CDs that came with the mini.

    Lots of questions I know. Just answering one of them would be helpful.

    Thanks in advance very much.
     
  2. macrlz9 macrumors 6502

    macrlz9

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #2
    Yes, you could install Snow Leopard on both partitions and then simply upgrade one, (first to El Capitan then Sierra)

    You can create a bootable Sierra installer with a USB drive but will need a computer running Lion or later to download the Sierra installer. Instructions here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

    If you can't download Sierra because you are on Snow Leopard, instead of paying for Lion, download El Capitan instead for free. Instructions here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206886

    You can also use the El Capitan image to create a bootable USB drive.

    Both OSes use Mac OS Extended (Journaled) GUID Partition Scheme

    No need for Lion at all, the only installers you will need are Snow Leopard and El Capitan/Sierra

    Both OSes will coexist on separate partitions just fine. :)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 12, 2017 ---
    Also, on Snow Leopard you need to install all subsequent updates in order to properly use the Mac App Store. 10.6.8, Mac App Store update, Safari update, etc.
     
  3. now i see it thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Thank you very much!
    Great info and links! Maybe it would be best to have both OSes reside on the main (500 GB SSD) drive on two equal 250 GB partitions, then it would be a fair test and easy comparison of how responsive Sierra is (or isn't) on this pokey old mini rather than having it bottlenecked through the much slower FireWire external enclosure.
     
  4. macrlz9 macrumors 6502

    macrlz9

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    #4

    Agreed... as long as 250 x2 will be enough storage for you.
     
  5. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #5
    It would be far easier if you installed a different operating system on a different drive (external USB or Firewire). I have Sierra on my internal boot drive and Snow Leopard on an external USB drive on my Mac mini 2010.
     
  6. now i see it thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    So how is Sierra working out on the 2010 mini? (compared to SL). Does the mini have a SSD & 8 gigs of RAM in it?
    Thanks
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    If Snow Leopard is to serve as your "main OS", I'd put it on the internal drive.

    I'd put your "secondary" OS on the EXTERNAL firewire800 drive. It won't boot as quickly as if it were on the internal, but once up-and-running it shouldn't be bad at all.

    I would suggest you try El Capitan (OS 10.11) before Sierra.
    But that's my opinion only.

    I think it might be problematic (probably still "do-able") to mix up Snow Leopard and Sierra on the same drive, even if they reside on separate partitions...
     
  8. now i see it thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Yes, that's a very good call. Thanks! The more I read about Sierra, the more I see that many of its features aren't supported on a 2010 Mac mini, and what remains is for the most part, very similar to El Capitan... Also Sierra is still a work in progress with bugs, while ElCap is baked & done (with whatever bugs were left behind).

    So I'm definitely now going to install ElCap and stay there and get familiar with that instead of Sierra. After reading up, I just don't see any of the hallmark features of Sierra (Siri, Handoff, ApplePay, AWatch integration, synced documents & desktop to icloud etc) that I would use or even could use on this old mini.

    Thanks for the enlightenment!
     
  9. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

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    Oregon
    #9
    You can install Snow Leopard in a VM and run it on a new Mac. I have an late 2014 iMac running Sierra. Installed Parallels and Snow Leopard server. I can run my old Snow Leopard apps via the VM.
     
  10. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #10
    I replaced the traditional rotational drive with an SSD years ago; I bought it with 8 GB of RAM.

    Sierra works fine on my 2010 mini; I install the latest version of the operating system, so I have not done a side-by-side comparison with Snow Leopard and Sierra. That would be an unfair comparison anyhow as my old Snow Leopard boot volume is an external USB 2 rotational drive. I think I boot Snow Leopard maybe once a year.

    With all of today's cloud services (not just iCloud), I find it pretty much a given that I need to run the latest version of macOS. Besides most developers don't support Snow Leopard anymore and I have little interest in running six-year old applications.

    Apple only provides security updates for the previous OS which means Apple stopped updating Snow Leopard around 2012, five years ago.
     

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