Trying to Downgrade Two 27" iMacs

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Los Feliz Slim, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Los Feliz Slim macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #1
    I own a company running 16 desktops (Minis and a couple MBPs) and two servers. Generally if it ain't broke I don't fix it, so a lot of our software hasn't been regularly updated - including our most critical application: FileMaker Pro. Most of my machines are running FM Pro 8.

    It dawned on me that if/when computers die, which they will do on occasion, I'm going to be screwed because all the new Macs will have Lion and won't run FM Pro 8. But if I put FM Pro 11 on the new machines they won't work with my FM Pro Server. So, very quickly I'm forced to upgrade an entire office's software and hardware at significant cost.

    So I jumped to it and ordered two refurbished 27" iMacs from the Apple Store after checking online AND on the phone that they'd still have Snow Leopard, not Lion. Sure enough, however, the CSR was wrong, they DO have Lion.

    I called AppleCare and asked for the ORIGINAL OS X install disks for the machines and was roundly denied - "These machines have Lion, you don't need a disk." So that sucked. I do have retail Snow Leopard 10.6.3 disks and licenses available. The iMacs will not boot from or install SN from these disks.

    I'm seeing a few different methods online that I'm going to try in order to get SN up and running on these machines, but this is my question: If these machines shipped with 10.6.6, as my research indicates, am I SOL with my 10.6.3 disks regardless? Do I need to find 10.6.6 install disks on the secondary market in order to even attempt the partition and/or target disk gambit?

    This may be a tiresome question and issue, thanks for any help.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    If you call and just ask for the restore disks for it without mentioning that it already has Lion, you may have better luck. Otherwise it would probably be easiest to look for restore disks on eBay.
     
  3. Ben Simpsy macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2011
    #3
    alternatively - could you not image one of your other machines and restore that image on your 27" ?
     
  4. Macknife macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #4
    I just bought the 27" imac 3.4ghz i7 this Saturday. It has Snow leopard 10.6.6. and did not have lion installed on it from the factory. IDK how you want to work it out but I can image the install disk and get it to you if you have a method for me to send it electronically.
     
  5. Los Feliz Slim thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #5
    Did you buy it online or in a store? Did you know it would have SL or were you surprised? If the stores have machines with SL on them I may go on a little shopping spree.

    In any case, there seem to be a number of relatively reasonable methods to get SL on the machines I've got, like the image method suggested above.

    If none of those work, however, I'll definitely be in touch about the install disks you have, thank you for the reply.
     
  6. tcassio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    #6
    Are the MACS the 2011 refresh model. If so, that could be why it came with Lion. If you have a Thunderbolt port, then it is the latest and would come with lion. If it were an earlier model it should come with SL.
     
  7. c613m macrumors 6502

    c613m

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa
    #7
    OR you could always go buy Snow Leopard from Apple and install those. It's technically the same cost as buying Lion but the other way around. That's what I would do instead of mucking around about it.
     
  8. jwhazel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    #8

    OP, you should be able to set up your 27's in target FireWire mode and snake a FireWire cable between one and one of your older macs that supports the SL retail disc. Boot the old Mac and install SL to the 27's hard drive. Then immediately download and install the 10.6.8 combo update from within the OS on the older Mac pointing it's target destination towards the 27. Viola.
     
  9. Los Feliz Slim thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #9
  10. Macknife macrumors newbie

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    Aug 10, 2011
    #10
    Hi, I bough it in the apple store. It seems there are still some models out there with Snow Leopard installed. I knew it had it and actually did not want to have Lion because of all the bugs and issues with adobe software. I'm waiting till either apple or Adobe fixes the issues.
     
  11. Los Feliz Slim thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #11
    Thank you so much - I just called my local Apple Store and they have a wide variety of machines with SL. I just assumed that refurbs were my best option, but I was obviously wrong. I'm in the process of attempting to restore one of the iMacs I bought with the clone that I made, but if that doesn't work I'm just going to scrap this plan and head down to the store tonight. Thanks again.
     
  12. Los Feliz Slim thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #12
    Cloning the old computer's drive (which was running 10.6.8) onto an external USB drive and restoring the 27 with it apparently did the trick, although I shouldn't celebrate until it's been running in a stable fashion for a few days. But from the looks of things I think it's going to be OK.

    Thanks again.
     
  13. Starlifter macrumors member

    Starlifter

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    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #13
    Have you tried going into disk utilities (from the snow leopard disks) and erasing the partitions first? I've had to restore a few of my iMacs to SN (from Lion) and needed to jump through a few hoops in order to accomplish this. I used the recovery disk on one of them, but the other I used just a regular SN retail version.
     
  14. Los Feliz Slim thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #14
    They wouldn't boot to the Snow Leopard disks - when I tried that the machine beeped like it had bad RAM.

    I bet the Firewire method would also have worked, but so far so good with the cloning.
     
  15. turbobass macrumors 6502

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    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #15
    But this is all on refurbed hardware right? I've heard you can't get SN to install on a 2011 iMac pre-loaded with Lion from the factory because there are hardware level compatibility issues?
     
  16. njean777 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 17, 2009
    #16
    My dad just got an iMac about a week ago and it came with SL, just go to the apple store if you want SL.
     
  17. turbobass macrumors 6502

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    May 25, 2010
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    Los Angeles
    #17
  18. Los Feliz Slim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #18
    Yes, this is on refurbed hardware. The cloned HD I restored from was running 10.6.8, which was at least as new as the OS that would have originally been on that machine. I have read that attempting to use an OS that is older than a machine's original OS can cause problems.

    So, I don't know if the cloning/restoring method would work on a machine with Lion factory-installed. With that said, my understanding is that only the new Airs and Minis have different hardware. So, my guess is that the cloning/restoring method would work with iMacs, MBPs, and Pros. But again, that's a guess.
     
  19. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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