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How does one un-install Lion and revert to Snow Leopard?

1327 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 16, 2011 4:28 AM by softwater RSS
kevinfromwestville Calculating status...
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Jul 26, 2011 10:01 AM

Anyone know how to un-install Lion and revert to Snow Leopard?

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    Restore from the backups you made before upgrading.  If they're Time Machine backups, see #14 in   Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,190 points)

    Downgrade Lion to Snow Leopard


    1.  Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer Disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button.  When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.


    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area.  If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing.  SMART info will not be reported  on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.


    3. Under the Volume Scheme heading set the number of partitions from the drop down menu to one. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID then click on the OK button. Click on the Partition button and wait until the process has completed.


    4. Quit DU and return to the installer. Install Snow Leopard.


    This will erase the whole drive so be sure to backup your files if you don't have a backup already. If you have performed a TM backup using Lion be aware that you cannot restore from that backup in Snow Leopard. I suggest you make a separate backup using Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.1.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    Kappy wrote:


    If you have performed a TM backup using Lion be aware that you cannot restore from that backup in Snow Leopard. I suggest you make a separate backup using Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.1.

    Hi, Kappy,


    Small clarification: while you can't do a full restore, or use Setup Assistant or Migration Assistant, you can restore selected items from a Lion TM backup onto Snow Leopard, via the "Star Wars" display.  But use caution: some Snow Leopard apps may not work with the Lion file/folder structure.

  • jesslorenzo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    to Kappy:


    Thanks for the instructions and heads up regarding the time machine backup under Lion.

    I am presently preparing and researching a smooth way to get back to snow leopard.  I have a MBP 2.2Ghz 8Gig 2011 machine that is performing badly under Lion.


    I would much rather go back to Snow Leopard. I have my installer disks but I am presently trying to see how I can revert to my old system and keep that apps that I have now.  Is it posible to back up using carbon copy now, restore the documents and applications after I get install snow leopard?



    Thanks again

  • Bruce Meli Calculating status...

    THANK YOU!!!! 

  • karensmcc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks Kappy - I am going to try your method- just using the copy cloner now and if it works I will definitely donate to them.  Since upgrading to LION I cannot print in Quickbooks 2009 and File Make Pro - which is the basis of my life most of the time.  DO I need to back up anything else- or will the cloner do it all? I dont wnat to lose my address book - MS Office, etc... ? thanks !

  • Larryb227 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    I am also considering going back to SL from Lion. I installed Lion on Aug 27 and my Time Machine has been backing up since then. TM should have SL backed up before Aug 27 correct? (My Mail crashes totally is my main reason for going back to SL) No one has the answer so far that I could find.


    Therefore if I get SL installed I should be able to get my configuration, apps ect from TM. Correct?


    I'm a little anxious to do this.


    Thanks for any help



  • karensmcc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    I think it was kappy that said earlier that the TM backup you used in LION will not work to restore SNOW LEOPARD


    use the cloner he suggests     its' was still a bit of work for me to get everything back and going - but it was worth it in the end - as with LION my Quickbooks 2009 would not work- and Intuit made it quite clear that they would NOT provide and update for LION and they suggested paying 200.00 to upgrade to quickbooks 2011 (not!) and also my Filemaker Pro would not print nor export into excel - and I wasn't about to replace either of those expensive programs

  • Larryb227 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the info but I was under the impression that your TM has the SL backed up but you could not reinstall it from Lion. If you get SL installed you could then reinstall your backup usint SL time machine. I may be wrong but that is basically what I was asking.

    Otherwise I could clean a drive I have and use CCC.

    The other problem I ran into was that once I had SL on the screen using the C key I was unable to go thru Disk Utility and select my drive and get an erase button. My earse button was dim or not functional. That seemed strange also.


    Did you get your reloaded ok?



  • Calculating status...

    I have a further question.  No backup of SL, but I want to revert to it.  If I do tedious copies of all files to a backup device running on Lion, will I be able to read them in SL?

  • Larryb227 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    As far as I know you should be able to.

    I think Kappy mentioned above that you make your copy with CCC and then restore from there.

    I used my TM to back up my files in SL before installing Lion.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    It depends what 'files' they are. If they are associated with Lion-only apps, or updates of apps since your Lion upgrade the chances are 'NO'.


    You won't, for example, be able to recover anything from Mail since the upgrade.


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