13 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2012 2:08 AM by Mac_fool
Mac_fool Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

Hi there

 

We have a new iMac at work bought through Apple's refurb site. It is running the latest version of Lion with all firmware updates, etc. It is replacing a G5 running Tiger.

 

The problem is this – it is supposed to be running Adobe CS5, but also CS4 (and Office would be handly also)

 

We have other macs here, some running Leopard, some Snow Leopard, but the Adobe apps are not happy at all in Lion, and InDesign CS4 crashes all the time and won't even print without jumping through a million hoops (obviously the Office 2004 app won't run at all).

 

Due to the level of issues we are having with Lion (and the reliability of the all the software under Snow Leopard) I am looking to downgrade to Snow Leopard.

 

I have a full retail version of Snow Leopard (10.6.3), but the Lion system won't boot from the disk, it just gets to the grey screen, and beeps three times. I presume this means that there isn't the required drivers on the disk to run the hardware, or there's a firmware update that doesn't allow installation.

 

Am i totally stuck with this OS? I was looking to install Snow Leopard on a partiton, but when i run the install disk from the Lion desktop, it reports that I can't run it because 'I have Install Mac OS X 23.1.1.'

 

I would really like to just have Snow Leopard on my iMac, or failing that, Lion on a small partition, and Snow Leopard and all the programs on the larger partition that I would boot from.

 

Any ideas how I can get this done? Adobe CS suite is just rubbish on Lion macs, and runs worse than on my old Tiger mac.

 

Thanks in advance,

M.


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3), 2.5 Ghz Intel i5, 4Gb RAM (work)
  • 1. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    There is not way to downgrade a current Mac to Snow Leopard with a retail SL disc. Retail discs onlu have SL 10.6.3. To install SL on a new Mac you need at least 10.6.7

    If you have or can get a SL disc of that version, 10.6.7, or the 10.6.8 version you should be able to install it on the iMac.

  • 2. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Mac_fool Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Do Apple sell retail disks with this version of SL?

  • 3. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    No they don't.

  • 4. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Mac_fool Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Oh dear.

     

    OK, so I can't downgrade this iMac. I can live with that, but can I at least install SL on a partition? How can I do that if Lion won't run the installer and I can't boot from the disk?

     

    Here's an abstract idea - just off the top of my head. What about if I took a time machine backup from another SL 10.6.8 mac, and used the recovery disk to access the SL TM backup? If I could just get the OS on there to begin with, I can erase the apps and user data, and rebuild the system from there...

  • 5. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    Mac_fool wrote:

     

    Oh dear.

     

    OK, so I can't downgrade this iMac. I can live with that, but can I at least install SL on a partition? How can I do that if Lion won't run the installer and I can't boot from the disk?

     

    Here's an abstract idea - just off the top of my head. What about if I took a time machine backup from another SL 10.6.8 mac, and used the recovery disk to access the SL TM backup? If I could just get the OS on there to begin with, I can erase the apps and user data, and rebuild the system from there...

    You "CAN" downgrade it but you need a specific version of SL to do so, 10.6.7 or 10.6.8.

     

    Your TM idea may work or it may not. Only one way to tell is to try it. But if you have some Nearly New Mac's that came with a White SL disc of 10.6.7 that may work also.

  • 6. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Mac_fool Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    I'm afraid the newest SL disk we have here is 10.6.3. As far as I know, when you buy a mac, you only get s grey disk that only works on that formfactor – i.e. you can't use that disk on an OLD G5, or a macbook, or MacPro.

     

    If the only retail disk that is available is 10.6.3, then I'm pretty much screwed.

     

    What about installing SL from the 10.6.3 retail disk on a partition? Has Apple denied me that too?

  • 7. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    The 10.6.3 retail disc does not have the proper drivers for the newest Mac computers and will not install. In fact it won't even boot the system to the installer.

     

    Some of the Late 2010 and early 2011 models had White 10.6.7/.8 discs included. The early 13" MBP I had came with one of those.

     

    If you can find a 10.6.7 or .8 disc, ISO or DMG that is all you need.

     

    Depending on the age of your refurbed iMac you may be able to call Apple and get an original replacement disc that came with that system, before it was sent back to be refurbished. Only Apple can answer that.

  • 8. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Mac_fool Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Got a 'Heath-Robinson' solution. Requires a £10 Firewire 800 cable.

     

    1) Erase and reinstall Lion iMac.

    2) Partition Lion iMac HDD (Mac A, for argement's sake), giving most HDD over to blank partion (keeping Lion Partion about 30Gb). Shut down Mac A.

    3) Link new Lion iMac to Snow Leopard Mac (Mac B) via Firewire 800 cable. Restart Mac A holding down 'T' key (target disk mode).

    4) When the new Mac A's partitions are mounted on Mac B's desktop, put SL retail disk in and run installer from there, installing Mac A's larger partition.

    5) Temporarily change default start-up disk on Mac B to new Mac A's SL partiton. Restart Mac B, and run all software updates to SL to get it up to SL 10.6.8.

    6) Change Mac B's startup disk back to it's own HD, and shut down both macs.

    7) Start up Mac A holding 'alt' key, and select SL partition as default startup disk.

    8) Once booted up, start installing apps.

  • 9. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Mac_fool Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Left a message with Apple. who will call me back tomorrow. Hopefully they will be able to furnish me with the disks necessary to render all the target mode rigmarole unecessary.

     

    Holy cow...

     

    Thanks for your help anyway, Shootist. You are a star.

  • 10. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    That won't work as 10.6.3 DOES NOT have the proper drivers fpr NEW Macs. Sure it may install but it won't boot.

     

    Use SuperDuper to Clone from Mac B to Mac A.

  • 11. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Mac_fool Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    oh right - so clone Mac B onto Mac A HD in taget disk mode using SuperDuper (or Carbon Copy Cloner), then i'll be able to boot Mac A in SL.

     

    I understand that Mac A wouldn't boot, I was going to make Mac A's SL partition the start-up partition for Mac B, and then try and install OS updates to 10.6.8 from Mac B. Once updates are installed - change Mac B's startup disk back, and then surely Mac A would be able to boot all on it's own.

     

    Anyway, I guess if I ever need to reinstall again, I'd have to go through the whole rigmarole again, as I don't have a 10.6.8 disk :/

     

    Cheers.

  • 12. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    FatMac>MacPro Level 4 Level 4 (2,380 points)

    Mac_fool wrote:

     

    oh right - so clone Mac B onto Mac A HD in taget disk mode using SuperDuper (or Carbon Copy Cloner), then i'll be able to boot Mac A in SL.

     

    I understand that Mac A wouldn't boot, I was going to make Mac A's SL partition the start-up partition for Mac B, and then try and install OS updates to 10.6.8 from Mac B. Once updates are installed - change Mac B's startup disk back, and then surely Mac A would be able to boot all on it's own...

    I'm not sure if this would work in Target Disk Mode, but if you succeed in cloning Mac B to Mac A, you may be able to apply the Combo 10.6.8 update to Mac A while booting from Mac B. The key is that the Combo updater may be able to customize the Snow Leopard installation for the hardware it's actually being applied to. Unless I missed it, we don't really know which iMac you have since it's a refurb. According to Mactracker, only the Late 2011 21.5" comes only with Lion and might not accept Snow Leopard at all. At the same time, it has the same Model Identifier as the Mid 2011, which came with 10.6.6 or 10.6.7 so it might work.

     

    If at that point Mac A does boot in Snow Leopard, I'd advise running the 10.6.8 Combo updater again while booting from Mac A just to be safe.

  • 13. Re: How to Downgrade to Snow Leopard from Retail disk
    Mac_fool Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Just as an update, I just bit the bullet and stayed with Lion. I kept my older mac for doing 'Legacy' work in Quark 6.5 office etc, got OpenOffice on the new mac, and CS4 and CS5.5 seem to be playing fine for now.