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Downgrading a mid 2011 iMac to Snow Leopard

1299 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Nov 23, 2013 5:57 PM by MlchaelLAX RSS
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davetheraver Calculating status...
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Apr 2, 2013 11:06 AM

Hi

 

I originally bought a mid 2011 21.5 inch imac around May 2011 and it shipped with Snow Leopard, it came with a iMac Mac OS X Install DVD 10.6.7 version.

 

I purchaed another Imac a few months later and it shipped with Lion, I tried to reinstall Snow Leopard using a Disk Image from my retail version but it did not accept, I tried with the DVD I got with the ealier iMac and hey presto it worked.

 

I have since upgraded to a few of 27 inch iMacs, all mid 2011 and most recentty the top entry mid 2011 3.4 i7 iMac. All of these have shipped with Lion but I always use the DVD I got from from my first mid 2011 iMac to donwgrade to snow leopard.

 

My question is this really that bad? I have heard that the chips and stuff may differ and not work as well with snow leopard or Lion, but then surley upgrading a osx would be the same?

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,445 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 11:09 AM (in response to davetheraver)

    No, it isn't bad. If it was, you'd just have gotten a black screen and three beeps when you tried booting it from the DVD.

     

    (79981)

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 11:28 AM (in response to davetheraver)

    The magic you have discovered is because of the following:

     

    The Retail version of the Mac OS X Snow Leopard Install DVDs came in either 10.6 or 10.6.3 flavors.  The 2011 iMac requires a minimum of 10.6.7 to boot and install; hence the reason why your retail disc did not work.

     

    The Restore DVD that comes with this model is a 10.6.7 version of Snow Leopard that will only work on these models.  Apparently Apple did not change the firmware in these upgraded Lion models to prohibit the use of SL.

     

    There is another thread on this forum that discusses in detail the much harder installation of SL onto the 2011 Mac Mini, which only shipped with Lion.  That thread also has some iMac comments and comments about drivers, too. 

     

    Maybe I can get Ogelthorpe to chime in here, too...

  • Michael98366 Calculating status...
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    Apr 2, 2013 1:05 PM (in response to MlchaelLAX)

    I just purchased a new mid 2011 21.5" iMac. I purchased this model because of the built in CD/DVD drive. It came with Mac OS 10.8, and none of my older applications will run. I want to downgrade to SL so I purchased the Mac OS 10.6.3 retail DVD. The iMac will not boot from the DVD. I get a blank screen and a repeating three beeps. How do I obtain the 10.6.7 version?

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,445 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 1:11 PM (in response to Michael98366)

    If you can't obtain that computer's original disks(phone Apple), use another Mac to install the 10.6.3 DVD onto an external drive and run the 10.6.8 combo updater on it.

     

    (79989)

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)
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    Apr 10, 2013 10:08 AM (in response to Michael98366)

    <Edited By Host>

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,425 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 2:10 PM (in response to Michael98366)

    Michael98366, greetings;  The retail DVD as such is useless in your situation of trying to install Snow Leopard directly.  What you need to do is to access a Mac that came with Snow Leopard or can accept the 10.6.3 DVD and update the OS to 10.6.8.  Once that is done you may download it to an external HDD and then clone it on your iMac.

     

    I have done this on Macbook Pros and this was recently successfully done on a Mac Mini.  Since davetheraver has been successful with using the original install disks from his iMac on other 2011 iMacs, I suspect that this should work for you.  I have Lion and had a partition with Snow leopard on my late 2011 MBP so I suspect that you might wish to partition your HDD as well.  Obviously that is up to you.

     

    If you choose to try this, please let me know the results.

     

    Ciao.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)
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    Apr 2, 2013 4:42 PM (in response to davetheraver)

    davetheraver wrote:

     

    ...I have heard that the chips and stuff may differ and not work as well with snow leopard or Lion, but then surley upgrading a osx would be the same?

    Actually in the upgrading process, they attempt to include new drivers for all appropriate hardware, in your case the iMac.  That is the problem with downgrading: some new hardware on your iMac may not have had appropriate drivers installed by the downgrade to 10.6.7 (even with the eventual upgrade to 10.6.8).  This is where doing some research on new drivers comes in and my request to you for an email of the scan of the SL receipt...

     

    ...and don't call me Surley!

  • Michael98366 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Apr 10, 2013 9:51 AM (in response to MlchaelLAX)

    I am thinking of trying a different approach. I read your instructions for running SL (with Rosetta) as a virtual machine within Parallels. Can you do the same within Fusion5? Do I have to obtain the server version of SL, or can I use the client version that came on the SL (10.6.3) installation disk I purchased from Apple?

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)
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    Apr 10, 2013 1:01 PM (in response to Michael98366)

    I have no experience with installing Snow Leopard into VMWare Fusion.

     

    In my thread for Installing SL in Parallels on MacRumors there is a member named gilby101, who apparently has used my instructions to work for him installing SL into Fusion.  Contact him over on MacRumors for more help.

     

    However my understanding is that VMWare does make it easy to install Snow Leopard Server into Fusion.  The additional $19.99 may be worth the hassle saved by attempting to use Snow Leopard client in Fusion.

  • ItsMyTechFlavour Calculating status...
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    Nov 23, 2013 11:18 AM (in response to davetheraver)

    No, no harm done.

    But I don't suggest installing Snow Leopard since Lion is so much Better.

     

     

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 points)
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    Nov 23, 2013 5:02 PM (in response to ItsMyTechFlavour)

    Not IMO. I got that machine (refurb) expressly so I could run SL.

    27&quot; i7 iMac SL, MLion, OS X Mavericks (10.9), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,530 points)
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    Nov 23, 2013 5:45 PM (in response to baltwo)

    You two do realize that you are debating a 7 month stale post?

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 points)
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    Nov 23, 2013 5:55 PM (in response to MlchaelLAX)

    I was only commenting on today's posting by the previous poster. Nothing at all to do with the original thread.

    27&quot; i7 iMac SL, MLion, OS X Mavericks (10.9), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
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