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  • jill6 Level 1 (0 points)

    A week with my new MBA and still hopeful that there's some way to install Snow Leopard in a partition on this "Lion-only" machine.  Although the MBA lacks a firewire port, it does have a Thunderbolt port. Does anyone know if the Thunderbolt could be used to install SL in this method that seems to be working for many of you?  And if so, how?!  Sorry for my ignorance, but the Thunderbolt is a mystery to me, and I wondered if any of you might know.

  • paperqueen Level 1 (0 points)



    You're not being ignorant at all; given the fact Thunderbolt is a new concept, and so few peripherals are available for it (yet), few of us think beyond using it like a mini-display port. You're on safe ground.


    Like you, I'm still waiting to see if someone posts a solution for the physical side of all this. Those of us with new MBAs need an extra bit of assistance, since without firewire, there's not an obvious way to "hook things up."


    Anyone? Anyone? (Bueller? Bueller?)

  • sunnyhuckle Level 1 (20 points)

    Am so sorry, sweetie! If your new MacBook was "born with" Lion,. you cannot downgrade to Snow Leopard or earlier, no matter how much you might wish to! If you try to partition your Hard Disk and install Snow Leopard, your Mac will simply not work. Please believe me. The firmware for Lion will not boot the older Snow Leopard system.  The only way you can return to Snow Leopard, or any other earlier OS, is to buy a computer that origionally had the older operating system on it.


    If your computer previously ran Snow Leopard, then it can run Snow Leopard again. It cannot run any OS that is earlier than what it was "born with."

  • paperqueen Level 1 (0 points)


    Please re-read the thread, beginning with the first post. Not only is it possible, but a number of folks here have successfully partitioned their "born with Lion" MBAs. It works.



    Don't give up---it is possible. We just need someone to advise as to what physical connection is necessary since Airs lack a Firewire port.

  • Jason_Creative Level 1 (0 points)

    HI, I thought I'd share my problems and resolution to this seemingly large problem.


    I updated my macbook to 10.7 yesterday from SL and once completed realised I lossed all my entourage emails. I'm an avid mac user and have been for over 12 years now, so suggestions about people 'should know better' is a little unfair. I've been up nearly all night and have finaly resolved the issue.


    Granted, I'm running an old version of Office which is X1 so the import option wasn't avaiable to me. The only way I could get my emails back was to partition my hard drive to leave ebough room to install SL. I then booted from the SL install CD and installed to the blank partition. Once finished I then opened and installed Entourage and replaced the database with the one previously copied onto the external from 10.7 which wouldn't open. Once opened I could see all my emails. I then dragged the folders onto the desktop which saved as a MBOX file. I then re-booted the mac holding down the option key and chose the original hard drive with 10.7 installed to boot from.


    Once opened I then when to the new Office install, Outlook 2011, whent to:file > import > Messages from Text file > Import from MBOX file and this imported the emails back (with a big sigh of relief).


    I don't know if this has already been covered, but hopefuly if it can help someone out if they are in the sme sitution as me.

  • iblewitglassworks Level 1 (0 points)

    I completely agree that this is unaccetable.  I have spent almost $3000 for some of the most sophisticated Hardware I could get, and have found that it renders all my current computer/Audio hardware and software useless on it.  The hardware I bought is fully capable of what I want to use it for, but Apple has put huge limiters that would force me to buy all new hardware and Software???? This is rediculious.  I am returning this computer and buying an older used model so that I can get something that is more funcutional?????? 

    And when i call Apple, the attitude is that, I should have done my due dilligence (which i did but was mislead by apple) and that its the other manufactures faults for not staying compatible blah blah blah.


    It seems that in the APPLE world, we are all expected to buy brand new top of line everything every two years.  I say BS!

  • iblewitglassworks Level 1 (0 points)

    Please help,

    I have read this thread from the beginning several times each time hoping I could find a way.  I have an iMac that was shipped with Lion.  I have tried creating a partition and then booting from the OS Leopard CD that Apple Sold me for this purpose (and then today told me was not at all possible).  When I restart and try to boot from the CD, I  just get a continious tripple Beep and an Apple Logo.  How can I get past this?  I have spent hours reading forum and searching google.  The only other way I have found is to use two intel Macs and I don't have that luxury.

  • iblewitglassworks Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks this is such good clear instructions.  Excatly what I would expect from apple after paying $169 for applecare, but instead i have received no help and a placating "im understand, but it's your own fault" attitude.


    I do not have access to two macs.  is there a way to do this without two macs.  Can I format this drive and install Leopard first then Lion second?



  • johnn013 Level 1 (0 points)

    With a new Lion based Mac, you're in trouble.  If you have refurbished machine you may be in luck. . .


    I had same issue with a refurbished Mac Pro (5,1 - Mid 2010) I just ordered the beginning of February.  It had no indication of what OS to expect and came preinstalled with 10.7.2 (Lion).


    In the end, after a lot of research, this is what I've discovered:


    Go to apple support and look up your specific build as Kappy mentioned --


    Mac OS X versions (builds) for computers


    If your build came originally with Snow Leopard, mine originally shipped with 10.6.4, then you can certainly do it if nothing was refurbished on the machine that made it Lion specific. 


    Write down your serial number and Boot ROM (both found under "about this Mac"), and call Apple Care or use Express Lane.


    Get someone on the phone and have them run these numbers to make sure that your refurbished machine was not altered in any way that would not allow you to install Snow Leopard.  Then you need at least the version of Snow Leopard that the machine shipped with originally.


    Since mine came with 10.6.4, I can't use the retail disk which is 10.6.3.  I told Apple to send me the original install disk 10.6.4 because they were never shipped to begin with, Lion was preinstalled.


    They are shipping me 10.6.8 disks for free.  The latest version of Snow Leopard you can find.


    So to sum all this up, look up your build, find out which OS originally came with your specific build, call Apple and have them run your serial and Boot ROM numbers to make sure you are backwards compatible, and have them ship you the original install disks with at least the minimum version for your build.


    As a warning to anyone looking to buy a refurbished Mac specifiaclly for use with Snow Leopard, there is no way to know what it will be shipped with.  Best to check out the build before you buy and call to have them send you the install disks.

  • iblewitglassworks Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much that useful information.  It will be helpful to others out there.

    I checked this, and unfortunately the iMac I got cannot install Leopard.

    I have returned it and bought a used one.

    What a shame, and what a waste of time.  

    Thanks again for your help.

  • YaMar2332 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you! Thank you for great instructions. I just bought new 21.5 iMac and software I have to use would not work. I had MBP 2011 that was used as my second machine. I used thunderbolt instead of FireWire. The only funny thing is the retail install copy of snow leopard would not work but the grey disk that came with my MBP did work. Again thank you! Now I do not have to return new iMac for a used one. This only took me about 36 hrs to figure out and do. Way too long.

  • YaMar2332 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was able to do it on a brand new iMac I bought three days ago. I used thunderbolt instead of FireWire.

  • jill6 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm glad to read of your success.  May I ask more specifics of how you used Thunderbolt to link the two computers?  Do both your MBP and iMac have thunderbolt?  I have an iMac (running SnowLeopard) with firewire port, and MBA (Lion only, with extra empty partition) with thunderbolt.  Not thrilled to spend $50 on a Thunderbolt cable (plus adapter?!), but will do what's needed to move forward.  I have the grey disk with snow leopard OS. Still not sure how to proceed  (and hoping it will take far less than 36 hours trying!!).  Thanks for any further information.

  • YaMar2332 Level 1 (0 points)

    My iMac and my MacBook Pro both have thunderbolt. I used thunderbolt because it transfers data quicker than firewire. I did not take me 36 hours to do the actual transfer once I got the thunderbolt cable but I did spend 36 hours reading and trying other ways and reading more and going to the apple store etc. I think it took me 2 to 3 hours once I knew what I was going to do. I did T-Bowls instructions in this same thread that was posted on September 21, 2011. So just go to that post. I did use the grey disk but I tried to use the retail copy first and when that did not work I used the grey disk. I like lion and can't wait until the adobe flash encoder live software will work with it so I can go back to it. I am not sure how to do it if one has firewire and your other machine has thunderbolt but no firewire. maybe there is an adapter.

    here is a discussion on the the adaptor 

    Message was edited by: YaMar2332

  • drumminfootbaler Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried that, but when I booted with the disk in it just booted to lion as normal.

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