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install Snow Leopard on New Mac Pro

12944 Views 110 Replies Latest reply: Jun 23, 2013 8:07 PM by dcouzin RSS
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NickyCee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Apr 17, 2012 2:47 PM

I know there has been some discussion of installing Snow Leopard (SL) on a newly purchased 2010 Mac Pro that now comes shipped with Lion. I had to do a lot of legwork to come up with an actually very easy solution. I HAVE to have Rosetta and for Apple to not include this with Lion is truly unconscionable. I and many other make user have programs that we use every day that are not Intel.

 

Apple cannot tell you that you can install SL but it is actually very easy. Here is what I did:

 

When I received my brand new Mac Pro (MP) 3.33 (2010 model), I swapped out the main drive with an OWC Mercury 3G 240 SSD. I put my Lion drive to the side. I then booted the MP in target mode (just retsrt and hold down the "T" key). When booted into target mode, I plugged it into my Intel Mac Book Pro. You can use any Intel Mac though. I then plugged the MP into the Mac Book and the MP SSD showed up on the Mac Book Desktop. I reformatted the drive (1 partion but you can have more) and installed the SL 10.6.3 install disk into the Mac Book. I told the installer to install the drive on the newly formatted SSD that is present on my Mac Pro desktop. I installed SL to this target drive with no problem. The computer then restarted -- this is standard so don't be alarmed like I was. Once rebooted, I went through the first time user process I then installed the SL 10.6.8 Combo updater to the SSD.

 

I was then able to boot into the MP with no problems. To be safe, I then re-ran the 10.6.8 Combo updater and restarted. I then installed all the other updates for SL 10.6.8. I repaired permissions and that was that. DONE!

 

Now my brand new (1 week old delivered on 4/10/2012) MP 3.33 is FLYING with SL 10.6.8, an OWC SSD and Rosetta. I could not be happier!!

 

I have the Lion drive as a back up or if I need to call Applecare.

 

Please tell me if you have any question

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • FatMac\>MacPro Level 4 Level 4 (2,095 points)
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    Apr 18, 2012 8:28 AM (in response to NickyCee)

    NickyCee wrote:

     

    ...I then plugged the MP into the Mac Book and the MP SSD showed up on the Mac Book Desktop. I reformatted the drive (1 partion but you can have more) and installed the SL 10.6.3 install disk into the Mac Book. I told the installer to install the drive on the newly formatted SSD that is present on my Mac Pro desktop. I installed SL to this target drive with no problem. The computer then restarted -- this is standard so don't be alarmed like I was. Once rebooted, I went through the first time user process I then installed the SL 10.6.8 Combo updater to the SSD...

    Just so that I understand you, "the computer then restarted" means the Mac Pro, which was no longer in Target Disk Mode, and the "first time user process" refers to Snow Leopard's setup and file transfer process running on the Mac Pro?

     

    As you know, the SL retail installer refuses to install on the 2010 Mac Pro because it's 10.6.3 and the Install DVD that came with the pre-Lion Mac Pros was 10.6.4; it's been assumed that the reason was the lack of necessary drivers on the retail installer. Your finding tells us that's not so, and while the 10.6.8 combo updater trims things up, the new Mac Pro has basic functionality even with the generic 10.6.3 install. Good work!!

    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 5,1 6-core 24 GB 5870 27" LED ACD
  • Ricks ricks@macgurus.com Level 6 Level 6 (11,515 points)
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    Apr 18, 2012 9:34 AM (in response to NickyCee)

    Nice!

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,600 points)
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    Apr 18, 2012 9:35 AM (in response to NickyCee)

    People have been sweating (use your own terms) over Rosetta for the last year since it was leaned about.

    People bought their Macs to avoid Lion.

    Lion = iDevic-ification of the OS

     

    However,

     

    OS 8.1 brought HFS+ : needed

    OS 9.1 finally pulled the last as much of the 68k code that eliminated bugs, problems, got the Finder "slightly" better and VM to work.

     

    Took a lot longer to get PowerPC code base transitioned to Intel, with "oh just use Cocoa code compilers" and Universal Binary.

     

    There is close symmetry and control to get the OS to work with hardware; and there is strangle-hold.

     

    Announcing back with the first Intel based systems that software would all have to transition in the next 5 yrs from PowerPC to Universal (bridge) to Cocoa/Intel code only...? hard to sell and market.

     

    The first Mac Pro 10.4.7 and we saw pain of all the drivers worked to follow the rules (known) about address space and how to write drivers and how to deal with the beginnings of 4GB address and 64-bit OS (but not full 64-bit OS and processors just yet).

     

    10.4.x and Rosetta had a 2GB RAM penalty and performance penalty and more issues with CS2 than some wanted so they waited for CS3 at a minimum before jumping to Mac Pro.

  • YYR123 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Apr 18, 2012 9:39 AM (in response to NickyCee)

    I plan on keeping this system and software combo for 10 years

     

     

     

    I know what you mean.....

  • FatMac\>MacPro Level 4 Level 4 (2,095 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 9:44 AM (in response to NickyCee)

    Thank you for the clarification. That sounds  consistent with the experience of other users. Your method offers a relatively straightforward way to get SL installed.  I suspect the main proviso is that the Mac you are running the SL install from has to be supported by the retail installer. Then the rerunning of the 10.6.8 combo update while booted on the Mac Pro customized the installation for that Mac.

  • SQUONK2 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 9:17 AM (in response to NickyCee)

    Thanks for posting this. I just purchased a new July 2010 Mac Pro thinking it was preloaded with Snow Leopard. It arrived loaded with Lion. Return/restocking is too expensive, so I'm forced to try your option. I have no experience doing this sort of thing. I just ordered OWC SSD. I'm going to follow your instructions step by step. I have a SL10.6.8 Mac Book Pro to do the process. I have a new, unopened SL 10.3 disc to use for installation on the new drive. I'm unsure about the SL Combo Updater to get to 10.6.8. Did you download from here?

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1399

     

    How did you install? Sorry for the simple questions. This is all new territory for me.

     

    Thanks for the help!

  • SQUONK2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2012 2:30 PM (in response to NickyCee)

    Thanks for posting this solution! I followed your instructions faithfully and the new Mac Pro with OWC SSD is running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 just fine! The only weird thing is that during the setup of SL it took the name of my Mac Book Pro that I was using to accomplish the install. Not the end of the world, but the Mac Pro calls itself "My Name's Mac Book Pro." I don't know if there's a way to change this without reinstalling. If not, it's certainly something I can live with.

     

    Thanks again for posting this solution. It was a BIG help!!!

  • DaveD2 Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)
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    May 17, 2012 12:32 AM (in response to SQUONK2)

    You can change the name of your machine in System Preferences>Sharing.

  • Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,255 points)
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    May 17, 2012 10:50 PM (in response to NickyCee)

    Thank you for your research and your post.

     

    At our organization we are not allowed to purchase a computer that does not have “save as” available with all applications.

     

    Also, all of our mail programs must have the feature “Bounce”.

     

    We are also required to have optical drives as well, of course that's not a problem with a Mac Pro (for now).

  • SQUONK2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2012 1:29 PM (in response to DaveD2)

    Awesome! Thanks for the help for this newbie!

  • PixelbenderX Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2012 9:20 PM (in response to SQUONK2)

    Thanks to all for the postings.

     

    SQUONK2:

    I am very, very interested to learn if your "New" Mac Pro is, in fact, the recently updated Model # MD770LL/A.

    Or did you install Sno Leo on the previous (2010) Model # MC560LL/A?

    Both the above, are Quad processor models. So, if you have a higher end machine – please post your model number.

     

    It is vital to know if the newly shipping Mac Pro towers will fully function (DVD, Monitor Ports ...) after downgrading.

    I understand the 2010 models, which shipped until a few weeks ago, will.

     

    Thanks again to you and anyone who can verify downgrading the marginally updated Mac Pros.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,600 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2012 4:20 AM (in response to Ziatron)

    Bounce has one side effect, it guarantees that the spam etc reached a real person!

    That is exactly what some spam and phishers want.

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