Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2014 12:37 PM by Romendacil
MadFranko Level 1 (5 points)



Can someone please tell me how I can downgrade from OSX Lion to Snow Leopard on my brand new 27" iMac.


I spoke to Apple over a week ago on the phone and explained that I wanted to downgrade to Snow Leopard and the chap I spoke to sold me the Snow Leopard upgrade disk and not the full installion DVD, I already own the Snow Leopard upgrade disk so now I have two copies and I can't use them to downgrade.


All I get when I insert the DVD is a message saying "you can't use this version of the application Install Mac Os X with this version of Mac OS X"...


Could someone please tell me exactly what Snow Leopard disks/ DVD I need to purchase (and where) for me to install Snow Leopard on my iMac. I have seen lots of different "versions" on eBay & Amazon with vastly differing prices but how do I know which disks I need to buy as I don't want to end up purchasing a third "Upgrade only" versionof Snow Leopard.


Thank you for any help you can give me with this...

iMac (27-inch Mid 2011), Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • Niel Level 10 (298,591 points)

    You need to reboot from the DVD(hold down the C or Option keys at startup) instead of trying to open the installer when the computer is booted into Lion.


    If this only produces three beeps, use a different Mac to install the OS onto an external drive and update the system to 10.6.8. Try booting the computer from that drive.


    If it still only produces three beeps, you can't without running Mac OS X Server in emulation.



  • MadFranko Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks, I'll give it a try but I beleive my Snow Leopard DVDs are only the "upgrade" versions (10.6.3) and without having either Leopard already installed it wont work as they are not the full instaltion DVDs that I require...


    I'll give it a try anyway and see what happens.

  • MadFranko Level 1 (5 points)

    It didn't work...


    Three beeps and then nothing...


    I can't use a different mac as the only other macs I have are G5 iMacs which are PPC machines and SNow Leopard is Intel.


    What I really need to know is what install disks do I need to buy to install Snow Leopard on this iMac as the ones I have already bought require either Leopard to be installed already to upgrade to Snow Leopard and the only original install disks I have are the ones for my PPC iMac G5's (Leopard) which don't work either on this Intel machine.

  • Niel Level 10 (298,591 points)

    Basically, no installation disks will work; Apple never released systems beyond 10.6.3 on retail DVDs, and the machine-specific ones won't work either unless you happen to come across a set designed for that specific Mac.


    The issue in which the computer beeps three times at startup happens because the disks are too old for that Mac, not because they are upgrade disks; full install disks would do the same thing.



  • Russa Level 4 (1,315 points)

    You have a brand new Mac with Lion and you want to go backwards to Snow Leopard?  Don't suggest doing that since you will be behind by 2 major MacOS releases. Suggest you install Mountain Lion.


    If you do have a new iMac, then suggest you submit your request for a "free upgrade" to Mountain Lion from Apple. You have 30 days from the date of purchase to accomplish this. Otherwise, take the $19 hit and buy M/L upgrade from the App Store.

  • MadFranko Level 1 (5 points)

    Now I'm totally confused !!!


    When this iMac was fist released it came with Snow Leopard as standard (10.6.6), unfortunately the one I have bought came with Lion so it should be able to run Snow Leopard as it's only that Apple have decided to inculde Lion with it when purchased now.


    Plus why would Apples sales staff sell me the Snow Leopard disk when I explained to them exactly what I wanted to do and they knew the full details of the machine I have just bought, so there has to be some way of installing Snow Leopard on it, or I've been conned by Apples sales staff...


    So far I'm left with a very expensive new computer with an OS that's not suitable for my needs, Apple sells me the wrong disk and their technical support won't help and send me to this forum to ask other Mac users what to do...


    What kind of service is this by Apple !!!


    Pretty shoddy to be honest, when you pay so much for a machine and they send you to a forum to try and find the answer to what should be a relativly simple problem...


    Thanks for your help and advice anyway, first thing tommorow I'm giving Apple a call to ask to speak to someone this time who knows what their talking about and can solve this for me abd not sell me another disk that I can't even use.


    PS: I have been assured the Snow Leopard disks I have bought are indeed only upgrade disks that require Leopard to be installed first to use them to upgrade and are not full install disks that could be used from scratch...

  • Russa Level 4 (1,315 points)

    .. upgrade to Mountain Lion !

  • Niel Level 10 (298,591 points)

    There are two ways. One is to find a copy of the Mac OS X 10.6.6 original install DVDs which shipped with that model of Mac, and the other is to install 10.6.3 on another Mac and update that system to 10.6.8 as described above.



  • MadFranko Level 1 (5 points)

    Not sure why you suggest not doing so as OSX Lion is simply not good enough for what I want to use my Mac for. It has too many problems and annoying flaws with it that makes it a nightmare to use and causes all sorts of major headaches when it come to video editing (the main purpose for which I bought it).


    I know what I want and what I need and Snow Leopard would be perfect and will be without the problems Lion causes let alone make things even worse by upgrading to Mountain Lion.

  • MadFranko Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks for that info, at least now I know what version of the Snow Leopard disks are I shall have to find...


    Unfortunatly my other iMacs are PPC G5's so I cant use them to with the Snow Leopard upgrade disks I have, so In guess I'll just have to scour eBay and find the 10.6.6 ones...


    Never realised Apple makes it next to impossible to set up a machine you pay them a small fortune for to the way that actaully suits the user... seems crazy to me...

  • William Lloyd Level 7 (21,040 points)

    Installing an OS version on a Mac older than the version it came with is not supported.  There's an Apple knowledge base article on this:



    It's no surprise you're having a difficult time.  Maybe you need to upgrade your video editing software.

  • Lanny Level 5 (6,944 points)

    Thanks, I'll give it a try but I beleive my Snow Leopard DVDs are only the "upgrade" versions (10.6.3) and without having either Leopard already installed it wont work as they are not the full instaltion DVDs that I require...


    All of the so-called 10.6.3 upgrade discs were/are full installer discs. Hold the C key down during a restart with SL DVD inserted. Or, after inserting the SL DVD, change the System Preferences Startup disk to the SL DVD and restart the Mac. After it boots, it's a slow boot process, open Disk Utilities and reformat the Lion partition as 1 partition. Then quit Disk Utilities and install SL. If you didn't make a backup from your previous SL partition, you'll have to reinstall all of your applications.

  • MadFranko Level 1 (5 points)

    I've already tried all of those methods using the 10.6.3 disks I bought, they simply don't work as I posted earlier.


    All that happens is the machine constantly bleeps 3 times in a row and the DVD drive stops spinning. I know booting from a DVD install disk is a slow process but no matter how long I leave it nothing happens except for the 3 bleeping sounds.


    Having scoured the net and spoken to Apple themselves all information tells me these 10.6.3 disks are actually for someone upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard.


    I have no idea why Apple sold me this version as before I ordered it I explained fully to the sales person what I was wanting to do and they had all the details of this mid 2011 iMac I have bought. So unless the sales person didn't have a clue what they were talking about then I should be able to "downgrade" to Snow Leopard on this iMac as even the specs for this model clearly state on that it originaly shipped with OS 10.6.6 (Snow Leapard)



    So there must be somewhere I can purchase these 10.6.6 install disks to "downgrade". Trouble is on Ebay or Amazon where you can buy Snow Leopard most of them are 10.6.3 or "retail" versions with no actual version numbers to let me know I'm buying the correct disk.


    Who would have thought setting up your computer could be a mission impossible task and why Apple don't help is simply a disgrace to be honest.

  • MadFranko Level 1 (5 points)

    The iMac I have just bought is the 27" i5 Mid 2011 model. This model originally shiiped with Snow Leopard 10.6.6 installed, unfortunatly mine has come with OS Lion installed (obviously apple upgraded the OS thinking the customer would like it) but I don't and simply want to go back to a more usable version of the OS that actually does what I require it too and doesn't muck everything up like Lion does.

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