8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2012 9:59 PM by babowa
jerry kaplan Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)

I currently have a imac running snow leopard and also have a spare hard drive. I would like to upgrade my imac to mountain lion but I also have some legacy programs that are not yet mountain lion friendly.


Is it possible to copy my snow leopard system and my legacy programs to my external drive. I don't have the install disk for snow leopard as my computer originally came with leopard and I upgraded later to snow leopard. Would it be possible to install leopard instead?


I can't clone the entire hard drive with superduper as the external drive doesn't have sufficient space. I just need to transfer the snow leopard system and several programs and data.


Any suggestions?



imac 20 , Mac OS X (10.6.8), 2.66 GHz core 2 duo
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,440 points)

    Unless you have the system disk, I don't believe so; how did you upgrade to Snow Leopard without a disk? It is available from Apple (you need to call them) for about $20 or online resellers for more than that. Then yes, you can do that. I am running Mountain Lion and still have a Snow Leopard partition with its own clone on an external drive (I also still have the install disks).

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (48,555 points)

    If you clone it to a properly formatted external hard drive, you should be able to boot from the external drive. After testing to be sure the clone is capable of booting, you can upgrade the internal drive to Mountain Lion.


    I have done that numerous times with various different versions of OS X and not had anyn problems with that procedure what so ever.



  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,650 points)

    All you have to do is Clone your internal drive, with Snow Leopard, to an External and then when you need to run the older programs just Boot the system from that external. You use either Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper to do the Cloning.


    It is best to have a separate drive to put the clone of Snow Leopard on. Although you can do it to a separate partition on the external you now have.



    When you do the clone it will WIPE the drive or partition you are cloning to. So don't clone to a drive you have data you want to save.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,440 points)

    I didn't mention a clone because the OP said that he was not able to clone because the external drive was not large enough, so I assumed all he wanted to start with was the OS itself. The free SuperDuper version will not allow choosing/excluding anything - it's all or nothing.

  • jerry kaplan Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)

    My imac came with leopard and I purchased the snow leopard upgrade DVD. I don't think the upgrade disk would work or would it? If not would it be possible to install leopard on the external drive as I have that install disk and even upgrade it to snow leopard with my upgrade disk?



  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,440 points)

    As far as I know, as long as it is the retail upgrade disk, you should be able to use it for an install - it was called an upgrade, but quite a few people used it as a standalone installer. One of the differences was that that disk does not have iLife included whereas the machine specific disk did. As long as you have nothing on the external drive that you don't want to lose and have it formatted properly, there is no harm in trying to install SL from the disk. I've not tried that because I cloned the entire system to an external.

  • jerry kaplan Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)

    Thanks for your advice. It worked and I was able to use the upgrade disk to install snow leopard on the external drive.



  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,440 points)

    Glad to hear that worked and thanks for the feedback!