Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Mar 2, 2013 8:07 AM by Michael Grenadier
Chris Howe Level 1 (85 points)

I just posted this to the Snow Leopard group.  Thought maybe this group might have an opinion.



I bought a Mac Pro over two years ago with Snow Leopard.  Everything was fine.  Servicing an iphone had me upgrade to Mountain Lion - tech's advice.  I did not know what a disaster that would be.  But has been to the point where I want to go back to Snow Leopard.  A few questions.


-Does the software exist to do this?  Apple sells an upgrade online for $20.  Having software that will completely install the OS is penultimate.


-This would mean copying everything off my Mac HD reformatting and installing the OS?


-I would then have to reinstall all my software?


It sounds like agony, but many of my applications aren't running well.  I just discovered that DVD Studio Pro is behaving very badly - like I don't think I can use it at all anymore.  The options here on out are not optimal.


Mountain Lion has been no fun with my "Legacy" programs.

OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Decklink Extreme HD 3D PCIe card
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,914 points)

    Downgrade Lion/Mountain Lion to Snow Leopard


      1. Boot from your Snow Leopard Installer Disc. After the installer

          loads select your language and click on the Continue

          button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the

          Utilities menu.


      2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the

          mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status

          of the drive in DU's status area.  If it does not say "Verified" then

          the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing.  SMART

          info will not be reported  on external drives. Otherwise, click on

          the Partition tab in the DU main window.


      3. Under the Volume Scheme heading set the number of partitions

          from the drop down menu to one. Set the format type to Mac OS

          Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, set the

          partition scheme to GUID then click on the OK button. Click on

          the Partition button and wait until the process has completed.


      4. Quit DU and return to the installer. Install Snow Leopard.


    This will erase the whole drive so be sure to backup your files if you don't have a backup already. If you have performed a TM backup using Lion be aware that you cannot restore from that backup in Snow Leopard (see below.) I suggest you make a separate backup using Carbon Copy Cloner.


    If you have Snow Leopard Time Machine backups, do a full system restore per #14 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions.  If you have subsequent backups from Lion, you can restore newer items selectively, via the "Star Wars" display, per #15 there, but be careful; some Snow Leopard apps may not work with the Lion files.


    Upgrading to Snow Leopard


    You can purchase Snow Leopard through the Apple Store: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Apple Store (U.S.). The price is $19.99 plus tax. You will be sent physical media by mail after placing your order.


    After you install Snow Leopard you will have to download and install the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1 to update Snow Leopard to 10.6.8 and give you access to the App Store. Access to the App Store enables you to download Mountain Lion if your computer meets the requirements.


         Snow Leopard General Requirements


           1. Mac computer with an Intel processor

           2. 1GB of memory

           3. 5GB of available disk space

           4. DVD drive for installation

           5. Some features require a compatible Internet service provider;

               fees may apply.

           6. Some features require Apple’s MobileMe service; fees and

               terms apply.

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,958 points)

    Chris Howe wrote:


    -Does the software exist to do this?


    Yes; it is your original grey System Install DVD. Boot from it with the disc inserted while holding the c key. You do not need to purchase the $20 Snow Leopard upgrade DVD unless you no longer have your original DVD, in which case you should purchase a replacement from Apple.


    -This would mean copying everything off my Mac HD reformatting and installing the OS?


    -I would then have to reinstall all my software?




    Mountain Lion has been no fun with my "Legacy" programs.


    In many cases that is correct. You would be better off updating them than reverting to an OS that whose support will eventually end.

  • Chris Howe Level 1 (85 points)

    Thank you.  Yes, I understand what you're saying, looking at the life of Snow Leopard.  Many software choices are, I don't if I'll say poor.  How about radical and expensive.  Final Cut Studio was great.


    The realization that I might be up against an unfixable bug in DVD Studio Pro was devastaing.  They don't make it anymore.  Not a step forward.

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,958 points)

    You can install Snow Leopard on an external HDD or a partition, and keep Mountain Lion for programs that require it now or in the future.


    If you need Snow Leopard to run older programs such as Final Cut Studio, just boot SL using Startup Manager.

  • Chris Howe Level 1 (85 points)

    Okay, once I am booting to Snow Leopard from a flash drive, let's say, I would then need to install specific programs I am interested in using?  I did that with a second flash boot drivee of Mountain Lion for use with Disk Warrior.  The strange thing is I installed Diskwarrior from that other boot.  I just don't know where the application file went.  Not in the applications folder of the second installation.  I may have to install Final Cut Studio in full.  I don't know if I cherry pick.  I'll check.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    Here are some tips on installing OS and apps.



    And once you have a stable OS/Application combo, I strongly suggest that you clone your startup drive.  This way, if things go south after an upgrade or corruption or crash or whatever, you can quickly get back to work.


  • Chris Howe Level 1 (85 points)

    Thank you.  This is helpful.  I guess it would be good if I just went out and got a new external 1TB drive for the clone.  I used to use Carbon Copy Cloner.  I believe it is on an older Mac that I still have access to.  I don't know if I still have the installer.  Perhaps I can just copy the app.  We'll see.


    One thing I'm confused about.  I recently made a Mountain Lion secondary boot disk.  And I installed Diskwarrior on it.  But I have know idea where the new application went to, physically.  It's not in the application folder of the second drive.  I'm just thinking when I install FCS on this second boot disk, where will I be filling up space?

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    yeah, an external drive should work.  You'll need to partition it correctly (GUID) so that it'll be bootable. 


    If you installed diskwarrior, it should be in the applications folder.  Are you sure you installed it on the correct drive?  Do a spotlight search for diskwarrior.  If you can't find it, reinstall it.

  • Ronnie Pudding Level 2 (415 points)

    I'm surprised no one has suggested installing Snow Leopard on a seconde internal drive in the MacPro. (You are operating on a Mac Pro desktop and not a lapttop, right?) I could be misinterpreting John's "external HDD or partition" too narrowly, but a dual-boot system would be the ideal solution to your problem, and a second internal drive is the best way to accomplish this. You could still maintain your Mountain Lion environment and restore your efficient Snow Leopard-based Final Cut Suite.

  • Chris Howe Level 1 (85 points)

    I probably will not need Snow leopard.  I performed a repair permissions, repair disk, delete cookies and cache, and that fixed the DSP Muxing halt during build and format lockup issues..  Thanks.

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,958 points)



    I did not intend to imply that your Snow Leopard boot partition must be external. You can install SL on any bootable volume.


    DiskWarrior is not necessary and can do nothing beneficial. DW is a last resort option to repair a volume that has already suffered a failure in which loss of data has already occurred. External backup hard disk drives are available for not much more than the cost of DiskWarrior.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 7 (20,340 points)

    what?  Diskwarrior has saved my life a few times.  It does one thing, and one thing only.  It find problems in the file allocation table and fixes them.  I've had it fix drives that disk utility couldn't.  Whether it has any prophylactic benefit is something I've never gotten a definitive answer to.  Errors in the file allocation table can increase over time until a drive will not mount or files will be corrupted.  It's not a bad idea to run it on a drive after you have a crash, partricularly if files were being written or read from the drive at the time of the crash.   And I've never had it casue any problems.    Having diskwarrior installed on an alternate boot volume doesn't have any downside that I can see. 

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,958 points)

    Michael Grenadier wrote:


    ...  It does one thing, and one thing only.  It find problems in the file allocation table and fixes them.


    Then erase the volume and restore it from your backup. Problem solved, $100 saved.

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,880 points)

    I second Diskwarrior as an indispensable tool for a working editor. It has fixed drives for me that Disk Utility could not. Diskwarrior's ability to quickly and accurately rebuild and replace a corrupt drive directory, when working on deadline, (or with drives where the back-up copy is across the continent) makes the price irrelevant. It has saved me many times its cost in downtime.





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