9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2013 1:19 AM by MlchaelLAX
Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)

Hi all,

I am trying to instal 10.6 Snow Leopard onto my 2011 Macbook Air (Lion native). I have followed many of the instructions listed in related posts, but cannot get the MBAir to boot from the Snow Leopard disc. I have created a USB install disc and it shows when starting up holding the option key. I select it as the boot device and the machine just sits at the gray screen with Apple logo for hours. I did read there could be a firmware issue that won't allow it to boot from a Snow Leopard disc, but I really need to have Snow Leopard cos of the Rosetta support. I tried the install disc with a USB disc drive and got the same result.


Any and all input most welcome

Thanks in advance


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 24", 1.6GHz MacBook Air, iPhone4
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (278,390 points)

    Update it to Mac OS X 10.6.8 if it's not already running that OS version. If it already is, not without running Mac OS X Server in emulation.



  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)

    Thanks for your reply. It is running Lion 10.7.3 and I want to get rid of it cos I have a lot of older software that will only run with Rosetta. I don't want to spend a couple of grand updating all my software. I just want to install Snow Leopard.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,970 points)

    if it came with Lion installed you cannot get it to boot Snow Leopard.


    Your only option is to install Snow Leopard Server into a virtualization program such as Parallels 8:


    Photoshop red flag in SLS.png

                                  [click on image to enlarge]


    Apple is now selling Snow Leopard Server for $19.99 + sales tax & shipping costs at 1.800.MYAPPLE (1.800.692.7753) - Apple Part Number: MC588Z/A (telephone orders only).

  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)

    Digging up an old thread, but I think there may be a solution. Unfortunately, I don't have a 10.7 or 10.8 native machine to test it. Possibly, someone else could and post back.




    I recently updated an older OSX 10.5 MacBook to Mountain Lion in one step. I did this by changing the OSX plist file to 10.6.3 with software. Apparently, the install disc only reads the plist file to see which OS is installed. Therefor, you should be able to do the same to reverse the procedure on a 10.7 or 10.8 native machine to go back to Snow Leopard by rewriting the plist to a version of OSX previous to your Snow Leopard install disc. However, I dare say, you will void your warranty by doing so.




    Is anybody game to try this?


  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,970 points)

    Your suggestion, which I am sure was well intentioned, is completely unplausable.

  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)

    Why would you say that without any sort of reason? Have you tried it? If the installer only reads the OSX plist there is no reason why you can't fool it into believing an earlier version of OSX is installed. Once it has booted from the disc the hard drive can be erased and snow leopard installed.




    Please explain why you 'think' it is not plausible.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,970 points)

    Read this thread on how to install Snow Leopard on the "new" 2011 Mac Mini...



  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)

    Thanks, I have read that thread and many others, but none of them mention using Text Wranger (or similar) to rewrite the OSX plist file as a way of getting the Snow Leopard installer to boot. Some people have had success using target disc mode, which proves that it is possible (and plausable) to install Snow Leopard on a newer machine and that the drivers and firmware are compatible. I just can't believe it won't work without trying it.

  • MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,970 points)

    When I was young, I used to have a sign on my desk that read:


    "I CAN do the impossible; just not in 24 hours!"


    In those days, I was the first one to upgrade the OS and experiment with everything.


    Now: not so much!