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Can I install snow leopard on a new imac that comes with Lion?
Old 13th September 2011
  #1
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John_McEnroe's Avatar
 

Can I install snow leopard on a new imac that comes with Lion?

I need to buy a new iMac for my studio but of course many third party plugins are not compatible with Lion yet. Is it possible to install snow leopard on a new 2011 iMac? If not I will be quite screwed heh.

I used the search function but couldn't find an answer to my exact question. Not trying to antagonize the forum police.
Old 13th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

yes but you need a retail 10.6.3 or higher install disk to do it.. you can use the lion serial
Old 13th September 2011
  #3
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Janne19691's Avatar
I would say you can.
Old 13th September 2011
  #4
dio
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It is not supported by Apple Don't install a version of Mac OS X earlier than what came with your Mac but you may succeed, especially if a 10.6.9 is released as rumored (though it will probably just include iCloud support).
Old 13th September 2011
  #5
Tui
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If you go to the Apple forum, there are people who report that they managed to install Snow Leopard (you need two Macs), but some report serious performance hits. It looks as if new Macs really are designed to run Lion.
Old 14th September 2011
  #6
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I called the apple store in soho and they say it shouldn't be a problem to install Snow Leopard as long as I have an original snow leopard disc and do a clean install. I wish this was more straightforward. Hopefully most soft ware will be lion compatible soon and it will become a non issue.
Old 14th September 2011
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janne19691 View Post
I would say you can.
Why?
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_McEnroe View Post
I need to buy a new iMac for my studio but of course many third party plugins are not compatible with Lion yet. Is it possible to install snow leopard on a new 2011 iMac? If not I will be quite screwed heh.

I used the search function but couldn't find an answer to my exact question. Not trying to antagonize the forum police.
I've attempted it on my new iMac, had major problems, worked around them and finally succeeded. It required having two macs.

When I originally tried to install SL on my new Mac, the Installer CD crashes pretty early on. To remedy this, I booted the new Mac in Target Disk mode, ran the SL installer on my old Mac and selected the new Mac as the install target. Presto, SL on the new made-for-lion iMac.

Hope this helps,
Dave
Old 14th September 2011
  #9
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Generally, this will not work. So don't buy a Mac banking on being able to do it..

However, the current iMacs were released before Lion came out. Lion has not been out long, so I'd bet some retailers have some older stock where they still have Snow Leopard installed. Perhaps worth calling around?

While I am here.. jcschild, Since when did ANY Mac OS use a serial??
Old 14th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDaveDave View Post
I've attempted it on my new iMac, had major problems, worked around them and finally succeeded. It required having two macs.

When I originally tried to install SL on my new Mac, the Installer CD crashes pretty early on. To remedy this, I booted the new Mac in Target Disk mode, ran the SL installer on my old Mac and selected the new Mac as the install target. Presto, SL on the new made-for-lion iMac.

Hope this helps,
Dave


Thanks for this. When I called apple they said it would work, and there are several articles online that say it can work if you get an install disc that originally shipped with an iMac from 2011 before Lion was released, but I am glad to hear about your method.

Have you noticed any performance hit with Snow Leopard as opposed to Lion on your new iMac?
Old 14th September 2011
  #11
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Drumslut's Avatar
 

Could it be that one possible problem is, that the drivers for the new motherboards (or other hardware) may not be included in the previous OS version?
Old 14th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_McEnroe View Post
I need to buy a new iMac for my studio but of course many third party plugins are not compatible with Lion yet.
Buy it from macmall or any of the many retailers that sell apple computers. Tad cheaper on memory upgrades, drives, etc. and no tax. Just speak to them and get it loaded with SL.
Old 14th September 2011
  #13
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I actually bought it already from the online apple store, so hopefully it all works out.

The new iMacs were released before Lion, so I am hopeful that it will just work. I do have access to another mac, so if installing right off the disc doesn't work I will try the target disc method suggested by davedavedave.
Old 14th September 2011
  #14
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As a former Apple Store employee and current IT person at a university, I can provide a slightly more specific answer.
Usually, when a new version of hardware comes out, it will have a special build of whatever the current OS version is. For instance, if the iMacs were released when 10.6.3 was the most current version, they would have had a special build of 10.6.3 on them with additional drivers for the new hardware. This special build is what would be found on the restore discs that came with the machine, but the version of 10.6.3 that everyone else downloads on their computers would NOT support the new hardware.
99% of the time, the next update, in this case 10.6.4, will bring all machines up to parity and have drivers for all of the hardware rolled in. I've discussed this with other IT members here on campus, and there was apparently one exception to this that they have seen, where it took Apple 2 updates (10.6.3>10.6.4>10.6.5) to roll all of the drivers in to the standard builds.
Unfortunately, Apple does not disclose this information ahead of or at the time of updates. If they did, our job would be significantly easier!
Our campus deals with this all of the time when they buy new hardware and have to roll it back to a previous OS. In fact, we're still on 10.6.8 as a campus right now, but we're planning to do OS updates more often. If any faculty members or lab managers buy a Macbook Air or Mac Mini, which were released with Lion, there's no way we can roll those back to 10.6.8, and we'll just have to deal with the occasional 10.7 island until the entire campus goes 10.7.

To summarize, find out what OS version the version of iMac you bought originally shipped with when the hardware revision was initially released. Locate a retail installation disc that comes with at least one version newer than that OR a restore disc that came with those machines back then and you should be good to go. In addition, the folks at the genius bar would likely be happy to do the roll back for you if you make an appointment, though I would call or stop in ahead of time to try and get someone to confirm this as it's probably not "officially" offered.
Old 14th September 2011
  #15
Tui
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Thanks for the info, ersheff, very interesting.
Old 14th September 2011
  #16
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ersheff's Avatar
 

I should add that none of that information officially comes from Apple (that I know of). It's all been determined via experiences and trial-and-error, so take it with a grain of salt. It could all change by tomorrow.
Old 14th September 2011
  #17
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John_McEnroe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ersheff View Post
As a former Apple Store employee and current IT person at a university, I can provide a slightly more specific answer.
Usually, when a new version of hardware comes out, it will have a special build of whatever the current OS version is. For instance, if the iMacs were released when 10.6.3 was the most current version, they would have had a special build of 10.6.3 on them with additional drivers for the new hardware. This special build is what would be found on the restore discs that came with the machine, but the version of 10.6.3 that everyone else downloads on their computers would NOT support the new hardware.
99% of the time, the next update, in this case 10.6.4, will bring all machines up to parity and have drivers for all of the hardware rolled in. I've discussed this with other IT members here on campus, and there was apparently one exception to this that they have seen, where it took Apple 2 updates (10.6.3>10.6.4>10.6.5) to roll all of the drivers in to the standard builds.
Unfortunately, Apple does not disclose this information ahead of or at the time of updates. If they did, our job would be significantly easier!
Our campus deals with this all of the time when they buy new hardware and have to roll it back to a previous OS. In fact, we're still on 10.6.8 as a campus right now, but we're planning to do OS updates more often. If any faculty members or lab managers buy a Macbook Air or Mac Mini, which were released with Lion, there's no way we can roll those back to 10.6.8, and we'll just have to deal with the occasional 10.7 island until the entire campus goes 10.7.

To summarize, find out what OS version the version of iMac you bought originally shipped with when the hardware revision was initially released. Locate a retail installation disc that comes with at least one version newer than that OR a restore disc that came with those machines back then and you should be good to go. In addition, the folks at the genius bar would likely be happy to do the roll back for you if you make an appointment, though I would call or stop in ahead of time to try and get someone to confirm this as it's probably not "officially" offered.

Hey thank you for this this is extremely helpful.
Old 14th September 2011
  #18
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ersheff View Post
I should add that none of that information officially comes from Apple (that I know of). It's all been determined via experiences and trial-and-error, so take it with a grain of salt. It could all change by tomorrow.
Sure, but thanks anyway. It somewhat puts into perspective what people have been reporting about their own experiences.
Old 14th September 2011
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_McEnroe View Post
Thanks for this. When I called apple they said it would work, and there are several articles online that say it can work if you get an install disc that originally shipped with an iMac from 2011 before Lion was released, but I am glad to hear about your method.

Have you noticed any performance hit with Snow Leopard as opposed to Lion on your new iMac?
I can't really say - Lion's running on an SSD and SL's on a PoHD (plain old HD )
Old 14th September 2011
  #20
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So I just went to the apple store and talked to them about it. They said that you can run SL on the new 2011 iMacs that ship with Lion no problem, but that you have to use the install discs that came with the 2011 iMacs before Lion was released (as has been suggested in this thread). They said that if I bring my computer in to them they can do the change for me no problem, or that I can order the correct disc for $16 directly by calling apple care.

Old 15th September 2011
  #21
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T_R_S's Avatar
I was told all imacs can run Snow Leopard when I ordered one yesterday. I would just have to supply my own copy of S.L as it is not included.
Old 15th September 2011
  #22
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Janne19691's Avatar
I would say you can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Why?
I am thinking Snow Leopard is not that far away from Lion. I would do it if needed.
Old 15th September 2011
  #23
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its the first thing i did when i got my new macbook pro. however, it was done by cloning my old drive with 10.6.8 with SuperDuper! from my old laptop and using my new one in firewire mode. after it was done and i restarted it everything has run smoooooooooothly. protools, logic, battery, all is well
Old 15th September 2011
  #24
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It is usually not advisable to run a backwards OS on a Mac. You might run into a few issues. It's ok on the other hand to upgrade a Mac to a new OS as long as it has the right requirements. You can always install Lion back if you run into trouble though.
Old 15th September 2011
  #25
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Are folks experiencing a lot of problems with lion and logic?
Should you downgrade to Snow Leopard before even trying with Lion?
Old 15th September 2011
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janne19691 View Post
I would say you can.

I am thinking Snow Leopard is not that far away from Lion. I would do it if needed.
Well exactly...you might THINK you can...but as these thread responses are showing, it's not that simple. If that were the case, why can't I install Tiger on my 2009 Mac Pro?

Unless you're an Apple programmer, why on earth do you think SL/Leopard are close to the same?

It really sounds like you're guessing - which is not what is needed here! you're just adding unsubstantiated opinion to the topic. Now if you actually HAD done it, their would be value in your comment.
Old 15th September 2011
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardwizard View Post
Are folks experiencing a lot of problems with lion and logic?
Should you downgrade to Snow Leopard before even trying with Lion?
Lots of software/plugins aren't yet lion qualified. Basically, it's make or break thing for a pro studio - if you can't run SL on a new mac, then you can't be upgrading yet.
Old 15th September 2011
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardwizard View Post
Are folks experiencing a lot of problems with lion and logic?
Should you downgrade to Snow Leopard before even trying with Lion?
I rarely run Logic, but the 1/2 or so that I did run on Lion it did work fine. I'm running Cubase 6.0.3 just fine on Lion with maybe 20 hours of no crashes (over weeks - I'm no pro).

The WORST software compatibility that I've seen with Lion was Avid/EuCon's "Studio Monitor Express". I didn't even run the damn thing, just installed it. Both times I installed it it made the system completely unusable, with an infinite coreaudiod respawn loop. The first time, I had no idea what it was and wound up reimaging :(. The second time I got surgical and uninstalled drivers one after the other. Major pain - thanks for the "Lion Compatible" software Avid.
Old 15th September 2011
  #29
Gear Nut
 
Janne19691's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Well exactly...you might THINK you can...but as these thread responses are showing, it's not that simple. If that were the case, why can't I install Tiger on my 2009 Mac Pro?

Unless you're an Apple programmer, why on earth do you think SL/Leopard are close to the same?

It really sounds like you're guessing - which is not what is needed here! you're just adding unsubstantiated opinion to the topic. Now if you actually HAD done it, their would be value in your comment.
Yes, i don't know for 100% sure but i think it's more likely to Snow Leopard work in 2011 iMac than Tiger in 2009 Mac Pro if just comparing the times between releases.

I wanted to give an impression it's likely to work in opposite to say 'no'. But yes i agree with you, should have been saying nothing.
Old 16th September 2011
  #30
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I went to the apple store last night and spoke directly with the genius bar... They said that they will not install snow leopard on a new computer that shipped with Lion.

So some apple employees are saying one thing and others are saying something else. The whole thing is a little too up in the air for me so I think I will just stick with Lion. As long as Apogee get the Ensemble drivers out by the end of the month things should be ok. Very frustrating.
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