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How do I attach a downgrade the OS and attach a Mac to a Windows 2003 Domain

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Greetings,

I know there is plenty of literature on this but I'm starting to stress out. I have a client that has ordered a number of OS X Lion Macs. They are running a Windows 2003 environment. They want to downgrade the machines to Snow Leopard and bind them to the domain. Once the machines are completed they want to use the Carbon Copy tool.

My question is, how can I downgrade them. Is it as simple as inserting the DVDs, running the install, reformatting and installing?

After that how do I bind them properly? How can I make sure their active directory accounts work? Do the Mac logins work like the windows ones or does that only apply against using SMB shares?

Also, on the Macs, what do you recommend in the way of setting up the machines administrator.

Sorry for the long winded question. I appreciate your time and answers.
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Question by:JEMC_tech
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 36504997
You need to call Apple or the Apple store and find out if the exact machines that have been ordered are capable of being downgraded and whether it will invalidate the warranty.  In the PC world, machines that are shipped with Windows 7 often do not have a supported downgrade path and some are not capable of even an unsupported downgrade because there are no drivers available.

Note that Lion has broken quite a bit of software so there may be noteable differences.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 36505182
The problem is not the warranty. The problem is that, typically, Macs will not boot with a system older than the one they shipped with. If your Macs shipped with Lion, there is no guarantee they will even boot Snow Leopard.

What you need to do is to find some left over Snow Leopard Macs and buy them.

Or, you could buy one new Mac and see if it will in fact boot Snow Leopard. To do that you will have to purchase a Snow Leopard DVD separately ($30) and use it reformat the hard drive and install Snow Leopard.
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Accepted Solution

by:
strung earned 250 total points
ID: 36505201
Also, before you dismiss using Lion altogether, see: http://macwindows.com/lionAD.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:JEMC_tech
ID: 36564626
I managed to downgrade the macs by booting to the bootable Lion partition, formatting the drives and putting on a fresh Snow Leopard install. After completing this, I built a standard image and used Disk Utility to capture it onto an external drive. From there I just booted t othe CD or a flash drive and pointed the machine to sap the image from the external drive and reformat the destination drives.

After that I named all the Macs, attached them to the 2003 domain and went from there.
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