Brand-new iMac - step back to Snow Leopard?

Posted on 2011-09-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12

Is it possible to step a brand-new iMac back to Snow Leopard? I've read that the Snow Leopard DVD will not recognize the i5 nor the i7 -- is this true?

What about a clone from an older iMac, like one purchase 1 year ago?
Question by:d4nnyo
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 36530791
Generally speaking Macs will not boot from an OS older than the one they shipped with.

Having said that, if you really want to try it, your best bet is to install Snow Leopard on an external USB drive and see if it works.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 36532017
All recent iMacs should support 10.6; i5 and i7
You may need a retail DVD to install though.
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Expert Comment

ID: 36533153
As a way to know for certain that it will work. Take the old machine that you would use to make the clone. Turn that computer on using "Target Disk Mode," that is, holding down the T key on restart such that the Firewire symbol is bouncing around the screen. Then connect the two machines by firewire cable. Boot the newer iMac holding down the option key. If the new iMac is capable of booting off of the older machine's operating system, then you'll find out now.

I don't see a reason why Snow Leopard would have a problem with the new processors as roylong suggests, but Apple may do something in the new ROM to prevent it from working with 10.6.x. as strung suggests. In that sense I agree with both strung and roylong above.

Target Disk Mode may be the quickest way to prove which known Macism supersedes the other if you don't have a retail Snow Leopard or External HD with the correct OS handy.

Accepted Solution

activematx earned 2000 total points
ID: 36589831
I just bought a new imac.  The ONLY way to do it is to clone a drive from another imac.


Get a Mac Retail iMac dvd (with Snow Leopard).  (not the retail snow leopard dvd).

Author Comment

ID: 36988202
We didn't actually attempt this so I can't state which solution is correct. I'm giving activematx the points because his post lines up with my general experience with the Mac.

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