Problem with my Mac mini downgrade mavericks to OS X Lion

Posted on 2014-01-02
Last Modified: 2014-01-14
Hello experts,

I have a Mac mini early 2009 2.3 Ghz i5 with 8 gb ram and it has OS X Lion pre-installed when I got it it was super fast I was shocked cause I wasn't used to fast machines, anyway, with time apple released mavericks I wasn't ready for the update but I viewed comments of people about it and finally I did the biggest error which I upgraded it.

Most of my apps crashes, sometimes the boot is too slow and I gave to wait minutes for the dock to appear the thing that never happened with OS X lion.

I decided to remove mavericks and I did a backup for my files and everything.

I rebooted my Mac and pressed Alt but I got mavericks in the recovery partition.

I was like : What??

I then downloaded Mac OS X Lion and made a bootable USB through diskmaker.

When I went to startup disk and choose the bootable USB I clicked on reboot and then the Mac rebooted with a circle  and A bar on it in the center of the screen with nothing. The system didn't recognize my bootable USB.

Then I went to disk utility by pressing command+R, I deleted the partition and I think that I deleted the recovery partition because when I press Alt I cannot find it then I pressed the command+R to get to the recovery through the internet, while I'm typing this, my Mac is downloading the files through the internet and by he way this is the second time it does this because the first time it rebooted nothing happen just the circle with a bar in the center of the screen I don't know what I have to do, should I go first to disk utility to delete the partition and its contents of the copied USB files before clicking on reinstall Mac OS X Lion?????

Any idea
Question by:tzak12525
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 39752755
It stands to reason that when you upgraded to Mavericks that the recovery partition would also be upgraded.

When you downgraded to Lion how did you do that exactly?

It would be better than downloading Lion to fix the problem by using a Lion install DVD (possibly came with your mini when you first got it) as that can reformat the hard drive and then return the system, recovery partition and apps back to the day you first got it out of the box. Then you can use Time Machine to restore to the point just before your upgrade to Mavericks (you do HAVE backups, right?).

Author Comment

ID: 39752915
Thanks for your answer, I don't have a dvd, it came without a DVD actually.

Here is what I did :

I downloaded OS X Lion from the internet.
I installed diskmaker
I created a bootable USB drive 8gb with the help of the OS X Lion dmg file and diskmaker.
I inserted the USB drive and went to startup disk and chose my USB drive to reboot with.
My USB drive wasn't detected a circle appeared in the center of the screen.

I went to disk utility through command + R after a reboot then I erased the main partition Macintosh HD.

I chose my hard drive in disk utility and went to Restore I dragged and drop my USB drive in source and dragged and drop Macintosh HD into destination.

Then I closed that window to the main recovery window where I see "Reinstall a new installation..." The system then download some files when it rebooted nothing again the same circle appeared.

What I did now is i deleted all partitions, when I rebooted I pressed Alt and i couldn't find the recovery partition.

I rebooted again and pressed command + R and guess what I couldn't reach the disk utility for recovery, instead it said internet recovery and it started to download, when it finished it shows the disk utility where I saw install OS X Lion but before that I went to disk partitions, I erased the partition again then I went back to reinstall OS X Lion.

For the moment it is still downloading the files, 3 hours still, I think it is downloading OS X Lion ? Maybe... I will have to wait. My Mac came with OS X Lion when purchased.

I did a backup to an external hard drive.
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39752962
I can't help you with this issue...but thanks for the heads up. I was contemplating to finally take the plunge myself.  I have both mid 2009 mac pro w/8gig and 2008 imac w/4gig. I think these are going to stay at 10.8.
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Author Comment

ID: 39752969
Do you plan to upgrade to mavericks?

The download is finished and OS X is installing thanks GOD

Author Comment

ID: 39752970
What are your tips to speed up the performance of your Mac?
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 39753291
I upgraded to Mavericks a couple of months ago and the memory management is so much better. There are many great improvements but mine is also particularly sluggish on startup and sometimes Safari just seems to stop for a couple of minutes, with "Safari content" redlining in Activity Monitor. Much Googling shows that it wasn't just me and that many others report similar issues and that supposedly Apple is working on a fix. I have kind of got used to it as it is only startup that is slow and the occasional hiccup in Safari so I am looking forward to the fix.

Incidentally, I recall a similar fix to an earlier OS version, possibly Lion or Mountain Lion that dramatically improved performance - my machine was an office image created for Snow Leopard so sometimes I wonder if there is legacy IT department junk in there and a clean install of Mavericks would sort me out. Plus the fact that they split the disk into two partitions with one for OS and Apps and the other for user files so things like Photoshop take scratch space on both partitions but in reality the swapping is slower not faster with each scratch space being on the same physical disk so the heads must be going crazy!

One thing I did find was that Safari redlined the machine if you saved a page with a download link to the reading list so don't do that!

Let me know how you get on with the fresh install...

2011 MacBook Pro 15", 2Ghz dual core i7, 8Gb RAM
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Murfur earned 500 total points
ID: 39755151
An update on the performance - this question kicked me into finally looking into my own speed issues so I restarted into the recovery partition. Disk First Aid said the system partition was OK but that the user partition had some major issues that needed to be repaired. Repairs completed and the startup time has been dramatically reduced and overall performance is noticeably better.

Something to consider while you are in the rebuild process.

Add to that, these little tweaks:

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