I Can't Reinstall Snow Leopard After Installing Lion [Ask MacRx] | Cult of Mac

I Can’t Reinstall Snow Leopard After Installing Lion [Ask MacRx]



Now here’s a bizarre headscratcher. A reader’s Mac Pro was upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion, then refused to subsequently boot off the Snow Leopard DVD to reinstall the older OS on another drive. Despite many different attempts, for this one Mac it appears perhaps you can’t go home again…

I use Bryce occasionally to produce art for friend’s projects. I just discovered it crashes under Lion. DAZ, the manufacturer acknowledges the problem but has no date when the fix will be made. Thinking I could install Snow Leopard and run Bryce under it, I set up a partition on an external drive and attempted to install SL. Lion was having none of it. I also attempted to boot from the SL install disk. It was also rejected out of hand.

Thanks for any help you can provide,

Hi Mike,

Do you have the system specific version of your Snow Leopard install disc, or a retail installer? One that came bundled with a different model Mac may not work on your system.

How did you try to boot off the Snow Leopard install disc? A few ways to try: hold down the “C” key at startup; hold down the Option key at startup and select the DVD from the boot menu; or insert the DVD while booted in Lion, and choose it from the Startup Disk Preference Pane.

I have the retail version. I’ve tried:

Insert disk, click Install Mac OS X. I get a balloon reading:

You can’t use this version of the application Install Mac OS X with this version of Mac OS X. You have Install Mac OS X 23.1.

Tried booting and holding the “C” key down. The system read the disk and then ejected it and booted with Lion.

Tried selecting the SL disk as the startup disk. Rebooted, system read disk, ejected, and booted with Lion.

Tried reboot and holding down Option Key. Disk ejected when icons for HD and Recovery HD appeared. Reinserted SL disk, ejected second time.

Total bummer. Let me know if you’ve got any other ideas.

Hmmm, I can’t reproduce this behavior. I just booted my MacBook Pro running Lion from the Snow Leopard install DVD.

Was your system previously running Snow Leopard? The behavior you describe would happen if you’re trying to boot from a system disc older than what your machine supports. You might try a different SL install DVD, they came in v10.6 and v10.6.3 releases.

My system is an Early 2008 Mac Pro. I believe it came with Leopard. I update to Snow Leopard when it was released. My version is 10.6.

I’m on Maui and the level of technology understanding here is almost nonexistent. I’ll check around to see if anyone has 10.6.3 but I’m pretty sure I’m screwed.

One more thought, since it’s a Mac Pro and you can easily get at the drives: shut down and pull the hard drive containing the Lion installation. Then try booting off the SL DVD and see if it cooperates.

Maui would have other advantages, I’d imagine…

Very interesting. I pulled all the drives and rebooted. The SL disk was ejected right after the chime. I suspect the Lion install made a change to the firmware.

There are indeed offsets to the lack of technology expertise here on Maui. Thanks again for all your help.

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Readers, have any additional suggestions on this topic, or corrections/clarifications on the advice above? If so, please leave your thoughts in the comments.