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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Downgrading New Mac Pro to Snow Leopard


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Pixelbender

 
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Has anyone out there been running a currently shipping Mac Pro, which came with Lion installed, then was switched to OSX 10.6 Snow Leo?

I understand about Apple's policy on downgrading an OS.
I am knowledgable about the process of installing a version of OSX different than what came with a Mac.
I've read of hardware issues after downgrading a new Thunderbolt Mini, or MacBook Pro.

The question is: If Apple changed the firmware on the Mac Pro, even though the hardware is still the same After you get Snow Leo booted Will there be any issues with the workstation (ie: Connectivity, PCI, Sleep ...).

I know there must be some pro users who need the big Mac tower, yet can't stomach Lion.

Any feedback will be much appreciated.
Thanks for your time.



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harryb2448

 
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G'day and welcome to the forums.

You cannot go backwards period. That applies to all models not just the Mac Pro and have never heard of people not stomaching Lion.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
G'day and welcome to the forums.

You cannot go backwards period. That applies to all models not just the Mac Pro and have never heard of people not stomaching Lion.
You don't use Spaces do you? Spaces is the number one reason why I've considered dropping back to Snow Leopard. It is horribly borked in Lion.

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No it isn't. I use Spaces all day in Lion and it works exactly like it used to ... the only difference being that management of Spaces was centralized in Lion, but as I've already set up my spaces as I like I barely even noticed this.
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Pixelbender

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
G'day and welcome to the forums.

You cannot go backwards period. That applies to all models not just the Mac Pro and have never heard of people not stomaching Lion.
A hardy G'Day back to you. And thanks for the welcome.

Although unadvised by Apple, one can certainly install a previous version than the OS which shipped with a Mac. This usually involves Target Disk Mode, or switching out HDDs. The problem with downgrading the OS on a Mac which has undergone any hardware changes subsequent to the older OS version – means certain drivers and/or extensions will not be present in the install. This can result in anomalies (minor or major), which may only be remedied by switching back to the OS which shipped with the Mac, or a newer one.

My question specifically addresses the fact that the Currently Shipping Mac Pro [5,1], has not had any hardware upgrades since it was released in mid 2010. If you buy a new Mac Pro today; it will be identical to the one you bought before Lion was released. In fact some currently stocked Mac Pros will come with 10.6 installed, along with a 10.7 DVD.

When or if a new Mac Pro is released with Thunderbolt – things will be different.

Yet, today; my question remains: Given a new Mac Pro 5,1 which shipped with Lion installed – Will it behave itself once reverted back to Snow Leo, the OS which originally was shipped with the MP 5,1. Or has Apple amended the firmware in such a way to cause problems beyond using a 10.6 install disk?

Thanks to all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelbender View Post

Although unadvised by Apple, one can certainly install a previous version than the OS which shipped with a Mac.
Not exactly...or not normally. When a new model Macintosh ships...it usually ships with the most current OS available at that time...which also will be the "minimum" OS that Macintosh computer model can run. So for example...the latest MacBook Pro's are shipping with Lion. The absolute "oldest" version of the Mac OS they can run is OS 10.7.2....so Snow Leopard cannot be installed on these computers.

Regarding your Mac Pro. The deal with the Mac Pro's is...the Mac Pro model line-up hasn't seen a "refresh" in quite some time. The Mac Pro 5,1's (the current model)...were originally released July, 2010 (that's a long time in "computer-land").

So although brand new Mac Pro 5,1's are currently shipping with OS 10.7 "Lion"...they originally shipped with OS 10.6.4. So you should have no problems "downgrading" your Mac Pro 5,1 to Snow Leopard. Just get yourself a Snow Leopard install disk (still being sold at the online Apple Store)...and do the install.

HTH,

- Nick

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelbender View Post
A hardy G'Day back to you. And thanks for the welcome.

Although unadvised by Apple, one can certainly install a previous version than the OS which shipped with a Mac. This usually involves Target Disk Mode, or switching out HDDs. The problem with downgrading the OS on a Mac which has undergone any hardware changes subsequent to the older OS version means certain drivers and/or extensions will not be present in the install. This can result in anomalies (minor or major), which may only be remedied by switching back to the OS which shipped with the Mac, or a newer one.

My question specifically addresses the fact that the Currently Shipping Mac Pro [5,1], has not had any hardware upgrades since it was released in mid 2010. If you buy a new Mac Pro today; it will be identical to the one you bought before Lion was released. In fact some currently stocked Mac Pros will come with 10.6 installed, along with a 10.7 DVD.

When or if a new Mac Pro is released with Thunderbolt things will be different.

Yet, today; my question remains: Given a new Mac Pro 5,1 which shipped with Lion installed Will it behave itself once reverted back to Snow Leo, the OS which originally was shipped with the MP 5,1. Or has Apple amended the firmware in such a way to cause problems beyond using a 10.6 install disk?

Thanks to all.
I would be interested in the ultimate answer to this as I am waiting to buy a Mac Pro hoping for a Thunderbolt equipped updated version. If that doesn't happen, I'll buy the current model, and if I do, I would like to be able to run Snow Leopard if I choose . . . though, honestly, I have been please overall with Lion.

If I were given just one wish it would be . . . that I could have three more wishes!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
I would be interested in the ultimate answer to this as I am waiting to buy a Mac Pro hoping for a Thunderbolt equipped updated version. If that doesn't happen, I'll buy the current model, and if I do, I would like to be able to run Snow Leopard if I choose . . . though, honestly, I have been please overall with Lion.
Please see my post above.

You can definitely run Snow Leopard on the currently selling Mac Pro's (model 5,1's)...but if someone wanted or needed to run Snow Leopard on a newer "Thunderbolt" Mac Pro (if it is ever released)...I'm betting that the minimum OS it will run will be some version of Lion.

So if Snow Leopard is needed...definitely get a current Mac Pro!

- Nick

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Please see my post above.

- Nick
Yeah . . . you type faster than I do. Saw your response after I posted. Thought that was the case, but wanted to be sure.

If I were given just one wish it would be . . . that I could have three more wishes!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
Yeah . . . you type faster than I do. Saw your response after I posted. Thought that was the case, but wanted to be sure.
I didn't realize you were in the market for a Mac Pro...good for you!

Any special purpose...or just always wanted one?

I've had two...the original "quad-core" model...and currently a 2009 "Nehalem" (4,1), 8-core, 2.26ghz model.

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Pixelbender

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post

You can definitely run Snow Leopard on the currently selling Mac Pro's (model 5,1's)

- Nick
I sincerely appreciate your input. Yet, do you say "definitely" because it makes sense (which I agree with). Or do you actually have empirical knowledge of a MP which shipped with Lion installed; then fully tested out with Snow Leopard?

Others have stated that although no hardware updates have been implemented on the currently shipping MP; Apple has changed the firmware so as not to allow a Snow Leopard install disk to work. As I posted earlier, to get 10.6 on a new Mac Pro you need to put it in Target Disk Mode, run the installer from a different Mac, then run a combo-updater. Or so I was told.

Some have reported no problems after doing this; others have reported monitor and SuperDrive issues. My year-old MP came with 10.6 & I love it. There are problems when booted in 10.4 or 10.5 (naturally). I need a second Mac Pro with 10.6. And, I am trying to verify if I will be ok purchasing a new one with 10.7 installed, or if I need to find one which shipped with Snow Leopard.

Can anyone verify the firmware update in the currently shipping (2010) Mac Pro 5,1? And if this Firmware is a dealbreaker for dialing back to Snow Leopard?

Thanks again for any and all responses.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelbender View Post

Others have stated that although no hardware updates have been implemented on the currently shipping MP; Apple has changed the firmware so as not to allow a Snow Leopard install disk to work.
Do you have any creditable links to support this? I've done some research...and couldn't find anything creditable.

Here is a link to the Apple EFI Firmware update for 2010 Mac Pro's...it mentions nothing about not being able to run Snow Leopard.

Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelbender View Post
Some have reported no problems after doing this; others have reported monitor and SuperDrive issues.
People on the internet report all sorts of issues...and many times...draw incorrect conclusions (especially when they have only a basic knowledge of computers, and draw incorrect conclusion based on "cause & effect").

This is why I asked about..."creditable" sources of information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelbender View Post
My year-old MP came with 10.6. It has problems when booted in 10.4 or 10.5 (naturally).
Of course it's going to have problems booting into OS 10.4 or 10.5! If it's a Mac Pro 5,1 model...it CANNOT run OS 10.4 or 10.5...since the minimum OS it can run is OS 10.6.4.

- Nick

p.s. If you need a 2nd Mac Pro...and you're concerned about being able to run OS 10.6 on a currently shipping Mac Pro 5,1 (with Lion installed on it)...the best folks to ask would be Apple. Call (or make an appointment) to speak with a "Genius"...and see what they say.

But...I've dealt with the Apple "Genius's"...and sometimes some of them still get it wrong! Especially since they probably don't work on too many Mac Pros (they see lots of iMacs, MacBook Pros, MacBook's, and MacBook Air's).

p.s.s. Another option (if you want 100% assurance that a 2nd Mac Pro will be able to run Snow Leopard)...is purchase an older model (used) Mac Pro. I have a 2009 4,1 model Mac Pro...and it certainly can run OS 10.6 Snow Leopard (it's running 10.6 now)...and I bought it used (saved about $1000 vs. new)...so nothing wrong with buying used (IMHO)!

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- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Only one way to find out for sure. Give it a go and see what happens if you are so disappointed with Lion.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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The official company line is that newer Mac Pros are engineered not to accept a Snow Leopard installation. This is easily doable through firmware if Apple simply makes the machines unable to take the 10.6 DVDs that came with the Mac Pros originally, since the retail DVDs won't work due to having too old a version of Snow Leopard. I haven't heard of anyone trying since then, probably because no one wants to spend $5000 on a machine that they may or may not be able to use. At this point, you may be better off finding something used/refurbished or simply buying a regular Windows box.
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If it were easy or even possible, there would be plenty of reports on the web about this and tips on how to do it.

There aren't.

Draw your own conclusions from that.
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