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Installing Mac OS X Snow Leopard on an Apple Mac Pro That Shipped with Lion

Reader William M wrote me about his trouble in installing Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on his new Apple Mac Pro (which shipped with Mac OS X Lion).

I wonder if Apple has a clue how many people are irritated by Lion? My own father is not a happy camper, having lost the ability to run several useful applications (no more PowerPC support in Lion). Apple has become increasingly unconcerned about the impacts its puerile decisions about user interface and features have on those who want to get work done, not just those with time on their hands to listen to music or watch movies.

Anyway, to install Mac OS X Snow Leopard on the 2010 Mac Pro, obtain a Mac OS X version 10.6.4 Snow Leopard install disk that shipped with a 2010 Apple Mac Pro.

The Mac OS X Snow Leopard “family pack” disk will not work (I tried mine), because it’s Mac OS X 10.6.3, and version 10.6.4 is required for the 2010 Mac Pro.


If you can install Mac OS X Snow Leopard on any Mac that is capable of running 10.6 Snow Leopard. After installing, you run Apple’s Mac OS X Snow Leopard combo updater.

The resulting system should now boot any Mac; clone that volume to any internal or external Mac Pro volume, then boot up. Just in case, run the combo installer a 2nd time (in case there are any machine specific nuggets needed). One reader reports strangely slow performancd when “crossing” between Mac models, which I have also personally observed once. So run that combo installer on the target machine.

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