Released June 2012 / Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost / Up to 1 GB DDR5 Video RAM

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Run Snow Leopard on new MacBook Pro

Can the 2012 Macbook Pro non retina model run snow leopard? Certain drivers are said to not allow the 2011 Mac Mini run Snow leopard. Is this the case for that machine as well?

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I've never seen a Mac able to run a system earlier than it came with. It usually just won't install. This comes with

Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.7.3 (11D2097).

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I have just repartitioned a 2 week old iMac and successfully installed Snow leopard on the second partition. The 2011 Mac Mini definitely will not run Snow Leopard. No matter how you choose to install it. Drivers are not present to run the updated hardware.

Installing snow leopard on machines shipped with Lion is definitely possible. But to know if you can on these latest non retina MBPs would be helpful.


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Looking for a nightmare ? Try installing Snow Leopard on this model. Ain't going to happen. I'm not the only one who prefers Snow Leopard over Lion. Even after trying everything I took it to a mac repair shop who couldn't do a thing with it. Apparantly the i7 doesn't support earlier os x's. Nice trick apple thanks . Next time if it's not broke don't fix it like like the launchpad what the @$*^ is that ? or the microsoft idiot questions are you sure you really want too . All my files ? In a folder built into the shell?

. So I'm stuck with Lion. After I buy a new ssd. Because it choked on the install. Don't offer any advice because I won't receive it . Love your Lion Os x and your Mountain Lion . My Bad.

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This is actually not easily done. This was a bit of a dissapointment in the hackintosh community. Those people who went out and bought an Ivy Bridge CPU the second they could (like me and my i5 3570K), could not boot snowleopard. Not even the install disk. The OS is simply not writen to operate on an Ivy Bridge CPU platform. My machine would just reboot the second the disk booted. I saw the apple logo for about half a second (When the CPU loads in the boot up cache) then it just went into a boot loop. Only Mountain Lion and later versions on Lion support Ivy Bridge plateforms simply becuase they provide code for Ivy Bridge CPUs. Then if you were to find a way to downgrade to a OS two OSes old, and actually had a need for this...That MacBook Pro would be a hackintosh...

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If you have a 10.6.8 clone from a fresh Snow Leopard install. You can copy this with Superduper (if clone is made by the same program) to the HD of the "Lion machine". In most caseses it runs ok with SL. Some times it needs a bit of tweaking. I have a modern Mac Minie 2011 wich came with Lion. This machines now runs SL with full 100% functionality. The clone is the key. Mine came from my earlier 2008 iMac.

However I think this stops at the 2011 version of all macs. I can not prove this but I guess the new gfx card is not included in the driver package of updated SL. But 2011 and earlier is fully (as far as I know) supported. My Macmini proves this.

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The 2011 Mac mini of proteus123 have a Sandy Bridge CPU, not an Ivy Bridge CPU like the 2012 MacBook Pro.

So the clone solution won't work. You need a compiled kernel for Snow Leopard that would run on Ivy Bridge CPU.

Apple would obviously not release such kernel.

In the hackintosh community, you might find a kernel. Google "Ivy Bridge kernel for Snow Leopard" and you might find something very interesting.

Nonetheless, you would then need all the drivers for the other component that are different in the 2012 MacBook Pro versus the 2011. Like the discrete graphic adapter that is an nvidia 650M. If all the other component (I said IF, since I have no idea) are the same as the 2011 model, then your system will work rock solid with the ivy bridge kernel and the correct discrete driver.

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Proteus, have you tried to use the thunderbolt port on your Mac mini? I have found it to not work if you try to downgrade to 10.6.8. When I connect a display to it there is no video, if i connect the same display to the hdmi port it works fine.

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This is probably more trouble than you're interested in dealing with (although it's actually very simple), but you might be interested in this: you would have to replace the original hidden mach_kernel in the installer with this kernel. It would probably work. The other option would be to install snow leopard to another mac, clone the hard drive, and then replace the kernel with this one using target mode.

The HD4000 graphics are a different story though. They will still work but you will not get qe/ci.

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In regard to answers since my earlier post on downgrading 2011 Mac mini to from Lion to Snow Leopard:

Yes it is true that 2011 Mac mini has a Sandy Bridge i7 CPU (2.7 GHz in my case). That means that ALL macs with this CPU is the last generation to "Easily" downgrade.

I have done this procedure to my own mac mini (well Duh! ) but also to a friend of mine who has the same machine but a bit slower CPU. So I know it works just fine. I have NOT tried the thunderbolt against a thunderbolt compatible screen. But I do own a 27" Cinema Display which take a mini display connection (which is the same connector as thunderbolt). This screen works just fine. If this tells anything about the thunderbolt function I do not know.

However there are some tweaking to do when the clone of SL is in place on the new mac (with previous Lion OS). What follows is an instruction I have followed (hope it helps):

"...BUT there are serious performance issues, as Snow Leopard doesn't seem to speedstep the processor correctly with a machine identifying itself as being a Macmini5,x, so any of:

Macmini5,1 - dual core with Intel HD3000 graphics

Macmini5,2 - dual core with AMD graphics

Macmini5,3 - quad core i7 (server)


Basically to fix this you need to modify a kernel extension, and update the caches - You need access to a copy of Lion for this - I used the copy of Lion which came preinstalled on the second hard drive.


USING the Lion partition (either using Finder > Go to folder…, or by using the Terminal) you need to go to:



FIND Macmini5_1.plist, Macmini5_2.plist or Macmini5_3.plist (depending on your Mac mini 2011 model, or copy all of them if you aren't sure).


COPY these back to the the same location on your Snow Leopard partition.


REMEMBER, depending on how you copy the plist file(s) you may have to change ownership of the file(s). The plist file should be owned by root and the wheel group on Snow Leopard.

Using Terminal and Snow Leopard partition:

sudo su -

[enter your admin password]

cd /Sy*/Li*/Ex*/IOPla*/Con*/Pl*/AC*/Con*/Res*/

chown root:wheel Macmini5*

chmod 644 Macmini5*


FINALLY, update the kernel caches using Terminal by typing:

kextcache -system-prelinked-kernel

kextcache -system-caches


THEN, reboot your Mac mini!! "

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I tried that mach_kernel in Snow Leopard on a 2012 MacBook Pro 9,1.

It boots! But there are big issues... Lots of stuff not working including even sleep mode.

Does anyone know what else needs to be replaced or tweaked?

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