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Mac OS X Lion clean install may need Snow Leopard disc

updated 03:05 pm EDT, Tue June 21, 2011

Lion may not have ready-made direct install

Apple chief Steve Jobs in a reported message to a Mac user claimed that Mac OS X Lion might need a Snow Leopard disc for a clean install. On those systems that don't ship with Lion media, he said a user can "can clean install Snow Leopaard [sic] first." He didn't explicitly rule out the option of starting from scratch with Lion for the MacRumors reader but implied it might not always be supported.

The requirement for Snow Leopard may not be absolute. Apple's official volume install support effectively involves downloading an installer much like those from earlier OS versions. Concerns exist that it might not be bootable, although it works with NetInstall and NetRestore and should theoretically work for fresh installs.

Jobs' e-mail is believed to be authentic.

Microsoft also offers Windows 7 as a download. The OS is bootable but requires its own special instructions to work.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +2

    No.

    Steve was likely giving one scenario. Here's another. Upgrade your Mac to Lion. Make a bootable clone (or a bootable disk on a USB stick), and copy the Lion installer to that disk.

    Then, boot from the USB stick, run the installer and install on a drive.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +1

    To the average Joe

    10.5 is the end-of-the-road OS for many G4 and G5 systems, but the media is no longer available. In many situations, this means buying a new computer due to iTunes/iDevice compatibility. Making 10.5 unavailable provides a lot of incentives for Apple.

    10.6 is the end-of-the-road OS for Core Duo systems, so those who are still running 10.5 or even 10.4 should order a disc right now before the only option you have is buying a new computer. Making 10.6 unavailable is a great financial incentive for Apple.

  1. Grendelmon

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Dec 2007

    +1

    Did you need a copy of Leopard to

    Clean install Snow Leopard? aka Snow Leopard was an "upgrade" that wasn't a bootable disc or something? I remember I had do something hokey to get it to work.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +1

    Will new macs boot on 10.6.0?

    ...if so then I'm all for it - I already have a retail snow leopard 10.6.0 disk that I can't do a clean install on my 2.93 Quad iMac (it requires system specific 10.6.4) - talk about making things more difficult ...?

    One can still load xp on many of the latest pc's if needed (but Bootcamp requires an SP2 install disk ?) - and would encourage simplification as much as possible...

  1. leamanc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003

    +6

    Get ready folks

    Lion is really, really different, folks. I'm not going to blow my developer NDA, but let me tell you that Lion is the biggest change to the Mac OS since OS X Public Beta. And as with any big change, some parts of it will be good, others will be bad.

    As Steve's email confirms, the only way I have found to clean install Lion is to do a clean install of Snow Leopard first. Quite a PITA.

    And the lack of a Java Runtime Environment is pretty much going to rule out my company migrating to Lion anytime soon. Hopefully Oracle makes a standalone installer soon, as our ERP system and our VPN client depends upon Java to run.

    Other than that, Lion is really cool. It's super-snappy, got some great features, and is really up-to-date. But get ready for big changes, and know ahead of time that you might not like all of them.

  1. tundaman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010

    +2

    Lion Boot Disk

    Not tried it yet, but it seems there IS a way to burn a Lion boot/install disk:

    http://modmyi.com/content/4583-how-make-os-x-lion-boot-disk.html

    If it worked for you, please share.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    -1

    It's pretty rare

    that a clean instal is needed these days.

    Many folk clone their boot volume to an external drive in case they need it. Later, boot from that drive, reformat the internal, then clone the OS back to their internal drive. That saves some time reconfiguring user accounts and software installs. The trick is, only clone when you know your machine and boot volume are stable.

    Lion is rumored to create a restore partition. The exact details of that restore partition are not known to me, but...

    There are a number of possibilities for avoiding the rumored/unconfirmed Snow Leopard install disk requirement.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: It's pretty rare


    that a clean instal is needed these days.

    Many folk clone their boot volume to an external drive in case they need it.


    Yeah, many folks do that. Um, define many? Since I would guess the most backup anyone does is use Time machine for backup. Hard drive failure requires booting from the DVD and then restoring after installing.

    Lion is rumored to create a restore partition. The exact details of that restore partition are not known to me, but...

    There are a number of possibilities for avoiding the rumored/unconfirmed Snow Leopard install disk requirement.


    So, instead of the simple "install from DVD, go", we've now got even more backups and hard drives and disks and options and things to go wrong. Yeah, a much better solution.

  1. cacruden

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2007

    +1

    How about an App Store Boot DVD/SD

    Instead of creating media for a specific version of "OS X" media, they should just create an App Store media disk that boots up the network, then asks for username and password and downloads the latest patched version of "OS/X" that you have purchased through the "App Store".

  1. jay3ld

    Senior User

    Joined: Jul 2004

    +1

    Re: It's pretty rare

    Its not always a bad reason why you would want to do a clean install. Perhaps you just want to remove the applications, plugins, old files, etc, etc that you have accumulated on your system.

    I personally was planning to do a clean install and pick and choose files off a cloned copy of my system of what I wanted to keep. As somebody who tinkers a lot with my system, I have accumulated quite a few things I just don't need anymore. I could just reinstall snow leopard. But it seems so much nicer to just get a fresh new system in the first place.

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