Can Mac OS Snow Leopard be installed on an early 2014 MacMini (2.3 gHZ Intel Core i7, 64 bit, 8 GB RAM)?

Snow Leopard would be installed on a thunderbolt external hard drive so that the Mac Mini can run older software not compatible with Mavericks and later Mac OS.

  • Asked about:  Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

1 Answer from the Community

  • Answer

    You will most likely not be able to "install" Snow Leopard, but you may be able to "use" Snow Leopard on your MacMini.

    I purchased a refurbished 2011 iMac direct from Apple in 2013. It came with OS 10.8. I could not install Snow Leopard on that iMac (the installer software would not run). However, if Snow Leopard was already installed on an external hard drive using an older iMac, then Snow Leopard ran without any issues on the refurbished iMac when the external drive was connected to the refurbished iMac.

    I encountered same situation as you where I have some software, including a driver for an expensive scanner, that will not run on anything after OS 10.6.8. I have Snow Leopard running with the scanner software on a small partition on the refurbished iMac's internal hard drive. I did this by creating a small 8GB partition on an older iMac and installed Snow Leopard there. Then used Disk Utility to make a DMG image of the partition and copied the DMG to a USB drive. Connected USB drive to refurbished iMac, moved DMG file to main partition on internal drive and, using Disk Utility, RESTORED the DMG to a new 30GB partition on internal drive. (Make sure the new partition has been formatted as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled) before restoring the DMG to it.) Snow Leopard runs perfectly . . . I can use scanner anytime I startup from that partition . . . life is good.

    On Macs, one does not need a separate external HD to be able to run different versions of OS X. Each partition on a HD can have its own OS installed. One can also install the same OS on different partitions to test various OS configurations, or test software during development, knowing it will not make a mess of your main OS installation. Simply use the Start Disk system preference, or press the OPTION key during start up to choose partition to start from.