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I upgraded my MacBook to Lion and am less than impressed. I figured I should re-install Snow Leopard.

Can I do that without destroying the lion partition?

If not, can I at least keep my Windows 7 Boot Camp partition? (And can I re-install Boot Camp on Snow Leopard and point it to the existing Boot Camp partition?)

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2 Answers

Yes - the Macintosh installer only touches data within the partition when re-installing Snow Leopard, but there's no guarantee the windows software will still start since Apple doesn't support going backwards like that. (i.e. they don't test it so you have even less support that what they provide for Boot Camp in general)

You may have issues on the Boot Camp side if the older Boot Camp software sees that your boot camp partition is newer than it expects. This means it may not work, so you need to be backed up and prepared to reinstall the Windows side of things unless someone else can edit or answer that they have tested this out several times. It might be fine, but I would feel bad if you took the Mac side being easy as assurance that everything would work perfectly on the Windows side after you go backwards.

The prudent thing would be to install Snow Leopard onto an external drive and swap that inside the mac to test whether Boot Camp will work on your new setup. This involves time and potentially tech money, so you might want to check into virtualization costs if that is a viable alternative to you.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The answer appears to be no. The Snow Leopard installer refuses to install over a newer version of Mac OS.

Solution was to use Snow Leopard DVD to revert to pre-Lion state.

The good news is that there are no issues with Boot Camp as such, only with finding the Mac OS partition from the Windows Boot Camp control panel. It's very difficult to find the Boot Camp software for Windows on Apple's site (legendary ease of use) so it helps to keep that software around for a re-install. After the Boot Camp re-install on Windows everything worked fine. Snow Leopard's System Preferences just finds the Windows partition.

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Difficult? Someone has actually found it? –  Fake Name Feb 20 '12 at 8:30
    
Yes. Email me (see profile) if you need instructions. –  Andrew J. Brehm Feb 20 '12 at 8:33
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