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Upon Google searching people seem to equate "recovery CD" with full installation. I have seen methods such as using Disk Utility with the Mac HD as the source and a DVD as the destination. This clones the existing installation and I do not want that.

What I want is a minimal recovery environment just like the recovery partition but on a bootable CD. The Macs that I am servicing do not have a recovery partition in place, if they did I'm sure I could disk util the source as the recovery partition and the destination as my CD.

I do not currently have the retail Snow Leopard DVDs.

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Snow Leopard does not have a Recovery HD. That feature was introduced in OS X 10.7 Lion. You can't create Snow Leopard recovery disks either — that requires Lion too.

To create a bootable environment, you need to use the OS X installer. For this, you will need an install media to create the bootable partition. See:

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If you have the installer for 10.7 10.8 you can install it this way. I have done it with 10.8 have not tried 10.9 (free). It will create recovery partition. Then boot to recovery partition. Go to Disk Utility. Erase the 10.8 (example) partition. Upon partitioning it go to Options - make sure GUID is check for format. Partition drive. Install you 10.6.8 over that partition. Now your HD is split boots to 10.6 unless you boot to the recovery partition.

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