I've got an OS X Snow Leopard Server config on a Mac Pro 1,1. I can't upgrade any further on that hardware.

However, I've got a spare MacPro 3,1 and wondered if it would be "simple" to just move the disks to the new hardware?

I thought I'd ask first just in case the disks get updated with something which means I can't go back to the old MacPro.

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    I've never tried between those 2 particular machines, but… simply un/plugging the boot drive from one to the other will tell you in 30s. If it boots you're good to go, otherwise you're going to have to try migrate - depends on which drivers are in there. It shouldn't break anything either way [though having a backup/clone would always be wise, goes without saying] – Tetsujin Mar 22 '15 at 18:31

As 10.6.8 is supported on both Mac Pros the simple answer is yes, you can transfer your disks over to the newer Mac Pro and your installation will work as it did before.

Assuming you don't do something silly like accept the free update to Yosemite (which is supported on the Mac Pro 3,1) you will be able to move the disk back to the older machine if you need to. As long as you stay with 10.6.8 there are no updates that will break the ability for your 10.6.8 startup disk to boot the older Mac.

Having said that, if the newer Mac Pro is of a reasonably higher spec - and you want newer server features such as Profile Manager - you may want to think about performing a clean installation of 10.10 (as well as purchasing the latest iteration of OS X Server), then migrating the data over from the older machine. The only cost is the purchase of OS X server, and that's not exactly going to break the bank.

  • Yeah, I do want to eventually upgrade to Yosemite, and the MacPro3,1 supports that. Thanks. – Steve Folly Mar 23 '15 at 17:59

Checking the specs of the the MacPro1,1 you should be able to upgrade to 10.7.5 if you upgraded it to at least 2 GB of RAM and you don't need Rosetta (for PPC-apps).

Since the preinstalled system on the MacPro 3,1 was 10.5.1 and both are equipped with a SATA (3 Gb/s) internal HD-interface, there shouldn't be any problem to move the "old" disks.

Your disks won't be updated with anything, except you initiate it yourself.

  • Good to point out the SATA compatibility. (Some things I thought would be assumed, but definitely useful info to note here!) – Steve Folly Mar 23 '15 at 18:01

My Snow Leopard 10.6.8 disk from my old MacPro 1,1 is now on my MacPro 5,1. Yes, it boots. I don't use it much anymore, but since there are 4 HD bays, I just keep it there.

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