Lion is crashing on me all the time and I am sick of it. I would like to do a clean install of Snow Leopard, but when I insert the dvd and hold 'c' on boot the computer just locks up and I have to do a hard reset.

What do I have to do?

  • What machine do you have? If the machine was released after the version of SnowLeopard on your install disc, the install disc may not be compatible.
    – bneely
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 2:56
  • I have the iMac 27" that was purchased right around when Lion came out. It came with Snow Leopard installed and I got a free upgrade to Lion.
    – chris
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 2:58
  • 1
    Where did you get the SnowLeopard install disc that you are using?
    – bneely
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 2:59
  • I previously purchased it for my macbook pro.
    – chris
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 3:03

2 Answers 2


The issue is likely due to the fact that the build of Snow Leopard you're using is incorrect and thus does not have the necessary drivers for your iMac. If it's a Mid 2011 or even Mid 2010 model, the reference release of Snow Leopard (10.6.3) was release before these models and does not have what is needed to use the hardware in your iMac.

If your iMac was purchased before or on Lion launch day, it should have come with some gray disks that will have the correct build of Snow Leopard on them. If you purchased your machine a few weeks after Lion launch, you may not have these disks.

If you don't' have these disks, I would suggest making an appointment at your local Genius Bar. Both Apple Stores I worked in always had reference releases of all major OS releases within the past 5 years, including a universal Snow Leopard build. They should be able to do a quick NetRestore and downgrade you to Snow Leopard (you will lost all files if they do it this way, so have a good backup!).

Hope this helps...good luck.

  • I found the leopard recovery dvd and it did load up properly on boot. Thanks for the help.
    – chris
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 6:30

I had a client awhile ago wanting to return to 10.6 from 10.7. It is a BIG problem. Best is to use time machine, but in his case, NO BACKUP. Suggestion is to back up what you think you need - safari bookmarks.plist, documents, etc. Then re-install the OS after re-partitioning and start over. Even migration asst won't perform correctly. I had AppleCare on the phone and didn't have any better info than to re-format and start over.

  • The problem that the originator has stated is that the machine won't boot the SnowLeopard install disc.
    – bneely
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 5:01

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