I'm trying to install Snow Leopard on a MacBook (32-bit, Dual Core, ca 4 years old).

I am presented with: "Mac OS X Snow Leopard can't be installed on this computer."

Is it because of the 32-bit architecture? Should I just go with Leopard instead of Snow Leopard?

  • I have Snow Leopard installed on such a machine, so it can be done, but I have upgraded the RAM. Mine only shipped with 512 MB, which is below the requirement. They can go up to 2 GB. – Warren Pena Nov 12 '10 at 23:50

Check to make sure you have enough RAM, Snow Leopard requires 1GB of RAM. Snow Leopard does not require a 64-bit processor.


What install DVD are you using? If it's one that shipped with a Mac (as opposed one sold separately), it's probably locked to only install on the specific model it was included with.

  • Yes, it is shipped with another mac. Oh that's why then... – aneuryzm Nov 13 '10 at 8:40
  • 1
    If you’re trying to use a Restore Disk from another Mac (model) onto this one, it’s not going to work. Restore drives are tied to specific models. So an iMac restore drive will only restore iMacs (and usually even the same models). – Martin Marconcini Nov 13 '10 at 15:44

This error is very confusing. Time by time I face this problem because I mostly forget this

solution. I recenlty had this issue with an old iMac G4. It ended up the following way. After partitioning the volume, you have to click Erase and change the partition type from

DOS to Mac OSX journaled. I hope this will help everybody there because no one in most of

the solutions forums point to these steps. This solution might also work for newer Mac computers.

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It may also be because your old drive is not partitioned in the correct way. You might have to reformat the DRIVE with the GUID option ticked. The GUID option will appear in Disk Utility ONLY when you choose to reformat the internal drive.

Ask (or google) if you need more info about this.

  • So, I don't see the GUID and reformat option. I've found this: support.apple.com/kb/ts1600 They suggest to create 1 partition to erase the content of the hard drive. But the Apply button is enabled only when I decide to create 2 partitions. (Also the Options.. button is always disabled). – aneuryzm Nov 13 '10 at 0:33
  • Are you booted from the Install DVD when you try this? If you're booted from the HD, you won't be able to reformat it because it's in use. Also, use Disk Utility to get info on the drive first, and see what partition scheme is in use -- if it's already GPT (aka GUID Partition Table) you don't need to do this. – Gordon Davisson Nov 13 '10 at 0:42
  • @Gordon Davisson Yeah, it is GUID Partition Table. Then I guess I don't need to do this. And yes, I rebooted with hard disk as boot device. And I got: "You cannot install Mac OS X on this volume..." – aneuryzm Nov 13 '10 at 8:40

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