I have a Mid-2010 MacBook Pro which one year ago I upgraded from the default Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion. However, now I want to downgrade to Snow Leopard again.

I made a USB thumb drive formatted as MacOS (External Journaled) to install Snow Leopard again (my CD drive doesn't work, that's why I made the USB flash drive).

Anyway, when I'm trying to boot from the USB drive with the Option key and press the MacOS Install DVD icon, it gets stuck on the Apple logo forever.

My question is, do I have to first erase Mountain Lion completely and then try installing from the USB drive or is this a kind of a hardware problem? I'm thinking of formatting my hard disk but I'm scared of the Apple logo getting stuck again.

  • What did you do to create the USB drive?
    – bot47
    Commented May 26, 2013 at 5:06
  • 1
    What's the USB drive for? As the source of the installation (rather than CD)? There's more likely something wrong with the USB drive than with the Mountain Lion. How about using (or borrowing) an external USB CD drive?
    – Nicholaz
    Commented May 27, 2013 at 14:33
  • I used restore from the disk utility, i followed some tutorials i saw on forums. Keep in mind that i installed mountain lion with the same usb drive but returning to snow leopard seems impossible. I hate mountain lion!! Commented May 27, 2013 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


The reason you can't boot from from the USB stick may be because it's a version of Snow Leopard that predates the one your Mac shipped with. Is the source version of Snow Leopard you're using a retail disc?

Also, downgrading directly from a newer OS is not supported behaviour. I've seen it attempted successfully (at least superficially) on a few occasions and, among other things, the OS does downgrade but the data doesn't. So iCal's data is geared up for the newer OS, etc etc.

So. The only way you're going to be able to do this properly is going to be by wiping your internal hard drive with Disk Utility, installing Snow Leopard, then setting everything up from scratch (manually installing your apps, moving important data, etc). I know it sucks, but it's going to be the only way everything will work properly.

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