Beginning of this week I took delivery of a new 27" iMac (fitted with a 250GB Solid State Drive in addition to the 1TB Optical drive), which came with Snow Leopard installed. Unfortunately, instead of enjoying my new toy I've just inherited a world of hurt, specifically:

  1. Some of my most important apps that ran okay in OSX10.5.8 won't run under Snow Leopard.
  2. My Huawei wireless broadband USB no longer works; forcing me to spend another $1,500 to reinstate my "landline" service (under a 2 year contract from my telco) rather than wait who knows how long for Huawei to catch up and release a fix.

After researching this on the internet I learned I needed to reformat my SSD into two partitions, with the intent of using one for 10.6 Snow Leopard and the other for 10.5 Leopard.

Partitioning went okay, as did the Snow Leopard re-installation. However, when it came to booting up from my original 10.5.1 Leopard disk to install it in the other partition I just keep getting a black terminal-type error message screen. I don't know how to get past this without powering-off the computer. I can't find a crash log for the attempted install so I can't post the exact message here.

Can someone tell me what is going wrong here and how I can fix it?


Unfortunately, the new iMac hardware is incompatible with the older software. You cannot run Leopard on this iMac. Sorry.

Correction: there is a possibility. Try this.

Connect the iMacs together in Firewire Target Disk Mode (Hold Command T at boot on the new iMac)

Put the Leopard DVD in the old iMac.

Open terminal and copy and paste this.

open "/Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/System/Installation/Packages/"

Open "OSInstall.mpkg"

When the installer loads up, select the partition on the new iMac and install.

When the install finished, download this: http://support.apple.com/downloads/Mac_OS_X_10_5_8_Combo_Update

Install that the same way, choosing the correct partition and installing.

Eject the iMacs hard drive from your old iMac and reboot the new iMac and see if it boots up.

This is just a suggestion. I don't know if it will work or not, but it's worth a shot.

  • Check my post. There is a chance.
    – Devin
    Jul 29 '11 at 13:32
  • Thanks again, Devin. I'm completely bushed right now but I'll try over the weekend and get back to you on the outcome.
    – Bender
    Jul 29 '11 at 13:47
  • Sure, no problem. If you need any extra help, shoot me an email. It's on my profile. I'd be able to answer that much quicker if you need help.
    – Devin
    Jul 29 '11 at 13:50
  • Hi Devin. Managed to try it out, but unfortunately it refused to recognise the 'cloned' install as a valid startup disk. Turns out that the OSX10.5 install disk had no way to anticipate the future quad-core processors and hasn't got the required drivers etc. (which makes sense) -- but I can live with it and just use my old machine as a standby until updates for some of my s/ware come out. However, your initial statement that there was no way to install the old OS was a hundred percent correct so I'm marking it as correct answer. And thanks a million for all your efforts. Appreciate it :-)
    – Bender
    Jul 31 '11 at 1:29

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