Do I have to purchase both Snow Leopard and Lion or can I just purchase Lion?

I have acquired a mac w/out a hard drive, no disks, etc. I need to purchase an OS to install on it. Can I just purchase Lion (10.7) or do I have to purchase both Snow Leopard (10.6) and then also purchase Lion (10.7)?

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  • Best Answer:

    In order to download Lion, you must have a later version of Snow Leopard already installed (version 10.6.6 or later). Make sure your Mac will support Lion's system requirements. Also note, that applications more than a few years old may not run in Lion, as Apple discontinued Rosetta support in Lion for non-Intel-based applications.

    The $29 Snow Leopard DVD will let you do a Clean Install... but you may need to do some manual steps, as "Erase and Install" was not an option provided on my DVD. But the tools to do a clean install are on the DVD.

    You should be able to do the following to do a clean install:

    When you put the Snow Leopard DVD into your Mac, you will be presented with two options: 1) to "Continue" with a standard upgrade, or, 2) go to "Utilities". Select the "Utilities" button (there will be a reboot in order to run from the DVD). In the new screen that appears, under the "Utilities" menu, select Disk Utilities to format your hard drive (or partition) that Snow Leopard will be installed on to. When you have finished formatting, QUIT from Disk Utilities, and the installer will then complete the installation of Snow Leopard. (Note: be prepared to wait a while when the system reboots during installation as it copies and sets up all the files.)

    I realize that you have to get a hard drive, but if you happen to have another bootable partition connected to your Mac with an older OS on it, at some point during the installation, the installer will search all other partitions (other than the one it is installing to) for an older OS, and if found, the installer will ask if you want to import the OS Settings, Files and/or Applications from that partition. Do this if upgrading. Otherwise, don't import, for a Clean Install.

    I installed 10.6.3 then did software updates (under Apple menu) to 10.6.8.

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