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Two Different MAC OS versions on the same computer

by alexacrow / February 4, 2010 6:23 AM PST


If anyone can help, I would really appreciate it.
I'm wondering if it is possible to install different MAC OS versions (for example, having Leopard and Tiger OS X) on the same computer, as you usually do with different versions of Windows just making some partitions.

Is it possible? If yes... how?

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re: Multiple operating systems
by centurion48 / February 4, 2010 8:36 AM PST

Each partition on a hard drive can have a different operating system as long as the Mac hardware will support that OS. Use Disk Utility to format the disk, partition into what you need, use your install DVD to install the operating systems.

If you plan on doing this to your internal hard disk then I would caution against it. Buy a large external hard drive that you know works with a Mac and start from there. Don't do development on a production system.

As always, make sure you have a backup of your production drive, and have tested that you can boot from it, before you start - even if you are going to install on a spare hard drive - because things do go wrong.


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re: Multiple operating systems
by alexacrow / February 4, 2010 9:54 AM PST

Thank you SO MUCH! I'll check if it works with an external hdd.Thanks again

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Multiboot a mac
by Deathyak / February 5, 2010 1:23 PM PST

Yup, entirely possible. If you have 10.5 or later, you can live partition the disk (non-destructive partitioning)

In fact, I have a 320 gig drive in my 1st gen Blackbook running 10.5/10.4/XP. (270/20/32)

10.5, useful. 10.4, boots in 19 seconds. XP umm yeah 'bout that one... lol

Just remember, installing multiple OSes takes up a lot of space, but all versions of OSX can share files from partition to partition,

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Live partitioning,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 5, 2010 10:35 PM PST
In reply to: Multiboot a mac

while this is possible, but not always, it is better to assume that all your data will go away if you attempt to partition a drive and to backup all the data before attempting this.


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by alexacrow / February 5, 2010 11:15 PM PST
In reply to: Live partitioning,

Thank you guys!!! I'll let you know how it goes!!


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Will this work if I want to install say 10.6 server and 10.7
by PAorganic / October 31, 2011 5:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Multiboot a mac

Thanks for the information I've read on this post thus far!

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That will not work in the way you describe.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 31, 2011 5:21 AM PDT

of course you can partition the disk, or use an external HD, and install Lion(or Leopard) Server on it but you will not be able to have both Lion and Lion(or Leopard) server running at the same time.

To achieve that, you will need to be running VM software like Parallels or VMFusion.

Without the VM software, you would have to reboot the Mac to get from one version of OS X to the other.

As for holding out for the Lion certification, given that your XServe will not run Lion Server, you may want to stick with what you have and update as the need arises.


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