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Can 2 version of OSX be run on the same Mac?


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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted February 25 2009 - 09:58 AM

Hey all, I'm probably going to buy one of the iMacs or Mac Pros whenever they are refreshed. But I have an interesting question: can two versions of OSX be run from the same Mac, either via different partitions on the same HD (if I buy an iMac) or via two different internal HDs (if I buy the Mac Pro + 2 internal HDs)? I ask because I am a Pro Tools user, and Pro Tools is often several weeks to months behind on making the product compatible with the latest build of OSX. So what I'd like ideally is to have 2 versions of OSX on my next Mac. One, which I'll use for everything non Pro Tools related, will run the latest and greatest version of OSX the day (or two) after it's released. The other version will be the last stable build of OSX that Digidesign has signed off for Pro Tools compatibility (which will likely be one build behind the other). Anyone know if this is possible? Will I be able to install different versions (which will initially be the same version at first) on either different partitions or different HDs? Thanks!

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#2 of 11 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted February 25 2009 - 10:22 AM

I know that you can do this using an external drive. We keep a external firewire drive with a base system and utilities to use in maintenance and repair. It does not have to be the same OS. I would expect that you might be able to do the same thing using Bootcamp. I feel your ProTools pain. We just had to do a clean install and step through old OS updates to get to just the right version. It can be a pain.

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted February 25 2009 - 11:16 AM

I'd rather not boot from an external drive. Yes I could get a FW800 external but it still wouldn't perform as quickly as an internal SATA drive. I know when I boot from my FW800 external on my Macbook Pro--when I clone to it, then boot from it and clone back to "defrag" the drive--when I boot from an external it never performs as fast as the drive that's in the computer. I guess that's why I asked the question because I've never dual booted from a partitioned internal drive (or 2 internal drives) from a Mac. I've done it on PC many times, but the only Mac I have is my MBP and the drive is too small to run the experiment of partitioning and then installing a second iteration of OSX, so I was hoping to get experiences from the community at large. Thanks!

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#4 of 11 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted February 25 2009 - 11:34 AM

It doesn't sound like you can do it with Boot Camp, but you should still be able to do it with Start Up Disc in the System Preferences or by holding down option when restarting. We used to do this a lot and it sounds like it is still possible, but I can't be definitive.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

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Posted February 26 2009 - 05:52 AM

You can partition a drive and install a separate OS on each. Bear in mind though that new hardware will typically not run on older versions of the operating system. For instance, forget trying to boot a new iMac in Tiger.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted February 26 2009 - 10:02 AM

Certainly, thanks for the warning Michael. Again, I'm not trying to go into some ancient version of software. It's just that when, for example, 10.5.6 came out, it wasn't until 3-4 weeks later that Digidesign gave the blessing to upgrade from 10.5.5. So at worst, I'm planning to be one, max two minor revisions back on the Pro Tools partition. The only major difference will be when revolutionary versions come out.

So when Snow Leopard makes its debut, it will be on one partition, the other will likely be running the very last version of Leopard (10.5.6 or 10.5.7). But in about 2-3 months (Digi takes longer on the major build changes of OSX) I'll be upgrading to Snow Leopard on the Digi partition as well. [And likely be on 10.6.1 on the main partition!] Posted Image

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#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Brian W. Ralston

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Posted February 27 2009 - 07:33 PM

Carlo,

Yes, but it really needs to be on a different partition all together. OSX will get picky if you are trying this on the same partion and will ultimately get corrupted. So...either partition your main HD into two partitions...install Pro Tools and its OS onto one...use the other partition for another install of the OS that you can upgrade to your hearts desire. One of my sound designer friends does this exactly with her Pro Tools HD3 Rig.

Or...put it on an external drive with eSATA. As far as external HDs, if you use eSATA, it will be exactly as fast and even seen by the OS as an internal drive even though the connection is external.

The aluminum cases at Mac Sales.com are great and would allow you to buy an internal SATA drive of any brand for whatever deal you can find...put it in their external case...and use that eSATA connection to connect it to your MAC. Of course, this requires one internal eSATA PCIe card that will give you those additional external connections. Mine is a Sonnett card that has 4 internal and 4 external SATA connections...so I can add 8 additional HDs to the MAC. All can be separate or in a RAID configuration.

OWC External Case (Quad interface)

I have 5 of these cases for my composing rig, in addition to my internal HDs.
Regards,
Brian W. Ralston

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   CharlieHayes

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Posted March 28 2009 - 05:05 AM

Hello, i am new to this site and am in need of some similar answers, I have a dual boot os9/osX G4 tower w/dual 1 gig processers, I am running Panther and Digitel Performer 4. this has always been a rock solid set up and i would hate to change anything, question is I would like to buy a new macbook, and be able to dual boot this with Panther/leopard. Can this be done? I would like to keep running my DP4 software and really hate the idea of putting leopard in my Pre-Intel tower . I have plenty of Firewire external drives that I could put the OS on? I am out of the loop when it comes to all of the new feature such as Bootcamp and could really use some help. ps Digital Performer 6 is the current revision that would run with Leopard, and I know version 4 will not run Thanks for all help in this matter

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Brian W. Ralston

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Posted March 28 2009 - 06:42 AM

Charlie, you are going to find that any new MAC computer will not really run properly (and sometimes not at all) unless you use the version of the operating system that comes shipped with the computer. Sometimes the OS shipped with the machine has very specific drivers for that machine only and only "newer" OS versions from that point on will have support. A new MAC computer today is going to come with the latest build of Leopard OS 10.5.6. So...you are going to have to then, in turn upgrade and run DP 6.02 on a new laptop running OX 10.5.6. You will not be able to dual boot into panther. Panther will not even run on an Intel processor machine. It is not a universal binary. So...an upgrade in machine will force you to upgrade DP and any associated third party AU plug-ins you may have bought as well. There is no way around it. But I see no reason why you can not run Dp 4.61 using Tiger 10.4.11 on the G4 tower...and run OS 10.5.6 with DP6 on the laptop. That is essentially what I do. Both machines are solid. If you upgrade to DP6, you can even ask MOTU to include a DP 5 disk. They will also do that at no charge I believe...and you can run DP 5.13 on the G4 under Tiger. That would give you the latest OS and DP featured version your G4 tower would support. And you would just have DP 6 on the laptop where you can back save anything to a previous version of DP if you have to from there.
Regards,
Brian W. Ralston

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   CharlieHayes

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Posted March 29 2009 - 11:07 AM

Brian, thanks for your reply, it sounds as though you are quite versed in DP/Mac. If I were to bite the bullet (financially) to upgrade my G4 to work at the same level with my laptop I would need to Upgrade my Motu PCI324 card to a 424 ($299.00) copy of leopard $99.00 DP6 upgrade $199.00 and a current copy of Toast $99.00 for a grand total of approx $700 bones, Question if I were to do all of this would my 2 superdrives still work? or would those have outdated drivers as well? In a nutshell my Rig is A Mackie 24-8 board into a Motu 24i interface into the G4 2x Superdrives Granite firewire Hot swap HD's for storage My goal is to have a Laptop to kind of use as a portastudio to take to freind or just put some ideas on, and from there I would take to the main studio room and Play with all the rest of the goodies, Goal 2 is once I get my Studio/House built I would like for the laptop to be a Remote in essence so I can sit behind the drums in the main room, and control my Tower from the Control room. Your opinion and help on this is much appreciated, I am trying to keep on a tight budget but also beleive in doing things right. I just need a bit of guideance to keep from making some costly mistakes to anyone reading, I am new to forums so please let me know if I am taking over this post, or should have started my own post, not quite sure of forum ettiquite. Thanks all Charlie

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Brian W. Ralston

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Posted March 29 2009 - 05:42 PM


If you are really..really wanting to do this right...I would seriously consider buying a refurbished Intel MAC and just replace the G4 all together. It will come with Leopard already installed. The refurbished have the same warranty and Apple Care opportunity as the new ones. And if you get a "former" top of the line Intel MAC as a refurb, usually, they are new machines anyway. Very frequently, folks buy the top of the line and return them quickly and MAC has to turn around and sell them at a discount as "refurbished." You will get so much better performance out of the Intel MAC it is not even funny. Even their bottom of the line Intel MAC would be 50x or more the machine of your G4. Then you can run the same DP version on the Macbook laptop and the tower. You will still have to upgrade the 424 card, but you would need the PCIe version then. And if this is an official business expense for you...it would be a good write-off on the taxes.

Have you been to MOTUNATION ? That is where all the Digital Performer and MOTU geeks hang out.

I can understand not wanting to throw everything out with the dishwater though when it is all working for your needs now. So...if you need to keep the G4...make sure the 424 card will fit (call MOTU)...and run 10.4.11 on it with DP 5.13. Remember...if you upgrade to DP6...you can ask MOTU on the phone to include a copy of DP 5.13 with it because you will need to run that as well for some "backwards compatibility." They should do that for for you for next to no charge.
Regards,
Brian W. Ralston




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