How to instal and run OS X Lion in a virtual machine on top of Snow Leopard

We showed you how to run OS X Lion in a virtual machine on top of Snow Leopard, but it seems everyone wanted to know the opposite of that: how to run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in a VM on top of Mac OS X Lion. Follow our instructions and you’ll be up and running in no time.

This guide should also work in Parallels and VMWare, but I chose VirtualBox this time around because it’s always free and runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. We’re going to assume you have the Snow Leopard DVD or ISO/DMG handy already, and that you installed VirtualBox, if not get those figured out and proceed:

Installing Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard in a Virtual Machine

This guide was done in OS X 10.7.2 Lion with the newest version of VirtualBox, it should work to install OS X in Windows too.

Open VirtualBox and create a new Virtual Machine ¨C make the virtual disk at least 15GB and allocate at least 1GB of RAM to the VM

Choose “Mac OS X” and “Mac OS X Server” as the OS and OS Type

Select the Snow Leopard DVD, DMG, or ISO as the primary boot drive

Confirm the specs, boot disk of and choose “Create”

instal and run OS X Lion

Now boot the newly created VM by clicking on “Start” and let the Snow Leopard installer load, click through to the “Install Mac OS X” screen

Pull down the “Utilities” menu and select “Disk Utility” ¨C this next step is important because without it the virtual drive will not appear in the install menu

Select the name of the virtual hard drive on the left side menu of Disk Utility (15GB VBOX HARDDRIVE or something similar) and then click on the “Erase” tab

Choose “Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)” and name the hard drive something, then click on “Erase”

format virtual hard disk

Now quit out of Disk Utility to go back to the general Mac OS X Installer

Select the hard drive name you just formatted and click on “Install”

Let the installer run, this will take a while (30-45 minutes) and just ignore the “Time Remaining” estimate because it’s inaccurate ¨C if it looks frozen or stuck, it’s not, the progress bar just jumps in huge chunks rather than gradual increases

After the installation is done and you’re back at the VirtualBox Manager screen, click on on the gear icon for “Settings”

In Settings, click on “Storage” and then look under “IDE Controller” to remove the Snow Leopard install DVD, ISO, or DMG ¨C if you don’t do this, the VM will boot back into the installer rather than into Mac OS X 10.6

Close out of Settings, select your VM, and click on “Start” to boot the virtual machine

If you see a bunch of error messages with white text on a black screen, ignore all of that and let VirtualBox boot. Soon the familiar Mac OS X Snow Leopard setup screen will load to pick region settings and setup the virtual machine as any other new Mac. Enjoy!

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard DVD (ISO or DMG for MacBook Air users)

From osxdaily

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