Skip to content

Upgrading the MacBook Air to Snow Leopard (Mac OSX 10.6)

September 8, 2009

I have to say that my experience upgrading both my Macs to Snow Leopard has been mixed. It was easy as clicking the Install button on the iMac, it was a nightmare on the Macbook Air.

First I used the Remote CD installation process, started the Macbook Air, mounted the remote CD from the iMac and proceeded to run the “Install Mac”. After agreeing to the license agreement the installation utility told me that the disk did not have enough free space. Despite the fact that the disk had 21Gb of free space!

After some digging I found out that PGP Whole Disk Encryption is not compatible with Snow Leopard, and PGP advised users to decrypt the disk before upgrading.

So I decrypted the disk and restarted the Installation process, only to find out a new error! Damn.

The install app now told me that the Machintosh HD, the only disk, in my Macbook Air, was not a bootable disk and could not install to it. I did some more web searching and some people reported the error to related to the partition format, not being GUID.

Disk Utility in Snow Leopard

I checked with Disk Util and it was indeed GUID. So using Disk Util I added a new partition with 1Gb, using the free space, this procedure rewrote the new partition table to disk and after I was able to finally install Snow Leopard.
When Snow Leopard was installed I used Disk Util again to delete the 1Gb partition and recover the disk space.

If Disk Utility gives you disk verification errors, you need to repair those before resizing your partitions. If you repair the disk multiple times and it still gives you the same errors then you should run the Remote Install Mac OS X application on another Mac. If you only have a Windows as a second computer check this the “How to use Remote Disc” article on Apple’s support site.

Boot your MacBook Air directly into the Snow Leopard CD. Just start the Air and hold the option key until you see the list of disks you have to boot from. If the Remote Install Mac OS X application is running on your other computer the Snow Leopard will show up here.

Remote Install Mac OS X

Have you had Snow Leopard upgrade issues?


From → MAC OS

  1. I had no problems whatsoever upgrading my Macbook Air (first gen).
    I did the update via the Remote CD procedure as well, via WIFI, connected over a Time Capsule, and it finished in approximately an hour and a half.

  2. Sakis permalink

    Major Issues, with 1st gen Macbook air. I started remotely and I followed on screen instructions. After a while I got Installation Failed, try again later. On the second time I tried to install snow leopard, my hard disk is not recognizable! So, My computer is not working any more. Any suggestions?


    • I also have a first generation Macbook Air and I had to format my disk and start from a fresh install of Snow Leopard. What I did was to start the remote install on my iMac and boot the Macbook Air while pressing the Option key, then selecting the remote install.

      Then using the Disk Util from the Snow Leopard CD I erased the whole disk and installed Snow Leopard. So far it is working great, although I do not see any performance improvements.

      hope this helps

  3. Had no problems upgrading my MacBook Air (not sure if 1st gen, purchased Sept. 2008) to Snow Leopard using installation DVD….

    No noticeable performance improvements but it seems that the hard disk? (top left corner) seems to run much warmer, prompting the fan to come on more often. Anyone also experiencing this?

  4. I did the update via the Remote CD procedure too and thankful no problem I encounter as I finished the upgrade. Thanks!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Gave up on Snow Leopard on the Mac Book Air « BigDiver

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: