Check tutorial of How to Dual Boot OS X 10.7 Lion & OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
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OS X Mountain Lion is Apple’s latest Mac operating system, complete with a ton of new ones features that iOS users will find familiar. It looks like a great addition to the Mac OS family, but for now it’s still in Developer Preview, has quite a few bugs, and isn’t quite ready for prime time. For those who want to explore and develop OS X Mountain Lion without losing their primary – and stable – OS X Lion installation, it’s best to create a dual boot set up. This allows you to have both Mac OS X 10.7 and OS X 10.8 on the same Mac, which you can easily switch between by rebooting.
Before you start, do the following:
- Check the system requirements to ensure compatibility with OS X Mountain Lion
- Download OS X Mountain Lion from the App Store
- Back up the Mac in OS X Lion using Time Machine
If you’ve already created an OS X Mountain Lion boot installer, you can use that, or you can partition directly from Disk Utility in Lion. It shouldn’t matter, although OS X Lion can be finer when it comes to partitioning the startup disk than previous versions of Mac OS X. After you make a backupup have made up your Mac, you can continue.
Set Up Dual Boot for OS X Lion & Install OS X Mountain Lion
We’ll walk through partitioning, installing, and booting both versions of Mac OS X:
- Open Disk Utility, click on the hard drive and then click on “partition”
- Click on the + icon to add a new partition, make it at least 14 GB and name it something obvious like “Mountain Lion”, then click “Apply”
- Confirm the creation of the partition (see note below if you have problems here)
- Run the OS X Mountain Lion Preview installer (or mount the InstallESD.dmg file) and open the “Install OS X Mountain Lion Preview 1.app” to start the installation
- Click through to install and select the newly created partition “Mountain Lion”
- Let the installation begin, the Mac will reboot, and the installation of OS X Mountain Lion will begin
You are done! Once the installation is complete, you will be greeted by the familiar OS X welcome and set up up screen.
Choose which OS X version to bootHold down Option during the reboot to bring up up the boot loader. You will find four disks; one for OS X 10.7, one for OS X 10.8, and one recovery partition for each OS X version. This is why it was important to call the OS X Mountain Lion partition something obvious.
Select “Mountain Lion” and start as usual. Startup Disk settings can also be adjusted from the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences at any point in Mac OS X 10.7 or OS X 10.8.
Competitive recovery partitionsHaving two recovery partitions active can cause problems when trying to recover from one or the other, and it is recommended that you use neither to recover the operating system in the current dual boot setup. If you are going to delete the OS X Lion or OS X Mountain Lion partitions, don’t forget to delete the recovery partition associated with that version of Mac OS X. If not, you could accidentally recover the wrong operating system or have boot problems if you uninstall the wrong operating system and find that the recovery partition is not compatible with the remaining version of OS X.
Note on partitioning in OS X 10.7As mentioned earlier, OS X Lion is more choosy than previous versions of Mac OS X when it comes to partitioning the startup disk. If you have trouble partitioning the active startup disk, reboot into recovery mode (Command + R during boot) and use Disk Utility from there to create the partition, then reboot into OS X Lion and go continue with the installation.
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