Can you have different versions of OSX on the same machine?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Kind of a complicated question(apologies in advance), but right now I have an old G4800 that is used only for recording. When I bought it, most software was still in the throes of the OS9/OSX conversion, so Sweetwater configured the machine with a partitioned hard drive: On one partition, it's all OS9, and if I want to use that system, I need to start up the disk from that partition. On the other partition, it's running OS 10.2.3, and I use Digital Performer 4.0 from that OS.

The problem is that I'd like to upgrade to Tiger, but DP4.0 won't work with Tiger, and I have a ton of valuable recordings that I did with that program on that drive that I don't want to risk losing or not being able to edit. I'd also like to purchase and install DP5 and use it in Tiger, but since DP5 is pretty new and early versions of DP updates tend to be a little buggy at first, I was wondering if it would be possible to wipe the old OS9 partition clean and install Tiger and DP5 on that partition and still have either partition/OS available as a startup disc. That way, if DP5 is buggy, I can still use the older program and OS while the kinks are being worked out, but Could also begin using the newer program without compromising the old stuff.

Is this possible, and if so, is it advisable, or is this scenario just opening up a whloe pandora's box? (sorry if it's a total n00b question...I came by it honestly).


  • Reply 1 of 2
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    You can install a different version on a different partition. It isn't widely recommended, but I use a small stripped down install on a small partition as a emergency rescue contingency. The biggest problem is maintaining two independent systems. Also make sure you use different user names attached to those independent systems to avoid any inadvertent unhappiness.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    Sure you can. I have 10.4.6, 8.6, and 9.2 all on one machine. I have 2 hard drives partitioned into 3 disks with each system on its own partition. I always think about getting rid of classic but I still have a few programs and games that I like to run in Classic. I keep 8.6 just because it is my favorite older operating system.

    My wife used to work as a beta tester and she always had multiple versions of OS X on her machine. I do believe that she also partitioned her hard drive to keep things nice and tidy.

    Seeing how you are ready have things set up the way you like you might think about buying an external Firewire drive and you could install TIger on it to test it out.
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