How-To Downgrade From OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 To The Previous Minor Release 10.8.1

Long Story Short:
1 – Re-install the base system of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8[.0] over the current System Drive, from a USB stick or NetInstall image.
2 – Apply the 10.8.1 update downloading it from Apple Support page.
or keep reading for more details

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Long Story:

To revert to a previous minor release of OS X you MUST first re-install the base major release of the specific OS X version (in our case OS X 10.8) over the current installed system volume. After that you will apply your favourite minor release. You can dowload the dmg archives of any minor release on Apple Support page:

i.e. OS X Mountain Lion Update v10.8.1 http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1571 

Re-installing a previous release (of the same OS X version) on an existing system will overwrite the most recent system updates that you may have applied so far. Without wiping the the current installed system.

It’s NOT considered a dangerous operation, it is even recommended by Apple as a troubleshooting technique.

Mind that it will restore Apple default permissions on OS X system files, overwriting any customised permission that you may have set for other subsitems like homebrew, ruby, MacPorts etc.

To be able to install the base version of the system you have to:

  1. download from the App Store the OS X base installer application:
    for Mountain Lion or Lion do not download the official image from the Mac App Store because it will already include the updates that you probably want to avoid.
    [have you ever heard about Torrent files?]If you are running Lion, you can purchase an official Mac OS X Lion Thumb key.
    If your system is Snow Leopard or any previous version you can use the official CD/DVD discs.
  1. Create a USB Thumb from the installer (10.8[.0])archive following these detailed instructions on iClarified.com:
    http://iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=23486Alternatively using the installer archive you can create a NetInstall image for your NetBoot service running on your local OS X Server, as described at Apple Support Page:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4178
    .
    do not user the Mac Recovery pertition, because it would source the installation file from the MacApp Store and it will install the latest version of OS X (10.8.2)
    .
  2. Restart your Mac a boot from the USB drive or from the DVD, and when the installation wizard will ask you to choose where to install OS X you will choose your current system volume (without need to wipe it from it’s content), and start the installation process.

On a Mac the downgrade process of OS X from a minor release to a previous release of the system is the same for every system version.

You can downgrade OS X 10.8.2 to 10.8.1 or 10.8, or you can revert from 10.7.6 to 10.7.5 or 10.7.4 down to 10.7.. and so on for the older releases.

What you can NOT do is to downgrade from a major release to a previous major release of OS X, for instance you can NOT downgrade from any release OS X 10.8.x to any release of OS X 10.7.x and so on for the other previous versions.

 

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About marcomc

Marco M.C. is a System Administrator with 10 years of professional experience in ICT. He has deep knowledge of Mac OS X, Windows, and GNU/Linux. His hobbies vary from DIY, Traveling, learning foreign languages and especially he love to cook and experiment with food from all around the world.
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