Pro Tools 6 and Migration to OS X — Dual-Boot Systems

Using Pro Tools 6 for OS X and Pro Tools 5 for OS 9 on the same computer

To make the transition from OS 9 to OS X as painless as possible, here are some suggestions for configuring a dual-boot system that will support both Pro Tools 6 on OS X and previous versions of Pro Tools 5 on OS 9.

OS 9 Authorization Keys and Installing Mac OS X

Installing or upgrading OS X on your Macintosh may erase any currently installed OS 9 floppy key disk authorizations (such as Reverb One for Pro Tools 5). Uninstall all key disk authorizations before installing or upgrading Mac OS X. After installing OS X, or upgrading your OS X version, run the following from the OS X Disk Utility: "Repair Disk Permissions".

There are 3 ways to configure OS 9 along with OS X on the same computer:

  1. Both OS 9 and OS X on the same drive on a single partition. This is the easiest method, and typically the way Apple Computers ships their OS 9 compatible computers. However, as mentioned above, there can be key disk authorization conflicts with the newer PACE iLok authorizations.

  2. Each Mac OS on a separate partition of a single hard drive. This is a better way to go if you have only one internal hard drive. If each partition has a discrete OS (OS 9 on one partition and OS X on the second) then file sharing between the OS'es will be minimized. This will also prevent interference between iLok authorizations and OS 9 key disk authorizations.

  3. Each Mac OS on a separate hard drive. Installing OS 9 and OS X on separate hard drives is the safest way to allow OS 9 and OS X to co-exist on the same system. This method allows you to completely unmount or disconnect either hard drive when doing maintenance or OS updates. Like method #2, this will also prevent interference between iLok authorizations and OS 9 key disk authorizations.

Digidesign recommends method #2 or #3 above as the safer and more flexible methods of configuring a computer for dual boot operation.

If you already have your drive formatted with OS 9 installed you will need to simply boot from the OS X Installation CD and follow the onscreen prompts.

If you want to do a fresh installation of OS 9 and OS X on a single empty drive:

  1. Boot from OS X Install CD by holding down the 'C' key on startup.
  2. In the menu bar, go to the Installer menu and choose Open Disk Utility.
  3. In Disk Utility select the hard drive you want to partitition and click the Partition tab.
  4. Under Volume Scheme choose the number of partitions you want to create on the drive. 2 partitions will be sufficient in most cases, but if you intend to record audio to the drive make a separate partition for that as well.
  5. Name each partition and for format choose Mac OS Extended (HFS+).
  6. Make sure the box for "Install Mac OS 9 Disk Drivers" is checked. Otherwise the drive won't show up when booted up in OS 9.
  7. Click on Partition when you are ready.
  8. Quit Disk Utility and continue on with the OS X Installation.
  9. After installing OS X, or upgrading your OS X version, run "Repair Disk Permissions" from the following location: Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility/Disk First Aid tab.
  10. Afterwards boot from the OS 9 Installation CD and install OS 9.

For more information on Mac OS X, see Pro Tools Mac OS X Requirements

Known Issues:

Latest 2003 and newer Apple Computers that are OS X Only

Most models of the newest Apple computers will only boot in OS X. It is not possible to choose OS 9 as a startup system, and Pro Tools 5 will not work with OS X "Classic Mode". It is not possible to have a dual boot system with Pro Tools 6 and Pro Tools 5 on these 2003 and newer systems that will only boot in OS X.

2003 and Newer OS X Only Models

  • All Power Mac G5 models
  • Single Processor 1 GHz Power Mac G4 FW800
  • Dual Processor 1.25 GHz Power Mac G4 FW800
  • Dual Processor 1.42 GHz Power Mac G4 FW800
  • 867 MHz PowerBook G4 (12" screen)
  • 867 MHz PowerBook G4 (15" screen)
  • 1 GHz PowerBook G4 (15" screen)
  • 1 GHz PowerBook G4 (17" screen)
  • 800 MHz G4 iMac (15" screen)
  • 1 GHz G4 iMac (17" screen)

FW800 = FireWire 800 models

Power Mac G4 1.25 GHz MDD (Mirrored Drive Doors) single and dual processor models (NOT the FW800 models) available on the AppleStore can boot in both OS X and OS 9:

Classic Mode

In order to launch an OS 9 Application when booted into OS X it is necessary to use "Classic Mode". This OS 9 emulation program requires a valid OS 9 System Folder in order to create the Classic environment. If you have OS 9 and OS X on different partitions or drives and you plan to run Classic applications on OS X, it is recommended that you do a separate install of OS 9 on the OS X partition so that your main OS 9 installation will remain untouched by OS X.

Note: Pro Tools will not run as a Classic application.

Plug-In Authorizations for OS X

Please be advised that floppy based copy protection authorizations will not work on OS X. If you are upgrading to OS X and have any legacy Digidesign or Digidesign distributed plug-ins with floppy based copy protection registered with us that have not been updated, we would like to update these with new iLok USB Hardware Key* based copy protection developed for Pro Tools and OS X.

We can accomplish this automatically by depositing these applicable authorizations for you at, provided you have an account set up there with at least one registered iLok. You will need to provide Digidesign with your account name for our customer registration database, along with your Pro Tools 6 registration. You can then log onto and move these authorizations from your account to your iLok USB Hardware Key.

To set up an account, please go to and register by creating your own unique User ID and password. Upon registration you will have sign on privileges. Please provide your User ID on your registration card in the space provided so we may add it to your Digidesign customer record.

* iLok USB Hardware Key sold separately, available from your Authorized Digidesign Dealer or the DigiStore.

For more information on iLok technology, see the Digidesign iLok Information page in the Digidesign Support section, and the iLok Usage Guide in your Pro Tools/Documentation folder or the Technical Document Library.

For any third-party key disk authorized software, please contact the manufacturer about upgrading for OS X compatibility.

Digidesign Compatibility Documents Index