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Leopard Erase and Install Success – Howto

February 25, 2008 at 23:00 · Filed under mac, tech

So you want to upgrade your Mac from Tiger (10.4) to Leopard (10.5)? This has probably been written about by every man and his cat, but here is my experience and the optimal installation sequence – as written by a late-comer to the Leopard gang.Leopard

Erase and Install is your best bet. Take it from someone whom tried to use the upgrade option and FAILED.

Make a couple of good backups, at least one being an external FIREWIRE (not USB people, FIREWIRE) HDD that is a clone of your existing tiger boot partition.

Note: If you have filevault turned on for any of your accounts you should turn OFF filevault before the upgrade.

The steps then are as simple as this:

  1. Confirm your clone backup works by booting off the external firewire drive – I can’t stress this enough. Plug in your firewire HDD, power it on, turn on your mac and hold cmd-option-shift-delete just after the gong sound. This will boot off your backup.
  2. The backup is OK? Good… shutdown, power off the firewire HDD and unplug it. Power on, holding the C key with your install DVD inserted. This will boot off the DVD (C key is for cdrom booting. A legacy shortcut key, but now commonly known)
  3. Choose the install option – Erase and Install
  4. After the installation is done – DO NOT use the migration tool to migrate at this time.
  5. Ensure your username you choose is not the same as any of the old ones. This is OK, as it can be removed later
  6. Log into your new Leopard, and commence to download and install the combo update to 10.5.2 (or whatever the latest patch level is)
  7. Once the update is complete and the computer restarted, login, plug in and turn on your Firewire external HDD
  8. Run the migration assistant as documented by Apple. It will successfully migrate all the chosen accounts, applications and data from your old system that was cloned to the external HDD.

If you have any problems with this all, or need help, you can ask for help in the official Leopard installation forums.
As a bonus, if you no longer want to clone to the new HDD – you may format it ONCE you have Leopard working OK, then plug it in and use it as your time-machine backup drive. Bonus.

Brian H said,

March 12, 2009 @ 01:46

Well that sounded good to me. So I followed the above steps to get Leopard on to my daughter’s Powermac G4. Two previous 10.5 installations on my G5 and my son’s Imac failed to complete as update-and-installs, so the disks had to be erased with everything manually reinstalled for back-ups. A real chore.

I used a 500Gb Firewire drive with around 150Gb free and everything went well at first. OS 10.5.6 is now on the Powerbook as a clean installation and it will happily boot from the Firewire drive with all of my daughter’s stuff present and correct.

However, when I boot from Leopard and try to migrate her old account back, the Assistant doesn’t find the right user. Instead it finds MY name and identifies my 300-odd Gb of stuff as “additional data” to import. I tried leaving it for half an hour but it still didn’t find any more accounts.

There is in fact no working system under my name on that disk. I had 10.2 running on it three or four years ago but deleted all the system stuff when I no longer needed it.

I can understand the Assistant finding the vestiges of my old ID from invisible files on the drive, but why won’t it then go on to find the fully working ID that has just been installed there?

Anyone got a clue how this can be solved other than by cloning the account elsewhere, wiping the Firewire disk and trying again (preparing for that would take me longer than a manual migration)?

lantrix said,

March 16, 2009 @ 12:44

Sorry it didn’t work for you Brian. Your old disk was running 10.2 though? Unfortunately I only tested and documented in this post for 10.4 (tiger) to 10.5 (leopard).

I see there have been other people with similar issues migrating from an earlier version to 10.5, and someone has even created a guide on the issues surrounding PPC to Intel migration.

Hope you have luck.

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