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Liveblogging the Leopard install

Scott McNulty

I've got my hot little hands on my copy of Leopard, and I'm about to install it. What better way to spend a rainy Friday night in Philadelphia than installing a new OS and liveblogging it?

Before I did anything I made a bootable backup of my Mac, just in case bad things happen. Mat showed you how to do this earlier. My tool of choice is SuperDuper, but the app doesn't matter as much as the existence of this backup. As a bonus you'll be able to import your settings from this backup if you do a clean install (like I am).

7:07pm: Open disk, toss aside manual, save Apple stickers and slide the disk into my MacBook (2Ghz Core Duo). Start up holding down C.

Find the rest of the updates after the break.

9:34pm: Success! All my settings have been migrated over, and the reason why I decided to go with a clean install is fixed (after some fiddling a month or so ago I managed to break the Dock, but the Leopard Dock works). To the right is proof of my success. If you have anything you want to see in Leopard, leave a comment and I'll answer them all in a separate post.

9:04pm: And all my files are transfered, well, almost all of them. One of my Spotlight indexes couldn't be transfered, but the Migration Assistant is going to save it onto the Desktop so I can delete it myself. How nice!

: Thanks to Chris Masto I now know that Exodus Honey is the name of the song that plays during the Leopard Intro movie (don't worry, Chris, I won't tell a soul).

8:43pm: My files are still being copied over. Can you feel the excitement? Here is an Apple Knowledgebase article that I hope no one will need, 'Mac OS X 10.5: Unable to log in to account after an upgrade install'.

Reader Marcus warns that you should uninstall APE before you upgrade to Leopard. It would seem APE is causing some blue screens after booting.

: My files are still copying over, so let's answer another commenter's question, shall we? Shaun asks, 'I use HD2 for extra storage. Should I use Super Duper and use HD2 as my backup drive to avoid saving to external hard drive? Will I lose my files on HD2 if I do a clean install? Should I just pull the drive out of its bay when I do the install? So many questions.' Well, Shaun, if you're using HD2 to store data that you're hoping to keep I wouldn't use it to make a bootable back up, that is unless you have more than one partition on it. The process of making a bootable backup erases whatever is on the partition first (bye, bye data!). That being said, if you have an empty partition you can use that. And there is no need to actually remove the drive when you're install Leopard. The installer will ask you what volume you want to install onto, and it won't touch the other volumes on your Mac.

8:09pm: Absent one asks a common switcher question in the comments, 'Sorry if I sound stupid but this is my first OSX install. There is no PID - I come from the windows world where there is a PID for everything... Does it authenticate with a server somewhere? How does it know im installing a legit copy.And how does it know I can install it on 5 machines.. (i got the family pack)' There is no such thing as a stupid question! Windows, and lots of software these days, requires a product key of some kind to activate. Apple has traditionally eschewed this, and that remains true with Leopard. Apple isn't checking on you to see how many times you install it, they expect you to do the right thing (and at least according to John Gruber it looks like most people are, in his unscientific findings at least).

After 8 minutes the transfer time is down to 1 hour and 48 minutes. Not too shabby.

Transferring about 110 gigs of info back on my MacBook. Hurrah for FireWire, but boo to the estimated 5 hour transfer time.

The Leopard intro movie looks very nice full screen on my MacBook. The Migration Assistant is now running, calculating how much space I need to migrate everything. There was an option to migrate settings from a Time Machine backup, which is very cool.

The MacBook just restarted. The install process took about 27 minutes.

I'm switching the way I input updates, so the most recent will be at the top. It is easier to read this way, yes?

7:27pm: Leopard is installing away, and Jon asks in the comments, 'im looking for a way to transfer all my clean data- like iphoto files, contacts, itunes songs, etc.- while doing a clean install. whats the best way to do this?' You can do what I suggest above and make a bootable back up of your Mac. This will include all your data (assuming you store it on your Mac's startup drive), then you can have the Migration Assistant transfer all your data, and apps, over to your new install. If you just want your data you can back that up to an external drive, install Leopard, create your user, mount your external drive, and copy your stuff back. I'm must stress that a bootable backup is the best way to go though, because should something go wrong you'll have a complete backup that you can boot your Mac from.

7:17pm: Leopard tells me it'll take 25 minutes to install on my MacBook with 2 gigs o' RAM. Oh, and if you have any questions for me about the install process leave 'em in the comments.

7:13pm: Leopard is installing as I type this. How exciting! I'm going to skip the DVD consistency check because I am impatient.

7:11pm: Customizing my install now. I don't need all these languages, or printer drivers at the moment. That shaved 5.3 gigs from the install.

7:09pm: Leopard tells me it needs 11.2 gigs to install, but that is with the defaults. The default install option is 'Upgrade,' which should be fine for most users. I've done a number on my Tiger install so I am going to 'Erase and Install' route by hitting 'Options.'

7:08pm: My MacBook has booted off the Leopard install disk. There is a new option under 'Utilities' called 'Restore System from Backup.' Sweet Time Machine integration.

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