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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2010
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    Upgrade OSX 10.4 (Tiger) to a newer OSX
    Hi folks,

    I am using an almost four years old iMac running OSX 10.4.6, I believe (I'm posting this from my office, I'll double check the exact version once I get home). Seems like many products nowadays cannot be installed on this version any more. I have a copy of Leopard that I've purchased with my MacBookPro, and was wondering if I could use it to upgrade my iMac.

    Also, if I do that, will the upgrade wipe out some or all data on my iMac?

    Please help, I am extremely non-technical, and I know precious little about Macs, computers, operating systems, etc.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    G'day and welcome to the forums.

    You will not be able to use the MBP disc to update your iMac as these silver grey discs are extremely model specific and your iMac simply will not boot from that Leopard disc period.

    You will have to go into the market place and purchase a full retail install version of the Leopard DVD, a black coloured disc, and you might start at the Buy Sell and Swap forum here. Be prepared for a shock at the price.

    When you have the full retail version of Leopard, boot from the disc and use the 'Archive and Install' option rather than upgrade and all your previous system folders etc will be in a folder entitled 'Previous System' or similar.

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    To add to what harry said, all your data will only be lost if you do a clean fresh install as opposed to an upgrade option when installing. An upgrade will install on top of what you currently have while a clean install will delete everything and start from new. An archive and install is like a fresh install except it keeps your Mac OS system files but all your other personal data is erased. Either way you should backup your data onto an external hard drive before doing anything.

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    G'day and welcome to the forums.

    You will not be able to use the MBP disc to update your iMac as these silver grey discs are extremely model specific and your iMac simply will not boot from that Leopard disc period.

    You will have to go into the market place and purchase a full retail install version of the Leopard DVD, a black coloured disc, and you might start at the Buy Sell and Swap forum here. Be prepared for a shock at the price.

    When you have the full retail version of Leopard, boot from the disc and use the 'Archive and Install' option rather than upgrade and all your previous system folders etc will be in a folder entitled 'Previous System' or similar.
    Thanks for your kind answer. If I upgrade to the new version, will I lose the setup such as my wireless network etc., all of which have been set for me long time ago buy a friend? I won't have the knowledge to set up my home wireless network again, which is my main trepidation (I can back all my data onto an external drive, but really dread losing my wireless network configuration in the upgrade process).

  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    If you are that concerned suggest staying with Tiger, but update to OS X.4.11 using this combo updater direct from the Apple web site:-

    Apple - Downloads - Mac OS X Updates - Mac OS X 10.4.11 Combo Update (PPC)

    You can always use your external drive, back up using Time Machine, pop in the Leopard disc, format the drive and select to bring all files and settings over from Time Machine.

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    You can always use your external drive, back up using Time Machine, pop in the Leopard disc, format the drive and select to bring all files and settings over from Time Machine.
    I could be wrong but I believe Time Machine was first introduced in Leopard so the OP wouldn't have an option for a TM backup.

    Harry does have a good point about updating to the latest version of Tiger. 10.4.6 is not the latest version. Is the software you are trying to install require Leopard or are you just assuming they are? The reason I ask is because they might just need the latest version of Tiger. Usually support for older versions of Mac OS requires the very latest version of that Mac OS.

    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    Thanks for your kind answer. If I upgrade to the new version, will I lose the setup such as my wireless network etc., all of which have been set for me long time ago buy a friend? I won't have the knowledge to set up my home wireless network again, which is my main trepidation (I can back all my data onto an external drive, but really dread losing my wireless network configuration in the upgrade process).
    If you use the upgrade option it won't. Also I believe the archive and install option has a choice to save your network settings. Since you say you aren't really knowledgeable about computers then you might want to do the upgrade feature which keeps all your data but upgrades you to the new OS. Sometimes this causes problems which is why I like doing a fresh erase and install but for you the upgrade option will be the easiest choice.

    Everything still should be backed up though. If you are still afraid of not being able to get back your wireless network settings then go into your system preferences found in your applications folder and find the network icon. Once you are there then click on the wireless section and either write down or press Command Shift 3 to capture a screen image of what you see. Make sure to open all the sub menus such as advanced settings and record those settings too. This way people on this forum can help you if you have all the information. Make sure to not change any settings though when you are recording the settings.

    Your best solution is to see if you really need to upgrade to Leopard.

  7. #7

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Of course my bad! Unless you wanted to do a Google and find TM enabled in Tiger by Terminal but not the best for an inexperienced user I guess. Apologies mcr! I am an old fella and getting forgetful!

  8. #8

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    I have a copy of Leopard that I've purchased with my MacBookPro, and was wondering if I could use it to upgrade my iMac.
    In addition to the technical hurdle mentioned, there's a small matter of legalities as well. The discs for your MBP are for your MBP only, not your MBP and your iMac. Installing one more than one computer from the same disc(s) violates the licensing agreement that you accept when installing.

    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    You will have to go into the market place and purchase a full retail install version of the Leopard DVD, a black coloured disc, and you might start at the Buy Sell and Swap forum here. Be prepared for a shock at the price.
    harry, you must be missing my reminders about a post a few months back from someone who bought the retail version of Leopard directly from Apple for $88 US (I think). This person called the Apple Online Store's toll free number and "killed them with kindness" to get the product. I haven't seen a more recent post with the same story, so if anyone calls to check it out, please post here with the result!

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
    I could be wrong but I believe Time Machine was first introduced in Leopard so the OP wouldn't have an option for a TM backup.

    Harry does have a good point about updating to the latest version of Tiger. 10.4.6 is not the latest version. Is the software you are trying to install require Leopard or are you just assuming they are? The reason I ask is because they might just need the latest version of Tiger. Usually support for older versions of Mac OS requires the very latest version of that Mac OS.


    If you use the upgrade option it won't. Also I believe the archive and install option has a choice to save your network settings. Since you say you aren't really knowledgeable about computers then you might want to do the upgrade feature which keeps all your data but upgrades you to the new OS. Sometimes this causes problems which is why I like doing a fresh erase and install but for you the upgrade option will be the easiest choice.

    Everything still should be backed up though. If you are still afraid of not being able to get back your wireless network settings then go into your system preferences found in your applications folder and find the network icon. Once you are there then click on the wireless section and either write down or press Command Shift 3 to capture a screen image of what you see. Make sure to open all the sub menus such as advanced settings and record those settings too. This way people on this forum can help you if you have all the information. Make sure to not change any settings though when you are recording the settings.

    Your best solution is to see if you really need to upgrade to Leopard.
    You guys are awesome! I'm so impressed with your generosity, and your willingness to help us poor nubies. Thanks a million, I'll follow your instructions very carefully!

    Btw, I sometimes cannot tell whether the software I'm trying to install needs Leopard, or just a more recent version of Tiger. For example, on trying to install VLC, it just dies silently.

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    Well you won't know if it needs Leopard or not unless you read their requirements information. Some software will include a read me file that tells you what the minimum requirements are but usually they post all that stuff on their website.

    Since you already installed VLC just open it up and go to the VLC menu and select About VLC player to find out which version you are using. Now go to their website by clicking here and find out which version you should be using. This is true far all your software. You have to make sure to get the one made for Tiger.

    According to their website you should be using version 0.9.10 for Tiger and they recommend you should have at least Tiger 10.4.7. Run your Software Updater to get the latest version of Tiger. Also the problem with using older software is that they are no longer updating them so they no longer fix problems such as it crashing or suddenly dying. It doesn't mean you are using the wrong version. Usually if you are using the wrong version it will not even work. Try updating Tiger before you think about upgrading to Leopard but make sure to backup up everything first. The downside of staying with Tiger is that you won't be able to use the latest software versions if that is important to you.

  11. #11

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    Btw, I sometimes cannot tell whether the software I'm trying to install needs Leopard, or just a more recent version of Tiger.
    One quick indication that a software application needs a more up to date version of the Mac OS is it simply won't run. When this happens...do like "EndlessMac" suggested...and go to the website for the software in question...and see what the hardware & software requirements are for the program.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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