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  1. #1
    OS X upgrade process?

    Member Since
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    OS X upgrade process?
    As many Windows users know, the upgrade process is kinda messy. Say you have Win2K and you want to upgrade to WinXP. Sure, you can do an in-place upgrade, but I hear they're messy, leave a bunch of crap in your registry, and it can possibly break stuff. Best route is to back up your data, reformat, and install WinXP fresh, then reinstall all your software (ugh).

    Ubuntu is like a dream come true. 7.04 "Feisty" just came out today. The upgrade process from 6.10 "Edgy" involves opening the update manager, saying "yes" to upgrade to Feisty, and it downloads all the patches, does an in-place upgrade, and you're done. No hassle. Hopefully.

    I'm wondering, if I get a Mac Pro next week, then Leopard comes out later this year, how does that upgrade process work? Can I just pop in the Leopard CD/DVD and do an in-place upgrade? Or is that not recommended? How does the OS upgrade process work?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    OS X upgrade process?
    baggss's Avatar
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    Apple updates OSX roughly every 18 months or so. You have 4 options once you insert the disc and boot from it:

    1) Format and Install: Pretty self-explanatory

    2) Clean Install: Puts a bootable system on your machine but doesn't move your profile or data to it, you have to do so manually. Leaves the old system folder with your profile in-tact so can retrieve data as you desire.

    3) Archive and Install: Puts a new bootable system folder on your machine and moves your profile and data to the new system. When you reboot, your system should look the same as before and things like your network prefs and desktop background should be the same. Leaves the old system folder there for you to delete manually.

    4) Upgrade: Simply upgrades your existing system to the new system.

    Backups are always recommended, although I have never done one and have never lost any data.

    I generally do #3 but did do #4 from 10.2 to 10.3 without any issues. I prefer #3 as it gives a completely clean system install without mucking up my profile and data.

    Software updates are done through the system and you can set the system to check periodically and download and install system updates for you as the become available on-line. Apple made applications are updated this way (iTunes, iPhoto etc) as are minor system updates (10.4.1 to 10.4.2 and security patches etc).


  3. #3
    OS X upgrade process?

    Member Since
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    OK, bear with me as I'm a total Mac newbie. Options #1 and #4 make sense to me, that's like what Windows has to offer, reformat/install, and an in-place upgrade.

    #2 and #3 I don't quite grasp.

    #2, clean install. So it installs Leopard into a new system folder? What is the system folder path in OS X? I mean, if the applications are in /Applications.. that's at root level. Those are going to be in Leopard even if you do a clean install, right? Do applications stay put during a clean install?

    #3, archive and install. So this is similar to #2 except it moves your prefs and data into the new system folder. What is the advantage of this over #2 exactly? Just less work?

    So it sounds like I won't have to reinstall my applications, right? (hopefully) It sounds like just documents & such need to be moved over.

    Which upgrade method will you guys use when Leopard comes out?

  4. #4
    OS X upgrade process?
    baggss's Avatar
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    #2 simply installs a new system folder which is what the system will boot when you restart. The old system folder is renamed "Old System Folder" and is still at the root level. Your profile data is all left in there. You can retrieve it and move it to the new profile as you desire. The new system will have an Applications folder with the latest versions of all the applications that OSX installs. The path is /Users/Your Profile Name/Applications. The old Applications folder will be in the old system folder whose path would be /Old System Folder/Users/Your profile name/Applications.

    #3 moves all your data including files, applications and preferences to the new system folder and recreates the same data path. IF there is a new version of say Apple Mail in 10.5, it will put the new version in your Applications folder but will apply the old versions prefs to it so your e-mail accounts and files will look exactly the same when you open Mail again. It will do this with every Application that OSX installs that has a newer version than the one you had before. 3rd party apps will be left alone and simply moved with your profile to the new system folder. This is also true of 3rd party System Preferences (Say an MS Mouse preference panel that allows you setup an MS mouse).

    If you keep your iTunes music in the Music folder (which is the default location) that will all be moved to the new system with your profile as will pictures, Movies, desktop items/files and anything else that is kept inside your profile, which is pretty much everything unless you specifically move it to the root level. Even in that case, those files would not be touched and would still be in the root level when you reboot the machine. Say if you had a folder named "Stuff" that you had root level, it's would still be there when you were done with the install.

    The only exception is applications that are set too be used by all users, not just your profile. Those settings will not be moved in #3 (or any option) and would still have to be done manually.

    Yes, 3 is just easier as it makes the install package move all your stuff for you while giving a new, fresh, System install.

    I personally will do an Archive and Install for 10.5 and then remove the old system folder at my leisure.


  5. #5
    OS X upgrade process?

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    Makes sense..mostly. As much as it can to someone with hardly any OS X experience. One thing, though.. aren't any apps in /Users/<name>/Applications ones that the user installed, and therefore only accessible to that user? If I log in as admin(?), and install an app, does it go into /Applications at the root level, available to all? I assume the OS upgrade will handle those just fine..

  6. #6
    OS X upgrade process?
    Brown Study's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptSaltyJack View Post
    Which upgrade method will you guys use when Leopard comes out?
    I have four partitions. One has OS X's system files on it and all the files it needs to run, including the apps, the system's library, the partition's library and the users' libraries. My desktop pix are on that partition, too, because the Stretch to Fit and other commands won't work unless the wallpaper pix are in my library's Pictures folder.

    Another partition contains all my OS X documents, photos and video and sound files — mp3s and the like.

    The other two paritions are for OS 9, one of them being only 9's bare essentials that keep the main 9 running properly. The main 9 partition's iTunes and QuckTime and the others use the files on the OS X documents partition.

    When an OS X upgrade such as Panther, Tiger and Leopard come along, I wipe the drive completely and start again, because if there are any bugs I want to know for certain that they're caused by the new system, not some vagary hanging around since Jaguar.

    But I can also rationalize doing this because of the opportunity it affords to change the partiton sizes. This time, I want more space for X and much less for 9.

    The contents of the three partitions without X's system are easy reinstalls — just the docs, pix and music, etc. Reinstalling System 9 is no more difficult than it is moving documents around. The system takes about a minute to copy, if that.

  7. #7
    OS X upgrade process?
    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptSaltyJack View Post
    Makes sense..mostly. As much as it can to someone with hardly any OS X experience. One thing, though.. aren't any apps in /Users/<name>/Applications ones that the user installed, and therefore only accessible to that user? If I log in as admin(?), and install an app, does it go into /Applications at the root level, available to all? I assume the OS upgrade will handle those just fine..
    There is a /Applications folder at the root level, but it only contains Applications that you have installed that would be used by all users, not just you. Mine is currently empty. The only other profile on either of my machines is the ROOT profile and that has it's own System Folder and Applications folder that I can not access form my Admin (daily use) account. If there were other non-admin users on the machine then the common apps would go there as you suggest.


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