OSX Leopard installation story

Like many of you, I picked up Leopard Family pack last night. You see I have 4 mac’s and for $199 the family pack allows me to install leopard on up to 5 machines (in the same household). Anyways I did run into some troubles so I figured I’ll let you guys know about the gotchas:

– I “Upgraded” a 10.4.10 MBP 17″ and everything more or less worked, about the only thing I couldn’t get working was istat menu gadget. That Blue screen thing after the first reboot scared me to death, since your machine literally churns away for a good 5 minutes before the desktop loads. This only happens on the first boot after install. Some people have reported this screen followed by a what sounds like a lockup, but that did not happen to me. Strangely little snitch version 1.x worked fine after the upgrade (It’s not supposed to).
– I the proceeded to “Upgrade” a hoped-up Mac G4 Cube (Dual 1.5 Ghz w/ 1.5 GB of Ram and Nvidia Geforce 2 gfx) that was running 10.4.10 Server edition and low behold…..the installation worked fine but when I rebooted the boot device (startup disk) was not there anymore. I ended up having to do a “Erase/Fresh install” which is working but I lost some apps (no biggie, I have most of them on the MBP).
– Third came the G4 12″ PowerBook. I “Upgraded” it from 10.4.10 and everything went fine through the install, but when I rebooted all I got was the white screen with the apple logo and the spinner thing. The spinner kept spinning for at least 60-70 minutes and nothing (you could hear faint HD access one in a while). I rebooted a couple more times, tried single user mode, safe mode and verbose boot but nothing worked just the spinner. I did a re-“Upgrade” and the same results again. Then thought, why not try the “Archive System Install” option and low and behold everything worked. The system actually grabbed all my 10.4.10 Apps and installed them in the right place. My account was also transfered and everything came back just like before. The only problem on this machine (which I have to admit does not have much installed on it) was Little Snitch. I ended up having to upgrade to the 2.x beta family pack, downloaded the new installer and everything is happy again.
– At this point I got kinda bold and did a “Archive System Install” on my MacBook 2.0Ghz straight from 10.4.10 to 10.5 and I have to say wow….the archive option is a lot less hassle and moves (almost) all your apps and accounts/settings over. Adobe CS3 works fine and even Final Cut Studio is fully functional after the Archive install. Some things didn’t work here and required reinstalls, but no major breakdowns. The main ones were:
  • Logitech Control Centre for the MX Laser
  • Parallels 3.x
  • Some screen saver which had to be moved from the archived directory
  • Little Snitch which needs a upgrade to 2.x
  • Printers which disappear after the upgrade

– At last I got really adventurous and went back to my “Upgraded” 10.5 MBP and did a “Archive System Install” on it. Everything went okay, Apps and settings got transfered properly, but in addition to the 5 breakdowns above I had to reinstall the following:

  • Logitech Control Centre for MX510
  • Silicon Image 3132 ExpressCard Driver
  • SynergyKM 
  • iStat Menu (since it stopped working on the first “Upgrade” and the “Archive install” simply left it aside.
  • EyeTV software for EyeTV Hybrid (just an update)
Now everything is happy (I think). I’m doing my second time machine backup. The machine feels faster than before. I have left Spotlight running for now, to see if it’s tendency to go nuts once in a while has been fixed. Not everything has gone as planned, but for the most part I have to say that “Archive” install option is your friend. I would avoid the “Upgrade” option on PPC machines since I’ve had two bad (back-to-back) experiences. 

Leave a Reply