Upgrading to 10.4: advice, scenarios, plans

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Since we're all going to be in this boat sometime in the near future, and since we are a diverse and varied group of folks, I thought it would be good for members to post their situation, upgrade plan, and advice.



Please, no bashing on someone else for being 'impetuous', 'scared', or anything else, just share your plan and why.



I'm a doctoral student in CS finishing up my degree this summer, so I am touching *nothing* on my laptop until I finish... this means you all get to play with Tiger long before I do, ya bastiches.



I'll give you a rundown of my normal plan however, to get the ball rolling:



1) The server.

I have an aging 350MHz B/W G3 running 10.3 Server for the home domain and mail services. The boot drive contains three partitions, one for 10.3 Server, one for 10.2 Server, and one for 9.2. I cycle the MacOS X partitions, so on the next iteration the 10.2 section will get formatted, and a fresh install of 10.4 will go onto it. I make a text file listing all the files installed (Terminal tools are your friend) to create an exclude list for backup purposes later, and then start a painstaking process of moving my config files over by hand, with meticulous testing of each service. Last, I configure /Users to point to the data drive. Duplicate backups of the current boot partition and full data drive are of course made prior to this, and then detached from the machine.



I've considered wiping the 10.2 partition, using Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the 10.3 over to it, and then installing 10.4 over the top of that, to save myself some steps. Anyone care to comment on that?



2) The laptop.

This is my main work machine, and as such is extremely important to keep running. A full backup, Disk Utility check, etc, precede anything else. I suspect that this time I may do a wipe of the drive and start from scratch (I haven't done that since 10.2), but Archive and Install sounds like a viable alternative, as long as I can be mostly sure that the old cruft will be cleaned out to a good degree.



In both cases, I'm going to be waiting quite a bit for work reasons, but even if I had the opportunity to install the day I got it in my ADC mailing, I'd hold off. Old timers know that there are *always* bugs. Wait a week for the reports to start coming in if your uptime is critical. Wait two if you want, just let someone who has more flexibility in their schedule to be the early adopter and take a few hits for the team. Once reports start arriving (and they always do, it's just the nature of the industry), decide whether they are bugs you can live with. I mean, if I hear about ColorSync bugs, I'm not going to care, but if I hear about problems with Xcode, I'll hold off for an updated release of that subsystem. We all have our own priorities, and we all have to make our own decisions as to when to take the plunge, and with how many feet at once.



So I ask you all, what's your plan? Dip a toe while wearing a life jacket and after mapping out the lakebottom, or dive in head first without looking? What's your risk aversion level?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    maffrewmaffrew Posts: 166member
    Having bought my first two Macs (a 15" Powerbook and a 20" iMac G5) with Panther on, i'd appreciate advice on some points.



    As a Windows user i always formatted my system before installing a new version of the OS as i found windows 'upgrades' to be flaky at best. What's the consensus when it comes to installing a new Mac OS? Is it best to format, or to just upgrade?



    If it's best to format, how do you do that?



    They're used for recreation and writing essays and other Uni stuff, but i'm prepared to use Tiger as soon as.



    Besides personal data and files, what should be backed up as far and settings go? Is there any folder/files that hold general configurations I should keep and then pop back?
  • Reply 2 of 16
    karl kuehnkarl kuehn Posts: 756member
    Generally you just need to keep your user folder (since you have all of your original CD's or can re-download the rest of your software).



    And MacOS X offers one more form of install that Windows hasn't caught on to (actually it has been doing this since either 8.6 or 9... with a brief absence at the start of MacOS X): the clean install option. In the case of a clean install all of your Applications and user data stays in place, but your System folder is moved aside and replaced with a new one. All the conceptual benefits of erasing and reinstalling, without endangering your user data.



    Now there is one benefit of actually wiping the HD, and that is that it gives it a chance to more cleanly map out sectors of the HD that has gone bad... but that process takes a very long time, and is only to be recommended when you feel there is a problem.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Right, I have a couple of weeks old PowerBook G4 but I'll be doing a clean install for the third time in a month! When I replaced my iMac I did a copy of the hard disk onto an external drive. I then put this back onto my new laptop, then there was a problem with it, i got sent a new laptop so I did the same.



    I copied all apps and libraries but basically I copied over the mail folder (hopefully this will work for the Tiger upgrade - I'll try on my old iMac first), then the iTunes library - I don't want to lose my play counts etc. What I did before was just copy the music folder - that works well. Then my iPhoto library, etc. So then I start again with preferences. Unfortunately I'll have to install Panther clean and then Tiger because iLife is on my Panther DVD! I'm looking forward to it, then I'll put my thousands of fonts back on which haven;t been out on since my new PowerBook arrived - I'm waiting for the Font fix!
  • Reply 4 of 16
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    I *really* want to do the simple "upgrade." Is there a lot of risk in doing this? My machine is not very old, and I keep things cleaned out. Everything works perfect and is setup exactly as I like it, running smooth.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ibook911

    I *really* want to do the simple "upgrade." Is there a lot of risk in doing this? My machine is not very old, and I keep things cleaned out. Everything works perfect and is setup exactly as I like it, running smooth.



    Then do that, the worst that will happen is your computer may run slightly slower. If it does re-install afterwards. I may choose upgrade, but I have too much time on my hands!
  • Reply 6 of 16
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    You can do upgrade, but I'm guessing that it hasn't been tested much - ADC members install 10.4 over 10.4, not 10.4 over 10.3, at least not the sane ones.



    If you have a partition that you can erase, pretty much equivalent is the following:



    - Erase and install 10.4 on the partition you can erase.



    - An Erase and Install allows you to run the Migration Assistant app, which will transfer files either from another machine via FireWire OR from another partition on the same machine. In this case, this would be your existing 10.3 partition.



    - The Migration Assistant app takes a while to do its thing, but you wind up with a clean 10.4 install and no duplication or mismatch of system resources.



    Migration Assistant doesn't appear if you do Archive and Install or Upgrade.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by lundy



    Migration Assistant doesn't appear if you do Archive and Install or Upgrade.






    So how does archive exactly work again? Everything is copied, but a backup is also made of the user directory or something? Can that be deleted, once you see everything works ok?



    Thanks.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    i'm taking all my external drives, filling them with important info, and then totally wiping my internal drives clean. i know i dont have to wipe my internal capture drive, but i want tiger to have a fresh start. hopefully with a clean system i can get some really impressive benchmarks
  • Reply 9 of 16
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    i'm taking all my external drives, filling them with important info, and then totally wiping my internal drives clean. i know i dont have to wipe my internal capture drive, but i want tiger to have a fresh start. hopefully with a clean system i can get some really impressive benchmarks



    that's pretty much what I'm doing
  • Reply 10 of 16
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ibook911

    So how does archive exactly work again? Everything is copied, but a backup is also made of the user directory or something? Can that be deleted, once you see everything works ok?



    Thanks.




    From the ReadMe:



    "? Select ?Archive and Install? to save your existing system files, user accounts and their home folders, and existing network settings. The Installer saves files in a folder named Previous System so that you can copy them to an appropriate location later. You cannot start up your computer using the Previous System folder."



    Yeah, so after you open that up and copy stuff over, you can delete it. But it's a manual job, and it it MUCH easier to let the Migration Assistant copy all your stuff from a previous install. The catch is that it has to be on a different partition.



    So for people with only 1 partition, you could use CCC to backup your 10.3 to an external hard drive (iPod is good for this), then pop in the CD and use Disk Copy to format the HD and at the same time divide it into at least 2 partitions. Then restore 10.3 to one of the partitions, then boot the Tiger DVD and do an Erase and Install on the blank partition. Then use Migration Assistant to move all your stuff except the System over to the Tiger side. Migration Assistant is very smart and can migrate everything except things like weird kernel extensions that you installed that it doesn't realize it needs special permissions to copy. These are pretty rare, and you can always just reinstall the app that put them there. The beauty of this is that you don't have to worry about accidently dragging an old system file over on top of your Tiger install, and you don't have to worry about WHICH "Safari.plist" is your old one (that you want to keep) and which is the new one that got installed with Tiger.



    A VERY important point also is that Mail.app uses a NEW format for mailboxes in 10.4 and if you use Migration Assistant it will convert all your mail for you automatically as it transfers it over.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    regreg Posts: 832member
    We do the family plan with all the major upgrades. I do a CCC of my current drive just as a safety backup. I then do a simple upgrade on my machine. My wife gets a clean install. The kids normally do a simple install. We have a home server (G4 450) running 10.2. It will stay 10.2 till it dies. At which time we will upgrade to an xserve. Our family has the early (me), late or wait till it is proven and then some (my wife) and the "I'll do it when I have the time (my kids). If things feel slow I'll format and do a clean install, which I did with 10.2. Pictures and tunes are to important to not backup.



    reg
  • Reply 12 of 16
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    I hope to get a Mac Mini for the family desktop, about the time it comes with 10.4, but also about the time when 10.4.1 is out to patch the most obvious bugs people have found.



    Gonna bite the bullet and do fresh install on the Mac Mini, 'coz i still got me iBook g4 running 10.3.8 (or 10.3.9 when it's out) which is all set up



    right now we use a crappy win97* on dial up when someone is on wireless broadband with the iBook g4 so there is space for experimentation and playtime..!



    *edit i mean a circa1997 pentium2-333mhz with windows2000sp4
  • Reply 13 of 16
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    Maybe I will do a clean install too, but I really hate to.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ibook911

    Maybe I will do a clean install too, but I really hate to.



    it's like feeling like you have a brand new computer... without having spent a cent!!!



    also, it could be my left-over paranoia from windoze days, where upgrading meant low-level format of the hard disk, completely fresh install...



    "you mean in os X you can just copy the Users folder over and it remembers all your stuff???" nah... i'm too paranoid to do that... i don't feel the os X 'registry' can handle that
  • Reply 15 of 16
    With my 160GB external drive brimming, I'll be getting a bigger replacement for it and it'll become a back up drive. I'm thinking of using CCC so I can run Panther off of the external drive and do a fresh install of Tiger on my PowerBook. Does Migration Assistant work with external drive installs too? Thus taking my files from the 10.3 install on the external drive and put them on my fresh 10.4 install on my internal drive?
  • Reply 16 of 16
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by danielctull

    Does Migration Assistant work with external drive installs too? Thus taking my files from the 10.3 install on the external drive and put them on my fresh 10.4 install on my internal drive?



    I don't have an external to test, but as long as the drive has a complete functioning bootable OS X on it, it is supposed to work.
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