Take Control of Upgrading to Tiger

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Joe’s Compromise Method

I know that a lot of people reading this ebook are thinking to themselves, “Yeah, I realize I probably should do an Archive and Install or an Erase and Install, but those seem like a lot of work, and probably nothing will go wrong if I just go with the default method, Upgrade Mac OS X. If it works, I’ll save a lot of time!” That is certainly true, and I don’t mean to frighten you into thinking your computer will blow up if you do things the easy way. Most people who stick with the defaults will have a perfectly good upgrade experience.

But then, some people will have extremely bad experiences. My goal is to help you minimize the risk of things going wrong and maximize the chances of everything going right!

So for those of you who are perhaps a bit reluctant to make extra work for yourselves, allow me to offer a compromise between the simplicity of Upgrade Mac OS X and the safety of the other two methods:

1. Follow my suggestions in the other sections of this book (Disable Login Items, Back Up Your Data, Verify Your Hard Disk, and so on).

2. You did back up your disk, right? Check it. Double-check it. Be absolutely certain you can restore your startup volume to its pre-upgrade state if the need arises.

3. When the time comes to select an upgrade method, choose Upgrade Mac OS X.

4. After the upgrade, be sure to follow the steps in the Run Software Update and Set Up Your Tiger Environment of this book.

5. If anything goes wrong during this process (your computer does not boot, applications crash, etc.), use your backup software to restore your startup volume to its earlier state, and then perform an Archive and Install or Erase and Install.

Your Mac will now be running Tiger—and you just may have saved yourself some time and effort.

Restore Missing Files

( Note: If you selected Upgrade Mac OS X as your installation method, this section doesn’t apply to you.)

As I mentioned earlier, whether you use Archive and Install (and its Preserve Users and Network Settings option) or Erase and Install (transferring user files, applications, and documents from a backup volume), the installer does not copy all your old files. To some extent, this is a good thing—many of the files not copied are the ones most likely to cause problems after upgrading. If you were going to copy all the old files anyway, you might as well have chosen Upgrade instead; you gain little from Archive and Install or Erase and Install.

That said, many users will find that they need some of these items. To complicate matters slightly, the list of files not copied into the active system differs depending on whether you used Archive and Install or Erase and Install. Here are a few prominent examples of missing files.

Not copied during Archive and Install or Erase and Install:

  • Drivers for peripherals such as mice, scanners, and audio equipment and other system enhancements packaged as kernel extensions (located in /System/Library/Extensions)
  • Any user-installed files inside /usr—including the entire /usr/local directory, which may contain Unix software such as MySQL (and its data)
  • Files you may have modified inside /private/etc, such as /private/etc/httpd/httpd.conf, the Apache config file
  • Copied during Erase and Install but not copied during Archive and Install:

  • Third-party preference panes that were installed in /Library/PreferencePanes (as opposed to a user’s ~/Library/PreferencePanes folder)
  • The /Library/CFMSupport folder, which contains components needed for Palm synchronization
  • The contents of /Library/Components, which may include files required for utilities such as TypeIt4Me and iGlasses
  • The contents of /Library/Frameworks, including components used by PGP Personal Desktop, StickyBrain, Stuffit Deluxe, iODBC, and other software
  • The /Library/OpenBase folder, used (and installed) by applications such as StickyBrain
  • You can restore some of this software to your Tiger system simply by running the installers again; in other cases, you must manually copy the files from your backup volume (if you did an Erase and Install) or your Previous System folder (if you did an Archive and Install). Begin by reinstalling affected software packages. Afterward, you can manually copy any remaining files you still need.

    [ Joe Kissell is the author of numerous books about Mac software; his most recent are Take Control of Upgrading to Tiger and Take Control of Mac OS X Backups ( TidBits Electronic Publishing, 2005). ]

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