Leopard: The Plan

Leopard’s 36 hours away and I have my upgrade plan. The smart thing to do would be upgrade a spare Mac first rather than my primary machine. So I was going to upgrade my MacBook first and then test out my software on that.

But I shifted gears. I’m going to upgrade my primary Mac (iMac) right away. I’m pretty confident there won’t be any serious problems and if there’s some software problem that I can’t live with on Leopard I can install and use the software on my MacBook until I have a solution. On the other hand, I do expect some minor and annoying problems.

iMac Upgrade

But I’ll still have a backup plan. All my iMac data, except my iTunes library, gets backed up to Mozy and it’s offsite so I’m not going to accidentally delete it during an upgrade. Then I’ll make two clones of the iMac drive and pack one away. If the upgrade goes horribly wrong I can boot from one of these drives and turn back time to pre-Leopard. In order to avoid problems I’ll turn off .Mac syncing before making the clone in order to avoid forgetting and booting off the drive after Leopard upgrades and does it’s own .Mac sync.

There are three upgrade options when booting off the Leopard CD (plus ‘install’ if I flatten the iMac drive first). There’s a plain old upgrade which will keep most settings and software in place and literally upgrade what’s on the disk without changing anything it doesn’t need to.

Then there’s Archive and Install which will make a copy of the existing system files then install Leopard. The recommendations I’ve seen recommend re-installing third party apps.

Finally there’s a Erase and Install option. This will completely erase the drive and install a new copy of Leopard. This requires all software to be re-installed and all settings need to be reset.

It’s the last option, Erase and Install, that I’m going to use. Leopard is a new OS and I want to see it from the ground up without any pre-conceived (meaning migrated) notions. This will also eliminate any problems in my current Tiger install and coming from a Windows environment it’s the way I’ve always upgraded in the past. I’ll pull data from one of the disk clones but re-install all software and manually configure them.

I’ve already downloaded the latest versions of all the apps I care about so I’ll be installing the latest versions.

So my Upgrade Checklist is:

Already done

1. Download current versions of all software.

2. Use SuperDuper! to create 2 disk clones (simply to save time the night of the upgrade since the Smart Update will be quicker).

The actual upgrade

3. Manually run Mozy backup to make sure I have everything.

4. Run .Mac sync then turn it off.

5. Run SuperDuper! Smart Update for both disk clones to update them.

6. Sync iPod, run ChronosSync task to copy my iTunes Library to the Airport drive, unmount drive then turn it off. De-authorize iTunes since there’s a 5 computer limit and I’ll be formatting this one.
7. Power off iMac, boot from Leopard DVD and for a Erase and Install upgrade.

8. Tour and admire Leopard.

9. Re-install apps.

MacBook Update

While I use the MacBook a lot it’s relatively new and there’s not a lot of data. I did do a disk clone, but only one. I considered trying a upgrade in place but decided to go the Erase and Install route here too. I also want to eliminate the Boot Camp partition and make the drive one big partition.

I could do the same basic process as the iMac but for variety I’ll format the HDD and do a fresh install. Of course, I’ll update the disk clone first.

Mac Mini Update

My Intel Mac Mini is used as an media computer more than anything. For variety I’ll do regular upgrade in place. I’ll update the third party apps in place, do a disk clone and then do the upgrade.