AAM: Migrating to Tiger. A Chore?

by Aaron Wright Jan 22, 2007

Those of us who have undertaken the task of installing a new OS (whether it be Windows, OS, or Linux) on a computer know that it can be quite a taxing time, especially if it’s a Windows machine - all those driver installations DO get tedious. The first time I went to re-install OS X Tiger I thought I had gotten it wrong, because the process was so quick and simple and over within 20 minutes that I felt I had probably missed something. This was not the case, as OS X can quickly format a hard drive and re-install itself with all drivers in place in a short amount of time.

This week on AAM, one user, Nemin, wants to know if there will be a way for him to keep all his files intact when he upgrades to OS X Leopard (due out in Spring). One solution to keeping all your data is to simply burn everything to DVD, but this can take time and effort, especially when those files need to be put back in place when the operating system is installed.

This week I answer Nemin’s question by suggesting that he simply use the ‘Upgrade’ feature when installing, rather than a clean install. Okay, for most Mac veterans this is a no-brainer, but for quite a few who haven’t installed OS X or even an operating system before, it can be quite a daunting task. Keep reading to see what other suggestions were brought up.

Keep those pressing questions coming in folks, and we’ll do our best to get them answered next week.

Question of the Week

Migrating to a new OS

Question by: Nemin

As a relatively new Mac user (less than a year) and with mediocre computer knowledge I haven’t had the experience of switching to a new OS (Leopard).

My question is, when Leopard comes out and I want to install it on my MacBook Pro, do I have to make a backup copy of all my files? Is there a feature that keeps your files from erasing? How does switching to Leopard from Tiger work?

I know this question probably sounds silly but I really have no idea and would like to know before I jam a Leopard install disk into my laptop and wipe out everything.

Answer by: Aaron Wright

If Leopard is anything like Tiger in the way it’s installed, which I’m almost 99% sure it will be, then there should be a simple upgrade wizard when you go to install Apple’s brand spanking new operating system. What this will do is basically replace all your Tiger system files with Leopard files.

There isn’t much of a downfall to this except that some applications may not work (which will require you to update those applications), but then I suppose this is a given with any operating system. It’s always nice to do a fresh install of an operating system though, as it does normally seem faster, but I don’t think that will be too much of a problem for you.

To clarify, the safest and easiest way to get Leopard running on your new Mac and keep all your original files and folders in place is to use the upgrade feature.

Hope that helps.

View thread

Have a technical question? Drop by our dedicated forums and leave a message. You’re sure to get a reply from one of our regular readers or even a member of our staff.


  • With ZFS making it’s way into 10.5 a clean install and format using ZFS may be required for Time Machine. So I’d say the easiest way to migrate would be to pick up a 40gb external drive, copy the entire contents of the hard drive using CarbonCloner or similar app to the external, then perform a clean install using ZFS, then choose migrate from current Mac and select the external drive.

    xwiredtva had this to say on Jan 22, 2007 Posts: 172
  • Good advice, Xwired. I’ll be upgrading my HDs from 300 to 500 gigs at that time, so it will be a no-brainer to use CCC or Super Duper to migrate all my stuff to the bigger drives and then save the 300s in the cabinet as backup . . .

    . . . just in case.


    DanRobinson had this to say on Jan 22, 2007 Posts: 9
  • Page 1 of 1 pages
You need log in, or register, in order to comment