Upgrading a Tiger Macbook to Snow Leopard
July 24, 2010 9:05 PM   Subscribe

Hi there - I am about to upgrade a Black Macbook laptop running Tiger OS X to Snow Leopard (using a $29 Snow Leopard upgrade disk I bought off Amazon.com) (yes, I know this is sort of late in the day). Do you have any tips? Is there anything I should watch out for?

I thought this was straightforward but googling about it brings up irksome computer magazine articles which suggest it isn't so straightforward. These articles also tend to suggest all kinds of additional technical and other software steps I should take, like individually checking every program I have on the Apple Support help database to make sure it works OK under Snow Leopard and then making a copy of the entire hard disk. It kinda seems like overkill to me.
I was just going to back up all my document, music, photo and video files on DVD disks anyway. shouldn't that be enough? I don't want to overcomplicate things.

What tips do you guys have about this situation?
Thanks for any help!!!!
posted by Bwithh to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is it the Macbook4,1 model (under system profiler)? If so, I've done 50+ upgrades you ask about with no hickups. I still back up the user's home folder (which should contains all the documents, music, etc if you save to the normal places) before upgrading because ya never know, but I have yet to need the backup.

However, I think what most websites refer to is the possible hickup of program compatibility with Snow Leopard. In my experience, most mainstream programs installed in Leopard work just fine in Snow Leopard post upgrade. If you're curious, I'd just do a quick find of programs you run on a compatibility website like this.
posted by jmd82 at 9:30 PM on July 24, 2010

I upgraded my macbook straight from Tiger to Snow Leopard (awhile ago) and it went perfectly. That said I did make do a full backup beforehand just in case and would suggest you do as well. Hopefully you won't need it, but you'll be really glad you have it if anything goes wrong.

I think the checking to make application work part was more relevant when Snow Leopard had just come out. At the beginning there are always glitches with new OSs, so if you are dependent on certain programs working it's smart to check. At this point I'm pretty sure everything that is going to work with SL works!
posted by grapesaresour at 9:30 PM on July 24, 2010

Oh, and I should mention the upgrade is easy. Boot up laptop, log in as an admin, insert DVD and run program to upgrade. Click "yes, I really want to install!", wait about an hour (no further clicking required!), and you're running Snow Leopard.
posted by jmd82 at 9:32 PM on July 24, 2010

I did it with no back up, I like to live dangerously. It went smmmmooooothly. Very simple and easy.
posted by fifilaru at 9:46 PM on July 24, 2010

I did it twice last week (laptop and desktop) and it went smoothly. I love most of the changes but HATE the fact that I can no longer control iTunes from the Dock. Lame.
posted by dobbs at 10:06 PM on July 24, 2010

Yeah, done a dozen or so myself on Core Duo and above Macbooks (1,1 upwards), no probs. Back up your own files just to be safe though.

There were/are sporadic reports of odd little app issues due to performing an in-place upgrade rather than format & reinstall, but I've never encountered one that couldn't be solved by blowing away the associated .plist file & relaunching the app.
posted by Pinback at 10:50 PM on July 24, 2010

I wouldn't immediately uninstall Quicktime 7 in favor of Quicktime X, I believe after upgrading that you will have the option of keeping both. Unless you use VLC or something, you may want to keep your old Quicktime as it seems more feature rich than the newer version.
posted by cazoo at 11:30 PM on July 24, 2010

Thanks for the input, everyone! we seem to have a consensus here - very helpful!
posted by Bwithh at 11:41 PM on July 24, 2010

Make sure you have all licenses and/or install media.

Do a complete backup using something which will let you recover your personal files and system settings, then wipe and do a clean install. Skipping a generation (Leopard) is asking too much of the installer, it'll leave lots of crud behind.
posted by epo at 5:30 AM on July 25, 2010

Yes, do a complete and bootable backup clone of your hard drive. This is just incase one particular program has issues and you don't discover it right away.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:33 AM on July 25, 2010

nthing a backup of some sort to protect your music and documents...applications can usually be reinstalled if corrupted. I would also recommend running software update after the install to upgrade Snow Leopard to the latest dot release (10.6.4) Good luck
posted by bach at 6:22 PM on July 25, 2010

Dobbs - I love most of the changes but HATE the fact that I can no longer control iTunes from the Dock. Lame.

Gotta right-click / control-click / two-finger click on it now.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:48 AM on July 26, 2010

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