Tiger to Snow Leopard in ? Easy Steps
March 31, 2011 6:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm preparing to update my MacBook Pro's operating system from Tiger (10.4.11) to Snow Leopard (10.6.3). I've got the computer in front of me, and the installation disk's right here, too. What do I need to do other than just put the disk in and go?

Do I need to back up my entire computer? Am I going to lose apps that I'll need to re-download? Give me (or point me to) step-by-step instructions for how to prepare before I make the change.
posted by ocherdraco to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite


posted by mef613 at 7:00 PM on March 31, 2011

While mef316's links are good, the standard in-place upgrade has typically worked for me. You'll get a bunch of further upgrades to download with Software Update once it's done.

Older applications like MS Office 2008 will require Rosetta to be installed/re-installed post-update. If you have any peripheral hardware that uses non-included drivers, they might need updating too. There's a good chance that many of your applications have a Leopard/Snow Leopard version available: the free trial of MacUpdate Desktop may be useful for checking that in an automated way.

Making a complete bootable backup with something like Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner is always a good idea, especially for a major upgrade.
posted by holgate at 7:08 PM on March 31, 2011

I would absolutely do a complete bootable backup to SuperDuper. It will take a while (maybe as long as all night) but it will give you peace of mind. It's free for this type of use case (the paid version allows for incremental backups and other niceties). I used it when I got cold feet about an upgrade and decided to roll an old PowerBook from Leopard back to Tiger to maintain compatibility with some older software and it worked perfectly.
posted by bcwinters at 7:16 PM on March 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

Definitely do a full backup. I updated my Macbook Pro to Snow Leopard without a hitch, it was totally painless. Then I did my brothers' Macbook, and for some reason I can't figure out, the installation crashed. We needed to restore from Time Machine, then start the Snow Leopard install from scratch. Usually OSX is perfect, but disasters seem to occur for no good reason.
posted by EvilPRGuy at 7:20 PM on March 31, 2011

backup... don't get impatient.
posted by tomswift at 7:40 PM on March 31, 2011

Backup first. Plus its World Backup Day. Carbon Copy Cloner is available for the Mac (free!).
posted by SirOmega at 8:07 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Anything I need to do besides backup?
posted by ocherdraco at 8:39 PM on March 31, 2011

Wait, never mind, mef613's links have got me covered. Thanks, everybody! I'm going to backup tonight, and then I'll update the MacBook tomorrow.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:47 PM on March 31, 2011

My experience: I updated my MBP from Tiger to Snow Leopard last year by doing an upgrade, and not a clean install. I'm no expert but in retrospect I wish I had backed everything up and done a clean install (which the internets seemed to recommend as a better option at the time; I was too impatient), because I've had some issues since - namely, my wireless hasn't worked reliably in the last year and I am now mostly stuck being hard wired for an internet connection (I know I could try to do a clean install now, but I just haven't had the time and have kind of run out of patience). I've done a lot of research and tried all the fixes and nothing helps. It seems to be a not uncommon issue with Snow Leopard and from what I've gathered may or may not be related to the fact I didn't do a clean install. If I could go back in time, I'd do a clean install after backing everything up just to be safe.
posted by katy song at 8:53 PM on March 31, 2011

Grar. My external hard drive isn't showing up on my mac (it's a lacie firewire hard drive from a few years back). Foo. Right now I'm using Super Duper to create a .dmg file which I'll punt to a different drive when I get home. Pooh.

I should probably just get a new external hard drive. Are there any external hard drives that also back up to the cloud?
posted by ocherdraco at 8:01 AM on April 1, 2011

I just did this, using time machine to back everything up before I started. Worked fine. Warning: if you use the old Quicktime 7 player to take advantage of the Pro features no longer supported in X, you'll have to reinstall it, since Snow Leopard will overwrite it. Fortunately QT7 is included as an extra on the install disk.
posted by media_itoku at 5:13 PM on April 1, 2011

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