Concerned About Maleffects on Machine of Upgrade from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X
January 6, 2004 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Anybody have any hints, tales of bliss, tales of woe, warnings, links or other first-hand, experience-based info to share about upgrading from Mac OS9 to OSX? [MI]
posted by Dreama to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
OSX does have lots of advantages over OS9, but can be confusing for the first time users. For example, some of the keyboard shortcuts are different. So wait until you have a day or a weekend to do the transfer.

Secondly I found that upgrading from OS9 to OSX did cause some problems, and that the best result was achieved when doing a clean reinstall - ie I backed everything up then reformatted the hard drive and installed OSX and OS9 fresh from the discs.
posted by skylar at 9:07 AM on January 6, 2004

I am using OSX on other machines, so I'm prepared for the differences. I'm specifically concerned about the changes the machine will go through in the upgrade process, as I've never done an upgrade on an extant, working machine before.

I will be burning the few local files and fonts on the hard drive to CD as a backup, is there anything else I should backup or be concerned about losing in the process?
posted by Dreama at 9:10 AM on January 6, 2004

Make sure to write down all the configuration information you're currently using to get online: ISP server account name and password, dialup phone number if applicable, email servers, email username and password, DNS servers, etc.

This info shouldn't get overwritten by the OSX installation, but it's a pain to try to access it once you're booted up in X (you may not be able to open your old TCP/IP Control Panel under Classic, for instance).

Also, on the off chance that you have one or more passwords "remembered" by OS9 or an application, and don't actually recall what they are, a good time to figure it out would be when you're still running under 9 and have online access to get support numbers, email, etc.
posted by staggernation at 9:32 AM on January 6, 2004

Back up your email. Always back up your email. Then do it again.
posted by mkultra at 9:34 AM on January 6, 2004

Dreama, Apple recently held free seminars for graphics professionals called "Driven by Design." Within the handouts was a document that outlined things to think about when upgrading. If I can dig it up, I'll send you the PDF.
posted by machaus at 10:13 AM on January 6, 2004

Short story: I have FCP, full ver 1.2.5 (only works in OS9) and ver 3 upgrade (works in OS9 & X). Then tried upgrading machine to OSX. FCP no longer worked (still OS9 ver). Couldn't upgrade from ver 3 (OS9) to ver 3 (OSX). Had to delete it from system, reboot under 9, install 1.2.5, reboot as OSX, then install upgrade to 3. Needed to register both again to do it. Lost registration number from ver 3. Luckily I had copied down the # in the About box. Unfortunately the About box doesn't display the last 3 digits. Had to guess. Only took 238 tries.

Your biggest problems are likely to involve OS9 programs. Either they won't migrate (we still use a program originally designed for OS7, and haven't found a substitute, so we need to keep one computer stuck on 9), or if they do you'll encounter issues like I did with FCP.

What staggernation & mkultra said X100. Back everything up, multiple times, and write down every last scrap of info you can. Check each program you use. Redundancy will save your ass.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:13 AM on January 6, 2004

Dreama, check your metafilter email account.
posted by machaus at 10:38 AM on January 6, 2004

I'm with skylar -- a fresh install complete with hard drive wipe is a good way to go. It's more work up front, but I've had much better luck with that method than with updating a machine that's seen a bunch of use. There've been a few times when updating over an old OS has caused some strangeness that went away with a clean reinstall, and I didn't always notice the problems immediately. I prefer spending time up front to chasing problems later.

(This is all anecdotal, of course. Between friends' machines and my work at a small IT group I've only done a half dozen or so moves from 9 to X. Of course, part of the reason I prefer clean reinstalls is that these were all other people's machines, and some of those folks would have been unhappy if their computer came back from me with problems. We're mostly a Windows shop, but I've found that fresh installs are better on the Windows side of the fence too.)
posted by amery at 11:18 AM on January 6, 2004

I've upgraded in place on several machines with no problems at all. I know the common wisdom is to do a clean install, but X and 9 were designed to be separate and on the same partition, and I've never run into problems. It would be like saying do a clean install before loading Virtual PC. They just aren't using the same files for the most part. Of course YMMV.

X does litter a bunch of crap all over the root directory, so it doesn't look as tidy when you're in 9. That's just a minor annoyance though.

I did notice that when installing Office X, then booting into 9, all my office documents wanted to open in X which wasn't going to work. I finally found a way to tell them to open in 9 (or maybe I just deleted Office X off that machine -- can't remember right now).
posted by willnot at 11:38 AM on January 6, 2004

Tale of bliss: one thing I did before making the move was to list all the programs I use and place them in categories. Essential, daily but not essential, occasional and would be helpful, no matter, can live with in Classic -- all as related to running in X.

Maybe at this stage in OS X's life that is less necessary task but it did help with the transition to ensure I had all my ducks in a row. (I could not make the move until I learned, for example, that my CAD software would run in X. That was my real keystone.)
posted by Dick Paris at 2:43 PM on January 6, 2004

The "back everything up" (all personal data) advice is key.

I upgraded from OS 9.2 to OS 10.2, and all was groovy - very stable, sweet......

Until the disk I was running OS 10 from became filled up. No more drive space. 0. Then, inexplicably, OS 10 crashed and burned.

It was a good thing that I had my hard partitioned. I lost about two-week's worth of email data, but it wasn't a really awful data disaster. Still - backup, backup, backup.
posted by troutfishing at 9:38 PM on January 6, 2004

One note

If there's an apple store near you, they have seminars on OSX often .

Go. Ask questions.

It's a very different (but fantastic!) beast.
posted by filmgeek at 9:42 PM on January 6, 2004

For the record, machaus sent me the Apple .pdf and it rocks. The next time I post, it'll be from Safari. (Ahhh, bliss, indeed.) Thanks everyone, for your help.
posted by Dreama at 1:51 PM on January 7, 2004

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