My First Experience with Mac OS X Leopard

posted in: Sage Advice | 2

So I took the plunge and decided to upgrade my Mac to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard just to see what all the fuss was about. And, so you wouldn’t have to go through all the same pain that I am going through right now!

I did all my homework and read thousands of webpages, blogs, and reader comments before I did my Tiger to Leopard upgrade. So I was well-prepared and well-informed. And still, it went badly!

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, here is my computer and what I am running:
Power Mac G4 MDD Dual 1.25GHZ
2 Optical drives (one dual layer DVD burner, one DVD/CD-RW)
4 hard drives (2 ATA and 2 Serial ATA (SATA))
1 USB 2.0 / Firewire PCI Card
1 Sonnect SATA PCI Card
Epson USB Printer
Epson Firewire Scanner
Canopus AVDC Analog to Firewire Video Converter
2 External Firewire 400 Drives
Sony Vaio (Palm Pilot) syncing through USB to Now Up-to-Date
Griffin iMic USB Audio
And I am sure if I look hard enough there are some other things hooked up back there!

For software I run the following:
Adobe CS3
Adobe CS2
Filemaker Pro 7
Microsoft Office 2004
Entourage 2004 for email
Now Up-to-Date
Quicken 2003
Epson PrintCD
Linotype FontXPlorer
QuarkXPress 6.5
and lots and lots of other things that I will think of later (when they don’t work!)

And here is how I performed my installation (A little paranoid but this machine is not only my test machine but also the main machine that I work on!):

First, I used Carbon Copy Cloner to dupe my existing Tiger hard drive to a new 500GB drive.
Next, I booted from the new drive to ensure everything still worked fine in Tiger.
Now, I prepared a new Firewire drive by erasing and formatting it under Tiger.
Then I booted from the Leopard disc and performed a clean, erase and install on the new firewire drive. I only installed the printer drivers for the printers I own (HP, Epson, and the generic Gutenprint drivers). I did not install any optional fonts or other countries. I waited about an hour for it to finish.

After the initial install, I eagerly pressed the “restart” button and held my breath. The computer shut down normally and up came the familiar grey screen with the little spinning dohicky on it. It then continued booting to the next blue screen. This is when things started to go bad. Very bad. The blue screen under Tiger might last for a minute or so. Under Leopard, it started to feel like a very long minute, then a very long two minutes, then a very long five minutes. Believing the old adage about a watched pot never boils, I went for a walk. An hour later, the blue screen was still there. The drive light was flickering so I was reluctant to shut down fearing I would really screw it up. So, I went to work.

I returned many hours later to the same blue screen! Arrrghhh! What could have gone wrong? I did everything right and even installed on a freshly formatted, empty drive. So, I nervously held the power button to shut off the Mac. I took a deep breathe, said a little prayer, and powered it back on again. Same result. Well, no sense hoping for the best so it was back to square one. I booted back into the Leopard installer disc and DID THE EXACT SAME THING. I repeated the steps exactly as I had earlier that day. Erased the disk, clean install, same printer drivers…everything.

An hour later, I rebooted into Leopard and it booted right into the initial setup! No hanging blue screen! Just the normal “please fill in the blanks” Apple installer I am accustomed to. So, what went wrong the first time, I will never know. But at least this time, I was looking at the brand new Leopard desktop (with an awesome space desktop picture) and the new shiny dock. I immediately set about seeing what was under the hood and what was different.

This I will write about later. But, just so you know, things are not all working yet…

2 Responses

  1. Vince

    “I’ve had a bit different of an experience. Installed it first weekend after it came out.

    Although this upgrade has been more problematic than 10.3 to 10.4, it certainly hasn’t been horrible and, like you, I probably push my machine and use a more varied set of software than most. (CS3, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Lightroom, Final Cut Pro, Office 2004, RDC, QBPro 2005, Mail, iCal, Toast 8, iWork 08, FMPro 8.5, Retrospect 6.1, Parallels, iMovie 6 HD, Garageband 3)

    Time Machine is a disaster, and I had to wait two weeks for Adobe to issue a Lightroom update, but beyond that most software has been fine. All my app’s producers were pretty quick to release Leopard updates (Transmit, Adium, etc). Toast works fine, Retrospect works fine, Filemaker, etc. Oh, one problem – dropdown menus no longer work in my version of Quickbooks (which is old – 2005).

    I don’t think I would have tried the upgrade with that SATA card, and I had found the Griffin iMic to be problematic even with 10.4.

    Time Machine is causing problems with people running entourage, mainly because Entourage uses a big DB instead of individual files – so one new email means TM will backup the entire DB each hour.

    Hardware specs: Mac Pro dual 2.66, 4 gigs RAM, SuperDrive, 4 internal SATA drives, one external Drobo (4x500gb), HP LaserJet 1320, HP Photosmart Pro B8350, Epson 2480 Scanner, Snowball USB microphone.

    One thing that does NOT work is the formac studio, which is a replacement for a model that quit working after 10.3. I hate that damn Formac company! Grrr! I’m keeping my Tiger clone drive just so I can boot from it if I need to convert VHS to digital.”

  2. Tony

    remember, it’s ‘Not what Vista can do for you, but what you can BUY for Vista’ … oh wait…

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