Installing Mac OS 10.5 – Leopard

It’s been a while since I did a proper technical post, but lately I’ve had little time to devote to the techie side of my life. So to help me get back into the swing of things, I ordered Leopard from the Apple website last week. At €129, it’s a lot cheaper than Windows Vista.

I usually don’t go for installing new operating versions until they’ve had time to settle down and the developers have had a chance to release updates for the bugs that invariably crop up. This time I decided I would bite the bullet and go for Leopard straight away.

I’ve never installed Mac OS before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Coming from a Windows background, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to reinstall Windows – and what a tortuous experience that can be. (After working tech support for so long, I have the Windows mantra down pat: “Backup, format, reinstall.”)

As it turned out, installing Mac OS was a lot easier than installing Windows: pop the disk in the drive, double click the installer icon, and click the restart button. The machine automatically boots from the DVD drive, and the install process begins.

There are three options to choose from when installing a new version of Mac OS:

  • Upgrade,
  • Archive and Install, and
  • Erase and Install.

The first option installs Leopard over your existing OS, keeping your data and applications intact. The second makes a backup of your previous installation and installs Leopard, and the third wipes your current installation and then proceeds to installation.

I went with the Upgrade option as I didn’t want the hassle of reinstalling my applications and starting again from scratch. Once you click the “Continue” button, that’s it, no further user interaction is required. In all, the process took about an hour to complete, and when my MacBook rebooted at the end I was straight into Leopard.

Some users have reported problems with their installs hanging after the reboot, but apparently the problem is due to an unsupported extension for Logitech mouse drives. More seriously, there have also been issues with the built in firewall, so if you’re using your Mac on an unprotected network, you might want to invest in a full firewall product. The only problem I had was that I had to re-enter the encryption key for my wireless network connection, even though it was already stored in my keychain. Apart from that, I had no installation problems. Now it’s time to play with the new OS.