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May 7, 2005, 12:52 AM
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Category: Mac OS X
Link: Upgrade Fever? Organization pays (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050507015226)

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May 7, 2005, 12:53 AM
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Upgrade fever? Organization pays
May 6, 2005
Jim Rossman is your Tech Adviser offering advice and tips for computer hardware and programs. Helpful links are included. Jim Rossman is desktop support manager for The Dallas Morning News.

With all the buzz around the introduction of Apple's Tiger operating system, I think it's time to look at what it takes to upgrade your computer system.
Whether it's a Mac or a Windows computer, you'll need to consider the same things when upgrading.
Clean install
The best thing you could do for your computer is to erase everything on the drive and start fresh. It is also the most time-consuming choice. I know people who do this about once a year just to keep things running smoothly.
You need to do preparation work for this step.
First, back up all your data files. This is where organization pays off.
Apple makes it pretty easy to back up files in OS X. All your data is stored in your home directory.
Windows users may have things scattered around. But if you keep your documents in the My Documents folder and your pictures in My Pictures and music in My Music well, you get the idea. The key is to make sure you get it all.
The best way to back up is to copy the data to an external hard drive or put it on CD or DVDs.
Next, make a list of the applications you use and start gathering the installation discs and registration information. Some of it can be downloaded from the Internet, but expect to hunt down that big stack of discs you keep in a box somewhere.
While making the list and gathering software, check the appropriate Web sites to make sure there isn't a newer version to go with the upgraded operating system.
After programs and data, you'll need to find the discs that came with your peripherals to reload the drivers. Most drivers can be found on the Internet at the manufacturer's Web site, so don't fret over a lost driver too much. Again, check specifically for drivers for the new operating system.
Once you have gathered everything and feel at least partly comfortable, it's time to boot from the operating system CD and choose the option to do a clean install.
Then you rebuild everything. Sounds easy, but it may take the better part of a day to complete, and you'll still find yourself fixing little problems for days.
Archive it
Another choice Apple users get is to Archive and Install. This puts your current system folder aside and installs a new system in its place. Then your personal settings are moved from the old system to the new, but the old system remains on the drive should you need to revert back to it.
An easier way is to upgrade your operating system, which means installing the new system directly over the old, letting the installer figure out which files to keep and which to trash.
Most of the time, upgrading is not a bad idea. It certainly is faster, and you don't need to gather up your application discs.
Of course, you should always back up your data before any operating system upgrade. You never know when things will go wrong. If the upgrade installer locks up, you might lose everything. It's not likely, but it's possible.
Other considerations
You may want to wait for a few weeks to let the early adopters find all the bugs and incompatibilities first.
I know people who won't install an upgrade until Apple or Microsoft releases the first round of patches. For Apple followers, that would be system 10.4.1, which will probably be released in a month or two.
Windows users can be pretty sure that XP is reliable with Service Pack 2, but always keep an eye on the security patches.
Also, make sure your computer complies with at least the minimums for the new operating system's requirements for processor speed and RAM. And make sure the hard drive has enough free space.

May 7, 2005, 01:25 AM
Thanks for re posting it Mudbug.