A TON of Tiger install/upgrade questions If you're good with Macs, please help

Discussion in 'macOS' started by trojan18, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. trojan18 macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2005
    I have a BUNCH of questions...if someone knowledgeable could help me out, I'd appreciate it. I'm currently running the latest version of Panther on a 1 Ghz iBook G4.

    I heard somewhere that doing an archive or a clean install will give you a little bit of a performance boost (not much, but still a boost) whereas just the standard upgrade won't.

    1. Can someone explain WHY performance might be a little bit better with a new system folder installed?

    2. Also, if I decide to go with the clean install (just for fun, cause I'm a nerd like that) what folder do I need to backup in order to save all of my Mail files? I have files that are saved in Mail in the "On My Mac" category. Where are these saved at?

    3. If I do a clean install, will the OS 9 application and system folders be gone when it boots back up? Is there any good reason to back these things up? My understanding is that Tiger (or Panther) can still boot up OS 9 without these folders installed because it's something located within the core of the operating system and not the folders.

    4. Do I need to backup the library folder within my home folder if I do a clean install? Won't Tiger just automatically include a new one for me anyway? Is there any good reason to back this up?

    5. Would it be possible to somehow "reverse send" the files on my Ipod back over to my new Itunes folder under Tiger...I know that if I just plug it back in under the default, Ipod will see that the Itunes folder under Tiger is empty and delete all of my music. Is there a way i can get it to take all of the music that's on my ipod and then send it back over to the clean installed computer? (so I won't have to waste time backing up 20 GB of music files)

    Finally, here's my master list of everything that needs backed up if I do a clean install. Let me know if I'm forgetting something important.

    Home folder
    (which includes Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures, Sites and maybe the Library)
    Application Folder
    (I can then reinstall any programs that aren't included with Tiger, like Macromedia, Office, etc.)
    Whatever folder that has my saved Mail messages on it.

    And there is absolutely no need to back up the two other libraries that you access from within the hard drive (and not the home folder), right? Same with the Users folder and users guide and info....they'll just be reinstalled with Tiger?

    Oh and I can't forget...my secret hidden porn folder that's currently hidden within the OS 9 System folder with a name that makes it blend in with the rest of the system files. haha.

    If anyone takes the time to actually answer all of that, I'll really, really appreciate it.
  2. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    1. When you do an archive and install the new System folder won't have all your old preferences/log-files/etc. and while this can be a pain since interrupts your work flow, it will also clear out old files you may not be using anymore. If you do a clean install, it's the same as above but it also wipes the junk out of your user folder. Over time if you install a bunch of apps that you don't need/use you can add a bit of clutter.

    2. Not sure exactly, but I would imagine within the User/Library/Mail or ~/Library/Application Support/Mail

    3. Tiger disc will not include OS 9, AFAIK, so you'll want to back up those as well. OS X requires a functional OS 9 System Folder in order to run Classic mode.

    4. I would go ahead and back up the entire contents of your home folder, and your System folder just for good measure. I'm going to be creating a disc image of my PowerBook's internal HD on a second drive because if I try to go by files, I always forget something, like Keychain, Address Book, etc.

    5. There are apps that allow you to download music back off of your iPod, but they are mostly shareware or not very good. You are therefore going to have to back-up your music. Sorry, it's an unfortunate side-effect of the copy protection.

    If you have the storage space it would be a good idea to back-up absolutely everything in a disk image or something like that, look at an app called Carbon Copy Cloner.

    Good luck with the upgrade, trust me if you've ever done a Windows OS update or re-install, this will be child's play.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    2, 4: Your mail is in the Library folder of your home folder -- ~/Library/Mail... I'm not sure if other programs also save actual data beyond preferences in there. They might. My library is 630 MB, and only 250 MB is mail (the size of that number actually surprises me as small!). I wasn't quickly able to see what accounts for the lion's share of the rest, although FF and Safari keep their cache in there, and the frameworks folder is big.

    5: If you go to iPodlounge, there is software for this. However, I believe that in general they are not *perfect* in replicating all details of the iTunes library on the computer, so you may lose some metadata (but not actual songs).

    Hope that helps!
  4. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Best way

    The absolute best way is to copy your home folder onto something, do a clean install, reinstall all your third party programs, then copy your home folder back onto your computer.
    Applications should never be copied, only reinstalled.
    If this makes you queasy, just archive and install.
  5. ebuc macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2003
    Regarding Question 5:
    I believe the easiest way to back up your music is on the iPod itself.
    i. Erase the contents of your iPod
    ii. Copy your music onto the mounted iPod on your Desktop (not through iTunes), so your iPod acts as an external hard drive.
    iii. Install Tiger.
    iv. Re-copy the music from the iPod to the computer (now with 10.4).
    v. Copy the songs back to the iPod using iTunes.

    If you have enough room, you could even back up your Home and Application folder on the iPod, as well.

    Good Luck
  6. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005

    Not only are all the prefs reset to defaults, but you will not have any user apps start up, any files for the system to deal with etc. Like out of the box!

    This is very complicated stuff! I have 2 Macs, and syncing mail is a pain and a half. Copying "user>library>mail" will not be enough, as your PREFERENCES will NOT be saved (hence your accounts, any rules you have made - basically everything you do on the preference panes).
    IMO if keeping your mail is important, DO NOT do a clean install (unless you do not have a backup machine). Of course, if you use imap servers, a mirror of your stuff is on the serer anyway (.Mac accounts) so you will not lose everything, but those preferences will still be lost, and machines can be difficult in accepting new preferences in Mail (plus mail will be a new version!)

    As has been said before, NO OS 9 in Tiger. If you don't use it, don't worry. If you do, back up the OS 9 "system folder" and "applications". (I shalt be needing it)

    Yes, Tiger will efectively create one, but it will be very blank. - You will go through the same steps as when you got your machine - Inserting all your details etc etc. ALL users will be deleted.

    YES you can. Look up a App called "Podworks", or go here. Genarally very good, but you may loose some metadata (but I can't remember the last time I did).

    To be honest, if you want to preserve all this data, I would not do a clean install for the minor speed boost - think of all the 'speed' you will lose backing up, then re-installing, then stressing when something doesn't work like it 'should'.
    According to Apple here, the "archive and install" may be just what you want, if not the "Simple Upgrade".
    Having done both, the upgrade path is very easy, and is what i would recomend. "Archive and Install" sounds similar, but you also get a whole copy of what you used to have on the computer.
    Hope this helped.
  7. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    Bear in mind this will take AGES if you have the same number of apps as me?
  8. Stewie macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2004
    This confuses me. Aren't most apps just a file that you copy from where ever you got them from to you Applications folder? How would coping them from a archive of your Applications folder to your new applications folder? Obviously for the few apps that do have an installer app this would not apply.
  9. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005

    Some apps (bigger ones) contain supporting information in folders called "application support" within library folders. I say folderS because these support folders can be in user or main libraries (like when it asks you for your (administrator) user name and password it is likely installing something into the HD>Library folder).
    REMEMBER when installing applications to use a peice of hardware (like a scanner or printer) they sometimes install drivers deep into your system folder. This is why it is a better idea to install applications.

    (For anyone with garageband, do a find for "loops" and you'll get a huge folder HD>Library>Application Support>GarageBand>Apple Loops. -If you drag over GarageBand (or iDVD and many others) you will loose supporting files like loops.)
  10. Stewie macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2004
    I don't think it has anything to do with the size of the app since I have some pretty small apps (NetFlix Freak, URLWell, Watson, etc.) that all have folders in the Application Support Folder and none of these apps install that folder when 'installing' (Copying the file) into the applications folder, but upon first run of the app.

    My preference for doing a clean install involves backing up my home folder, applications folder, the Root Level Library and System folder. BTW this is pretty much everything on my HD other then the Developers folder. Then after doing a clean reinstall the OS and getting ant and all the patches, I copy over my home directory, minus the Library Folder, then start coping over the apps in my backup Application folder that when originally installed only wanted copied over vs running a actual install package. Then I would install any remaining apps the old fashioned way. Once this is done I would copy from the proper library folder/system folder any app specific preferences that I want carried over (Things like Adium X preferences, or my custom menu extra icons, Firefox extensions and themes, my keychain, etc and so on....). This method has worked for me many times and is what I will do when I get Tiger. Of course I have the available disk space to do this, I can image trying to copy 60+ GB worth of stuff to CD's or DVD's.

    But I image everyone has their own way that they are comfortable with. So as in life, do what makes you happy. :)
  11. Tuned MP5T macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2004
    New York City
    One question I know with Panther you would do a "journal" install, but with Tiger would it be same?
  12. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    I was generallising when i said bigger apps. I too have LOTS of little apps that all have stuff in app support (Pixadex, DVDManager, Palm Desktop Manager etc), But I wouldn't label these 'mainstream'.
    Just trying to read your post started to give me a headache! - How do you keep track of which app need what? I imagine this process must take a while. I have probably over 250 apps and utilites in all - doing what you are saying would not only take a long time, but also be very hard to keep track of. From what the apple website says, the "upgrade" process sounds easy and will still preserve all you want.
    Doing what you describe (and the fact it take so long just to describe & outline it proves itself!) would very quickly remove any performance enhancement gained from clean installing. What you are describing sounds a lot to me like a manual "archive and install". Why did we all buy computers in the first hand, if not to make things easier for ourselves?!

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