What OS upgrade for ext HD addition?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Crrisssy, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Crrisssy macrumors newbie

    Crrisssy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    MS
    #1
    Hi. I need help to buy the right stuff. I want to add an external drive for all our photos, music and stuff. We have a wireless n network. I'm thinking a 1TB with firewire. I have 2 old Macs I can't seem to kill (and we have a laptop PC that is dying). We plan to get an iPad next month to replace the dying PC.

    Here are the problems I see so far: My iMac G4 is running 10.3.9. My iBook G4 is running 10.4.11 which appears to be the min that most of these ext HDs will work with. So I figured I'd just buy 10.5 Leopard and upgrade them both (then we will have time machine - we currently have no backups but have our photos copied to discs).
    Do I have to get the 10.5 full version (black) discs?
    Do I have to get the "5 computer" version?
    Will an ext HD work with both computers and be accessible from the new iPad? any suggestions to brand or size limits?

    It seems we would connect the desktop via firewire but what's the trick for the laptop?

    What did I miss?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help! Here are the details on our cobwebbed Macs:
    - iMac G4: 1GHz PowerPC, 1GB DDR SDRAM, 2.0 USB, 400Mb/s firewire
    - iBook G4: 1.33GHz PowerPC, 1.5GB DDR SDRAM, same USB & firewire
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #2
    Just be sure you don't go above 10.5.6 the last version of Leopard that would run on PPC Macs. Snow Leopard dropped support for the PPC machines, so I don't really think you have to get a multi-license pack. Especially for two computers. If you have the last version of Tiger, see it you can get the upgrade disk. That would be cheaper, but you might miss on Time Machine without the full install.

    Most of the FW drives have 2 ports. I know you can chain another FW device to it, but I'm not really sure about connecting two computers. If you have an AirPort Extreme Base Station, you can attach a USB drive to it and it becomes a wireless server for anything that is on your wireless network.

    Firewire is getting a bit hard to find at retail stores with USB2 having about the same transfer rate, but look online. My Western Digital My Disk Studio with Firewire and USB ran me $170 at Best Buy.

    Good luck.

    BTW: Your sig looks like Comic Sans. Don't post into Design and Graphics with that font. They have no mercy over there.

    Dale
     
  3. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #3
    You want to get the retail version, then after installing update to 10.5.8 with Software Update.

    Yes, if you don't want to violate the Apple license agreement.

    Both computers, yes. I don't think you can connect an external HD to the iPad, especially not Firewire.

    I don't understand. You move the drive from one system to another; Time Machine will backup multiple systems to a single drive.

    These systems should be fine for Leopard. Some might say the iMac has marginal specs, but I run Leopard on my PowerMac G4 with a 1GHz cpu and 1.3GB RAM and it's fine.

    You mean 10.5.8.
     
  4. Crrisssy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Crrisssy

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    MS
    #4
    I'm sorry, I'm not completely clear. Is this a "yes" ? It seems there is a huge price difference and I've seen some talk about the "grey" and some talk about the "black" -- which do I need?

    Also, as I understand it, the other route is to get some sort of "update" from Panther to Tiger (much cheaper) then there is an update from Tiger to Leopard. Is that not a viable option? Of course I can't find an update from Panther to Tiger, but my iBook is already at Tiger, I'd just have a problem with my iMac.



    Is there not a way to wirelessly use the content that is on the ext HD? No sharing?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  5. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #5
    I'm not sure but I think the "gray" disk you're talking about is an install/restore disk for a particular hardware platform, and the "black" disk is the retail version (that supports all platforms, at least all the ones released at the time that retail disk ws released).

    So if you looked for a "gray" disk, it would have to be particular to your iMac or iBook. If you got one for another system it would not work for yours. But if you get the retail Leopard disk it will work in your systems. Since they run Tiger you're guaranteed they can run any version of Leopard, so any retail Leopard disk would work; then after installing Leopard you can upgrade to the latest with Software Update.

    I never heard of this so I did a little checking. From what I can tell, the "upgrade" disk was shipped with systems that had been installed with the previous OS version. The upgrade disk seems to be the same as the retail disk but it only gives you the option to do the "upgrade" install (the other normal options being "clean install" and "erase and install"). In other words you have to have a previous OS installed already. But whether or not these "upgrade" disks are for a particular platform like the "gray" disks I don't know; they might be, and that's why they're cheaper. So be careful.

    Since Leopard is a big step from Tiger, it would be advisable to back up all your data, do a clean install of Leopard, and then restore your data.

    I see what you mean. Yes, you'd probably leave the FW drive attached to the iMac and then make it available via file sharing through System Preferences. As long as the iMac is up and not sleeping, you can access it from any system on your network.
     

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