Tiger to Leopard Migration Tale

I have been preparing to migrate my Tiger MacBook to Leopard since October, and let me tell you right up: it has been relatively painless. In this blog, I am going to tell you my preparation steps, the actual upgrade process, and the adjustments afterward.

My wife and I own two Mac laptops, I jumped in head first and install Leopard on her machine right away since she had virtually none of her personal information in her laptop. My MacBook is another story: I had so many data and applications installed that the whole system is very slow. In retrospect, I blamed myself for installing just about every software that I know of. So, I planned to erase my drive and install Leopard.

The Preparation
The first step was to take inventory of my currently installed applications and classified them into the following priorities:

  1. Priority one applications are the ones I must have: 1Password, Lightroom, ChronoSync, DevonThink, Epson scanner, EyeTV, iWork ’08, QuickSilver, SuperDuper, and VMWare Fusion.
  2. Priority two applications are the ones I found important to have, but not in the must-have category.
  3. Finally priority three are the ones that I will leave behind unless I need them down the road.

The next step is to (a) find out if my priority one applications are compatible with Leopard. If yes, then (b) download them, and (c) locate installation keys (AKA registration key, license key, license code) for them. Next, I put the installation images together with the license keys and burn them into a DVD. I also copy them to an external hard drive as a second backup.

Next, I fired up the excellent iBackup and make backup of the followings:

  • System Settings
    • Address Book
    • iCal
    • iChat
    • iSync
    • Keychains (which includes keychain for 1Password)
    • Mail
    • Stickies
    • System Preferences
  • Applications Settings (such as DevonThink, …)

I copy the back up to an external hard drive as well as burning it to CD or DVD.

I also print out my list of websites and passwords from 1Password and keep the hard copy just in case.

Finally, I use SuperDuper to make two cloned copies of my MacBook’s hard drive to two different external drives. I intent to leave my first copy alone for a while (a couple of months to a year) so if something is wrong with my Leopard setup, I can revert to this good old Tiger setup. The second copy is the one I keep with me to migrate my data files over.

Now, I am ready to erase my drive and install Leopard.

The Installation
The process is relatively uneventful that you can read about it in every blog.

The Adjustments
After installing Leopard, make sure that everything works, then I started the process of restoring applications.

The first step is to install iBackup, then use iBackup to restore my system and applications settings. Yes, I did this step before I installed my applications. Then, one by one, I install the priority-one applications from either the DVD or external hard drive. I made sure that each application worked before moving to the next. All and all, the process is relatively easy because of my preparation steps.

In a few hours, I had my system upgraded to Leopard with minimal fuss. The key to success is the degree of preparation I took. If you have any question or comment, feel free to enter them in the comment section below and I will try to response as quickly as I can.

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3 thoughts on “Tiger to Leopard Migration Tale

  1. Graham

    Why aren’t you using migration assistant? It’s much easier and achieves exactly the same thing since you’ve got bootable backups of your hard drives.

  2. wuhrr Post author

    There are two reasons that I used iBackup instead of Migration Assistant. First, I have used iBackup for a while and comfortable with it. Second, iBackup allows for selective back up so I can pick which application settings to transfer over and which to leave behind.

  3. Pingback: What are the steps needed to upgrade from Tiger to Leopard? | yomo

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