Jaguar Upgrade: Install Options

This is the second in a series of posts I’m writing about my upgrade to Mac OS X 10.2 “Jaguar”. This article describes the four upgrade options available when you begin your installation with the Jaguar CD.

This is the second in a series of posts I’m writing about my upgrade to Mac OS X 10.2 “Jaguar”.

As I mentioned in my first post, I choose to do a form of “clean install” for my upgrade. Installation choices are accessed by clicking the Options button once you’ve selected an install destination. The actual choices offered by the installer are:

  1. Upgrade Existing System
    This installs Jaguar over your existing OS; I don’t know what gets overwritten, other than files that are updated, but this should be the lowest-impact install, leaving the most things intact. It is probably the best choice for most people who just want to upgrade and get on with it, i.e., normal users.

    Since I wanted to clean up some of the junk I have installed over the 10 months I’ve had Mac OS X, I didn’t consider this the right option for me. I think this is the wrong option for “power users” who have heavily customized their system, especially if they have tweaked elements inside the /System or /Library directories, because I have no idea what gets overwritten. That said, it seems to have worked well for one of my co-workers.

  2. Archive & Install
    This is the rough equivalent of doing a “Clean Install” in Mac OS 9. In this case, a new top-level directory is created, /Previous Systems, and inside that a folder is created to hold all the archived elements of the current system. The second folder is numbered, e.g., /Previous Systems/Previous System 1/, and one can assume that each Archive & Install will put yet another archived system here.

    Unlike the Clean Install option with Mac OS 9, Archive & Install offers you the opportunity to preserve most of your settings, with a Preserve Users and Network Settings checkbox option, which defaults to unchecked. This option leaves your /Users directory intact, and copies the appropriate system settings for networks, user accounts, and the like, from the archived system to the new system.

    I chose to do the Archive & Install, and to Preserve Users and Network Settings. This is, I believe, the option most power users will want to choose, as it balances the opportunity to clean out cruft with the tediousness of re-installing all of your software, creating user accounts, re-setting preferences, and so on.

  3. Erase & Install
    This option is for doing a completely clean install, i.e., erasing your hard disk (or partition), and re-installing everything from scratch.

    If you’ve been having substantial problems with your Mac OS X configuration which you cannot track down, this option might be for you. It’s by far the most work, though, especially if you’ve been using Mac OS X for a while, and are thoroughly settled in.

Once you’ve chosen your path, it takes 30-45 minutes to copy files, and then the system reboots and asks for the second Jaguar disk. All told, once you’re past this screen you’re about an hour from booting into Jaguar!

My next post in this series will cover exactly what gets archived into the Previous System X folder that is created during the Archive & Install process.