3/2/08

Leopard: The installation.

This is the first installment after Leopard Installed! I'll discuss the steps I went through, what failed, and the easy and simple fix.

As you may recall, I waited until 10.5.2 came out to upgrade. The promise of speed improvements didn't excite me. My system was plenty fast. And while some of the cool new features actually seemed to be useful as opposed to just cool, the many complaints I read on-line were encouragements to wait. When the .2 release was announced, still I did not install it immediately. I have a day job. I waited until a Friday night when I had some time, and could oversee the installation.

Preparation. As I mentioned in System Back-ups and Freeing Up Space,
I plug my Lacie firewire drive in and turn it on. The partitions on this portable drive show up. Each partition is 60G— each large enough to hold all the information on my 60G boot drive. I configured each to be bootable. (Actually, one of the four partitions is slightly smaller. I named this "Archive" and to it I manually copy things I don't need to regularly back-up. For example, I have my photo archive there.
My plan, as you can figure out, was to install Leopard from the DVD, then update it to 10.5.2. So, using SuperDuper! I made sure I had a good Tiger backup partition. (Not completely—more on that anon.) I confirmed that I could boot off of it (by booting off if it).

The installation I launched the install DVD. I picked the "update"install because that's what Apple recommends and because two friends had no problems with it. After a half hour or so of the screen "Copying," with the blue spinning barber pole I received an unsettling response:
The installer could not install some files on "/Volumes/Macintosh HD". Contact the software manufacturer for assistance.
"Contact the software manufacturer?!" Yipes.

Well, I had just touched my keyboard a moment before. Maybe I hit something that meant "Quit," so, to be certain, I ran the same operation. Unfortunately, it was with the same results.

I remained very calm. Recall, I had my whole Tiger system sitting on the external drive, just waiting for me to reboot it. I tried an "archive and install," which is what some people said they needed to do. (This takes more space initially. It is like a clean install but it moves your current system to the side. This kind of an install just hung. So, since I had that Tiger system, I booted it. I searched in the Internet to no avail. "Oh, well," I thought. "No harm done." And I restored the original Tiger system. Later that day, after working on other things, I got a question from "My Mac Genius," Kevin. Did I use Disk Utility to verify the hard drive? Well, no I hadn't. Ah...
Verifying volume Macintosh HD
Checking HFS Plus volume.
Checking Extents Overflow file.
Checking Catalog file.
Checking multi-linked files.
Checking Catalog hierarchy.
Checking Extended Attributes file.
Checking volume bitmap.
Checking volume information.
Volume Header needs minor repair
volume Macintosh HD needs to be repaired.
Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit
Errors. Repairable errors, but errors just the same. Okay, cool. Repaired that disk. While I am at it, I checked and repaired the partitions on my external HD. Similar errors, fixed.

Success. I did pack it in for that night but the next day or so, I installed again, successfully. For the most part, the upgrade went very smoothly once the disk errors were fixed. You know? I don't (didn't) routinely verify my hard drives. While the installer from the DVD did provide for checking the DVD media itself, maybe it should have (at least offered) checked the system disk before it attempted the install.

Next time, I'll talk about problems I had, in particular with iCal, iChat, AddressBook, and Mail, and how I fixed them.

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