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Take Control of Upgrading to Snow Leopard
Sep 03, 2009

Take Control of Upgrading to Snow Leopard

Install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard with confidence!

Installing a major new version of Mac OS X should be exciting and fun, but without proper guidance you may find it nerve-wracking or even lose valuable files. Fortunately, many thousands of people have upgraded Mac OS X calmly and successfully with Joe Kissell’s previous best-selling Take Control of Upgrading… titles. Joe’s friendly, expert steps—developed over innumerable test installations—help you to avoid trouble, understand what’s going on when you install Snow Leopard, and easily recover from problems that might arise. The ebook will help you:

  • Evaluate if your Mac is ready to run Snow Leopard.
  • Complete crucial pre-upgrade steps that help you avoid trouble.
  • Make a bootable duplicate in case Joe’s easy Plan A doesn’t work for you.
  • Understand just what you need to know about what the installer will do.
  • Successfully install Snow Leopard on an Intel-based Mac.
  • Perform a few important post-installation tasks and tweaks.
  • Solve problems that might arise after installing—such as a Mac that won’t boot.

Want help with installing a later version of Mac OS X? Check our catalog for new editions of this ebook that will help you with later upgrades.

More Info

You should buy this ebook if one—or both—of the following describes your situation:

  • You want to ensure a calm, successful update with no data loss or other unpleasant surprises.
  • You could run the Snow Leopard installer on your own, but you want to know the ins and outs of what’s new with the Snow Leopard installer because you are a Mac consultant, because friends and relatives rely on you for tech support, so you can wow everyone at your next MUG meeting, or simply because you like knowing exactly how things work behind the scenes.

Specific questions answered in this ebook include:

  • Is my Mac ready for a Snow Leopard installation?
  • What’s new in the Snow Leopard installer?
  • What’s the deal with QuickTime and Snow Leopard?
  • What’s Rosetta, why should I care, and what should I do about it?
  • Under what circumstances should I partition my startup drive?
  • How can I check if I need to run a firmware update before installing?
  • What are smart ways to free disk space to make more room for Snow Leopard?
  • How do I back up Boot Camp before upgrading, just in case something goes horribly wrong?
  • I clicked Customize in the installer—which checkboxes should I select?
  • How can I do what was previously called an “Archive and Install”? I know it’s fussy, but I like it.
  • I just installed Snow Leopard and my Mac won’t boot. Help!
  • What should I do if Time Machine wants to start backing up?
What's New

What's New in Version 1.1

Version 1.1 covers new information that has emerged since Snow Leopard’s release, and clarifies or corrects several other items. Major changes include the following:

  • A note about Updating Backup Software for Snow Leopard
  • A sidebar about PGP Desktop and Whole Disk Encryption
  • A list of Things You Need Not Do before upgrading
  • Clarification of the way restarts are handled during installation
  • Additional information about the Machine option when transferring data from a bootable duplicate
  • Instructions on dealing with a rarely appearing Previous System folder
  • Information about how to upgrade CrashPlan, if you use it
  • A list of Web sites with information about Snow Leopard software (in)compatibilities and a tip about the latest version of 1Password

Before I buy this ebook, can you tell me if my Macintosh will work with Snow Leopard?

Sure! The most important Snow Leopard hardware requirement is an Intel processor. To determine if you’re using an Intel-based Mac, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu and look in the Processor line. If it says Intel somewhere in that line, then your Mac has an Intel processor and you’re good to go with Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard isn’t compatible with any PowerPC-based Macs, sorry!

Update Plans

July 5, 2012 – We don’t plan to update the Snow Leopard edition of this ebook again, but check the Take Control catalog to find similar titles about later versions of OS X.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. Mac OS X 10.6.2 Fixes More Bugs

    The bug bashers at Apple have been busy enhancing Snow Leopard and many of its related applications (especially Mail and Safari), as well as MobileMe, and Mac OS X 10.6.2 is now available with many improvements. If you haven’t already, I recommend that you run Software Update and install it. For more information about what’s new in 10.6.2, read Apple’s description of the update—About the Mac OS X v10.6.2 Update or the TidBITS write-up—Mac OS X 10.6.2 Addresses Myriad Bugs and Security Issues. The TidBITS article also has comments at the end where various people have written in about their 10.6.2 update experience.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  2. Snow Leopard Data Loss Bug

    Apple has publicly acknowledged a rare but nasty data-destroying bug related to using the Guest account in Snow Leopard. The bug appears to be associated with having a Guest account already set up before you upgrade to Snow Leopard. While there is currently no fix available, we hope to see one in 10.6.2. To learn more, check out my TidBITS article, Apple Acknowledges Guest Account Data Loss Bug. [This bug was fixed in 10.6.2.]

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  3. SuperDrive Gone South?

    Although most people who’ve upgraded to Snow Leopard have done so without causing any unusual SuperDrive behavior, TidBITS Publishing has received several email messages recently from readers about problems with broken SuperDrives, seemingly triggered by running the Snow Leopard installation DVD.

    We’ve done some investigating, and it seems that while the latest crop of complaints is related to Snow Leopard, the problem is older, more widespread, and more complex than a simple “installing Snow Leopard broke my drive.” To read a detailed analysis of the problems and solutions that have appeared on the Internet, plus get a list of possible solutions, read Doug McLean’s TidBITS article, Exploring Widespread SuperDrive Problems.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  4. Mac OS X 10.6.1 Fixes Minor Bugs

    Even Snow Leopard’s updates are faster and sleeker. Mac OS X 10.6.1 is out with minor fixes for Apple Mail, Flash security, and printer drivers. A few unacknowledged errors seem to have disappeared, too, although other problems remain. Read more in the (somewhat silly) TidBITS article Tiny Mac OS X 10.6.1 Update Fixes Some Bugs.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  5. Snow Leopard Includes Outdated Flash Player

    Adobe is reporting that Snow Leopard installs an outdated—and vulnerable—version of Flash Player (though it was likely the most reasonable version to include when Snow Leopard was locked down for shipping). So, even if you recently updated Flash Player to avoid security vulnerabilities, you’ll need to update again if you’ve moved to Snow Leopard in the meantime. [This problem was solved with the release of Snow Leopard 10.6.1. If you update to 10.6.1, you’ll get the right version of Flash Player. -Tonya]

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  6. MacJury on Getting Started with Snow Leopard

    On the MacJury podcast for September 1, 2009, two out of five “jurors” are Take Control authors —Joe Kissell and Matt Neuburg. Find out how everyone’s Snow Leopard installation experience went. And hear a vociferous argument about whether Apple’s Intel-only policy for Snow Leopard is fair on users.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

The Author

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.