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Installing Leopard

I made the mistake of pre-ordering from Amazon.. a fat lot of good that did me as my order just arrived today (November 5th). Oh, well, at least that gave Apple some time to find its problems, right?

Apparently not. My installation began with great promise; a very lovely backdrop screen, and then, after the usual "I agree" stuff, presented me with the screen where you select the volume you want to install on.

Great - except that no volumes at all were displayed.

Now, I only have the one built in hard drive on the Mac Book Pro. I have some USB drives, but those were not connected and it wouldn't have offered to install on those anyway. Apparently it just didn't see my internal drive.. ummm, that's just a tad unsettling, isn't it?

Maybe I'm just being impatient - maybe it needs some time? What the heck, I need to shave today anyway.. let's go do that, shall we? So I did, but when I came back, nothing had changed.

I fired up Disk Utility from the menus. It certainly saw the internal drive. Hmmm.. maybe a shutdown and reboot? Well, no.. same problem.

This time I took a peek at Startup Disk from the menu. It didn't see anything but the DVD either.. oooh, this is not looking good, is it? I fired up System Profiler and it didn't see anything either.. well, I guess that's the end of that, I thought to myself, and closed System Profiler's window.

Well son of a gun - there's the drive. Did System Profiler wake it up? Sure looks that way.. so I continued with the install, choosing the "Archive and Install" option, and being sure to de-select all the language options and printer drivers I have no need of. The install then proceeded to spend a good long time making sure my DVD is valid - you can skip that, but what the heck, I have plenty of time..

While that's running, let's discuss the packaging. Apple packaging is always such fun. Always lovely, but often challenging, and opening this upgrade was a minor IQ test. Are you really supposed to have to rip apart the outer box? Well, I had to: the inner box wasn't going to slide out unless I did, so..

The "Checking Installation DVD" chugs along. The "starry sky" background makes me think the screen badly needs cleaning - shouldn't stars twinkle? I guess not..

It's now 3:00 PM and the DVD checking is finishing. How long is this going to take? I have to leave here at 6:00 or so.. will it be done? Well, according to the "Time Remaining" that popped up soon after the real installation started, the time remaining was "Calculating". Apparently that's a very difficult calculation, because at seven past three, that's what it still said. The progress bar had moved along three quarters of an inch by then, but it suddenly told me that two hours and six minutes would do the trick. A moment later it changed its mind: an hour and nine minutes would be enough to install Leopard.

Five minutes later the installer changed its mind again. Another 32 minutes would suffice, it said. Oh joy, I thought, but mere seconds later a new revision informed me that a mere 23 minutes remained! It just keeps getting better..

Indeed: about every 10 to 15 seconds, the estimate would decrease another minute! Keep this up and we'll be done before 3:30. Alas, no. At 3:15, with seventeen minutes on the clock, the time became fixed. At 3:18, it still said seventeen minutes. Another minute found the progress bar creeping along, but the time estimate remained. Then suddenly the rate of change picked up again.. oh, this playful flirting has me nearly wild with anticipation.. yeah, right.

And yet, for all my sarcastic pessimism, the install really did finish up pretty darn close to 3:30. At the end, the display said "about a minute" for five long minutes, but at 3:35, it was done and let me click "Restart".

Oh that first post-upgrade boot.. so worrying.. will it succeed? Well, yes, it did.. up and running, joyful, happy, life is good..

Well, yes, but after registering, Software Update wants to install some updates. OK, it does, and then says it needs to reboot. A little box pops up saying that some caches need updating and that the reboot will complete after that is done. Well, that was easily five minutes ago.. the screen is blue, a transparent ball is spinning..

Oh my, this can't be right. It's another seven minutes of nothing.. I hate interrupting something that might be Very Important, but it sure looks hung to me. No disk activity, no screen change, just that spinning transparency..

I held down the power key until it shut off, then pushed it again to restart. The Apple logo appeared, the usual spinning transparent ball..and then a normal login screen.. wheeew.



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© Anthony Lawrence







Mon Nov 5 21:31:28 2007: 3227   bruceg2004


I had the same issue on my MBP, with the internal HD not showing up. I know it was there, because it booted fine, without the DVD. Then, I decided to clear the PRAM, and after I did that, it showed up (CMD-OPT-P-R, for 3 bongs). I have seen this issue reported a lot, and seems to be hit or miss. I would bet if you hook a ton of USB/FW stuff up to your machine, like I do, that you will see this bug, since a friend of mine who runs his machine fairly out of the box, did not have these issues.

For the record, I have a 160GB HD, so I am not sure if the kind of HD is the issue here:

My model: Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00:

Although Leopard has it's fair share of warts, I am real happy with it. Apple will lance those off soon enough with the first update (I hope), and life will be wonderful again.

I decided to do the erase/install, because I was in need of some desperate cleaning. I had been doing upgrades since my first PowerBook, and this is my third machine that was given the IPU torture test, and although things worked pretty well, my /Applications folder was so, so huge. I did not use even 1/8 of the programs in there, so this was a quick and easy way to get a nice clean install.

I used "Super Duper" to make a bootable backup, and I have been copying off stuff from ~/Library/ApplicationSupport as I need things, and it has been working well.

I have really noticed a huge increase in speed on my system (can MS ever claim that with a major OS upgrade). Anyway, I can't wait to get the rest of my Mac's on Leopard, but I will wait for the first update before I move those over.

I actually was one of the geeks who stood in line at the Burlington Apple Store, and we all had a great time trying to explain to people what an "OS" is. The confused looks reminded me of your favorite Windows admins, when you explain how to do things in the *nix world :-)

- Bruce







Mon Nov 5 22:23:30 2007: 3229   Niall


Similar experience here... took a long time to detect/list the drive on both my MacBook Pro and my Mac Pro. The install took ages on the MacBook (in-place upgrade), but was rather zippy on the Mac Pro (Archive & Install).

Mostly happy for now, though I'm adjusting to how "Spaces" decides to place windows. Tabbed terminals are nice, though I have plenty of screen real estate and don't see myself using them all that often.

My major gripe thus far is that I'm unable to drag X11 applications to my second monitor, though I can place them with Spaces' F8.

P.S. Don't forget to update any Windows BootCamp partitions! New drivers on the Leopard disk.

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