I got myself a brand new copy of Leopard this afternoon. I first created a backup – just in case since I trust Apple blindly. At least, I did…Just after the backup has been made, a friend of mine came along since he wanted to see the new OS too, even thinking of installing it himself. I inserted the DVD, a finder window opens and gives me the option to reboot to start the installation. Fine. That’s normal, Tiger did the same. After reboot, the familiar blue screen showed up – you get that screen right before logging in – and… it stayed there. No setup wizard, no installation, no nothing. Just Google it for fun. The entire Internet refers to it as the BSoD. I knew the Internet was mentioning it. I knew there were some installation problems. But I knew this was the case too when installing Tiger and I had no issues at all – so it had to be the fault of the users, hadn’t it.
Installation failed. I got myself a great thought. Hitting CTRL+CMD+Power (oh yes, Apple has it’s own CTRL+ALT+DEL), rebooting into my working Tiger system and rebooting properly using the system. While rebooting, holding the C key and … Woohoo, the Leopard installation begins.You get three options: Or you upgrade your current installation. “But note”, it states, “it is not mentioned to erase existing programs”. Second option is to Archive and install. You archive your old OS and install a brand new one, keeping your user- and network settings. Third option is to erase and install. I chose the second one, meaning that I wanted to have a clean install but keep my users (and thus my home folder)
It took ten minutes before the actual installation started. Ok, that could be normal, since my disk was full for 80% and the installer had to move the current system away. Then, the installation started. Estimated remaining time: 5hrs 45mins 7secs. WHAT? Luckily, the remaining time estimation is never right in the beginning, in no single piece of software and the remaining time dropped rather fast to 30 minutes. And then, a “one minute remaining” estimation appeared and that stood there… for a whole twenty minutes. In the mean time, browsing on my friends computer, we found other people that had the same problem, so no big deal. Indeed, after some twenty minutes, the installation finished. GREAT! I thought.
The system reboots, my login screen appears with my users, I login to my user account and… you might have heard of the beach ball. The only icon which is feared in the Mac world. That cursor remained there. Nothing happened. Just my wallpaper on the screen and the beach ball. Just that. I CTRL+CMD+Power’ed my powerbook and after reboot, I chose a user that I created once but was never actually been used – so no changes in user interface either. Good point, the user can login but.. the Finder doesn’t respond. Whatever I tried, nothing helped. Nothing worked. I could launch a Terminal window (since I placed that in the dock three years ago) and I managed to open a Safari window from that terminal window. Browsing the Internet, I read that Archive and install wasn’t such a good idea. In the mean time, my friend started his installation on his powerbook, but he chose an erase and install. After literally 30 minutes, he was up and running. His Software Update utility asked him even to install updates (now already) but he ignored them…
You know, perhaps these problems are just because of me. In the three years I have this Powerbook, I never erased the hard drive but I did messed things up: installing unsupported drivers (which stated during the installation: “do NOT touch your touchpad now or your kernel will panic – and I noticed they were right.), renamed the user account (short name in which Apple states: “you cannot rename this” and I thought “I can”. I did and spent the next two days in restoring the original name.), installation of a complete operating system on top of OS X and remove it afterwards, leaving a lot of remainder applications which conflict with the original unix apps, trying to install Gnome in stead of Aqua, trying other window managers, trying everything else that you can find googling and which stated in bold red “This is dangerous, only do this when you know what you are doing” and then skipping some unimportant parts of the step-by-step explanation which seemed rather important after I corrupted some core applications. Trying to set up new themes using stable and some other less stable programs, messing up the GUI completely, trying to set my users’ account on a network drive, … Really, you cannot mention it, not even the most ridiculous things, but I’ve done them. Which leaves some deep scars into my system. And not taking a normal upgrade but a clean install and keeping my user settings which refer to such remainders of the past… probably that is the main problem here.
After an hour of trying, I gave up and reinstalled Leopard too, using erase and install, just to have everything right and than I would be able to use the system without any problem. I was thinking about clean installing the system anyway, only I didn’t plan it for now. After the installation – which went smootly this time – my System Update utility asked me to install the updates. I didn’t ignore them and installed them.
When the powerbook only started to boot… kernel panic. Great. Reboot again? Nope, still kernel panic. I rebooted into the installation DVD and did a hard disk check using the utilities that are offered in the installation image. No errors found. I rebooted into the system on the hard drive and… magically, I’m typing this entry now. The system booted normally. Well, I’ve had enough for today. I hope the system will boot normally tomorrow, without any kernel panic. I would like to write how great Leopard is – since I totally disagree with some of the reviews you can find on the Net: I do like the new interface a L-O-T, but since I spent 5 hours installing the system, I didn’t have the time trying it out.It’s not Apple’s habit.
Hopefully, the system is a lot more stable than its installer. It wasn’t exactly a good beginning, really…