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Part VI: Appendixes > Four Kinds of Installation

A.2. Four Kinds of Installation

The Mac OS X installer can perform a number of different installations. For example, it can put a copy of Mac OS X 10.2 onto a hard drive that currently has any of these previous installations:

  • None. If you one day need to erase your hard drive—because it's completely hosed, or, less drastically, because you've bought a new, empty external hard drive—this is how you'll do it. See "The Basic Installation" on the next page for the step-by-step process.

  • Mac OS 9 on the hard drive. See "The Basic Installation" for the step-by-step process.

  • Mac OS X 10.0 or 10.1. The 10.2 installer can turn your older copy of Mac OS X into the 10.2 version, in the process maintaining all of your older preferences, fonts, documents, accounts, and so on. See Section A.4.

    On the other hand, a substantial body of evidence (specifically, hundreds of moaning Mac fans online) points to the wisdom of performing a clean install rather than an upgrade installation. You'll still maintain all of your documents and accounts, although you may have to reset a few settings, and the occasional program may need reinstalling. But overall, a clean installation (rather than an upgrade) provides a healthier, more glitch-proof copy of 10.2. See The Clean Install.

  • Mac OS X 10.2. In times of dire troubleshooting, when nothing in Appendix B has helped, you can actually give yourself a fresh copy of 10.2, even though 10.2 is already on the hard drive. This process is called a clean install, and its reappearance in Mac OS X 10.2 is one of the new version's most welcome features. See The Clean Install.



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