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Part VI: Appendices > 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 10.3 onto a hard drive that currently has:

  • Nothing on it. If you one day have to erase your hard drive completely—because it's completely hosed, or, less drastically, because you've bought a new, empty external hard drive—this is how to do it. See "The Basic Installation," below, for a step-by-step guide.

  • Mac OS 9 on the hard drive. Also see "The Basic Installation" below for a step-by-step explanation.

  • Mac OS X 10.0 through 10.2. The 10.3 installer can turn your older copy of Mac OS X into the 10.3 version, in the process maintaining all of your older preferences, fonts, documents, accounts, and so on. See "The Upgrade Installation" in Section A.4

    The Panther "Up to Date" Upgrade Disk

    When you buy Panther from a store, you get the installer described on these pages—the one capable of performing either an Upgrade installation or an "Archive and Install" (that is, a clean install).

    You may have received a different set of CDs, however, thanks to Apple's Software Up-to-Date program. (That's where you pay only $20 or so for the upgrade—an consolation prize offered to people who bought a new Mac only a few weeks before a major new Mac OS X version comes out.) You'll know if you have this set, because Disc 1 bears the label Upgrade Disc.

    Trouble is, there's no Archive and Install option when you run this installer. After all, these discs are intended to upgrade the copy of Mac OS X that's already on your new Mac.

    That doesn't mean, though, that you can't perform a clean install at all. If you use the Erase and Install option, you do indeed get a clean installation of Panther. You'll have to re-create your accounts and settings, but at least you'll wind up with the considerable stability benefits of a clean installation.

    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, described next, rather than an upgrade installation. (Apple calls this the "Archive and Install" option.) A clean installation provides a healthier, more glitch-proof copy of 10.3. See "The Clean Install" in Section A.5

  • Mac OS X 10.3. In times of dire troubleshooting, when nothing in Appendix B has helped, you can actually give yourself a fresh copy of 10.3, even though 10.3 is already on the hard drive. See "The Clean Install" in Section A.5



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