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Part VI: Appendices > The Upgrade Installation

A.4. The Upgrade Installation

If Mac OS X version 10.0 through 10.2-point-anything is on your hard drive, the Mac OS X 10.3 installer can neatly nip and tuck its software code, turning it into version 10.3. Everything remains just as you had it: your accounts, folders, files, email, network settings, everything-else settings, and so on.


If you decide to erase your hard drive before installing Panther, you're offered a choice of two formats for your hard drive: "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" and "Unix file System." If you choose the first option, you turn on a special, background feature of OS X known as file journaling.

When file journaling is turned on, your Mac keeps a personal diary of everything you do on your hard drive-opening, saving, deleting files, and so on. Journaling offers two benefits: a shorter startup time and safety in the event of a crash.

Here's how it works: When you press the power button, Mac OS X checks to see whether your computer was shut down properly (by choosing →Shut Down for example,instead of just pulling out the plug).

If you didn't shut down properly, Mac OS X examines your hard drive the next time you start up to see if it needs repair.It has to scan the whole drive-which can take anywhere from a couple of minutes (if your hard drive is less than 10 GB) to a couple of hours (if your hard drive is more than 200 GB). Thanks to file journaling, however, Panther can tell what was happening when your computer shut down-and therefore spend a lot less time checking your hard drive.

There are some downsides to the journaled format, however. first, this procedure doesn't actually recover what you were working on when your Mac shut down; it can only try to keep files you already saved from getting corrupted. Second, file journaling can make it take slightly longer for your programs to save files.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the journaled format is still relatively new. If your hard drive gets seriously damaged and your disk-repair program isn't compatible with file journaling, you could end up damaging your drive even more.

Mac OS X doesn't prevent you from having different hard drives with different formats, either. You can use the journaled format on your main hard drive, but not on your external fireWire drive—or vice versa. (If you ever want to change the format of one of your disks, use Disk Utility, although you'll have to erase all the information on the disk first.)

If you leave your Mac on all the time (if you run it as a Web server, for example), it's a good idea to use the journaled hard drive format. Keep in mind, too, that blackouts affect your hard drive just as much as pulling the plug. So if you live in Iraq, a solar-powered house, or anywhere else where power is inconsistent, journaling can be a lifesaver.



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