I never really got why the Mac is thought to be so userfriendly. This weekend we planned to backup and upgrade an older 2007 iMac running 10.4 Tiger to 10.5 Leopard.
I first wanted to make sure we could make a bootable copy of the hard drive. We got a WD MyBook Studio which is supposedly what you’d get for a Mac, with a fancy e-ink display for name and space left.
When attached to Firewire it first of all was not recognized at all. Over USB it worked, and recommended we do a firmware upgrade. After doing the firmware upgrade and rebooting, the drive wouldn’t light up anymore. A heavy paperweight, essentially. Trickery with dmesg showed that something does get recognized on the USB port, but that’s it. After an hour and a half of trying out various firmware uploading tools, we gave up and sent it back to the store, and settled for a standard no-additional-firmware USB drive.
Let Superduper run for a night backing up 120 GB of drive over 4 hours, and we were good to go (incidentally, I created two boot partitions, so after naming the first one ‘Bootie’, the second one named itself. A for the system drive, B for the first boot drive, and C for the second.)
Then comes the reboot. You’re supposed to hold the Option key during boot. With Macs, this always gives me anxiety – do you start holding down a key before or after you turn it on ? Can you hold it down while you are rebooting ? When can you let go ? There are simply no clues. Between the sound, the grey screen, and the apple, you have no idea what is going on. At least, with the usual PC boot screens, you can check for common problems like ‘is the keyboard even working’. I get Apple Anxiety all the time.
In this particular case, apparently I misremembered what the Option key was in the first place. I was holding down that four-lobed rotated clover key. But apparently Option is the Alt/railroad join key.
How is not labeling a key with the same name your software uses considered userfriendly by anyone ?
After holding down that railroad join key before rebooting until a boot menu pops up, we could choose the Bootie drive and boot from it. At least that bit was easy to use, and worked.
Make another backup just in case, then reboot with an official install CD of 10.5 from work.
This time you have to hold down the C key. I still don’t understand why having to search the net for random information JUST so you can boot from a CD is so much better than a simple boot menu and a prompt to get into it.
And after a lot of whirring and booting into the installer, it simply pops up a message saying ‘Mac OS X cannot be installed on the computer.’ This software cannot be installed on this computer.
No further explanation. How hard could it be to tell me ?
Googling, it turns out that grey install discs are tied to a specific model. The disc came from a MacMini.
And again, after much Googling, it looks like the 30 euro retail version of Snow Leopard can be installed over Tiger on intel Macs, so maybe we should just wait until Monday to upgrade.
Now, if only we could actually get the CD out of the drive when rebooting, as the installer runs from CD it doesn’t let you eject, and when you reboot I don’t know the magic key combination to eject… and I just *know* I’ve had to do this before on a MacMini and all I remember is that it was some stupid combination of tricks…