Apple reportedly tweaks installation process for Snow Leopard

Wed, Aug 12, 2009


With the latest Snow Leopard build believed to be the “Golden Master” version, AppleInsider clues us in on many of the installation changes Apple has implemented in OS X 10.6

  • Although Rosetta and Quicktime 7 are both included on the Mac OS X 10.6 installation DVD, both are designated as optional installs by default. However, if Mac OS X 10.6 is being installed on a Mac that contains a registration a key for Quicktime 7 Pro, the installer will install Quicktime 7 automatically.
  • Options to “Erase and Install” and “Archive and Install” are no longer present in the Mac OS X 10.6 installer. According to those familiar with the software, this was done for convenience, so that users do not accidentally erase and install their Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard partitions. However, “Erase and Install” remains available through Disk Utility, which is also included on the installation DVD.
  • If you need to reinstall 10.6, it automatically archives and installs for you.
  • A reinstallation will not affect your Mac OS X version number. In other words, reinstallation of Mac OS X 10.6 on a Mac that contains Mac OS X 10.6.1 (when it becomes available) will not overwrite any new components delivered by 10.6.1. So when the re-install is complete, you will still be running Mac OS X 10.6.1. This will save users considerable time.
  • There is no “Previous System” folder at the root level after reinstalling.
  • If a power outage occurs, installation will pick up from where it left off.
  • To prevent the Blue Screen error that plagued some users when upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5, a software compatibility check is included that has a list of known “bad” apps, and disables them. Those programs are moved to an “Incompatible Software” folder.
  • Unlike Mac OS X 10.5, you cannot install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on computers where the hard drive reports a S.M.A.R.T. failure.
  • Installation initially triggers a large chunk of data to be copied from the installation DVD to the user’s primary hard drive. The bulk of the installation is then managed from the hard drive, speeding up the installation process considerably. After a successful installation, that large chunk of data is automatically removed.

All in all, these seem like solid changes, with some of them being a long time coming.  Also, there are murmurs around the web which point to a release date at the end of August, a move which would preempt Windows 7 by more than a full month.


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