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Ask Max: Panther to Tiger Upgrade Issues

Asked on 05/26/2006:

I recently upgraded to Tiger from Panther. MAC Magazine mentioned that upgrading instead of a fresh installation sometimes causes problems. I mentioned this at the Apple Store but they said that wasn't an issue. I'm not so sure. Firstly, the computer takes a long time to download info. Sometimes, after clicking on a website address or link, the little lines go around for downloading, but the info NEVER comes up. Sometimes I do it a second time and it comes up normally. Even reading my own mail takes a long time or never, which is why I liked it coming up immediately, on the bottom (what you just fixed for me). Also the beach-ball thing comes up a lot, not allowing me to use or get out of a program. It's so frustrating. Another thing -- I can write a paragraph and when I proofread it, words are missing. When I retype them, they reappear so I have two if them. When I delete them the original remains as I first typed it, as if I imagined the whole thing. That's all for now.


The magazine article you read has some truth to it. Upgrading is just that, taking all that was old and just adding to it. A clean installation will ignore your old system files and write new ones, often replacing damaged files. Upgrading damaged files can make a small problem bigger, so a clean "Archive and Install" is recommended. You can do an "Archive and Install" at any time without losing your personal information. This is how you do it. First boot up off the Mac OS install disc. Before you began installation, you will want to repair disk permissions. Under the "Utilities" menu on the install disc is the application "Disk Utility." Launch that and select your hard drive from the left hand side. On the right hand side click the button called "Repair Disk Permissions." After it finishes up, which can take a little time, quit Disk Utility. Then start with the installation. At the point you are asked to select the installation destination disk, you want to click on the "Options" button after you select your hard drive. In Options you will select "Archive and Install." Make sure that the preserve network settings and user data checkbox is checked. Then proceed with the installation as normal. When you are done you will need to run Software Update to bring you back up to the latest version of your OS. My gut tells me this will fix those slow system issues you are having. Remember too, you should always back up any important files before you do this kind of OS installation.

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