As I am sure you Mac users are well aware, OS X Lion was made available yesterday morning as a purchase through the Mac App Store. There are a few tutorials out there in regard to doing a clean install, but I thought I would document my process since it may help someone else. My existing setup:
- White Macbook Core 2 Duo, 2.16 GHz
- 120 GB 5400 rpm hard drive
- iLife '09
- OS X Snow Leopard
My goal by the end of the day yesterday:
- 500 GB 7200 rpm hard drive
- iLife '11
- OS X Lion
For the hard drive upgrade, there are two great sites:
- For the purchase: Other World Computing. Their site allows you to pick your Mac model and then pick from compatible hardware. I settled on this which gave me the hard drive, as well as an external USB enclosure to put my existing 120 GB drive in for back up and data transfer purposes.
- For the hard drive replacement: iFixit. I used the steps found here to replace my hard drive in about 5 minutes. Super easy!
Before swapping in a new hard drive though, there are a few things that I had to do first:
- Export browser bookmarks
- Export Contacts
- Consolidate my iTunes library. I followed the steps from this Apple KB article (specifically the part about consolidating if I wanted to copy it to an external drive for the transfer). This will move everything iTunes (music, etc.) into your iTunes folder.
- Download OS X Lion from the Mac App store and burn a bootable DVD. I followed the steps found here to do this. When done, you can leave the DVD in the drive.
- Make sure I know where saved application/game data was stored (I didn't want to lose my Plants vs. Zombies progress!). In general, it seems like the path to application data on a Mac is /users/[username]/Library/Application Support/[application_or_publisher]. For example, the Plants vs. Zombies data I was looking for was located in the directory /users/matt/Library/Application Support/Popcap.
- Backup anything else crucial in the event that this existing hard drive dies in the swap process
- Deauthorize/Deactive licensed software (including iTunes... although I did this last)
Now, after shutting down, swapping hard drives and leaving the OS X Lion DVD in the drive, I did the following:
- Hold down the 'c' key upon boot, this should allow you to boot to the DVD
- Note: It took a LONG time for me to reach the actual Lion installation screen -- so you may need to be patient.
- Once at the Lion installation, I had to run the Disk Utility. This allowed me to format the new drive as Mac OS X Extended (Journaled).
- After the format completed, I installed Lion -- so far so good!
- NOTE: I'm not sure if this affected moving my iPhoto or iTunes library (as mentioned below) but I named my hard drive and username the same as my previous install so that all of my file system paths would remain in tact -- so if you have the option, I would recommend doing the same. If you end up going with the external hard drive for your old one though, you will need to rename it upon connecting it to your Lion install -- my machine got a little confused with two drives with the same name!
Now for the unknown -- how do I get my photos from iPhoto '09 to iPhoto '11, and how do I transfer my iTunes Library with minimal fuss? This ended up being A LOT simpler than I expected:
- Since I had a brand new install of iPhoto '11 with no existing photos (this becomes way more complicated if you do have existing photos, so don't try this if you do!), I was able to simply remove the new iPhoto Library, and just copy over my iPhoto Library (the entire package) into the Pictures directory. Then, upon launching iPhoto it let me know that it would need to upgrade my photo library, and it would no longer be accessible by older versions of iPhoto. Fine with me! When it opened, all of my photos, and events were in tact. Victory!
- Similar process for iTunes: I simply replaced the existing iTunes directory in my Music folder with the one from my old hard drive. When iTunes launched, it briefly displayed a message that it was updating my library, but when it was done, all of my songs, album art, playlists, etc. were there! NOTE: I purposefully named the new drive the same as my old one, and also used my same username so the paths to my files would be the same. So, I'm not sure if this would work if they weren't.
Beyond that, it was just copy/pasting data and setting preferences... not bad at all!
Hopefully this makes sense, but feel free to ask questions in the comments. As always -- I will not be responsible for any damage that may occur due to following steps outlined in this post. Your mileage may vary!