Upgrade MAC OSX from 10.5.8

Posted on 1 November 2012


First: backup image, see this help page. Didn’t work without booting from the DVD (hold the ALT key while booting), but fortunately my TriBackup can also make a bootable backup, which is even better. To be sure, I did both. The easiest might have been to make a TimeMachine backup, btw. When I inserted the OSX DVD it gave me the option to restore from a TimeMachine backup which is great.

Snow Leopard or Mountain Lion?

Then: Do I upgrade to 10.6 (snow leopard) or to 10.8 (mountain lion: $ 20)? To upgrade to 10.8 I need to have 10.6.8 installed first, according to the tech specs. This is because you need to be able to connect to the app store to buy it. After buying it you are allowed to install the software on every computer that you own. I guess the only way to purchase it is through appstore with my MBP (it has 10.6.8 installed) and then put it on a 5GB USB drive as this guy explains. Because the filesystem of my mac is a bit messed up after 4 years of intensive use, I don’t mind installing it on a clean disk. But is this legal? Not really. The licence that comes with the software wants me to have a version of at least Snow Leopard for the computer I am installing this software on. As this yahoo thread explains you need a licence for each mac you install snow leopard on.

But on the other had, here is a guy that says: if your mac came with 10.5, don’t upgrade to 10.7 or higher. Upgrade to 10.6.8 and then drive it until the wheels fall of. So it might be a better idea to upgrade to 10.6.8 and stay there. I’m not sure if this is true for my 8 core MacPro, as I think it might be faster then my MBP.

To sum up: in both cases I need to get a 10.6.8 licence for my MacPro first. So here is an explanation that you first have to buy snow leopard for $ 30,-. But the link doesn’t work. Apple is not selling them anymore. I went to an Apple Store but they have the same story: they can’t sell me a disk and/or a licence. They can – however – install it on my computer if I bring it in, for 50 bucks. Do I get a licence? “No, but we have a licence”. OK, really?? Do they think I am that stupid. I guess they mean: we don’t care about licences for that old operating system. So it’s time to dig up the 10.6.8 installation disks of my MBP and insert them into the MacPro. Does it work? NO. I got the “Mac OS can’t be installed on this computer” message.

Mountain Lion

So next stop: Appstore. I bought the Mountain Lion software and it is downloading now. I followed this guide to install from an USB drive and it’s working like a charm. Then I installed FCS3 which also works nice as long as it’s not running on my MBP (same serial number, it’s also legacy software). I tried installing the pro-apps update but it didn’t work, but fortunately the appstore offered to install an update automatically. It also recognised my HP printer/scanner. So far it is pretty nice. I have not tried editing yet.

Blu-ray support

The first big problem is writing a .iso file to blu-ray with the disk utility: “the disc inserted does not have enough free space”. When I insert a disk it does mount in finder, but when I want to burn a disk it still gives that ‘not enough space’ message. Do they really not support bluray in their 2012 software? No, they don’t.

You could try this $ 50 program, which can be tested for free. I think it only supports single layer 25 GB disks, no BDXL support? Another option is the open source IMGburn software for Windows, which works great under parallels. Always set it to UDF 2.5 file format.

Posted in: MacOS/Apple