I have seen few videos on youtube which are saying you don't need to have Leopard to upgrade to Snow Leopard and you can use the upgrade DVD to do a clean installation, I was wondering if its true? I considering to reinstall everything because its quite messy right now, and I think I should try Snow Leopard upgrade DVD instead first install Leopard and then upgrade it to Snow Leopard? Will it break things? Any suggestion/experience will be very helpful.

One of the examples of such videos are



If your Mac originally came with Tiger, then I think a clean install might break the iLife things that came with your Mac. (You cannot easily install those on a clean installation of a newer OS X, I think, but I might be wrong. Installing iLife that came with 10.5 seems fine though, but your mileage may vary.)

Apart from that it's totally fine (and legal, if you own both Leopard and Snow Leopard for that Mac).

However, the "Erase and Install" option is no longer part of the normal installation, so you'll need to use Disk Utility (and backup your personal files). See as many as 44 steps at Apple's Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard: How to Erase and Install.

As a side note: "Archive and Install" is no longer available at all. But apparently: if you need to reinstall 10.6, it automatically archives and installs for you (or, one can do it manually).

  • I have leopard so thats not an issue. – itsaboutcode Nov 1 '09 at 20:50
  • But will i get ilife in 10.6 if i clean install? – itsaboutcode Nov 1 '09 at 20:59

There is no upgrade DVD, all retail copies of Snow Leopard are the full version. It is easily possible to upgrade and Intel Mac from Tiger to Snow Leopard but it breaks the (legal) licensing conditions. The video you posted is correct.

If you want to start from scratch follow Bentem's suggestions, use Disk Utility to wipe the disk and install the OS. No need to put Leopard on first. Backup is always a good idea, full clone using SuperDuper or Carbon Cloner.

I installed iLife '08 on my Macbook (Leopard) from a set of install disks which had OSX Tiger on them, pretty sure '08 will work on snow Leopard.

Most software has newer versions that run on Snow Leopard - is there anything specifically you're worried about? I haven't spent any money upgrading apps on Snow Leopard - free upgrades have been available for all s/w I use. Adobe CS3 is the only exception I'm aware of.

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