1. First off, verify that you system meets these requirements:
2. Make sure that your hard drive has at least 3.5 GB free.
3. Make sure that your firmware is up to date:
Firmware updates need to be applied by booting the hard disk off Mac OS 9 and then running them from there.
4. Also if you bought a third party video card, verify that its firmware is up to date for use with Panther.
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com is a good source for videocard information.
5. If upgrading from Mac OS 9, ideally you'll want to also upgrade all your hardware and software to Mac OS X native versions:
which have been tested with 10.3. Note, many third party mice already have built-in support for both scrolling and right mouse button in Mac OS X 10.3 and you don't need to install their drivers. In some cases those drivers are not compatible with 10.3.
6. Next, this is the most important step, if you don't take this, you may risk everything! Backup your data, more than once so that if the installation fails to recognize your original backup, it should recognize the second. Both Dantz Retrospect Express (desktop is the newer version) and Bombich Carbon Copy Cloner offer good backups for Mac OS X, and Retrospect Express for Mac OS 9 to go to an external supported Firewire hard drive ( http://www.macmaps.com/firewirebug.html ). You can also burn to CD your data, but its emergency boot in case of failure may not work, unless you get http://www.charlessoft.com/ BootCD. Appleï¿½s .Mac backup is a good general backup software if you just want to backup your important document files for future use.
Before we go to step 7, be sure to detach all non-Apple hardware, and only have an Apple mouse and keyboard connected to the computer.
7. If you had Mac OS X preloaded and have never used it
( http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25517 tells what operating systems were preloaded on what Mac models) or have used it on that same machine, you'll want to follow the directions to Archive and Install:
This will prevent system level preferences from older operating systems from causing difficulty with the new version, and allow you to preserve your user and network preferences if you used Mac OS X in the past. Otherwise, Install Mac OS X for the first time. When installing, if you are limited on disk space, only install the language you speak, and the printer drivers you might be using.