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In order to get a smooth Tiger update there are a few things you should consider. Let me try to give you some clues that might help.
Did you regularily maintain your system (CRON-scripts, repair permissions after updates/installs, DiskWarrior, Drive10, ...)? Mac OS X 10.3/10.4: System maintenance
If yes, you are obviously a power-user and do not need advice.
If no, the following procedure might help to upgrade successfully (most programs mentioned are shareware and are available from www.versiontracker.com . You can use most of these for a limited time for free, but I do encourage you to pay the shareware fees so that the programers continue to develop their programs).
These are the available upgrade options: Mac OS X 10.4: About installation options
Be aware that you cannot directly upgrade from 10.0.x or 10.1.x! In these cases you will have to either Erase&Install or install to another partition.
If you already have serious trouble with your system 10.2.x or 10.3.x you can either try the steps below to fix them or you should consider an Archive&Install, but DO NOT run the simple upgrade (probably not even the archive and install since this keeps potentially corrupted preferences):
Before you start, check the minimum system requirements for Tiger here: System Requirements
0. Before you start, BACKUP all your documents, applications and files!
1. Update the firmware of your computer before you even think about updating. Chart of Available Firmware Updates
2. Upgrade your OS 9 installation to 9.2.2: Mac OS 9: Available Updates
3. If you have an external firewire hard disk, check for firmware updates and apply them (e.g. one, LaCie, Initio,
MacAlly, SmartDisk, OWC, WiebeTech).
4. Backup your hard disk (Carbon Copy Cloner)!
5. Update all your haxies (e.g. ASM, TinkerTool) or uninstall them.
6. Deactivate NortonAntiVirus and other background programs
7. Remove Startup-items unless you are sure they are Tiger compatible
8. Repair permissions
9. Run DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro 4 before you update (Make sure you use the latest version, older versions might not be compatible with Tiger!).
10. Did I mention to BACKUP?!
11. Unplug your external firewire drive if you could not find a firmware update
12. Unplug all other peripherals except the original Apple mouse and keyboard.
13. Startup from the Tiger DVD (insert the DVD and restart while holding down the c-key)
14. Upgrade (from 10.3.x I suggest to use the simple upgrade, from 10.2.x an Archive&Install is recommended)
15. After restart repair permissions again
16. Run Cocktail (Tab "Pilot": Caches, Logs and CRON)
17. Shut-down, wait 2 minutes and restart (no idea why but this seems to prevent many problems)
18. Run Software update and apply all updates or download and apply the latest Combo update from here: Apple Downloads,
e.g. Mac OS X Update 10.4.4 Combo.
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