Snow Leopard’s release is just around the corner, so here are some quick and easy steps to make sure that you are ready to upgrade.
Turn On Time Machine
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to turn on the Time Machine built in backup. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great first line of defense against data loss.
Make a Bootable External Drive
Use Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper to clone your Mac’s hard drive to an external USB drive as an emergency backup, in case both the upgrade and the Time Machine backup both go south. The real point of both this step and the Time Machine step are to backup, backup, backup! Get your data off of your computer and onto something else that can be saved in case of the worst.
Get Rid of Haxies
Haxies are unsupported hacks that alter the appearance or functionality of OS X. While they can be cool, and nothing against Unsanity, anything that’s done under the covers or outside of what Apple (s aapl) says is OK to play with is easily broken during a major OS upgrade. Application Enhancer has been a known culprit in the past, and some developers will ask that it be removed before support or ignore crash reports that involve it all together.
Bundles like SIMBL are also a sort of hack that can cause problems during an upgrade. As I said before, they are a good hack, but a hack nonetheless, and can cause unforeseen problems during an upgrade.
iPods, iPhones, MobileMe, any third-party devices or syncing that you have set up…make sure they are all synced and up to date before starting the upgrade procedure.
Update Your Apps
This shouldn’t be that big of a deal as long as you are already running Leopard, but it’s still a good idea to check and make sure that you are running the latest released version of your apps. Developers who joined the Apple Developer Connection as a premier member have had access to Snow Leopard for a while now, and have hopefully worked out the bugs in running their app. That being said, upgrade your apps, just to make sure. I’ve found that it’s also a good practice to download updated installers for your favorite apps and burn them to a CD or DVD for quick access.
If you are feeling daring, you may want to give AppFresh a look and see about having it update all of your apps for you.
Have a ton of old apps laying around that you don’t need anymore? Now is the best time to AppZap them! I seriously do not understand why AppZapper, or some similar functionality is not built into OS X. Both Cocktail and Onyx have functions to clean out temporary files, check permissions, and ensure that the OS is in good operating order.
Watch the Clock
Snow Leopard is set to be released in September 2009, which as the writing of this happens is just around one month away. Snow Leopard brings with it the opportunity to make your Mac “Better, Faster, Easier,” than ever before.
Have a favorite OS X upgrade tradition? Sound off in the comments!