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Old 01-08-2009, 04:31 PM   #1
Triple-A Player
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 68
Lightbulb Howto; Archive and Install to fix scrapped Leopard installation without losing data

Hey all,

My system recently crashed and I found myself having to reinstall Leopard. I decided to go the less-painful way, that is by doing an Archive and Install.

I (after many attempts) finally find a Leopard DVD, so I boot from it. I choose my language, and I get to the hard disk screen.

What ! My Macintosh HD has a yellow warning triangle with an exclamation point on it. The installer tells me that Leopard cannot Archive and Install on this volume because a newer version of Mac OS X is already installed on the volume.

Of course ! The reason I'm installing from this darn DVD is because my "newer version of OS X" crashed !

Not accepting "No" as an answer, I googled the particular message. Someone said that the second time he tried the install, the yellow triangle was gone. So I tried rebooting with the DVD again. No go. Same message.

So I went in Options, and checked Erase and Install without clicking Continue (just to see what it would tell me). The yellow triangle on my startup disk was gone, of course, as it would erase Mac OS X before installing, so the installer had no problem with that. However, I DID NOT WANT TO ERASE EVERYTHING AND START FRESH. So i returned to Options, checked Archive and Install, and Preserve user and network settings.

When I returned to the hard disk window, what did I see ?! The hard drive was indicated with a green symbol ! The description on the bottom clearly stated that an Archive and Install would be performed, effectively saving all my data. I was dumbfounded. And happy.

After doing the Archive and Install, everything was fine, even all my applications, even Office 2008.

I hope my experience will help a few people who don't want to lose their data while reinstalling. It worked for me. It will for you.

Note: This method worked with a retail Leopard DVD. I do not know if it will work on a non-retail Leopard installation CD/DVD.


During the installation, when you get to the hard drive screen, if your drive has a yellow symbol on it, go in Options and select Erase and Install (don't worry, you won't actually be doing it).

When you get back to the hard drive screen, your drive should have a green go sign. UNLESS YOU WANT TO LOSE ALL DATA, DO NOT CLICK CONTINUE.

Click on Options again. Select Archive and Install, and Preserve user and network settings.

Voilà ! Le tour est joué ! You're good to go.
sircharlo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2009, 05:03 PM   #2
Major Leaguer
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oceania
Posts: 395
Thanks for this sircharlo ... very useful

It's all voodoo ... sometimes
VirtualTracy is offline   Reply With Quote

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