Can I Install Different MAC OS Versions On Different Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Kurt R. Todoroff, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. My G4 iMac is running 10.2.8 on the internal hard drive. If I install
    10.3 on my external LaCie Firewire drive, can I boot from either drive
    without problems? Will I experience any problems going back and forth
    between the newer Apple applications (Safari, Mail, iMovie, iDVD) and
    the old ones?

    Thank you.


    Kurt Todoroff

    Markets, not mandates and mob rule.
    Consent, not compulsion.
    Kurt R. Todoroff, Mar 9, 2005
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  2. Kurt R. Todoroff

    Zaphod B Guest

    I should think none, other than the odd moment of confusion. :)

    Of course, some documents may be upgraded by its parent app so that an
    older version will have trouble opening it. Major revisions of iLife
    apps are a case in point.

    One more word of caution: Make sure older & newer apps use different
    directories for their settings files and so on. By default they would do
    that under this setup. Otherwise, when an older app tries to read from a
    pref file that a newer version just modified, it seems possible, but not
    entirely likely, that conflict may occur. (I should hope that if the
    discrepancy is too great, the older app will refuse to read the newer
    pref - but YMMV.)
    Zaphod B, Mar 9, 2005
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  3. Kurt R. Todoroff

    Tom Stiller Guest

    As far as switching between the tow versions of Mac OS X, there should
    be no problem. However, newer versions of applications frequently
    update their preference files in ways which are not backward compatible
    with earlier versions.

    If you intend to work with different versions of applications, I would
    recommend using different user accounts (to keep the preference files
    distinct) and moving the data files to a shared folder so there is a
    single copy of the user data. Even that may not be enough if the newer
    version of an application uses a different data file format.
    Tom Stiller, Mar 9, 2005
  4. If he boots from another disk, he will automatically be logged in as
    another user as well. Each system has its own user, residing on the same
    disk as that system. Even if the name and password are the same, they
    are still different users. Consequently, there is no danger screwing up
    preferences, because these will be in the Library folder of that user.
    Using a shared folder for common files is a good idea, of course.
    Johan W. Elzenga, Mar 9, 2005
  5. Kurt R. Todoroff

    Tom Stiller Guest

    Unless he has his /Users directory in a separate partition, as is not
    Tom Stiller, Mar 9, 2005
  6. Kurt R. Todoroff

    Wes Groleau Guest

    To clarify, "by default" the preferences are in
    /Users/<name>/Library/Preferences, and unless you
    have intentionally changed it, /Users/* in in the
    boot partition.

    But that can be a major pain, having to keep track
    of which of your directories you were in when you
    created or edited xyz.doc
    Wes Groleau, Mar 10, 2005
  7. Kurt R. Todoroff

    Wes Groleau Guest

    Not necessarily. If the user NUMBER is the same, that
    User is the owner of the files in both user directories.
    However, there ARE two User directories UNLESS you intentionally
    change it. Which is not hard to do.

    I have five users. The admin User's directory is on whichever
    partition I boot from, but the 'regular' Users all have their
    directories on a different partition so they don't have to keep
    two sets of files synchronized. And all the OS9 stuff is in one
    partition so I don't need two copies of all the Classic stuff.

    Wes Groleau

    Guidelines for judging others:

    1. Don't attribute to malice that which
    can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    2. Don't attribute to stupidity that which
    can be adequately explained by ignorance.

    3. Don't attribute to ignorance that which
    can be adequately explained by misunderstanding.
    Wes Groleau, Mar 10, 2005
  8. Let's not make the exception the rule. I know you can have a user
    account on another partition or disk and I know you can combine accounts
    like you said. The normal situation however is that if you install OSX
    on a disk, you create a new administrative account together with that
    installation and this accounmt will reside on that same disk. Switch to
    another system on antoher disk and you automatically switch to the other
    account as well.

    Also, the OP is not a die-hard techno-oriented Macintosh user, otherwise
    he would have not asked this question in the first place. Consequently,
    the OP would install both systems the way I describe it, using a norma;
    'out of the box' installation. Don't make things more complicated for
    him that it needs to be. The answer for him is: Yes, you can do what
    asked. And no, you do not have to worry about screwing up preferences.
    Johan W. Elzenga, Mar 10, 2005
  9. Not uncommon for you, I'm sure. But for an OP who needs to ask whether
    it's possible at all to install two systems on two disks, it's highly
    unlikely he will use such a setup.
    Johan W. Elzenga, Mar 10, 2005
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