Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Have:

a) single partition 2 TB external firewire HD w/ 10.5.8 (my current StartUp Disk)

b) single partition bootable USB drive with 10.6.7 (full version / not just an "upgrade" version)

c) single partition bootable USB drive with 10.8.2 (full version / not just an "upgrade" version)

Desired Outcome: run 10.8.2 on the single partition firewire HD (item "a" above)

Constraint: the single partition firewire external HD w/ 10.5.8 (current StartUp Disk) is a 2TB drive, and it also has other (non Mac OSX related) data files on the drive that I do not want to lose. To be clear, the constraint is that I do not want to erase this drive during the upgrade process.

System Details: 2008 Intel iMac 24", 4 gig RAM, USB 2.0, broken-ass internal DVD drive, broken-ass internal HD

My Question: how best to achieve the desired outcome? If not possible, please suggest next best alternative.

My Appreciation For Your Help: sincere & immense :-)

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

You risk loosing your data in any upgrade. You need to backup your important data. If your data isn't backed up, you do not have your data.

I recall you need to upgrade to 10.6 so you can do an online install of 10.8. With an upgrade, the installation manager will not erase your data. I have not tried this.

Robert

share|improve this answer
    
I would just--temporarily, at least--copy those files you don't want to lose over to your machine, erase, verify + repair (run Disk Utility, and Disk Warrior if you have it) the FW HD and do a fresh install of 10.8 - then applying updates. Of course, that ignores your constraint, but drag and drop would take but minutes. And this is so much cleaner than installing over. –  Zo219 Mar 20 '13 at 2:06
    
@historystamp Hi, Robert. Importance of backup - understood, thanks! As to the compliance w/ the "Constraint" (in the question), is it your understanding that if the OS to be upgraded resides on an external 2 TB HD that only has one partition, and also contains over 1 TB of personal (non-OS) files on that same partition, after upgrading the OS on that drive...the personal (non-OS) files will remain undisturbed? David –  user18467 Mar 21 '13 at 7:35
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.