Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: From ? to !

Cling to Snow Cat?

Move up to Lion?

I have a LOT of EXPENSIVE software that is worthless without Rosetta (now obsolete with Lion) and have been reluctant to move on to Lion.

Recently I have experienced the discomfort of encountering Software Updates which will not run on any OSX previous to Lion. Shucks.

I began reconsidering my options without having to replace the affected software I have accumulated over the years.

I have come up with, and implemented the following solution (Plan A):

Running your\my machines on Snow Leopard & Lion

Plan A:

  1. IF you have external drives (see Suggestion at bottom):
  2. Make sure your target Hard Drive is large enough to accommodate both OSX version + two sets of Apps and necessary files: In order to successfully install Lion and Migrate (Migration Assistant in your Utilities Folder) the necessary files I would count on 150% of your GB usage for Snow Leopard & Apps, System Docs, Libraries, & Settings. (I have a 1TB Hard Drive and have plenty of room to spare.) Lion requires self-establishing a Recovery Hard Drive Partition in addition to what is required by older OSX’s for System & Apps.
  3. Move all your data (docs, music, picts, etc.) off of your hard drive. [This is my basic configuration… always. Nothing on my Hard Drive except OS & Apps, & Email – which is periodically archived to a B/U Disk.]
  4. Get Carbon Copy Cloner (No longer free) (Why? You will need it in the next step.) and clone your hard drive to TWO different hard drives: A and B.
    Alt boot your computer off of Drive A.
    Flatten your hard drive: Partition it in two equal partitions.
  5. TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY to EDIT your clone on Drive B and erase ALL your applications which you know Lion will make obsolete.
    NOTE: Trying this step with a Time Machine backup is insanely complex to avoid ruining your T.M. backup. With a CCC clone, it’s just click to the trash with Finder.
  6. NOTE: I took advantage of this moment to Defrag my old OS clone on Disk B with Drive Genius ($15) from the App Store before cloning it back to my hard drive.This procedure is the ONLY way to Defrag your hard drive contents without using two machines.
  7. At this point you are operating off of Drive A.
  8. CCC your clone from Drive B back to a partition on your hard drive.
    Go to App Store,  buy, download and install Lion on the remaining partition on your hard drive.

[Buying Lion from the App Store for thirty bucks will give you 4 additional download/installs for other machines. Only do more installs THIS WAY.]

After the installation you will restart from Lion on your hard drive. Import data and settings from your clone (without obsolete Apps) on Drive B. From this point on you may use EITHER your old system and apps or Lion by selecting a ‘Startup Disk’ in your System Preferences OR by an ALT Key, select disk start-up.

[NOTE: I ALWAYS maintain my data files on an external drive, leaving only the OS and Apps & Email on my hard drive. Always.]

  • The benefits of this arrangement are obvious: Avoid replacing expensive software AND take advantage of App updates in Lion which will not work on a pre-Lion OS.
  • The drawback is maintaining and backing up two OS’s.

Plan B

  1. If your hard drive isn’t the way to go for you (too small), then Carbon Copy Install/Transfer Snow Leopard & Apps on an External Drive and Alt Boot from there when you need it. Like NOW.
  2. Alt Boot from that External OSX,
  3. Flatten (Repartition with 1 Partition) your Hard Drive.
  4. Install Lion on your hard drive while booted from External Drive.
  5. Choose booting from either system either from System Preferences > Startup Disk OR
  6. Choose your boot system from a cold boot while holding down the Alt key… for as long as it takes to get a display of ALL your possible choices of booting disks/partitions… and boot your choice.

NOTE: In order to successfully install Lion and Migrate the necessary files (via Migration Assistant in your Utilities Folder) I would count on 150% of your GB usage for Snow Leopard & Apps, System Docs, Libraries, & Settings. This will give you a comfortable but not exorbitant margin. Lion requires self-establishing a Recovery Hard Drive Partition in addition to what is required by older OSX’s for System & Apps.

Plan C

Live with what you have… until you change your mind and want to look up this article again.

[ Suggestion: Fantom Drives 2 TB – 800Mbps(FireWire800)/400Mbps(FireWire)/480Mbps(Hi-Sp.USB)/3Gbps(eSATA) Caution: There are MANY configurations of these drives. Make sure you can see the back and are buying what you want i.e.: two 800 Firewire and one 400 Firewire output jacks. Some have only USB and a useless E-SATA (for an IMac or MacBook) output jacks and they ALL LOOK THE SAME FROM THE FRONT/SIDES. ]

NOTE: If you implement Plan A, you will find that Time Machine Backups WILL Back-Up ALL Partitions on your hard drive in each backup. Your partitions are accessible just by clicking on them in the Time Machine Recovery Finder Window.