You’ve spent countless hours in setup and troubleshooting — your music production center is running like a well burned-in chip. The last thing you want to do is start over, but a new Tiger OS will allow your Pro Tools LE system to take full advantage of your dual processors. It’s tempting, but what about all the plug-ins and programs… will they run in the new OS, and will your sequences be able to find the right sound libraries? Then there’s the problem of downtime. How do you keep making music in the meantime? The answer: build a sandbox (see Word for the Day).
Put simply, a sandbox is a safe place to load the new operating system and your software. The easiest way to build a sandbox is with an external FireWire drive, such as a Glyph GT 050. (This tech tip assumes that you have a storage drive in your computer along with your system drive.)
First, you need to create a bootable clone of your system. To make this happen, you can use utilities in Mac OS, or download a free copy of Carbon Copy Cloner to make the bootable clone (www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html). Using CCC is quite simple and the instructions are posted on the website. While you’re there, please think about making a donation to Mike Bombich, who has written this wonderfully useful program and makes it available to all. Mac OS utilities can make a bootable clone, but there are some rules you must follow, and that will be the topic of a later tech tip.
Building the Sandbox:
If you are doing an upgrade install, clone your system drive to the FireWire drive, then install the upgrade to Tiger on that drive. Since you are working with cloned data you will not adversely affect your normal system. From there, you can play with it until everything works with the new OS on the external drive.
Once you are happy that everything functions as it should, make another clone of your original drive and put it on your storage drive; then clone the Tiger setup from the FireWire drive over the old system on the original boot drive. This way if anything fails, you still have your original setup on the storage drive and your new Tiger setup on the FireWire drive.
If you are thinking of starting over clean with Tiger, just install it to the FireWire drive. When it’s ready, you can clone the original system to the storage drive and then clone Tiger to the startup drive.
What about workflow? The beauty of this method is that while you are perfecting your Tiger system, you can boot back to your original system as needed, by using the startup disk control panel in the Mac’s Preferences application.
Note: Some copy protection schemes may not survive being cloned. Be careful not to inadvertantly lose an authorization while moving things from drive to drive!