Appendix A. Installation & Troubleshooting

*If you’re lucky, this is a wasted chapter. After all, you’ll probably never have to install Mac OS X (assuming it came preinstalled on your Mac), and in the best of all technological worlds, you won’t have to do much troubleshooting, either. But here’s this appendix, anyway—just in case.

Getting Ready to Install

For starters, you need to make sure you and your Mac have what it takes to handle Mac OS X—specifically:

  • A Macintosh with an Intel processor. Those old PowerPC Macs (PowerBooks, iBooks, Power Macs, eMacs, and pre-2006 iMacs and Mac minis) have finally fallen off the Mac OS X upgrade path. Basically, most Macs manufactured since 2006 are eligible.

  • Free hard disk space. You need 5 GB free to install Mac OS X 10.6. (Believe it or not, that’s half the space requirements of the previous Mac OS X version. Doesn’t Apple know how the world works?!)

  • A lot of memory. Apple recommends at least 1 GB of memory, but Mac OS X absolutely loves memory. For the greatest speed, install 2 gigabytes—more if you can afford it. (And these days, you probably can.)

  • The latest firmware. Firmware describes the low-level, underlying software instructions that control the actual circuitry of your Mac. Every now and then, Apple updates it for certain Mac models, and it’s very important that your Mac have the absolute latest. If yours doesn’t, a message will appear to let you know during the installation. Some Macs might just spit the DVD right out. Quit the installer ...

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