Now that you have chosen a Mac to use, and have decided on the hard drive configuration, it’s time to install OS X 10.5 (Leopard). If the Mac you intend to use as a file server already has Leopard installed, you may think you’re ready to go, but that may not quite be true. There are a few things to consider that may persuade you to perform a fresh install of OS X 10.5.
Why You Should Install a Fresh Copy of OS X 10.5
- Reclaim disk space. Chances are if you’re repurposing a Mac that already has Leopard installed, the startup disk has a great deal of unneeded data stored on it in the form of applications and user data that the file server won’t need. In my own example, my repurposed G4 had 184 GB of data on the startup drive. After a fresh install of OS X, plus a few utilities and applications I wanted on the server, the amount of disk space already in use was less than 16 GB.
- Start your server off without disk fragmentation. While it’s true that OS X has built-in methods for keeping a disk from becoming heavily fragmented, it’s better to start with a fresh install to ensure the system can easily optimize system files for their new use as a file server.
- Fresh OS X install lets you erase and test your hard drive. Unless they’re new drives, the hard drives will be operating for longer periods of time than they’re used to. It’s a good idea to use the ‘Zero Out Data’ security option to erase the hard drives. This option not only erases all of the data, but also checks the hard drive, and maps out any bad sections so they can’t be used.
Ready to install OS X? You can find complete step-by-step instructions in the About: Macs ‘Erase and Install Method for OS X 10.5 Leopard’ guide.