Erase and Install Method for macOS 10.5 Leopard

Get started with macOS 10.5 Leopard

If you plan to upgrade to macOS Leopard (10.5) from an earlier system, you need to decide what type of installation to perform. There are three types of installation: Upgrade, Archive and Install, and Erase and Install. The last option, Erase and Install, is also known as a clean install because it fully erases the selected drive volume before installing macOS 10.5.

The advantage of Erase and Install is that it allows you to start fresh, leaving behind any debris from previous versions. The Erase and Install option should, therefore, offer the cleanest, smallest, and best performing version of macOS 10.5. It can also be the quickest install when you are purposely creating a fresh install with no user data to restore. For example, if you’re handing your computer off to someone else, you might not want them to have access to your old information.

Of course, there are downsides to using Erase and Install, particularly if you intend to restore your user data. Unless you make advance preparations, the erase process wipes out all your data. If you want to restore your user data, you need to first create a backup of your existing startup drive, so you can selectively reinstall the data you need after you install macOS 10.5.

What You Need

If you’re ready to perform an Erase and Install of macOS Leopard, then gather up the necessary items:

  • A Mac with a G4, G5, or Intel processor, 512 MB of RAM, a DVD drive, and at least 9 GB of free space.
  • A macOS 10.5 Leopard Install DVD.
  • A half-hour to two hours of time. The amount of time the installation takes depends on the type of Mac you’re installing macOS 10.5 on.

Booting From the Leopard Install DVD

Installing OS X Leopard requires you to boot from a Leopard Install DVD. There are multiple ways to start this boot process, including a method for when you’re unable to access your Mac’s desktop.

MacBook Pro ejecting optical media
EpoxyDude / Getty Images

Start the Process

  1. Insert the macOS 10.5 Leopard Install DVD into your Mac’s DVD drive. A macOS Install DVD window opens.

  2. Double-click Install Mac OS X.

  3. When the Install Mac OS X window opens, select Restart.

  4. Enter your administrator password and select OK.

  5. Your Mac restarts and boots from the installation DVD. Restarting from the DVD can take a while.

Starting the Process: Alternative Method

The alternative way to start the install process is to boot directly from the DVD, without first mounting the installation DVD on your desktop. Use this method when you’re having problems and unable to boot to your desktop.

  1. Start your Mac while holding down the Option key.

  2. Your Mac displays the Startup Manager and a list of icons that represent all the bootable devices available to your Mac.

  3. Insert the Leopard Install DVD into a slot-loading DVD drive or press the eject key and insert the Leopard Install DVD into a tray-loading drive.

  4. After a few moments, the Install DVD shows as one of the bootable icons. If it doesn’t, select the reload icon indicated by a circular arrow, or, if you don't see the button, restart your Mac.

  5. Once the Leopard Install DVD icon displays, select it to restart your Mac and boot from the installation DVD.

Verify and Repair Your Hard Drive

After it restarts, your Mac guides you through the installation process. Although the guided instructions are usually all you need for a successful installation, take a detour and use Apple’s Disk Utility to make sure that your hard drive is up to snuff before installing your new Leopard OS.

Verify and Repair Your Hard Drive

  1. Select the main language OS X Leopard should use and then select the right-facing arrow. The Welcome window displays, offering to guide you through the installation.

  2. Select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu located at the top of the display.

  3. When Disk Utility opens, select the hard drive volume you want to use for the Leopard installation and Select the First Aid tab.

    Disk Utilities with Hard Drive and First Aid highlighted
  4. Select Repair Disk to start the process of verifying and repairing the selected hard drive volume. If any errors are noted, repeat the Repair Disk process until Disk Utility reports "The volume (volume name) appears to be OK."

    Disk Utility with Repair Disk highlighted
  5. Once the verification and repair are complete, select Quit Disk Utility from the Disk Utility menu.

  6. You are returned to the Welcome window of the Leopard installer. Select Continue to proceed with the installation.

Choosing Leopard Installation Options

MacOS 10.5 Leopard has multiple installation options, including Upgrade Mac OS X, Archive and Install, and Erase and Install. They allow you to select the type of installation and hard drive volume to install the operating system on. You can also customize the software packages that are to be installed.

Installation Options

While there are several options available, these instructions cover the basic steps for completing the Erase and Install of Leopard.

  1. Select Agree when you are shown Leopard’s license terms to proceed.

  2. The Select a Destination window displays, listing all the hard drive volumes that the Leopard installer found on your Mac.

  3. Select the hard drive volume you want to install Leopard on. You can select any of the volumes listed, including any that has a yellow warning sign.

  4. Select Options. (Later versions of the installer changed the option button to Customize.)

  5. The Options window displays the three types of installations that can be performed: Upgrade Mac OS X, Archive and Install, and Erase and Install. This tutorial performs an Erase and Install installation.

    If you don’t intend to erase the selected hard drive volume, do not proceed any further with this tutorial, because all the data on the selected hard drive volume is lost during the installation.

  6. Select Erase and Install.

  7. Use the Format disk as drop-down menu to set the formatting options to Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). Select Continue to erase and format the selected hard drive volume.

Customize the Leopard Software Packages

During the installation of macOS 10.5 Leopard, you can choose the software packages for installation.

Customize the Software Packages

  1. The Leopard installer displays a summary of what will be installed. Select Customize.

  2. A list of the software packages set to be installed appears. Two of the packages (Printer Drivers and Language Translations) can be pared down to reduce the amount of space needed for the installation. If you have plenty of storage space, you can leave the software package selections as is.

  3. Select the expansion triangle next to Printer Drivers and Language Translation.

  4. Remove the check marks from any printer drivers you don’t need. If you have plenty of hard drive space, you should install all the drivers. This makes it easy to change printers in the future without worrying about installing additional drivers. If space is tight and you must remove some printer drivers, select the ones you’re unlikely to need.

  5. Remove the check marks from any languages you don’t need. Most users can safely remove all the languages, but if you need to view documents or websites in other languages, leave those languages selected.

  6. Select Done to return to the Install Summary window and then select Install.

  7. The installation begins by checking the install DVD to make sure it’s free of errors. This process can take some time. Once the check is finished, the actual installation process begins. A progress bar displays with an estimate of the time remaining. The estimate may seem much too long to begin with, but as progress occurs, it becomes more realistic.

  8. When the installation is complete, your Mac automatically restarts.

Setup Assistant and Detecting Your Keyboard

With the installation completed, the Leopard Setup Assistant starts by displaying a "Welcome to Leopard" movie. When the short movie is finished, you are directed through the setup process, where you register your installation of macOS and are offered the option to transfer account and user data from another computer.

Third-Party Keyboard Setup

You don't have to use an Apple-supplied keyboard; most Windows-based keyboards work just fine. The Setup Assistant walks you through the process of determining the type of keyboard you have.

Mac keyboard with iMac
David Paul Morris / Getty Images
  1. The Keyboard Setup window displays. Select OK to start the keyboard detection process.

  2. Press the key to the right of the Shift key that is located on the left side of your keyboard.

  3. Press the key to the left of the Shift key that is located on the right side of your keyboard.

  4. Your keyboard type is identified. Select Continue to proceed.

Setting Up Your Mac

  1. From the list, select the country or region where you are using your Mac.

  2. From the list, select the keyboard layout you want to use.

  3. Setup Assistant offers to transfer data from another Mac, another volume, or a Time Machine backup. Since you’re doing a clean install with no user data to recover, select Do not transfer my information now.

  4. Select Continue.

  5. Enter your Apple ID and password. This information is optional; you can leave the fields blank if you prefer. Select Continue.

  6. Enter your registration information and select Continue.

  7. Use the drop-down menus to tell Apple’s marketing folks where and why you use your Mac. Select Continue and then select Continue once more to send your registration information to Apple.

Create the Administrator Account

Your Mac needs at least one administrator account. At this point in the setup process, you are asked to create the first user account, which is also the administrator account.

Administrator account creation in OS X

Create the Administrator Account

  1. Enter your name in the Name field. You can use spaces, capital letters, and punctuation. This is your account username.

  2. Enter a short name in the Short Name field. MacOS uses the short name as the name for your Home directory and for the internal user account information used by various system tools. The short name is limited to 255 lower case characters, with no spaces allowed. Although you can use up to 255 characters, try to keep the name short. Short names are difficult to change once they are created, so be sure you’re happy with the short name you create before you continue.

  3. Enter a password for the administrator account and enter the password a second time in the Verify field.

  4. Optionally, you can enter a descriptive hint about the password in the Password Hint field. This should be something that will jog your memory if you forget your password. Do not enter the actual password. Select Continue.

  5. Select a picture from the list of available images. This picture is associated with your user account and appears during login and other events while you’re using your Mac. If you have a compatible webcam connected to your Mac, you can use the webcam to take your picture and to link that image with your account.

  6. Make your selection and select Continue.

Welcome to the Leopard Desktop

Your Mac has finished setting up macOS Leopard, but there’s one last button to click. Select Go. You are automatically logged in with the administrator account you created earlier, and the desktop displays. Take a good look at your desktop in its pristine state, because if you’re like many users, it will never look this clean and organized again.