Spring cleaning my Mac Pro

(Or, how to install Final Cut Studio on your Mountain Lion Mac)

If you have a shiny new Mac that you’d like to install Final Cut Studio onto, this is pretty much a how-to for you (other than using Migration Assistant to move everything off one machine to another).

Mountain Lion (10.8) Fresh InstalledMy MacPro is my daily driver, and I’m quite busy at the moment, so when Final Cut Pro and a critical plugin (RedGiant’s Primatte) stopped working (crashed FCP on use), after going back and forth with their support staff, I decided I’d use this as an opportunity to clear the machine off and start clean.

Considering my extensive backup system, I did consider reverting to an earlier backup – but decided that doing so might only buy me some time before failing again.

The catch with Final Cut Studio (FCS) is that the installer application for it doesn’t work in Lion or Mountain Lion.

So, I figured I’d document what I did to get my system back up to spec.

  1. Ran a full backup using SuperDuper (just in case).
  2. Booted off the Snow Leopard (10.6) DVD, launched Disk Utility, erased the drive and zeroed it out.
  3. Installed Snow Leopard.
  4. Attempted to install FCS – failed due to glitch with graphics card.
  5. Ran System Updates, did all patches and software upgrades to 10.6.8.
  6. Installed Final Cut Studio from the DVDs.
  7. Installed Quicktime 7, Quicktime MPEG Playback component, and other miscellaneous bits that need 10.6.
  8. Ran System Updates to get the latest updates for FCS
  9. Made disk image of install with SuperDuper
  10. Installed Mountain Lion (10.8)
  11. Ran Updates, installed my App Store Apps, along with a few others
  12. Installed the Primatte & tested in FCP – Success!
  13. Made disk image of this (working) configuration) so if what happened before happens again, this is my new starting point, saving many hours.
  14. Started to copy my email, photos and other data over from backup drive
  15. Installing other applications, prefs etc
  16. Installed Dropbox and let it LAN-sync off my MacBook Pro.
  17. Create Time Machine backup on the Time Capsule
  18. Create bootable backup for dropoff at bank vault.

As you can see, this is a boat-load of todos. Now, I probably *could* have debugged FCS to the point that Primatte would start to work again, but I’ve been in the mood for a fresh start, sweeping away everything to start with a clean slate.

You’d be surprised how many applications I had – over 350!  I’m down to less than 80 now.  I’ll reinstall other applications as I need them.

While the Mac Pro was busy being reinstalled, I also took the opportunity to look through my Dropbox account and remove any un-needed data there too.

This fresh start is also my nuclear option for moving any unmigrated passwords into Agile Bit’s 1Password, an app I’m constantly recommending and yammering on about.  Safari, Chrome and Firefox will no longer store *any* of my passwords.

After a bit of digging, the previous install dates back to Tiger (10.4), back in 2007. Six years  of cruft, I guess.

This kind of extensive spring cleaning isn’t for everyone, nor is it something I’d recommend you do regularly.  I did it because I felt I’d spend less time doing this than trying to debug the FCP/Primatte problem, which was the case.  Even though the list is long, each item only took a minute or two of my time, while I continued to work on my laptop.

Dropbox LAN Sync speedAddendum:

One thing I forgot to account for was the speed at which Dropbox syncs over LAN. My 232 GB Dropbox (~77% full) will apparently take two days to sync, with the Mac Pro and Mac Book Pro to the router by gigabit ethernet.

Good thing I cleaned up in there first, eh?

5 thoughts on “Spring cleaning my Mac Pro”

  1. Hi,
    Great piece of info. I’ve just ordered a new iMac which I believe comes with mountain lion. As FCPX does not come with DVDSP 4 I’m looking at following this procedure for the install of FCS 1 (just need to track down a copy of Snow Leopard). Did upgrading to ML cause you any issues with DVDSP and have you tried installing FCPX and the latest versions of Compressor or Motion?

  2. Thanks. I’m using FCS3 – I can’t say how FCS1 will run under Mountain Lion, but primarily, I only wanted FCS for Final Cut Pro 7. I haven’t installed DVD Studio Pro, as I do most of my DVD authoring in iDVD.

    I have the latest version of Motion and Compressor installed, and they work fine. I haven’t tried installing FCPX on that machine yet, but I did have it on my laptop, along side FCS3, and it worked fairly well.

    You can get Snow Leopard directly from Apple for $20: http://store.apple.com/ca/product/MC573Z/A/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard

    Let me know how it goes!

  3. I’m hoping I can get dvdsp4 installed from the fcs1 package. From some of my digging around, it looks like there could be an issue trying to install Rosetta from SL on OSX 10.8!

    It’s frustrating that Apple have totally disregarded DVD production with the latest releases!

  4. Rosetta won’t install in 10.8 – which is why I start at 10.6, install everything, and then upgrade from there. I also maintain a 10.6 FCS partition on my MacPro as a “just-in-case”.

  5. I managed to get Final Cut Studio 5.1 installed on my new iMac, but updating it is a different story. It doesn’t look like it is properly supported with the new hardware or Mountain Lion. It’s a shame because I really wanted to get DVD Studio Pro up and running properly. I’m happy enough to get the new versions of Final Cut etc but a little disappointed that Apple don’t seem to support DVD Studio on the new system!

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