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