Snow Leopard is the latest version of Mac OS X, released worldwide on August 28, 2009. With a USD 29 price tag for a single user license, it is indeed a steal. There is a major misunderstanding among many users that since this version is an upgrade, you cannot carry out a clean installation of it. That is not the case. You can do it and the method is explained further.
Clean installing an operating system on your computer is erasing a hard drive totally, before the installation of a new one. There are many advantages of a clean install. It erases all the viruses on your old installed system and also fixes the accumulated errors that crop up in an operating system over time. After a clean install, you get a fresh operating system to work with, that does not inherit the flaws of the previously installed version. However, when you do it, you also lose all saved user account settings and rest of the data on the hard drive. So, before you go for a clean install, back up the data on an external hard drive or DVDs.
Snow Leopard can only be installed on a Mac, with an Intel processor. It needs to have at least 1 GB of RAM and 5 GB of free disk space. Besides that, you will need a DVD drive for the installation.
If you want to go for a pure upgrade to Snow Leopard, the process is quite simple. You just need to insert its installation DVD and it will guide you through the process.
Firstly, you need to back up all the user data and files that are present on the hard drive. You can use an external hard drive for this purpose or even burn your data on to DVDs. Once the backup is done, you can go for the clean installation.
Insert Installation DVD
To begin the clean installation, insert the installation DVD and reboot the system. As soon as Mac OS X starts loading, you hear a chime. To go for a clean install, hold the 'C' button down on your keyboard, as soon as the chime makes itself heard. Release the 'C' button, when you see the Apple logo.
Go to Disk Utility
On the screen that opens up next, click on 'Continue'. Select the 'Utilities' option from the drop down list that you will get on screen. Click on the 'Disk Utility' option among the list of utilities.
Erase Hard Drive and Install
Once you select the disk utility, you will see your hard drive listed on screen with an 'erase' option. Set the format to Mac OS extended (journaled), give a new name to your computer, and then click on the 'Erase' button. Your hard drive will immediately get erased. Then, exit from the application. Now you can go for the installation option and select your drive to install. Within 40 minutes, Snow Leopard will be installed and ready to use.
Before installing, just make sure that you backup all the stored data on the hard drive. That way, you'll land up with a brand new operating system, with your data intact.