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Re-installing FCS3 on Leopard - what updates do I need?!

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Simon Young
Re-installing FCS3 on Leopard - what updates do I need?!
on May 2, 2012 at 8:17:30 pm

I'm trying to do a clean install of Mac OS 10.5.8 with Final Cut Studio 3, but Software Update isn't helping me update everything to the latest available version.

Here's where I am so far:

  • wiped HDD clean using zero data
  • installed Mac OS X 10.5.6 from DVD
  • installed 10.5.8 Combo Update
  • ran Software Update, which downloaded and installed the following:
  • Security Update 2011-004, Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 5, iTunes 10.6.1, AirPort Utility 5.5.3, Remote Desktop Client Update 3.4, Performance Update, Migration Assistant Update, Front Row Update 2.1.7, iLife Support 9.0.4, Safari 5.0.6, Java for Mac OS X 10.5. Update 10
  • installed Final Cut Studio 3 from DVD

Then when I ran Software Update again, it didn't show any updates for Final Cut Studio! It won't even tell me there's a QuickTime 7.7 update available. I guess that's because Apple has dropped support for old versions of FCS in the wake of Final Cut Pro X. Thankfully, it looks like all of the updates I need are still available through Apple's support site, but I'm looking for some advice as to exactly what I need to install, and in what order.

I see the following updates available for Leopard and Final Cut Studio 3:


My questions are as follows:

  • Are there any additional recommended updates not featured on Apple's site?
  • Do I need all four of these updates, or will simply the QuickTime, ProApps and ProKit updates suffice?
  • Is there a specific order I should install these in? I'm guessing Plugin Manager, ProKit, ProApps, QuickTime as that's the order in which they were made available, but Plugin Manager pre-dates my installation of FCS3, so not sure about that one. I don't want to install older files than the ones in FCS3!
  • Is there any known downside to installing these updates manually, or is it more reliable than the now-defunct Software Update method?

My sincerest thanks to anyone who can help. I want my FCS3 installation to be perfect as I don't intend to do it again if I can help it.

Thanks again! =)


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Michael Gissing
Re: Re-installing FCS3 on Leopard - what updates do I need?!
on May 2, 2012 at 11:34:08 pm

I know some people have saved the FCS3 updates so you can get back to 7.0.3. Hopefully someone will point you to a download site or email you the updates.

Any reason to go back to Leopard? A fully up to date FCS3 will run best on SL 10.6.7 . Personally I would avoid Lion but many here say they have no problems with Lion & FCS3. My concern is an OS update on Lion may break FCP or make it weird and unreliable eventually. As FCS3 is legacy do not expect Apple to fix anything that it breaks with an OS update.


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Simon Young
Re: Re-installing FCS3 on Leopard - what updates do I need?!
on May 2, 2012 at 11:48:21 pm

Thanks for the reply! I've no trouble downloading the updates - they are still available on Apple's site, and I even linked to them in my original post. My question was rather which ones I need, whether my list is comprehensive, and what order to install them in.

As for the reason to return to Leopard... well, I've actually been running 10.5.8 quite happily since I got my MacBook Pro three years ago, but I had to use a fancy plug-in for a client and it required Snow Leopard so I upgraded my system (from scratch, I might add) and hadn't the time to clone my system first. I soon found a few quirks in Snow Leopard which annoyed me:

1) The Finder was sluggish in column view, which is the only view I use. Before you suggest that my system is at fault, this was on a totally clean install. I've always found SL that way when flicking through folders.

2) Screen Capture is less reliable, and I use it all the time to get great stills from HD video in Final Cut Pro. Sometimes it'll capture a blank screen, even when there's video on the screen, and other times it'll capture the wrong frame. Weird, and not something I can live with.

3) I could never figure out monitor calibration. Setting Gamma 2.2 gave me slightly darker results than Gamma 2.2 under Leopard, and I have no idea why. Looking at the profile, my calibration seemed to be closer to Gamma 2.4. Again, this from a fresh install on a three year-old MacBook Pro. Weird.

Nothing else wrong with Snow Leopard really, and I'm sure FCS3 works great on it. In fact I've created a separate partition just for Leopard this time, so I can stay content in my old ways forever whilst getting the benefits of SL, namely Compressor 4 and FCP X when the time comes.


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