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Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

Book Description

Make a smooth transition to OS X 10.11!

Gain confidence and stay in control as Mac guru Joe Kissell explains how to ensure that your hardware and software are ready for El Capitan, prevent problems by making a bootable duplicate of your main drive, eliminate digital clutter, prepare your Mac, and decide on the best installation method for your particular situation. You'll also find full installation directions, plus advice on over a dozen things to do immediately after installation and troubleshooting techniques.

The book covers upgrading from 10.10 Yosemite all the way back to 10.4 Tiger. It also looks at upgrading from the El Capitan public beta and at "upgrades" that involve moving your data to a new Mac from an old Mac or Windows PC.

You'll experience an easy upgrade and quickly deal with post-installation quirks with these topics:

  • Start fast: A two-page Quick Start overview helps you read lightly or more deeply, depending on your needs.

  • Take in the view: Find out what you can look forward to in El Capitan if you are upgrading from 10.10 Yosemite, and get an idea of some of the important changes in store for you if you're upgrading from an older version of Mac OS X.

  • Catch-up upgrade: If you're upgrading from 10.8 Mountain Lion or earlier (especially if you're coming from 10.4 Tiger or 10.5 Leopard), find out about significant changes and compatibility issues you can expect.

  • Compatibility check: Make sure your hardware and software are ready for El Capitan, and consider whether this is a good time to buy new hardware, even if it's not essential for your upgrade.

  • Backing up: Avoid upgrade stress by ensuring you can go back to the previous state of your Mac -- and that you can boot from your backup. Joe provides steps for carrying out this essential task in Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper.

  • Cleaning up: Your operating system is getting a fresh start, but what about the rest of your stuff? Whether you need the disk space or just want to delete some digital detritus, you'll find helpful tips. You'll also run either Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics as well as Disk Utility, to be sure your disk is good to go.

  • Prepping your disk: For those who need it, a chapter helps you handle special cases relating to disk encryption and partitioning.

  • Picking a plan: Most people can go with an easy in-place upgrade, but some will want the more complex clean install. Find out which option is right for you.

  • Installing: Find out the smartest way to download and store the installer, with special tips for people who want to install on multiple Macs or who have bandwidth limitations. And, although running the installer will be easy for many people, you'll get full steps for what to click and when.

  • Post-installation tune-up: Make sure your new system is running smoothly by completing a few important housekeeping tasks and making a few decisions.

  • Troubleshooting: Yikes! It is possible that something will go wrong during installation, or once you've booted up under El Capitan that you'll discover an important incompatibility. Joe's time-tested troubleshooting advice will help get your system working again.

  • Migrating to a new Mac: If your "upgrade" includes moving from an older computer (a Mac or Windows PC) to a new Mac that's running El Capitan, learn the best way to move your user account and its data to the new Mac.

Table of Contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates and More
    2. Basics
  2. Introduction
  3. El Capitan Upgrade Quick Start
  4. Welcome Back, Version 1.0 Readers
  5. Take In the Scenic View
  6. Catch Up with OS X Changes
    1. Learn What You’ll Have to Live Without
    2. Meet FileVault 2
    3. Understand How El Capitan Is Distributed
    4. Consider Installer Changes
    5. Now What?
  7. Check Your Mac for Compatibility
    1. Model Support
    2. RAM
    3. Firmware Updates
    4. Free Disk Space
    5. Bluetooth 4.0 LE
    6. App Store Compatibility
    7. A Magic Input Device
    8. An Apple ID
  8. Back Up Your Disk
    1. Why You Need a Duplicate
    2. Prepare for a Duplicate
    3. Create a Duplicate
    4. Test Your Duplicate
    5. Back Up Windows Volumes
  9. Clean Up Your Mac
    1. Update Your Third-party Software
    2. De-clutter Your Disk
    3. Run Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics
    4. Run Disk Utility
    5. Update Your Duplicate
  10. Make Sure Your Disk Is Ready
    1. Consider Disabling Encryption
    2. Consider Re-partitioning Your Disk
  11. Decide on an Installation Method
    1. Plan A: In-place Upgrade
    2. Plan B: Clean Install
    3. Pick a Plan
  12. Make Final Preparations
    1. Turn Off Anti-malware Software
    2. Obtain the Installer
    3. Copy the Installer to a Safe Place
    4. Update Your Duplicate (Again)
    5. Turn Off (Yes, Off) Automatic Duplicates
    6. Make a Copy of This Book
  13. Upgrade Using Plan A: In-place Upgrade
    1. Start the Installer
    2. Select a Destination
    3. Clean Your Bathroom
    4. Finish Setup Assistant
    5. Check for Proper Operation
  14. Upgrade Using Plan B: Clean Install
    1. Start Up from Your Bootable Duplicate
    2. Erase Your Disk
    3. Run the Installer
    4. Use Setup Assistant
  15. Perform Post-installation Tasks
    1. Respond to Immediate Questions
    2. Wrangle Spotlight
    3. Handle Software Updates
    4. Reinstall the Java Runtime
    5. Tie Up Loose Ends with Apple IDs
    6. Check Handoff Status
    7. Consider Enabling iCloud Family Sharing
    8. Review the Incompatible Software Folder
    9. Deal with Other Surprises
    10. Get Rid of Excess Translucency
    11. Unhide the User Library Folder
    12. Enable Enhanced Dictation
    13. Migrate iBooks
    14. Final Software Advice
  16. Configure Additional Features
    1. Set Up User Accounts
    2. Consider Turning on FileVault
    3. Decide How to Use Time Machine
  17. Troubleshoot Upgrade Problems
    1. Can’t Run the El Capitan Installer…
    2. Can’t Select Installation Volume…
    3. Mac Won’t Start Up under El Capitan…
    4. Finder Crashes or Hangs…
  18. Migrate to a New Mac
    1. Understand Migration Concepts
    2. Migrate from Another Mac
    3. Migrate from a Windows PC
  19. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About the Author
    3. About the Publisher
  20. Copyright and Fine Print