2013 MBA Mountain Lion upgrade strategy

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Boyd01, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #1
    I'm strongly in the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" camp, and have been using Mac OSX 10.8.5 on my i7/8gb/512gb MBA ever since I purchased it in 2013. I have a lot of expensive old software and am concerned about what will break, but the only way to find out is to try. And I may need to upgrade in order to use some new hardware that's on the way.

    I'm in a rural area with dog-slow internet, so I'm downloading El Capitan on my Mini (gonna take over 8 hours) and will create an installer for the MBA using this method: http://www.macworld.com/article/298...le-os-x-10-11-el-capitan-installer-drive.html

    I have two bootable CCC clones of the MBA and two Time Machine backups. Would it make more sense to install El Capitan on a clone for testing? Am inclined to just install it on the MBA SSD so I can see how it actually performs. I could always revert to the clone if there are problems.

    Also, is it necessary to do a clean install as opposed to upgrading? I know I could use the migration asst to restore my files after a clean install, but would rather avoid that unless it's really necessary.

    Any thoughts?...
     
  2. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #2
    The only advise I can offer is that a clean install should in theory give less potential problems than an upgrade.
    As regards the old adage, "If it ain't broke don't fix it", nobody believes this more than myself.
    My 2012 MBPR is still on OS X 10.7 Lion, performs flawlessly, and will stay with Lion until a law is passed that makes me change. Ditto for this 27" iMac11.3, still on Snow Leopard, which I love and will remain for another year or two, as it's still so beautifully stable. I have El Capitan on a second partition, but not enamored by it, and usually boot to SL which is what I'm using now.
    Me conservative? And why not, if everything works not only as intended, but frequently better than a later OS imho.
     
  3. Boyd01 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    I hear you…. Have ordered a Thunderbolt dock for port expansion to make video editing easier on the MBA, and OWC claims you must be on 10.9 or greater. Will have to see if it works on 10.8, they may just be saying they won't support anything earlier than 10.9 and not that it doesn't work. But I am also wondering about security on older versions of MacOSX. Are they still fixing vulnerabilities on 10.8?

    The whole thing is sort of a "can of worms", I retired a few years ago and really can't justify upgrading all my old software for the amount of use it now gets, I could be looking at $5000 in upgrades for CAD, 3d modelling, video, audio, photoshop, filemaker, etc. The old versions do everything I need, and I had to jump through lots of hoops just to get some of it working on 10.8! ;)
     
  4. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #4
    If that's the case then it's not an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" situation. As a retiree (me too, life is really good) then you might have the time to play with it over the cold New Jersey winter. Otherwise, if your legacy software is working I'm not sure it's worth bothering.

    Personally, with two Macs I upgrade the OS on the MBA first and if everything is working with no problems for a few days I upgrade the iMac.
     
  5. Boyd01, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016

    Boyd01 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    Well that has certainly been my philosophy over the years. The only real reason for upgrading is the dock I've purchased says it requires 10.9 or higher. Was supposed to arrive today but seems to have vanished into UPS limbo. ;) My guess is that it will actually work under 10.8.5 on my 2013 MBA and that it only requires 10.9 to support newer machines with Thunderbolt 2. Found a post on another forum that said it was working on 10.8.5

    Regardless, the El Capitan download should be finished in about two hours, and I'm just going to create a bootable installer on a USB drive, will save it for later if I don't need it now.

    Getting back to my other question however, should I be concerned about security on 10.8.5? Looks like the last update was over a year ago.

    http://www.computerworld.com/articl...d-is-near-for-os-x-mountain-lion-support.html
     
  6. tentales, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016

    tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    #6
    How about just upgrading to 10.9 . Mavericks is stable and still retains the traditional Mac OS X look. Yosemite/El Capitan have this awful flat design that some are into, but unless you need specific features that the newer OS releases provide, I'd stick with what works.

    After all, do you keep a computer to run OS versions or your Applications ?
    Unless your new dock won't work with 10.8.5, then I'd even recommend sticking with it.
     
  7. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #7
    I would wait till the 20th for Sierra! (or signup now for beta testing and dl now)

    It's only about 4 gig's,and I notice it runs way better on my 2012 mac mini (2.5GHz,4 gig mem,500 g hd) then did El Capitan (both clean installs)
     
  8. Boyd01, Sep 10, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016

    Boyd01 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #8
    I'm running 10.9 on my Mini, it's what shipped with that machine, but I only use it as an iTunes server. So this has also crossed my mind. But not sure how I would get a copy to install on the MBA. I thought you could only download it now if you had previously downloaded?

    Regardless, UPS messed up with my dock delivery, it was on the truck all day yesterday and scheduled for delivery but now they have re-scheduled for Monday. So I'll just see how that plays out before upgrading anything. I do have a bootable flash drive with El Capitan now, after almost 9 hours of downloading. :p
    --- Post Merged, Sep 10, 2016 ---
    Thought about that too, but it seemed like I might be better off with the "mature" version of El Capitan? :)
     
  9. Buggyflayer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    #9
    When you get tempted to try the El Capitan installer on your 'Air you might find that some of the older software baulks due to System Integrity Protection.
    https://developer.apple.com/library...ion/ConfiguringSystemIntegrityProtection.html

    This thread started out well and may be of help as you review what you're running
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/os-x-el-capitan-working-not-working-apps.1890772/

    My Air started out with 10.8 too, I'm on 10.11.6 and have always simply upgraded with no significant problems*. I held off on 10.10 as I also didn't like the look aesthetically but decided to 'upgrade' when it was at 10.10.5 so I had it downloaded and in case 10.11.0 was bad. The change in fonts and brightness was a disaster on my old SVGA external monitor and like a few others it gave me headaches. Buying a new monitor and a rapid update to 10.11 with the improved font + dark dock was a relief on the eyes even if there were some issues with the earlier 10.11.x release, like them all... remember 10.6.3? ;-)

    *I did find that both 10.10 and 10.11 left a large file in one of the /Library folders which I found with Disk Inventory X and deleted.
     
  10. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    #10
    If you have previously downloaded the Mavericks Installer from the App store, it will always allow you to download it again. Otherwise google the various methods for finding it from other sources or use this method from Apple: using the createinstallmedia command in terminal on your existing 10.9 Mini.
    https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT201372
     
  11. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #11
    Just partition your drive and install a clean copy of the newer OS in the new partition. Use it when you need to run something that doesn't support vintage versions of OSX, and boot back into 10.8 when you're done. You can also access files from both partitions, so you technically don't even need to lose anything.
     
  12. Boyd01 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #12
    Well the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock arrived today and I've spent the last few hours playing with it. Unfortunately, it's going back. I could not get the video to work reliably no matter what I did. Tried first on 10.8.5 and the image was a mess, all torn up and flickering on/off. A little Googling found a similar problem and the suggestion was to do a PRAM reset. Tried that and it greatly improved things, the video worked however it would completely cut out at time (screen went black).

    Next I tried booting from an external drive with a clean install of El Capitan to see if 10.8.5 was the problem.Experienced the same issues there, screen blacking out. Only way to get it working again was disconnecting the thunderbolt from the dock and plugging back in. So I went back to 10.8.5 and the issues were the same. It would work for awhile sometimes, like 15 or 20 minutes although there were some annoying quick flashes. But everytime, it would eventually just go black.

    I tried two different monitors and tried each one with both an HDMI cable and miniDisplayport (thunderbolt) to HDMI adapter. Same issues. The last time I tried unplugging/replugging the thunderbolt cable, it crashed my MBA. So I am giving up, it just doesn't seem to work properly with my 2013 MBA regardless of operating system, cables, monitors or ports. Very disappointed, because when it worked, it worked great. But not worth wasting any more time with.

    I also spent some time trying to get FCP 6 working under El Capitan with no luck (same thing with Photoshop CS3 and VectorWorks 2008). So clearly, I'm not ready to update my primary machine to El Capitan and deal with all these legacy software issues.

    Then I had an idea, plugged a drive with a clone of my MBA (10.8.5.) into my 2012 Mini and it worked like a champ (to my surprise - my mini shipped with 10.9 originally). Final Cut Pro 6 opens right up and everything seems to work fine, just had to enter my serial number. And the 2012 mini has all the ports I need - firewire, thunderbolt and HDMI - works perfectly with two monitors, my tape deck, and a third screen attached to the deck.

    So I think this is my solution for now. The Mini was only being used as an iTunes server, so I'll just get a new bottom of the line Mini to replace that. Will upgrade the RAM on the 2012 machine (it only has 4gb), maybe add a SSD (no rush, since all my media is on fast external disks). According the the benchmarks, the MBA is about 7% faster than the Mini, so that shouldn't matter much.

    Just frustrated that I can't get this to work on the MBA with the dock, would have preferred keeping everything on the same machine.
     
  13. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #13
    I'm sorry that after waiting so long for the dock, I didn't meet your needs.

    Obviously there's a risk running without Apple security updates. But Macs tend to not get hit with viruses. I have a reasonable expectation that even if I didn't upgrade the OS of being protected by running Malwarebytes and ClamXav. And as a smart computer user, you'd never click on anything you weren't certain about, right?
     

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