Any advice on upgrading to El Capt on Mac Mini 2009

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by buddhaman, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. buddhaman macrumors newbie


    Feb 27, 2016
    Virginia Beach
    My mac mini is running 10.6.8 very slowly now.
    I have everything backed up and want to erase and clean install.
    I do not have El Capt on separate CD.
    From the looks of this forum, not a lot of happy campers.
    Advice is appreciated.

    Model Name:Mac mini
    Model Identifier:Macmini3,1
    Processor Name:Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed:2.26 GHz
    Number Of Processors:1
    Total Number Of Cores:2
    L2 Cache:3 MB
    Memory:4 GB
    Bus Speed:1.07 GHz
    Boot ROM Version:MM31.0081.B06
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, I have a 2014 model Mini, and El Capitan has not given me problems. You can't get it on a CD. What I did to upgrade from Yosemite is download El Capitan to a flash drive to do the upgrade.
  3. Morpheo macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2014
    I have 10.11 running on my 2009 mini. One thing I can tell you from *my* experience is that it will not run faster than previous OSX versions. If I had to reinstall the OS on this machine, I would probably go with Mavericks. Eventhough I have an SSD on my mini, the graphic performance is not that good, and 10.11 is slower than 10.9. I'm not saying it's not usable, but don't expect miracles, far from it.

    On my 10 year old Mac Pro (also with SSD) it works like a charm, but I think 10.11 is a bit too demanding for a 2009 mini. Again, this is just my own experience.
  4. buddhaman thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 27, 2016
    Virginia Beach
    Thank you for your insights. I will take into consideration.
    I think most of my speed loss is from maxing my HD capacity. Looking into storing in cloud.

    Any body have thoughts on Mavericks and Mac Mini 2009? I "heard" it had problems that were resolved with Yosemite and even better with El Capitan. I am not fluent in Mac OSs however.
  5. saudor macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2011
    Yeah maxing out HD capacity is never a good thing. (Platters slow down as you fill it up) Laws of physics and whatnot.
    Mavericks is noticeably faster on my 2010 Macbook Pro even if it's loading from a 1TB hard drive than El Cap which is on my SSD.

    It is losing support for newer apps like Office 2016 and a few app store stuff. The finder column widths are also weird as with gestures for navigating through it. I just mainly pop back and forth between the two OS depending on whether i need speed or features
  6. Yaccity macrumors member


    Jul 18, 2014
    Here is what I would do...

    1) Backup everything - Time Machine does a very good job of this.
    2) Upgrade the memory or even HDD to SSD if possible
    3) Do a clean, fresh install of El Capitan

    If you are not happy, you have the backup, and you can install any OS from 10.6-10.10
  7. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    My dad has a 2009 mini running El Captain that he enjoys using. He uses it as his personal machine, as well as running his home business. I've upgraded his little machine to 8GB RAM and an SSD, and it runs like a little champ.
  8. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I am using Mavericks with iMac 2007 which has slightly faster processor, 3.5 inc. hard drive, 6Gb of RAM and about the same speed GPU. It is clearly slower than Snow Leopard but notably faster than El Capitan. I am not going to instal SSD because it is only a secondary Mac and I use it mainly for testing newer OS X versions.

    If speed is your number one criteria I would recommend cloning Mini to external drive (Disk Utility works well for this) and then clean installing Snow Leopard. If that doesn't speed it up odds are that the problem is in the hardware, not software...

    That is assuming Time Machine works as advertised. Unfortunately it isn't reliable enough to rely as a only backup. Time Machine backups have tendency to fail with cryptic error messages just when you need it... Its a fine idea, pity that Apple left it half way, while 10.11 ads some additional reliability verifications its too little and too late...

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