Best way to upgrade from 10.6.8 to El Cap?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by pjny, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. pjny macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010

    A relatives 15" macbook is on 10.6.8. What is the best/easiest way to upgrade to El Cap? He has hundreds of files on his desktop and in random folders. I can back them up in case something happens but would like to avoid a clean install?

    Is a clean install better than an in-place upgrade since he has such an old OS? Or is a clean install the only way to move forward?

  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    As you mentioned, make a GOOD backup.

    I would recommend making a clean install, get the new system working well, then use Migration Assistant to copy data from the cloned external or manually copy data to the internal drive. With a cloned drive you have a fall back option if things go bad.

    Since your relative has many files and possible old applications that may not work with 10.11.1, I would make a clone using Carbon Copy Cloner 4 (has a 30 day free trial) to a external drive. Test the cloned external drive by booting from it to see that it works.

    Download the installer, use the installer Disk Utility to Erase the internal drive then select Install OS.

    Use Migration Assistant to copy data or manually copy data.

    Here are some information links:
  3. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    It would help to know why your relative wants to upgrade?

    Easiest way is install 10.11 over 10.6.8. This is assuming all software is 10.11 compatible which isn't likely given the age of previous OS.

    You could make clean install as CoustaOR said but depending on the number of software or data on the Mac that could be a lot of work.

    Personally I would do it this way:

    1. Wait some months until Apple releases a couple updates for 10.11, current version still has issues which you can find at the bugs thread.
    2. Clone Macintosh HD to external drive with software such as Disk Utility, SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner.
    3. Check software compatibility, if some software is problematic either find alternatives or stay in 10.6 until compatibility is certain.
    4. Install 10.11 either into external drive and migrate data (which I recommend because potential problems won't effect internal drive and you can use Mac normally) or into internal drive. Test everything, if all works you are good to go. If there are problems you can either clone backup back to internal drive or if you installed 10.11 into external drive just boot into Macs internal drive and everything is back to normal.

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