Can macOS Sierra Public Beta Be Installed on Top of El Capitan?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by RumorzGuy, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. RumorzGuy macrumors 6502


    Sep 17, 2008
    Guam, Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
    The title says it all.

    Can the mac OS Sierra Public Beta -- regardless of the Public Beta number, not DPs, mind you -- be installed on top of a current installation of El Capitan? Or does it by default have to be installed on a newly erased/initialized hard drive?

    The reason why I ask is this:

    I conduct two daily, full backups of my current OS -- el Capitan -- to two USB-connected external hard drives.

    I would like to install a macOS Sierra Public Beta on top of one of the El Capitan backups in order to determine how well they play together, so that I will know what to expect when Apple releases the final macOS Sierra later this year.

    Thanks in advance
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    If you install it on top, you'll delete your El Capitan installation. You'll need a seperate drive or partition if you want them seperate.
  3. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    You can, if that's a bootable backup, just upgrade it to 10.12 is fine.
  4. bbeagle macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Yes, I did exactly that. I upgraded from El Capitan to Sierra Beta 5 no problems. I don't see any big issues with this latest beta. Everything I've done so far seems to work - all my applications, Apple Watch unlock. Pretty nice.
  5. RumorzGuy thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 17, 2008
    Guam, Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
    Thanks for the replies, ladies and gents.

    Being as I am on an unsupported iMac -- early 2009 24" iMac -- I downloaded the tools available here, and then found a copy of macOS Sierra Public Beta 1 online somewhere. The App Store would NOT allow me to download the Public Beta, because it recognized that my machine was an unsupported model. So apparently, Apple is becoming very aggressive about it.

    Anyway, following the instructions here, I installed the macOS Sierra Patcher app onto a 16 GB flash drive.

    Once that operation was done, I rebooted, and re-initialized/erased one of the partitions on one of my external USB hard drives.

    That is where I installed macOS Sierra Public Beta 1.

    When that was finally done, I had to wait for many hours while the Migration Assistant transferred everything over from my El Capitan startup drive.

    After that, I ran the macOS Sierra Software Update Patch tool, and installed Public Beta 4 via the Mac App Store.

    Everything went very smoothly with no problems or hitches whatsoever from start to finish.

    So far, I only have one app that was affected by the macOS Sierra upgrade -- Little Snitch.

    Well, Bartender was too, but the developer has already released a Sierra-compatible beta.

    I am going to write to ObjectiveDev to see if they have a beta for Little Snitch as well.

    QUESTION: Now that I have macOS Sierra installed, do I need to run the macOS Sierra Software Update Patch tool each time that I want to check the Mac App Store for Sierra updates, or was it just for that one time to get the ball rolling?

    Thanks! And thanks for the tools and instructions for installing Sierra in the first place! :)

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