Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

zoran

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 30, 2005
4,732
126
I got ElCap installed. I wish to upgrade to HighSierra. I want to be able to go back to ElCap.
How must i set things up for all this?
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,534
8,865
We need more info.

Could you let use know your Mac and specs please?

Also, can you let us know what you are looking to do? Dual-boot, single boot, using external, keeping one disk, etc.

How must i set things up for all this?

There are a few ways to do this, but for the following I am assuming you want to dual-boot.

You can partition your current drive, and keep El Capitan on one partition and install High Sierra on the other.

You can have an external drive with one OS and internal with the other.

You can have both OS on external drives, one partitioned, or two externals, and keep the internal as a back up or a scratch drive. Have two external drives in a SW RAID0 for one OS and the internal for the other.


That last one was just to show that there are many different paths to choose, and we just need more info to know your intentions and what HW you will be using.

If you plan on dual booting, you will want to keep your drive in HFS and not APFS.


If you don't care about dual-booting, and you care about is one day installing El Capitan again, there really isn't anything special to do. You install High Sierra, and then reinstall El Capitan later if you want.

It might be helpful to keep a El Capitan installer around, or just make a bootable back up of your current El Capitan OS that you can clone back to your Mac we you want El Capitan again.



No matter what you do, it would be a good idea to keep a bootable back up of what OS you plan on using. This makes things very easy for troubleshooting or if you want to go back to an old OS. Carbon Copy Cloner is a really good SW to use for cloning bootable back ups.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ght56 and zoran

zoran

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 30, 2005
4,732
126
Im using a mid1010 iMac, that now has 2 ssd's inside (1TB & 500GB). Right now the 1TB is in HSierra and the 500GB is using ElCap.
The ElCap system is my main OS, all of my apps are there.
The HSierra system was made for testing purposes and by the help of MigrationAssistant, so all the apps and settings from ElCap are there now. But i also have there 800GB of important files i need.
Im stuck on how to upgrade ElCap to HSierra and how can i go back to it if i change my mind?
(my iMac is too old and its ports (USB2 & FW800) aren't really helpfull for booting OS's)
 
Last edited:

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,534
8,865
I am still not 100% sure what you want to do.

Are you saying you want to upgrade the 500GB SSD with 10.11 to 10.13?

Im stuck on how to upgrade ElCap to HSierra
You just download the High Sierra installer and upgrade your El Capitan OS. Super easy. (with the exception if your firmware is not up to date, but I won't get into that unless you have this situation).


how can i go back to it if i change my mind?
Can you define "go back"?

If you mean go back as in use El Capitan, then that is easy. You can use a El Capitan bootable back up and clone it, or just do a clean install.

If you mean downgrade your OS from High Sierra to El Capitan, then this is impossible AFAIK. You can do a clone from El Capitan or a clean install and manually move all your files and apps, because I am unsure if the Migration Assistant would even work if going from a newer OS to an older one.


Again, I think you need to fully explain your intentions. Or maybe it is me, and I just cannot understand exactly what you want to do.





NOTE: Before you make any changes to anything, I highly suggest you have a bootable back up. Use a cheap external drive, and it doesn't need to be a SSD, a HDD would work.

Even a large SD card or thumb drive would work. Just have a bootable back up of your boot drive(s).
 

zoran

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 30, 2005
4,732
126
I wonder, suppose i make a TMachine backup of ElCap and i boot with HSierra, can i use that ElCap backup to restore it?
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,534
8,865
I wonder, suppose i make a TMachine backup of ElCap and i boot with HSierra, can i use that ElCap backup to restore it?
This would work fine. No different than migrating from a bootable back.

I would suggest just going with a bootable back up rather than Time Machine.

You cannot boot from Time Machine, only restore. A bootable back up can be boot from (obviously), cloned, or restored from.
 

zoran

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 30, 2005
4,732
126
What about the file system? How would i go from HS APFS to MacExt to install/restore ElCap?
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,534
8,865
What about the file system? How would i go from HS APFS to MacExt to install/restore ElCap?
APFS isn't a permanent thing. You can just erase the drive and reformat it.

A side note - High Sierra can be used on both HFS and APFS. If you plan on ever dual-booting from the same drive and using older OS versions, it would better to use HFS with High Sierra.
 

zoran

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 30, 2005
4,732
126
How can i use APFS with HS? Isnt it true that once it starts to install it changes the drive's file system?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,469
12,592
OP asked:
"I got ElCap installed. I wish to upgrade to HighSierra. I want to be able to go back to ElCap.
How must i set things up for all this?"


I'll offer a way that's guaranteed go "get you back" if you need to.
And make it VERY easy to do so.

Here's what to do:
1. You'll need an EXTERNAL USB drive
2. You'll need CarbonCopyCloner. Get it here:
(CCC is FREE to download and use for 30 days)
3. Connect the external drive to your Mac
4. Open disk utility and erase it to "Mac OS extended with journaling enabled, GUID partition format".
5. Now open CCC and use it to create a BOOTABLE CLONE of your internal drive (El Cap) on the external drive.
6. When done, disconnect the external drive and set it aside in a safe place.

Now you can try upgrading to High Sierra.
BUT...
If the upgrade won't work or doesn't please you, it's now EASY to "get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged", by doing this:

a. Connect the cloned backup
b. BOOT FROM the cloned backup (boot and hold down the option key continuously until startup manager appears -- now select the external drive with El Cap and hit return)
c. Open disk utility and COMPLETELY ERASE the internal drive.
d. Open CCC and "RE-CLONE" the contents of the external backup BACK TO the internal drive.
e. You now have your old install of El Cap "back where it belonged" on the internal drive.

PRINT OUT this message and keep it in a safe place.
Use it as your guide.

If you DON'T do this, you could still "get back", but it WON'T be that "easy".

One other thing:
If you'd like to experiment with High Sierra BEFORE you commit your internal drive to it, get an external drive and use CCC to clone your internal drive to the external drive.

Now, use the High Sierra installer, but DON'T update the internal drive -- install onto the EXTERNAL DRIVE instead.

Now you'll have High Sierra to experiment with, leaving your internal drive at El Cap for the time being...
 
  • Like
Reactions: ght56 and zoran

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
7,534
8,865
How can i use APFS with HS? Isnt it true that once it starts to install it changes the drive's file system?
I have three Macs at home that currently has High Sierra installed, and I know two for sure that two of them did not automatically convert to APFS.

The Mac that I am currently typing on has High Sierra installed on an (third-party) internal SSD formatted to HFS.

After a quick search on the web, it appears that if your Mac came with a pure SSD (no fusion), then the installer *might* convert the drive to APFS.

Maybe that is what happen in your situation.

But, there are still easy ways to have High Sierra run on HFS even if you have a Mac that the High Sierra installer automatically converts to APFS. There are a few ways, but the easiest would be to just clone an already installed HS OS to a HFS drive.

Although, unless you have issues with APFS, I wouldn't worry about switching to HFS.
 

zoran

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 30, 2005
4,732
126
#Fishrrman thanks for the detailed suggestion... one issue will not allow me to do this is the fact that i do not have an ext hdd with so much free space to place my ElCap clone.
 

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
839
815
The clone is your best bet by far in this situation, IMO. Any other method has considerably less certainty. I would not rely on Time Machine as a sole backup in any case, but especially in this situation. If you do not have an external hard drive with sufficient free space, it may be time to purchase one. You can get a 1 TB hard drive for less than 40 bucks.

There really is no other solution with the same level of certainty as a bootable clone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fishrrman
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.