Major(?) El Capitan install problem

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Pete10, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Pete10 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    #1
    Hello all,

    I am running 10.6.8 Snow Leopard and eligible for El Capitan. This is a big jump and I should have been more careful. Upon DLing, an error said something about partition space. Upon restarting to my 10.6.8, nothing works. I can't run any application/program or open any picture or file. Unfortunately, I didn't do any back up. Is there any hope in either: reverting to a working 10.6.8 without a complete system reboot; or successfully installing El Capitan, at which time hopefully everything works. NOTE: I have since increased my available disk space from 11 GB to 24 GB. Will that address the partition space error? I am a little gunshy to proceed (I wish I had that mindset last night :)

    Thank You in advance for your help.
    -Pete
     
  2. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #2
    First - be aware that programs that once ran under Snow Leopard may not work under El Capitan. You didn't mention if the programs that are not working are Apple programs or not. If the Apple programs work but not the non-Apple programs, then it's just a matter of getting new versions of the program than will work under El Capitan. Not every developer has updated their programs to work under El Capitan.

    If the Apple programs are not working, then you can read the rest of this.

    If there was a problem during downloading, not installing, then your programs should work. If the message about lack of partition space happened during installation, that can explain why programs don't work - there maybe a mix of Snow Leopard and El Capitan on your computer.

    My advice, take it for what it's worth. You should get two additional external drives so you can first make two backups of your disk - mainly to save your data. I would use something like Carbon Copy Cloner instead of Time Machine since you don't know if that will work reliably at this point. CCC has a free 30-day trial. https://bombich.com/

    If you use CCC, make sure you download the one appropriate to your OS. Check the "About This Mac" Apple icon at the upper left corner of the computer. I suspect you're still running SL. There's a possibility your computer is running El Capitan. If you can get CCC to work, make 2 backup copies of the disk. If you can't get CCC to work, then I would first try to install Snow Leopard on one of the backup disks, download CCC and make the backup copy. At that point, I would use Migration Assistant to copy the data (not the programs!) from your original hard disk to the new Snow Leopard disk. Then you will have two backups of your data.

    If the El Capitan install application still exists (it will be "Install OS X El Capitan" in the Applications folder), you can try reinstalling El Capitan, but I would try to free up even more space (you now have 2 backup copies of your data so you can just delete files) just in case.

    If the El Capitan install application doesn't exist or doesn't work, you can use the new Snow Leopard disk to download the installer again and install to the original disk.

    Once you have a working (hopefully) El Capitan system, you can either copy back the files you deleted or if for some reason you needed to do a clean install, you can use Migration Assistant to copy your data files.

    In any case, once you're running El Capitan, some non-Apple programs may not work and you may need to re-install them.

    I wouldn't try to do anything without having at least one backup of your current data - two copies are more prudent.
     
  3. Pete10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    #3
    Thank you, Treekram, for taking the time to offer such a lengthy and detailed perspective and action plan.
    No app will work--apple or other--and that includes safari and other web clients. I like where you're at with the problem being the installing and there being a mix of both OSs. Based on the error messages upon app launch that sounds accurate. I have three external drives so I will take your advice on the dual backup, however without web access I cannot get to CCC. And Time Machine might not be working right. I will figure out the data I need to backup and do it manually.

    The only thing that works is the app store. Additionally, my initial install application is still on the dock. The install problem, reading from the screen, is "the partition cannot be resized. Try reducing the amount of change in the size of the partition". I found this link https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203482 which appears to address that. If I follow those steps, think it will work? Or would you suggest something different than what that link suggests?

    Thank you Treekram,
    Pete
     
  4. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #4
    I don't think what is suggested in the Apple link you posted will work because what they suggest is probably what was tried during the installation process. You can try copying off large portions of your home directory to a different drive, deleting it and then see retry the installation or resizing as outlined in the article (although I would be leery of doing that to the Library and Applications directories in your home directory). However, that may still not work - the problem as I understand it is that there are active files in the area that would be resized and maybe those files are user files but it could also be newer OS files that are there as well. If you still have the Snow Leopard install disks, I would re-install Snow Leopard to one of the external disks and then follow the steps I mentioned above. What operating system does it say you're running when you press the Apple icon in the upper left corner?

    Just in case - when you restarted, did you do a full power off or just a restart? I know when I did an OS upgrade (can't remember which one), stuff wasn't working properly until I did a cold restart.
     
  5. Pete10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    #5
    Thank you again, Treekram. I will pick back up with this on Friday, as I am travelling on business this week (fortunately I have my work laptop PC). Incidentally, the Time Machine backup did not work, so I'll start pulling docs, pics, downloaded files manually.... then I'll get to this. And i'll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks again,
    Pete
     

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