New MBA User: Lion to Mountain Lion Upgrade Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by DonkeyB, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. DonkeyB macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2012
    Hi there,

    I have a 2011 MBA 13".

    I'm still new to the Apple world and haven't had a great amount of time so far to get to grips with my still new toy (Having been a long time Windows user).

    I want to upgrade my MBA from Lion to Mountain Lion. I know to download this upgrade through the app store.

    My question is; do I need to create any system restore type discs prior to upgrading to ML? (In my windows setups, I always create the system restore discs when setting up a new machine). If something were to go wrong in the future (with my MBA), how does one go about getting your machine back to its factory settings.

    Thanks for any help.


  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Whilst the upgrade will not remove any of you're personal data and files or apps..It is a good idea to make a backup prior to the installation.

    If you have access to an external HDD you can use Time Machine for this purpose. A cheap USB drive in a caddy will do nicely, and it's good policy to have backups to hand all the time.
  3. DonkeyB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2012
    Thanks Macman. I appreciate your quick reply.

    I'd better get myself another external HDD then for my MBA backups.

    Another question - does Time Machine backup your entire machine? I am not so bothered about backing up my data (I have all my data stored on my Windows setup still). Its mainly the concern about having to refresh my MBA at some point and making sure i make the required backups now.
  4. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    No it does not back up your entire machine, it does not back up your OS, for instance. To back up your whole drive use Carbon Copy Cloner or something similar. You can use that software, similarly to Time Machine, to make automatic back ups at whatever regular schedule you wish. A carbon Copy clone is a bootable drive if you ever need to do that.
  5. DonkeyB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cool, thanks

    It's just the OS side of things that concern me. All my data I have duplicated across other machines so I'm not so concerned about that.
  6. dcorban macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    In my opinion, there is no need to backup the OS. All the data you need is stored in your user folder, which is already backed up via Time Machine, or easily copied to a flash drive or external disk. The OS is able to be reinstalled freely from the recovery partition, or in emergencies, from "internet recovery".
  7. DonkeyB thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2012
    Its just something I've always done with Windows machines in the past. That way I know I can get back to factory settings should I need to.

    I found the restore OS options (boot machine whilst holding Alt). I also found a link on the apple support site that details how to create a restore drive from a USB stick.

    Hence, I've ordered a new USB stick and now need to wait for it to arrive before I do the ML upgrade.

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I appreciate it.
  8. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    When you DL Mountain Lion from the App Store it will place a 4.7 GB installer in your /Applications folder. Once you run the installer and install Mountain Lion, that file will delete itself.... so before you run the installer you might want to get a 8GB USB key and use this free app to make yourself an OS install USB key.

    Time Machine does backup the entire machine including the OS, although it is not a "bootable" disk. One can easily restore the entire OS from Time Machine by booting from a USB recovery key and selecting restore from Time Machine.
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    I have just gone through the exact same thing. I used Ghost in Windows.

    Now, whenever possible, I like to clean install, rather than update, because it rid of accumulated craps and maybe old drivers what not. This is an excellent article on how to do that. The guy uses a 8 gig Flash drive but u can use a HD, it just gonna be slower but how often does one do this? So some reading but recommended.

    At the end, I have an external HD that has multiple partitions, each one holding a version of the OS that I made a snapshot of. Clean OSX took ~12gig. With all my apps loaded ~18gig. CCC says u don't have to make a recovery partition each time. Well u will see, after u make a couple.

Share This Page