Hi everyone. I bought a 20" iMac in January, 2009. I've progressively upgraded the OS as new ones have been released, and this past winter I upgraded to Mavericks (10.9.2). I don't know if my hard drive was already on its way out or if Mavericks was the sole cause, but upon install of the new OS my hard drive crashed. I used ideas from Apple's phone support on how to erase/reinstall to no avail. Luckily I had backed everything up to a portable hard drive via time machine. I just picked my repaired iMac up yesterday from my local Apple store, and a new hard drive has been installed. The Apple store told me that they upon testing the computer they did not update the OS from 10.6.8 that is on the new hard drive. They advised me to update to Mavericks when I got home before restoring from my portable hard drive. I'm currently downloading Mavericks now. First, is it safe to update to Mavericks straight from Snow Leopard, or should I do it incrementally after first upgrading to Mountain Lion? Second, is Mavericks a stable OS at this point? I can't help but to be somewhat skittish about Mavericks since my hard drive died upon my last install of it. Finally, the most important items I want to restore from my backup hard drive are my family photos, our music collection, and Word documents/PDFs that were saved. I don't really care about the apps or programs that I'd previously downloaded/used over the years. Is it possible when I restore from my portable HD to select specifically what I want restored? Do I use migration assistant or is there another process I should employ? Sorry for the long winded thread and rambling questions. I'm must looking for some assistance and my family and I would love to get our iMac up and running smoothly again with little/no loss of important data and without some of the fluff that's accumulated on it in the last 5 years. Thanks.