Scared to update!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by holsmith, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. holsmith macrumors newbie


    Feb 3, 2016
    I am going to HAVE to update my operating system. I dread it. I know it is going to cause me all kinds of problems, but I'm beginning to be shut out of things.
    I currently have Mac OS X 10.6.4.
    Can anyone guide me to a website or thread that will get me through this process as easily possible which will ALSO inform me of what changes to expect and how to keep things as much like they are now as they can be? My work as an online college instructor is all wrapped in this, so I have a very vested interest...
  2. dwfaust, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016

    dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I am here => [•]
    Make sure you have a good, bootable backup before proceeding. Use an app like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to make an full, bootable back up on an external USB drive. This will allow you to be ale to fully restore/recover to exactly where you were before doing any update.

    Then, just go for the update. You need to get to OS X 10.6.8 as an interim step.
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If you google for "El Capitan" reviews, you should find a lot that show you the look of the latest OS, and speak to some of the new features (in relationship to the previous years OS X release).

    You are jumping from a 2009 operating system to a 2015 operating system. I don't know of any website thread, guide, or review that specifically covers that scenario.

    What I would recommend that you do before you upgrade is to use a program like SuperDuper or CCC to make a bootable copy of your Mac, as it is now (with 10.6), to an external USB hard drive. When the backup is done, reboot your Mac holding the OPTION key and selecting the external USB drive, and verify that your Mac will boot from that drive. You'll then have a fully functional copy of your Mac that you can use, should you encounter any issues after you've upgraded to 10.11. This is about the only method that won't leave you stranded if you run into any major issues.

    You'll need to research if the versions of any third-party apps that you have on your current Mac are compatible with El Capitan. If they're not, you can run into some issues trying to use them.
  4. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    After making a bootable copy, you first need to update to 10.6.8 by downloading and installing the Combo updater:

    Once that is done, pull down the Apple Menu to Software Update to update any other software that needs updating.

    Before you go any further than that, though it would be useful to post the specs for your computer to make find out what is the most recent OS it will run. I would recommend that you download and run EtreCheck: and post the resulting report back here so that we can give you some advice on the feasibility of upgrading beyond 10.6.8.
  5. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    Here is an Apple link that discusses "Upgrade to OS X El Capitan". In the General Requirements section it shows "OS X v10.6.8 or later". As JohnDS said, you need to update your OS to 10.6.8 using the link he posted.

    I would recommend Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to clone your system before upgrading. You need CCC v3.5 for Snow Leopard.
  6. holsmith thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 3, 2016
    Here is my EtreCheck Report. What an awesome tool! Thank for suggesting it. I feel less afraid already!

    EtreCheck version: 2.9.3 (253)

    Report generated 2016-02-11 14:34:21

    Download EtreCheck from

    Runtime 2:58

    Performance: Excellent

    Click the [Support] links for help with non-Apple products.

    Click the [Details] links for more information about that line.

    Click the [Check files] link for help with unknown files.

    Problem: No problem - just checking

    Hardware Information:

    MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)

    [Technical Specifications] - [User Guide] - [Warranty & Service]

    MacBook Pro - model: MacBookPro7,1

    1 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU: 2-core

    4 GB RAM

    BANK 0/DIMM0

    2 GB DDR3 1067 MHz ok

    BANK 1/DIMM0

    2 GB DDR3 1067 MHz ok

    Bluetooth: Old - Handoff/Airdrop2 not supported

    Wireless: en1: 802.11 a/b/g/n

    Battery: Health = Normal - Cycle count = 927 - SN = 9G045051ZD3NB

    Video Information:

    NVIDIA GeForce 320M - VRAM: 256 MB

    Color LCD 1280 x 800


    System Software:

    OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.4 (10F2108) - Time since boot: about 3 days

    Disk Information:

    TOSHIBA MK3255GSXF disk0 : (298.09 GB) (Rotational)

    - (disk0s1) <not mounted> : 210 MB

    Macintosh HD (disk0s2) / : 319.73 GB (35.41 GB free)


    USB Information:

    Apple Internal Memory Card Reader

    Apple Inc. Built-in iSight

    Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver

    Apple Inc. Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad

    Apple Inc. BRCM2046 Hub

    Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller

    Unknown Files:


    One unknown file found. [Check files]

    Kernel Extensions:


    [not loaded] com.Initio.driver.SimpleTech_Button (1.0.0d1) [Support]

    Startup Items:

    AdobeVersionCue: Path: /Library/StartupItems/AdobeVersionCue

    Startup items are obsolete in OS X Yosemite

    System Launch Agents:

    [loaded] 61 Apple tasks

    [running] 8 Apple tasks

    System Launch Daemons:

    [loaded] 129 Apple tasks

    [running] 31 Apple tasks

    Launch Agents:

    [running] com.SimpleTech.ButtonPoller.plist [Support]

    [running] com.hp.devicemonitor.plist [Support]

    [loaded] com.hp.messagecenter.launcher.plist [Support]

    [loaded] com.intego.VirusBarrierX6.alert.plist [Support]

    [loaded] com.intego.VirusBarrierX6.statusitem.plist [Support]

    [running] com.intego.commonservices.statusitem.plist [Support]

    [running] com.intego.netupdate.agent.plist [Support]

    [loaded] com.intego.task.manager.notifier.plist [Support]

    Launch Daemons:

    [loaded] com.adobe.fpsaud.plist [Support]

    [running] com.fitbit.galileod.plist [Support]

    [running] com.intego.VirusBarrierX6.daemon.plist [Support]

    [running] com.intego.VirusBarrierX6.scanner.daemon.plist [Support]

    [running] com.intego.commonservices.daemon.plist [Support]

    [loaded] com.intego.commonservices.icalserver.plist [Support]

    [running] com.intego.netupdate.daemon.plist [Support]

    [running] com.intego.task.manager.daemon.plist [Support]

    User Launch Agents:

    [loaded] [Support]

    User Login Items:

    iTunesHelper UNKNOWN Hidden (missing value)

    Dropbox Application (/Applications/

    Fitbit Connect Menubar Helper Application (/Applications/Fitbit Connect Menubar

    Speech Startup Application (/System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/SpeechRecognition.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Speech

    Other Apps:

    [running] [0x0-0x11011].com.getdropbox.dropbox

    [running] [0x0-0x12012].com.fitbit.GalileoMenubar

    [running] [0x0-0x154154].Microsoft/

    [running] [0x0-0x170170].com.etresoft.EtreCheck

    [running] [0x0-0x24024]

    [running] [0x0-0x3d03d]

    [running] [0x0-0x5c05c]

    [running] [0x0-0x74074]

    [running] [0x0-0xd30d3].org.mozilla.firefox

    [running] com.intego.VirusBarrier.antivandal.hks

    Internet Plug-ins:

    FlashPlayer-10.6: Version: 11.4.402.287 [Support]

    QuickTime Plugin: Version: 7.6.6

    Flash Player: Version: 11.4.402.287 Outdated! Update

    AdobePDFViewer: Version: 9.3.4 [Support]

    Google Earth Web Plug-in: Version: 7.1 [Support]

    RealPlayer Plugin: Version: Unknown [Support]

    Silverlight: Version: 5.1.20913.0 - SDK 10.6 [Support]

    iPhotoPhotocast: Version: 7.0

    Audio Plug-ins:

    iSightAudio: Version: 7.6.6

    3rd Party Preference Panes:

    BDSPrefPane [Support]

    Flash Player [Support]

    Growl [Support]

    NetUpdate [Support]

    Time Machine:

    Time Machine information requires OS X 10.8 "Moutain Lion" or later.

    Top Processes by CPU:

    21% Safari

    7% LaunchCFMApp(4)

    6% WindowServer

    4% firefox

    1% fontd

    Top Processes by Memory:

    594 MB firefox

    446 MB LaunchCFMApp(4)

    250 MB Safari

    143 MB Finder

    94 MB WindowServer

    Virtual Memory Information:

    29 MB Free RAM

    3.97 GB Used RAM

    1.96 GB Swap Used

    Diagnostics Information:

    Feb 10, 2016, 07:09:17 PM /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/galileod_2016-02-10-190917_[redacted].crash


    Feb 10, 2016, 07:09:17 PM /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/galileod_2016-02-10-190917_[redacted].crash

    Feb 9, 2016, 07:54:20 PM ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/Dock_2016-02-09-195420_[redacted].crash - /System/Library/CoreServices/

    Feb 8, 2016, 06:26:53 PM Self test - passed
  7. dmnc macrumors 6502


    Sep 26, 2015
    As others said, before upgrading make a bootable backup with any of the suggested software.
    I used El Capitan in a Late 2008 MacBook, which is more dated than yours, and worked fine. If you see any lag, take in consideration upgrading your RAM and installing a SSD.
  8. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    I see you are running an older version of Microsoft Office. If this is part of your primary software, you will quickly need to update that.
  9. holsmith thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 3, 2016
    It seems like many folks are quite irritated with the way El Capitan works. I really don't need anything fancier than what I have. I love what I have, but it is so very, very old (really?) that lots of things are no longer supportable on it.
    Is it possible to upgrade (or update; not sure of the difference) to something older than El Capitan? Do you have to go to the top?
    Thanks for your help...
  10. Toutou macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2015
    Prague, Czech Republic
    If you like the old look but still want a modern OS, Mavericks or Mountain Lion are your choices. I would suggest you make the backup, then go all the way to El Capitan. See if you like it and stay or restore the backup and upgrade to an older version.

    Update/upgrade - no real difference, to me "update" sounds like a minor step and "upgrade" like a major step forward or new hardware.
  11. CoastalOR, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016

    CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    I am not sure what things you have that need support, but there are some other options for a newer OS:
    Upgrade to 10.6.8 - free
    Upgrade to 10.7.5 (Lion) - $19.99 from Apple
    Upgrade to 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) - $19.99 from Apple
    Upgrade to 10.11.3 (El Capitan) - free

    NOTE: OS 10.9.5 (Mavericks) & 10.10.5 (Yosemite) are no longer available from the Apple App Store.
  12. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    Unfortunately, when new OS's are released, Apple removes the older versions from the App Store, so at this point it is virtually impossible to upgrade to anything other than El Capitan.

    DeltaMac is right. Your version of Office probably won't run on El Capitan. In particular, Entourage probably won't work under El Capitan. If all your mail is IMAP, that may not matter as you can just recreate your accounts and reload your mail from the mail server. However, if your mail is POP, or if you have local mail folders, you are going to have to somehow export them before you update.

    You may have other incompatible software too.

    You are running out of space on your hard drive, so you might want to consider removing the existing hard drive and putting it into an external USB case and then installing a newer bigger hard drive internally. Here is a guide on how to physically replace the drive:

    Once you have physically replaced the drive, boot from the external (by booting while holding down the option key to bring up the boot picker), then use Disk Utility to erase and reformat the new internal drive as Apple Extended Format (Journalled). Then do a clean install of El Capitan on the internal while booted from the external.

    Reboot from the internal, leaving the external attached, and when the OS asks if you have data to transfer, select the external and Migration Assistant will transfer all your data, apps and settings.

    Once you have El Capitan up and running you can install a current version of Office on your internal drive and see what has to be done to migrate your Entourage mail. Come back here for help if needed.

    You could also consider installing an SSD drive internally instead of a hard drive. This will speed up your computer noticeably, but is more expensive. Up to you whether the expense is worth it on a 6 year old Mac Book Pro. The alternative, of course, is to start looking for a new MacBook Pro or Air. The new ones are a huge improvement on the 2010 models and the 2010 is probably nearing the end of its useful life.
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Some thoughts...

    You have a mid-2010 MacBook Pro.
    I have the same model.

    Actually, you should be running (at the very least) OS 10.6.8.
    I would advise you to upgrade to that first.
    You can find and download the combo updater here:

    Do this update BEFORE you update anything else.

    Thoughts about "where to go" after 10.6.8.

    Be aware that the MBPro 7.1 is now approaching six years old, and it's not going to run El Capitan as well as brand-spanking-new MacBook Pros.

    In fact, since you still have the original platter-based hard drive, I predict that if you upgrade to El Capitan, you may become VERY unhappy with the overall performance of the MBPro. The new OS will run, but it's going to -feel like- the OS is "walkin'", instead of "runnin'"...
    (I realize that system performance is a matter of personal perception, and everyone's is different)

    If you want both an upgrade to El Capitan -AND- decent performance, I suggest you also change out the existing hard drive to an SSD.
    You should consider upgrading to an SSD anyway. It will significantly increase the performance of the MacBook under 10.6 as well!

    This really isn't hard to do, in fact it's very very easy on the 2010 MBPro models.
    All you need is a Phillips #00 screwdriver and a TORX T-6 driver.

    Any SSD will do, I'd suggest a Sandisk "SSD Plus" from amazon or a Crucial SSD.

    The SSD will yield a GREAT increase in overall speed and performance, and make El Capitan run well.

    In conclusion, I'd suggest you consider your upgrade path in these steps:
    1. update to 10.6.8 with the combo updater.
    2. Get an SSD. Also get a 2.5" external USB3 enclosure for the old HDD.
    3. Prep and test the SSD in the enclosure. Initialize it with Disk Utility, and then use CarbonCopyCloner (free to download and use 30 days) to get it ready.
    4. Do the drive swap. Use this illustrated guide at
    5. Once you have the new SSD up and running, then consider upgrading to El Capitan. You'll have the old SSD to serve as a "bootable backup" in the external enclosure.
  14. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015

    It would help to know why you have to upgrade, is there a new software or hardware that wont work in 10.6.8? If so what are its requirements?

    Since you like the current look and fear upgrading to newer OS 10.8.5 Mountain Lion might be good compromise assuming all your software work with it? Its faster than newer OS X versions on conventional hard drive so you don't have to worry about installing SSD (which is almost requirement for later OS versions unless you don't mind Mac slowing down).
  15. holsmith thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 3, 2016
    Yes, I keep getting messages from various places saying they will no longer be supporting 10.6.8... I didn't notice what the requirements were; I'll pay attention next time and see what they say.
    Thank you for the suggestion. It sounds hopeful!
    --- Post Merged, Mar 13, 2016 ---
    --- Post Merged, Mar 13, 2016 ---
    I appreciate the step by step walk-through. Very much. Thank you.
  16. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    Google is ending support for 10.7.5 and has already stopped Gmail support. Lack of security updates was why I went out and bought rMB so I can run El Capitan.
  17. holsmith thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 3, 2016
    Okay! CCC worked well; I have a bootable copy. Thank God. I updated to 10.6.8, and now iPhoto won't open. It says I need to update iPhoto. So I downloaded the recommended updater. When I try to run the updater, it tells me that my iPhoto library should open without an update, and won't update. My iPhoto is v9, and the updater is for v7 or earlier. Do I need a different updater? How can I find one?
    Also, does anyone know where i can get a copy of Mountain Lion?
  18. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    I already provided a link to Mountain Lion in post #11.
    I'm glad CCC helped you. :)
    I can't answer your questions about iPhoto. It has been a long time since I used Snow Leopard and currently I have no systems capable of running it.
  19. holsmith thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 3, 2016
    That link won't open. I get a page that says aboutBlank - dead end. Thank you for the effort though!

  20. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
  21. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Can you tell us exactly what version of iPhoto you have now? ver 9.what? (Get Info for the iPhoto app will show you quickly.)
    iLife '09 has iPhoto version 8. Software update will update to iPhoto 8.1.2
    iLife '11 has iPhoto ver. 9. Software Update will update to iPhoto 9.2.3 on Snow Leopard.

    If you run your Software Update again, what does that report for updates available for iPhoto?
    If you see an iPhoto update, then Software Update will take care of that process for you...
  22. JamesPDX Suspended


    Aug 26, 2014
    Save this for later:

    If you want to update the OS to something more secure (I'm using Lightroom 4, BTW.)

    To begin with, you'll want more RAM 8GB minimum.

    Get ready to make one of these:

    Download and install Yosemite on an a newly formatted GUID-partitioned external bootable drive. Make a "generic" admin account but don't sign-in to your Apple account after it goes through its setup. (You'll see what I mean.) Run all the Mac updates -before- you install anything else. Use Migration Assistant to move your apps and accounts to your external bootable drive and test drive this system for a couple weeks to make sure it's going to work for you. IMHO, get rid of that Intego stuff and use ClamXav. Get rid of Silverlight and that Google Keystone Agent spyware crap. Same with Flash. Are you using NetFlix or Hoopla or something? Turn on your firewall. Use Firefox and Calomel SSL validation and disable internal file caching. If you're "handy" install the NoScript Security Suite into the latest version of Firefox. Disable Guest Accounts in your System/Accounts. Buy CCC, but don't install the autoload app. Use your browser for Dropbox, not the app.

    If everything is awesome after a couple weeks, install one of these
    into an external bootable 2.5" chassis and reinstall everything onto that, beginning with the Yosemite Installer that you still have on your laptop or Flashdrive.

    Be sure, be safe, measure 4x before screwing around with a laptop. Look on iFixit, etc. Take photos of your disassembly process. Use the right tools, wear nitrile gloves and an anti static wristband or ankleband and ground thyself before opening anything up. Use lots of light. Take your time.

    Make sure everything boots and works from the external SSD. Use a hurricane-blower and a vacuum to thoroughly clean out your mac without touching those delicate parts (especially the graphics card and display cables, install the RAM, move and install the SSD from the external chassis into your machine. If you are not confident doing this, take in to a "Genius" bar and have them install RAM and the SSD.

    One last question: Did you lock the firmware password? Look it up.

Share This Page