Thinking of Attempting an 10.6.8 to 10.11.X Upgrade... Again

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by BrianJ844, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. BrianJ844 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    #1
    I tried updating my late 2008 uMB from 10.6.8 to 10.11.X back in early November but wasn't successful and now with Chrome stopping updates for 10.6.8 (as well as everything else stopping updates), I feel pushed to try it again.

    My update in early November stalled with the update bar at about 85 - 90% and the beach ball spinning. Internet searches revealed it could be old .kext extension files causing the actual start up of El Capitan to fail. So I booted into recovery mode, used the terminal server to move all 10 of the .kext files to another folder. I booted again and the bar slowly progressed to about 70%, the screen flickered a bit and changed shades of grey and there it stopped. Frustrated, and needing the laptop for the week, I used my time machine to restore the laptop back.

    Does anyone know if this issue has been resolved with the current releases of 10.11? Should or (or can I) preemptively move my .kext files before starting the update? Can anyone think of anything else I should do to make the update less painful?

    Also the main uses for this laptop are internet, Microsoft Word / Excel and Adobe Photoshop CS5. I think I read that I will need my product key number to get the Microsoft suite back running, is that true?

    PS: The laptop is a late 2008 aluminum 13" MacBook that has an 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of RAM, and 160GB hard drive.

    Thanks for the advice,
    Brian
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Frankly, I wouldn't do that upgrade on a 2008 MacBook.

    The problem is that I predict that even if you can get El Capitan to install, you're going to be very unsatisfied with its general performance once up-and-running.

    I realize that the notion of "perception of speed" is an individual thing. But I sense that the overall impression with El Capitan is that instead of "running", it's going to feel like it's just "walking" on an older MacBook with a platter-based hard disk drive.

    I'd suggest 10.8.5 as the better OS for an older MacBook.

    In any case, no matter which OS you upgrade to, I'd recommend this:
    - before you upgrade, use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a fully-bootable cloned backup of your internal drive to an external drive, first.
    - If something goes wrong, having a bootable cloned backup makes it very easy to "get back to where you once belonged" ...

    My opinion only.
    Others will disagree.
    Some will disagree vehemently.
     
  3. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

    Joined:
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    #3
    Buy yourself a new little 500GB HD for $50 and install it on there, or go SSD for a little more $.
    Just leave Snow Leopard on the Mac's internal drive.
    That way you have no remnant kexts or other odd pieces of code to mess with your installation.
    Once you have it up and running, you can worry about moving all your docs and Apps over.
    With that big a version jump, I'd recommend against using Migration Assistant. So much has changed since 10.6 that it is liable to pass a few things on to the new drive that you do NOT want migrated.
    The new drive will probably be faster than the old internal on your Mac, esp if you can find a (now deprecated) Firewire 800 device. Firewire was never that fast, but it beats the pants off the USB2 altenative.
     
  4. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #4
    OP: I agree with Fishrrman, its likely that El Capitan will work too slowly on Macbook 2008 compared to Snow Leopard.

    Instead of using Chrome you could switch to browser that is still supported on 10.6.8 such as Firefox.

    Since all other software appears to work in 10.6.8 is there a notable benefit upgrading to newer OS? Only you can decide if answer is yes or no...

    If you decide to upgrade to newer OS make sure to A: clone your Mac to external drive and B: consider installing OS to external drive for testing purposes, if you have problems just boot from internal drive. No need to spend time restoring previous OS or trying to figure out what went wrong with the install...
     
  5. BrianJ844 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    #5
    Correct, all other software works just fine. I am just a bit concerned about not getting security updates and the like on it any more. Interesting that FireFox still supports 10.6.8... The debate might should be keep it the way it is using FireFox or go to 10.11.X.

    It is true that I have no problem with Snow Leopard, I like it so much I have never bother upgrading (probably a mistake in the long run though). I have read where other 2008 laptops have been upgraded to 10.11.X and the users are happy with their systems. Most do have an SSD and 8GB of RAM though compared to my 5400RPM and 4GB...

    The laptop doesn't have a firewire port so I don't think Partron's comment applies to that but couldn't I install a new hard drive into the Mac, boot to a 10.11.X thumb drive to install it and test using that? Then if I don't like it, I could reinstall the old hard drive with snow leopard and all of my old files on it.

    Thanks for the thoughts,
    Brian
     
  6. macgeek88 Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    I'm not a Snow Leopard fan. The people that say it was the last great OS are FOS, imo. Same for Snow Leopard Server being "the last full featured server". Or the old "Steve would never have done this, etc". I disagree.

    That said, El Cap is my favorite version of OS X. More iOS like and I like the social media integration. I've had 0 issues with it or iOS 9.

    But in your case it may run poorly on a 2008 MB. I'd at least move to Lion though.
     
  7. saudor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    #7
    A SSD and 8gb would be your best bet. Even in SL, the SSD upgrade made my 2010 significantly faster. Like others have said, image your current system to another disk and give El cap a try.

    An alternative is to try mavericks. It comes with the newer tech like better memory management, power management, etc
     
  8. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #8
  9. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #9
    I'd second the notion to put that machine on mountain lion or mavericks (i'd personally go for Mavericks due to the better power management, similar performance and also will be supported for longer), and an SSD will certainly help.

    Yosemite and El Cap are a lot slower to boot via hard drive on my 2011 MBP.

    8 GB will help too, but the biggest bang for the buck will be SSD.
     
  10. BrianJ844 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    #10
    Thank yall so much for all of the input. A friend of mine has a new 500GB HHD that he is letting me have to test with. If all goes well with the experiments with it, I will invest in an SSD.

    I understand the reasoning going for something like Mavericks instead of El Cap but where would I find the installation files for it? Only think on the app store is El Cap I believe.

    Also, does anyone know how to make a bootable USB using 10.6.8? Looks like the way to do it is to use
    createinstallmedia command but that wasn't included until Lion. Even Disk Maker X doesn't work on 10.6.8. Unless a way can be found, I will have to use my Snow Leopard DVD with the new hard drive, then upgrade that to El Cap and then great a bootable USB.

    Again, thanks for the help with the suggestions for this.
     
  11. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #11
    You can duplicate your Snow Leopard disk onto the second hard drive and just upgrade that installation through the App Store. A clean install using the install DVD would also work, of course. You could get older versions of OS X by contacting Apple support, but I believe you must have some reason for them to give it to you.
     
  12. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #12
    I'm one of them. But then again, I've got an early 2008 MB Pro with 2.5GHz C2D, 6GB of RAM (most that it will recognize), discrete GPU, and upgraded to an SSD a few years back.
     
  13. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #13
    Here is a way to make a Snow Leopard USB installer. (Note: it will install the version of Snow Leopard on your DVD, not necessarily v10.6.8).
     
  14. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #14
  15. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #15
    I think they meant making an El Capitan installer with Snow Leopard. They have the Snow Leopard DVD after all.
     

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