Tips for New Mac User Setting up Brand New Mac?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Hoff, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Hoff macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    Bought my first Mac (finally!)
    2015 MBP 2.2Ghz / 16GB RAM / 256 GB SSD

    Want to know - any tips for things I might not know about?

    Not sure if this machine has the older OS installed. Since it's a 2015 model, but bought in 2018. If it does have an earlier OS, can I set it up in a way that it does NOT download and install the latest OS? (Would want to keep and evaluate the older OS vs new OS before switching, if possible).

    Also, how do I set up a back up system - so that I can manually back up the entire Hard Drive to an external hard drive, but in a way where any files I delete or rename on the laptop are also deleted or renamed on the backup? Does TimeMachine do that? Any other/better options?

    Also, what about backing up my new freshly installed system? Before I put a single file or program on it? Is that a good idea, so I can go back to square one without reinstalling, if needed? And how to do so?

    Any other insider tips? For a squeaky clean new Mac?

    Thanks in advance. Excited to be on the Mac side now :)
    --- Post Merged, Mar 6, 2018 ---
    PS: I'm coming from Windows 7, and will transfer my files manually. Also, I may be installing Windows on this MBP at some point. Either by BootCamp or a virtual machine like Parallels or similar. (I don't really know what I'm talking about here, just read a few things so far... :)
    --- Post Merged, Mar 6, 2018 ---
    PPS: should I set up an anti-virus before jumping online with it? I have a license for ESET Smart Security I can install.
     
  2. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #2
    You can check the version installed by clicking on the apple in the top left corner and the About this Mac. 10.13 is the latest major version. New versions will not install on their own, you'll need to agree to the install (they might download in the background though).

    Time Machine will take multiple snapshots of your files so you can restore them. If you delete a file it keeps a backup until it erases the older snapshot at some point in time. iCloud or another cloud storage is also useful.

    I wouldn't bother with it. A recovery partition or oven just Internet Recovery is good enough to do a fresh install.

    Welcome to the world of Mac!
     
  3. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #3
    Time Machine backs up everything, including the changes you make. In the event that you need to restore your Mac, you can pick the date you wish to restore to. The number of old backups you have will be limited to the space on your Time Machine drive. A full system restore is amazingly simple. At boot, you simply select your Time Machine drive as the startup drive, and then you pick your restore options and come back when it is done. I definitely recommend having a Time Machine backup--you can always manually backup your files to another drive (which I also do) as well.

    AV is not a bad idea anymore, even on a Mac. While there are safeguards built into the OS, no software is perfectly secure. AV is just another layer of protection.

    Welcome aboard. Hopefully you enjoy the clean experience MacOS has to offer.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    "Also, how do I set up a back up system - so that I can manually back up the entire Hard Drive to an external hard drive, but in a way where any files I delete or rename on the laptop are also deleted or renamed on the backup? Does TimeMachine do that? Any other/better options?"

    Try CarbonCopyCloner. There is no better backup system for the individual user, although SuperDuper comes close.
    Time Machine can prove to be more trouble than it's worth. I've never used, and never will.

    Also, I wouldn't "upgrade" your OS.
    Not yet.
    Decline all offers to do so.
    Get used to what it came with, first.

    "PS: I'm coming from Windows 7, and will transfer my files manually. Also, I may be installing Windows on this MBP at some point. Either by BootCamp or a virtual machine like Parallels or similar."

    DON'T dismantle the PC setup right away.
    Plan on keeping it running for at least a couple of months.
    This will give you time to get used to "the Mac way", and if you run into a roadblock, the PC will still be there.

    DON'T try to "move everything at once".
    I'd suggest you work on one thing at a time.
    For example, get music moved over and working.
    Then, work on moving your photos.
    Then, get your data migrated.

    I would also advise that you NOT fool with BootCamp.
    If you need to do "Windows on the Mac", I'd advise an "emulation solution" (such as Fusion, Parallels or even Virtual Box) unless you absolutely, positively have-to-have native Windows booting. I've just read of too many other users running into trouble with BootCamp.

    The 2015 MBPro was an EXCELLENT choice.
    Congratulate yourself that you didn't buy one of the 2016's or 17's -- all kinds of problems with them!
     
  5. Hoff thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    #5
    Thank you! I am in love with the new Mac experience! What a difference... :)

    Even though it's a 2015 machine, it came with the latest OS High Sierra version 10.13.1.

    I guess there's a recovery partition, and no install media.
    It seems like the iPhone - whenever you restore it, it's going to download and install the latest version. Which I may not want.

    If they upgrade the OS in the future, but I want to stay at this version, AND I want to reformat and reinstall the laptop with this version, since there's no install media, how would I do that?

    I think maybe by using Carbon Copy Cloner, and saving the clone with a name like "Factory Fresh Install 10.13.1". And not updating that clone, but maybe creating a second separate clone that would keep updating itself as I add files and programs. Is that right?


    Appreciate that insight! Looks like a great tool. And they have free trial : )

    Ok, thank you. I will do all of that! See picture attached :)

    Thank you! I love this machine! It is SO incredible, the beautiful design of hardware and software, and overall pleasant experience. :)

    Apple is great, and its friendly users are great.

    Grateful for everybody's help.
    Happy to be in the world of Mac!
    :apple:
     

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  6. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #6
    In regards to having a copy of MacOS to install, this is fairly easy to do. You can download the installer for High Sierra from the App Store. You don’t have to install it when the download is complete. From there, get yourself a USB thumb drive of 8GB or higher, and you can turn it into a bootable installer. There are a couple ways to do it (I just use Terminal), just follow the instructions linked below. Keep that USB thumb drive stored away for the future for your own benefit. I have a couple thumb drives, one for Sierra, one for High Sierra.

    https://www.macworld.com/article/32...otable-macos-high-sierra-installer-drive.html
     
  7. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #7
    My tip is to look into System Preferences and Finder preferences to get things working the way you like. #1 for me is setting the scroll bars to always show.

    Also, learn keyboard shortcuts.
     
  8. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #8
    One option was covered by another poster. Something to note - until you accept the new OS, your Mac will restore to the currently-installed version. When the new OS is installed is when the recovery partition is updated (boot using CMD-R rather than shift-cmd-r for Internet recovery) for the newer OS. It actually used to be that Internet Recovery would install the version that the Mac originally shipped with, I believe that has now changed and IR will install the last version that Mac had installed prior to the need for IR.
     
  9. Hoff thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    #9
    Great tip. Thank you. Can we do that for earlier versions that what it shipped with?

    Hah, yeah, was so excited I clicked every icon and every setting in there I think. Can't believe all the very thoughtful touches on the Mac OS compared to other os's. Very cool. You guys are probably used to it, but it really blows my mind :)

    Good advice! It's been fun uncovering new keyboard and track pad shortcuts as I go. Again... such a more smooth and fluid experience! Especially like swiping between open apps.

    Whoa, slightly confusing. But ok, got it now. Here's a good chart explaining the different options. Thanks for alerting me to this!

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204904
     

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  10. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #10
    You can only do it when you already had that version of MacOS installed, as the App Store won't let you download older versions of MacOS. If you have a new Mac, you really wouldn't want to go backward anyway, as older versions of MacOS aren't really designed with your Mac in mind. From here on, though, you can just make a new USB installer drive for every major OS update. You just need another new thumb drive each time. You can also copy the Installer app to another drive and have it there and make your thumb drives later. I keep a copy of each old MacOS on an external archive drive. It is a good practice to have a USB thumb drive of your current version of MacOS for troubleshooting.
     
  11. tarsins macrumors 6502a

    tarsins

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    Wales
    #11
    I too recommend Carbon Copy Cloner. Also ARQ for offsite backup. I have to maintain a Windows program for work and I decided the simplest, and cheapest, option would be to sit my Windows PC in a corner and use RDP to connect to it when I need to (for which I recommend Jump Desktop). It also acts as a Plex server.
     
  12. JOSmith99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    #12
    In regards to the advice to not mess with boot camp, I tend to agree that emulation is simpler. Also, the Mac you have can't use windows 7 in boot camp, so if you want to keep that version of windows, you will have to use an emulator. The only reason to use boot camp is if you need to do very processing or memory intense tasks in windows, in which case boot camp will give you better performance.
     

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11 March 6, 2018