Update Safely from Yosemite to High Sierra?

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by carizma22, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. carizma22 macrumors member

    carizma22

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    #1
    I have a 2015 Macbook Air 11" running Yosemite. Because of unstable Internet at home, I have not tried to update to a more recent version of the OS. I have now discovered the joy of free Internet at coffee shops and libraries. So, my questions are should I update? What issues might I encounter? For example,
    1. Will I have to spend the night at the coffee shop to install it. I understand it can take a long time.
    2. Is there a way to save my current operating system on my 3Tb external drive using Time Machine, so that I can reinstall it if I have issues with the installation?
    3. Or do I need some other kind of software and if so what would you recommend?

    All advice gratefully received. Thank you, Carole
     
  2. Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

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    #2
    First of all, you should be making regular backups (with Time Machine or another archiving utility) on a regular basis, regardless whether or not you will be imminently upgrading your computer's operating system.

    Here's how I would do this.

    Acquire an external USB drive that is the same size or a little larger than your Mac's drive. Use Carbon Copy Cloner and clone your Mac's drive running Yosemite. Boot from the external USB drive to verify that the copy is functional. Set aside.

    Download the macOS High Sierra Installer from the Mac App Store at whatever location has decent Internet, but do not run the installer. Just leave it in the Applications folder and go home.

    Acquire an 8GB USB thumb drive or an 8GB SD card and appropriate card reader. Use your favorite search engine to look for "mac OS High Sierra bootable USB." There will be a number of online articles that explain how to create and use a bootable USB thumb drive with the High Sierra installation instructions. Follow those instructions.

    I have two Macs, so it is handy to have the bootable USB installer thumb drive. I download the macOS Installer once, install on each system.

    The next time around, just repeat. Clone current drive to external USB drive, download new macOS installer from Mac App Store, create new bootable USB installer, upgrade software.

    I've been doing this for years.
     
  3. kohlson macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Yes, you should update. The latest OSs have the latest security updates. For example, the KRACK attack, which works through a hole in the WPA2 standard, has just been patched. You have increased exposure to this through publicly-accessible wi-fi.
    The downloads for Mac OSX are about 5GB. So whatever speed you're getting from the library/coffee shop - there you go. But unless the speed is 1-2 Mbps, it will probably download in 60 minutes or so.
     
  4. carizma22 thread starter macrumors member

    carizma22

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    #4

    Thanks for the detailed reply. I do make regular backups to my usb hard-drive, which is 3TB. My laptop has 256 GB storage. So do I put Yosemite on that drive or do I need a thumb drive? I don't think I have ever seen a thumb drive with more than 256 GB storage. Or am I misunderstanding your instruction?

    In a coffee shop today I did download the MacSierra installer. It is in my application folder, but it is only 19.7 MB. Is that right? It downloaded very fast. I didn't click on install -- too chicken.

    My laptop is my only computer. So if I screw this up, I have nothing, except my iPhone SE and original iPad Air.
     
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

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    #5
    There is an alternate approach to this, if you're making Time Machine backups. Time Machine allows you to roll-back to a previous period in time (such as just before you upgraded the OS), restoring the entire computer to the state it was at that moment.

    To do such a roll-back, you'd boot the Mac into the Recovery system > Restore from Time Machine backup. You'd then be able to pick the date/time you want to restore to, and just walk away until the restore is done.

    To go this route, just make sure you do a final Time Machine backup prior to upgrading the OS, then upgrade MacOS via the App Store. If all goes well, there's nothing else to do. If the worst happens, you restore from Time Machine.

    There's nothing wrong with the other procedure outlined. It is a bit more "suspenders-and-belt," and definitely more time-consuming. A bootable thumb drive installer can be a useful tool, especially if you have poor internet, a pre-2011 Mac that's not capable of Internet Recovery, are running MacOS betas, and/or if you're replacing the Mac's HD. Since none of those situations seem to match the described circumstances... maybe not so essential.
     
  6. asv56kx3088 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT208221
    El-Capitan is still supported with security updates.
     
  7. Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

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    #7
    When I told you to buy a USB drive that is the same capacity or slightly larger than the drive in your notebook, I meant for you to buy an external USB hard drive (or SSD), typically a 2.5" drive.

    When you make your bootable USB installer, use a thumb drive (or SD card with compatible reader).

    That is not the right file you downloaded. Perhaps you downloaded something else because the file itself is not called the MacSierra installer.

    It should be around 5 gigabytes and should be called something like "Install macOS High Sierra."

    Go to https://www.apple.com/macos/high-sierra/ and click on the blue "Upgrade" button in the upper left hand corner. That should take you to the proper Mac App Store listing.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #8
    OP:

    If you want to try an update, go ahead. I'd suggest Sierra instead of High Sierra. Too many folks having problems with HS right now.

    BUT... no matter which new version of the OS you try... there's a VERY IMPORTANT THING that you must do first. If you DON'T do it, and the upgrade doesn't go well, you'll find yourself "up the creek without a paddle to get back".

    Here's what you need to get and what you need to do:
    1. You'll need an external USB hard drive large enough to back up your internal drive
    2. You'll need either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. Both of these are FREE to download and use for 30 days.

    Then, do this:
    1. Connect the USB drive and initialize it to HFS+ with journaling enabled (using the Disk Utility app)
    2. Launch CCC (my preference). You can accept the defaults for now (I usually turn "safety net" OFF for a true "clone")
    3. On the left, select your SOURCE drive (the internal drive)
    4. Just to the right, select your TARGET drive (the USB drive)
    5. Now, let CCC do its thing.

    When done, you'll have a fully bootable "clone" of the internal drive. Boot from it and it will look EXACTLY like the internal (the only way to tell them apart is to go to "about this Mac" (Apple menu) and see what it says.

    Now it's time to upgrade.
    If the upgrade goes wrong, you just do this:
    1. Boot from the cloned backup (reboot and hold down option key until the startup manager appears, then select the backup and hit return)
    2. ERASE the internal drive using Disk Utility
    3. RE-CLONE the backup BACK TO the internal drive using CCC.

    This will put you "back to where you once belonged", just as if you'd never left.

    Again, if you DON'T do this, there isn't going to be "an easy way" to get back.
    You can still get there, but it will become LOTS of work!

    Oh, one more thing:
    Probably the best way to DO the upgrade is to do this:
    1. Download the OS installer. As soon as the download is complete, it will open and invite you to start the upgrade, but... DON'T do it. Just quit.
    2. Get a USB flashdrive 16gb (or larger)
    3. Get either "Boot Buddy", "DiskMaker X", or "Install Disk Creator" (all are free, you only need one of them)
    4. Use one of the apps above to create a bootable USB flash drive installer.
    5. Boot from the flash drive installer, and install that way.
    Things just seem to go smoother this way.
     
  9. carizma22 thread starter macrumors member

    carizma22

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    #9
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2017 ---
    The file name says: "Install MacOS High Sierra". It says its an application, and when I click on it it pulls up a window that has a "continue" button.
     

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  10. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502a

    Mac Hammer Fan

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  11. carizma22 thread starter macrumors member

    carizma22

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    #11
    Thank you. You just answered my next question: where do I get Sierra now that the App Store only offers High Sierra?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2017 ---
    [QUOTE="ApfelKuchen, post: 25439014, member: 731826"

    There's nothing wrong with the other procedure outlined. It is a bit more "suspenders-and-belt," and definitely more time-consuming. A bootable thumb drive installer can be a useful tool, especially if you have poor internet, a pre-2011 Mac that's not capable of Internet Recovery, are running MacOS betas, and/or if you're replacing the Mac's HD. Since none of those situations seem to match the described circumstances... maybe not so essential.[/QUOTE]

    I have terrible Internet at home and I don't live close to a coffee shop or a library, so I think a bootable thumb drive would be really great. i didn't know you could do that. I even asked AppleCare if I could buy the OS on a thumb drive or CD and was told no, which in essence is true, but was quite misleading because she knew what my problem was.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2017 ---
    Would this be worth buying or should I bite the bullet and do it myself? https://www.ebay.com/itm/32GB-USB-M...353161?hash=item5201227309:g:6fgAAOSwZPZZ9ftk
     
  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

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    #12
    Since the only way you can get High Sierra is via a download, you do still have to download before you can create the thumb drive.
     
  13. carizma22, Nov 10, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

    carizma22 thread starter macrumors member

    carizma22

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    Nov 27, 2005
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    #13
    Download onto the thumb drive? Sorry for being obtuse. This is all new to me. I used to have super-fast Internet -- in the city of Houston close to the AT&T tower. I never hesitated to upgrade when the new operating systems came out. I have had a mac since 1984! Now, out in rural Texas, I have Hughesnet satellite – because satellite is all there is – so more often than not I use my phone as a hot spot!
     
  14. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

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    #14
    Download is download. At some point, you have to download the software. It doesn't matter where you're saving it, you still have to download. Once it's downloaded, internet speed doesn't matter any more - everything after that is happening on the Mac.

    The process for creating a bootable installer does require that the installer package be downloaded before creating the bootable installer. https://support.apple.com/HT201372
     
  15. carizma22 thread starter macrumors member

    carizma22

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    #15
    Thank you so much. I will do it and then if I have a problem, I will come back here and ask for help, if that is ok.
     
  16. George Dawes macrumors 6502a

    George Dawes

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    #16
    thx for the info

    i'm staying on sierra for the time being
     

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15 November 9, 2017