upgrading to El Capitan

Discussion in 'macOS' started by johns4949, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. johns4949 macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    I currently have a MacBook Pro with OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks. I want to upgrade to the latest El Capitan release. Is time machine the best back up program to run before upgrading ? Will it enable me to go back to my current software without losing anything ? What are the correct setting in time machine that I should use ? Thanks
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I think a better solution would be to create a bootable cloned backup on an external drive before you upgrade. Use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.

    Why do this?

    Because if you upgrade and DON'T like the results, having a cloned backup makes it trivially easy to "get back to where you once belonged".

    Just connect the clone, boot from it, reinitialize the internal drive, and "re-clone" your backup BACK TO the internal drive. Then you're ready to go as you were before.

    An alternative course of action:
    If you have a spare external, install a clean copy of El Capitan onto it.
    At the appropriate moment, the installer will as if you want to migrate data from an existing drive.
    Direct the installer to your internal, and let it import apps, accounts and data to the new install.

    Now you can boot and run El Capitan -externally- for a few days, to "get a feel for it", BEFORE you do anything to your existing installation.

    Doing either of the above gives you "an easy way back", if things don't go as expected.
  3. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I agree with Fishrrman, cloning your drive gives you more options if you don't like El Capitan.

    Personally I would do the second option because while using 10.11 from external drive is somewhat slower it means your internal drive stays in Mavericks and if you don't like 10.11 or you have problems you can just boot into internal drive and keep using Mavericks. Much less work compared to situation where you would had installed 10.11 to internal drive and decided to go back to Mavericks and you have to spend several hours restoring from Time Machine backup.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    By default Time Machine backs up the whole drive and OS, so you don't need to do anything special. If you want to roll back you can just option key boot to the Time Machine disk then click restore and you will see a screen where you can scroll down and pick the version/date you want to restore. So in your case, you would just scroll down to the last 10.9.5 backup and restore.
  5. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Use Migration Assistant and you won't lose any files or programs.
  6. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    I am with Fisherman. Go the bootable clone route. If your only back up is Time Machine and you find you can't boot after updating, you have a problem because the time machine backup is not bootable. If you have a bootable clone, you can always boot from the external
  7. BLUEDOG314 macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2015
    You could also download the Mavericks installer from the app store and follow the official Apple directions on how to make it bootable. Then if you had to you could wipe the drive and do a fresh install. I personally dont like to use time machine to roll back the OS, but it will work.

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