06-20-2013, 02:47 AM
This has been a long time coming, so be patient and read and cut me some "Dummy" slack, please.
I saved up for 2 summers in a row and was finally able to get my first Macbook back in 2006. It's the very same Mac I use today and that I am trying desperately not to have to replace. I've modified a couple of things in moments of tech bravery and under the watchful guidance of Youtube "How-to" videos, so I have plenty of memory and my processor runs satisfactorily. I do have issues with my Airport not being able to pick up a signal unless the source is practically in my lap, but that's an issue for another day.
Because I had to wait and painstakingly save to get myself this (now outdated) Mac, I've done updates and had it serviced a couple of times at an Apple store when my superdrive went out or the plastic around the keyboard began randomly chipping away. Aside from those things I have enjoyed a blissful relationship with Gal3000 and even though the newer, shinier and sleeker models keep coming out, I'm okay not being able to afford them because what I do with my Mac isn't anything needing the best or fastest performance. However, I do need it to be able to keep up in a compatibility sense as programs and sites update.
My aging friend here has been running (and more recently limping by) on OS x 10.4 but I am now at the point where updates are not compatible and it's affecting performance and usability. My iTunes won't update with 10.4 - I got a free iPhone from my brother (it's a 3, but still...) which I can't use because my iTunes won't update - and now all of the friendly suggestions and reminders to update my browser have become ultimatums and incompatibility messages when trying to access certain sites or downloads. I'm currently running Firefox 3.6.28 and until I upgrade my OS, I'm going to find myself unable to do more and more, and eventually I think the internet will deny me access and shun me completely. But I am poor and have had to wait and be creative up to this point, but I see a hopeful light ahead and just need some assistance from people smarter than me.
I now have Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on my Macbook, but have not installed because I'm a little worried about doing it wrong... and here is where I am needing the advice of the Mac Collective.
The OS is sitting right here on my desktop. Here is where I don't really know what to do. I've read some stuff, watched some Youtube instructions and attempted to begin the process, but if I get a message that says "...we recommend you do ____" I panic and stop and keep plugging along in yesteryear's operating system. I need step-by step help here, People. The questions I have are exactly these:
1. How (and where) do I back up my existing Mac as it is right now before I attempt anything? How much space do I need on an external drive to back it up and how do I do it (like what are the steps to a successful backing up)?
2. Do I need to move this new OS onto something external and bootup from there instead of having it already here on the computer I am trying to upgrade? I get confused by the stuff I'm reading. Some say this some say that... which is simpler and less likely for me to screw up?
3. Once I'm ready to push the button and start, is it going to give me instructions as I go? I'm pretty good at faking my way through stuff or letting a video tutor show me how to replace my hard drive, but I honestly don't know what I'm doing and if I mess this up and either ruin this downloaded software I bought or permanently screw up my computer then I am really lost.
I have been putting this off for a really long time because I'm afraid of messing it up, but this Firefox is less compatible with the existing internet more and more every day and I need to get myself out of this limited accessibility status. I can NOT afford to pay someone to do this for me and I just need some clear A. B. then C. instructions.
Thank you for patiently reading through the saga, and thank you in advance to the geniuses who will help me achieve success with at least enough confidence to hit "START" and venture into today's operating system.