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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Upgrading to Mountain Lion. Need Help!


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Studio7Records

 
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I have an iMac that i purcheased brand new last october wich came with Lion. I plan on upgrading to Mountain Lion, i just have a question. Its my first upgrade on a mac so before i download and install Mountain Lion, do i need to back any thing up or do i just install the new software? If i do need to back everything up, how must i do that? I do not have an external drive and i do not have the money for one either. I have logic pro files, music, photos and videos that i do not want to loose. If you can give me a hand then that would be great. Thanks in advance.
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Slydude

 
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I've done system updates before without a backup and not had an issue bit it's not the smartest thing I've ever done. Some users have lost data during updates If your data is important to you back it up first.

I suggest purchasing an external hard drive and making a "clone" of your system. This arrangement has the following advantages:

1. Your important data is preserved in the unlikely event something goes wrong during the update.

2. Because a "clone" is a bootable copy of your system if something goes wrong you can boot your Mac from the external drive and either get back to work or fix the problem.

3. If you decide for some reason that you do not like the new OS you could use a clone to revert to your current OS. Sometimes that's not so easy to do without a clone.

My current cloning tool of choice is Carbon Copy Cloner - Home because its capable of copying data, the main Lion installation, and the recovery partition. It's an easy to use program but I'm sure someone here would be more than willing to walk you through the steps when the time comes.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

"Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling
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And when you do purchase Mountain Lion via the App Store, before running the Installer, copy to a USB thumb drive. This will then be bootable like an install DVD.


How to Make a Bootable OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion USB Install Drive

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Studio7Records

 
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Thanks for the help. One more question. Im just worried about loosing my music, photos and logic/ GarageBand files, if I just sort those files/ projects and throw them on an external hard drive, I can just throw them back on my iMac and put them back in the correct folders right? Cuz that's all I am worried about. And as far as apps and such that I have like logic pro, is there a chance I will loose those also from the upgrade?
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio7Records View Post
Thanks for the help. One more question. Im just worried about loosing my music, photos and logic/ GarageBand files
It's "losing" but of course if you haven't been making backups before now you've been at a high risk of losing your files anyway.

There is very little chance that you will lose anything in the upgrade, but only a moron would do a system upgrade without a backup. So you should make one. You can use Time Machine, or SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner or whatever else you like, but get an external drive and make a backup. Not just before you do the upgrade, but RIGHT NOW. As I say, you are currently at high risk of losing your data.
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IWT

 
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Dear Studio7Records

I promise you no insult or offence is intended, but it is not a question of not being able to afford some kind of EHD - it is that you cannot afford NOT to. As others above have said, in so many words, you are currently taking a big risk with those precious and vital files, photos, videos etc. What a devastation it would be to lose these - now - never mind as a consequence of an upgrade.

EHDs are cheap relative to computers and relative to high-end apps such as logic pro and the like. Beg, borrow, but get one NOW. Whether you opt for the "easiest" set up-and leave Time Machine option which runs in the background or follow the Clone approach (as detailed above) is up to you.

If you need a talk-me-through how to set up TM or one of the Clones - ask and we'll help you. But please backup now before you do anything else.

In fact, in my opinion, if money is really tight, I'd defer the upgrade to Mountain Lion and put the money towards the EHD. Lion is a very powerful OS and will serve your needs. From what I've read (I'm no expert), Mountain Lion may not offer that much more for the work you are currently doing.

Ian
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My pictures and music collection are the most important thing that I have to protect. I started working on my music collection 15 years ago. It has been a labor of love. Something that I just will not chance to lose. I use a online backup system to protect them. I just ordered today a OWC external HD to be able to make a bootable clone of my HD.

I have done two os x system up grades without a clone. Both went well with no problems. I must admit that I was nervous. I plan to have a clone for Mountain Lion. This time I won't have a worry.
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A lot of good advice here. Let me add my 2 cents.
Amazon.com: Seagate Expansion 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive STAX500102: Computers & Accessories

500GB External HD for $70 USD is a far better investment in your case than upgrading to 10.8

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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Studio7Records

 
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Thanks for the help. But I am unemployed so saving for an external hard drive is no more than a dream. Lol. I'm going to have to make use with what I have so I'm guessing time machine will have to work. Again, thanks for the help. I learned a lot.
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chas_m

 
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And you're going to use Time Machine without an external drive ... sorry, how exactly?

Seriously. If you can't afford an external drive, shut off the computer. Don't use it.

Go to the library and use theirs.

Your data -- your photos, records, STUFF -- are too precious to risk without a backup. And in my experience, drive failures always seem to happen when you're short of cash, time or both.

Murphy got a law named after him for a reason.
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madwolfe

 
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Also, as you are unemployed I would recommend saving the $20 that Mountain Lion will cost you as the new features may not be worth that for you. If fact, I have seen a load of articles on the internet on how to get the Mountain Lion features in Lion for free.
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Studio7Records

 
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Im using my cuzins hard drive. But I wont be shutting my Mac off any time soon because if you had to have an external hard drive to keep your files safe then Mac would not be a good computer to use and tons of people would be storming the Apple store complaining about loseing everything on their Mac and nobody would be wasting money on it. Now dont get me wrong, it can definatly happen cuz **** does happen but if you had to wait until you get an external hard drive to be able to use your mac then there is a problem and Apple would need to get to work on fixing it cuz i would be after Apple until they fix the dam problem if that happened to me. Now if you had a Windows computer, then I would say shut it off until you get an external hard drive cuz windows is a ticking bomb. I dont know how many times i had to replace the hard drive on my windows computer. That was a night mare. Lol. But yah, Ill still be making the upgrade cuz $20 for a nice upgrade, thats a dam good deal. Unlike windows was with vista. But thanks every one, i learned alot. Any word on if Apple will be making new iMacs? I know they made new Mac Books but havent heard any thing on the iMacs.
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IWT

 
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Hi Studio7Records

Good luck and good fortune. I wish you well.

One thing occurred to me that costs nothing and is a short term and very partial solution.

Dropbox is a free app which can be found at dropbox.com (I have no financial or other interest in this or any other product). Dropbox is very popular with Apple and Windows' users. Sign up for free and Dropbox will open on your Mac. It creates a folder found via the toolbar. You can copy (NB copy) any vital files, pictures, PowerPoint presentations etc into the Dropbox Folder and it stores it online. If you had another Apple or Windows device, you could also sync the Dropbox Folder with that device.

In your case, it would represent an incomplete online backup. Moreover, you can access Dropbox from any computer in the world using your username & password. This would allow you to work on projects from any computer knowing that any changes you made would be sync'd to your Mac.

In view of what I assume is a large amount of valuable data on your Mac, you would have to be very selective in what you stored in Dropbox or be prepared to pay for space over and above that which is provided free.

Clearly, you will appreciate that this is no substitute for a total backup on to a EHD; but in your special & financially restricted circumstances, it offers a free, but limited backup option.

Everybody who has contributed so far has done so out of genuinely concerned interest in your problem, based on their (and my) experience of the capricious nature of all drives, whoever makes them.

Lastly, in relation to your last question, it is rumoured that a new iMac may, just may, be in the pipeline for release sometime in the autumn (fall). Under your circumstances, this seems unlikely to be of any immediacy to you.

Once again, I hope you do not meet any misfortune with your precious data.

Ian
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Studio7Records

 
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Thanks Ian. I plan on having a job this coming month wich pays great. But i was just wondering what was in line for iMac and if i do get a new iMac it will be an iMac pro because that will be a better and more wiser choice for my music recording. But i dont plan on getting a new iMac in the fall. I was just curiouse.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio7Records View Post
Now if you had a Windows computer, then I would say shut it off until you get an external hard drive cuz windows is a ticking bomb. I dont know how many times i had to replace the hard drive on my windows computer. That was a night mare. Lol. But yah, Ill still be making the upgrade cuz $20 for a nice upgrade, thats a dam good deal.
I know everyone likes dissing Windows here, and in most cases I agree however Apple essentially uses the same hard drives as Windows computers and, considering you have had experience with hard drive failures in the past, it is just as possible to get a failure on a Mac.

I have an interesting comparison lined up here: imagine you just bought a new car, medium - high end and you had the option of buying seat belts which were another 5% of the cost. Now lets say that you don't buy them, you have your eyes set on the latest set of shocks and want to save up for them, and after all, you are a very skilled driver and you have a good car that you think will get you out of all sorts of pickles.

Now, my question is: is is worth not spending the extra 5% and having that chance of losing everything?
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