Ooh baby! OS X Mountain Lion is out today, so the operative question is—are you ready for it?
Actually, the more important question is whether your Mac (and apps) are ready for the upgrade. At $20 it’s a no brainer to want to make the jump, so in this post I’m going to help get you there.
Step 1: Can your Mac make the jump.
Apple made the (smart, in my opinion) to put a cut off on how old a Mac can be to be able to run Mountain Lion. Pretty much if your Mac is from late 2007 or newer, you’re probably good. However, before you make the leap…it’s best to double check:
Which Macs can upgrade to Mountain Lion Cult of Mac
Step 2: Check if your core apps are compatible.
This is key, maybe more than if your Mac is compatible. If one of your critical apps doesn’t work with Mountain Lion, then upgrading is going to put you into a world of hurt. Remember the jump to Lion broke apps relying on Rosetta. Now that’s not as much of an issue anymore, but there are going to be apps that might not be happy with Mountain Lion. Good news, there’s an easy way to check:
Check if your apps are compatible Roaring Apps
Myself, I’ve updated a bunch of apps in the last few days and Apple has been pushing out a bunch of updates themselves. From what I’ve seen I think most folks core apps should work fine—of course older Microsoft apps might be a little iffy, but that’s par for the course, just make sure you run your Microsoft updater.
Which, actually, is solid advice for all your key apps. Launch the Mac App Store and check for updates and for your non-Mac App Store apps, fire them up and do the old “Check for updates” dance.
You’ve checked if your Mac can handle Mountain Lion, you’ve checked your apps, what’s next?
Step 3: Make you’re system is healthy.
If you’re already running OS X Lion (10.7), then reboot your Mac holding down the option key and boot from the built-in recovery disk. Then fire up Disk Utilities and run a disk repair and permissions repair (there’s no point in doing the “verify” option, if something’s wrong you’ll want to fix it, the “repair” option checks, then fixes). When everything is done (it might take 30 mins ish), reboot.
If you’re running Snow Leopard, boot from your DVD or other boot drive and do the same thing as above.
This is a really essentially step here folks. You absolutely do not want to install a new OS on a system that isn’t 100% healthy. Saying “bad things might happen” is an understatement. Be safe, check and fix first.
We’re almost ready to fire up the Mac App Store and buy Mountain Lion, one last thing.
Step 4: You’re backed up right?
Yeah we pummel this deceased equine (beat a dead horse) all the time, but just like step 3, you need to make sure you have a fall back if things go sideways (or pear-shaped as a book I’m reading often says). If you haven’t been using TimeMachine, now’s the time to start (also since with Mountain Lion you can have multiple TimeMachine disks!) so grab something roughly twice the size of your boot drive (500 GB -> 1TB, 1 TB -> 2 TB, etc) and hook ’er up and back ’er up. Yep, this is going to delay things for a while because a full TimeMachine backup (fresh and brand new that is) generally takes overnight. If you’ve been meaning to remember to hook up that drive you backed up your Mac with a while ago, for Pete’s sake…hook it up and get it updated!
Ready? Excellent! I’ll tell you about my experience upgrading to Mountain Lion tomorrow.
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