Mac snow leopard lion upgrade

Here you will see your processor type, system allocated memory, and the installed version of Mac OS X. If your machine is running Mac OS X Now that we know the machine meets suggested system requirements, the next step is an important one. We want to make sure that all of the software running on the current setup is going to be compatible with Lion.


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In essence, any installed software that isn't an Intel or Universal binary will no longer work. One thing you might want to re-evaluate is what software is a priority for your users. There may be some PowerPC applications installed; however, if the user doesn't require them, then it shouldn't be a hurdle when upgrading. The best way to find out if the software you are running is capable of working under Lion is to open System Information formally System Profiler.

Once open, scroll down the left hand column and select Applications. Here you will see all applications installed on this machine, their version numbers, and their type; PowerPC, Universal, and Intel.

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Scroll through the list and determine if there are any installed applications running as a PowerPC binary and whether or not these are applications that the user will require. Additionally this information can be found in Activity Monitor and in the Get Info pane of any installed application as well.

The next step is to back up your drive and run Software Updates. I recommend running a back up before running Software Update. Though rare, sometimes an update can cause unforeseen complications or even leave your system in a non-bootable state. Having run a back up first will provide a safety net in the event something goes awry.


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As far as backing up goes, Leopard offers lots of options. Time Machine is by far the easiest and most effective way to back up your Mac, and the one we will use for this guide. Plug in an external drive with equivalent disk space or greater available to the drive you're backing up and set the drive to be used as backup when prompted. This creates a full back up of all the contents of your drive and can easily be used with Lion to restore any data during or after installation.

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Another option is to use the Apple-supplied Disk Utility app, located in the Utilities folder of your Mac's hard drive. If you've never used the Disk Utility app, I'd recommend sticking to a Time Machine back up, since using Disk Utility requires using additional hardware.

Living With Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard for 1 Week in 2018

There are plenty of third-party applications such as SuperDuper! Now that we have all of our ducks in a row, its time to install Lion. Apple recommends that you have 4 GB of space available for the download and install of Lion; however, I suggest that you have a minimum of 8 GB just to be safe.

Upgrading sometimes leaves behind a Previous System folder that will often take up what little bit of space is available on the drive. If you're left with 1 GB or less after the upgrade, it can cause your Mac to become sluggish or unresponsive. Apple has made the upgrade process simple enough, with one minor draw back.

Downloading Lion can take some time. Lion is a 4 GB install, so it's a good idea to set your download in motion and grab some coffee. Furthermore, when I tried to boot off the disk the old-fashioned way holding the "C" key at startup I received kernel panics. Instead the easiest way is to boot into Recovery HD by holding down the command and "R" keys at startup. Once you've reached the recovery screen, Open "Disk Utility" under "Utilities" on the menu bar.

The first thing you'll need to do is reformat your hard disk. In Disk Utility, open the "Erase" tab.

Perform an Upgrade Install of Lion on Your Mac

Update: Some readers have reported that restoring directly from Disk Utility doesn't work for them. In order to ensure simple restoration, here's an updated process: Quit Disk Utility and reboot your computer holding down the "C" key. This will force your machine to boot from your original Snow Leopard disk.

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Once you have Snow Leopard restored on your machine you ought to be in familiar territory. Copy over your user folder from that backup, and, as always, run Software Update for all the latest Apple patches and updates. For example, in the time that you switched to Lion, Apple released another supplemental update to Snow Leopard that ought to ease any hiccups with audio or networked printers.

Snow Leopard lacks the necessary drivers for Apple's latest hardware.

Yes, You Can Upgrade a Mac with Snow Leopard Directly to OS X Mountain Lion

To test, I tried to reimage our new inch MacBook Air with Snow Leopard by connecting it with a Thunderbolt cable as a target disk to a drive-equipped iMac. About a third of the way through the installation process, the iMac experienced a kernel panic disabled the iMac and the MacBook Air would not boot until I restored it to Lion.

Downgrading is possible for most In closing, as long as you're willing to reformat your Mac's hard drive and start fresh, reverting to Apple OS X Snow Leopard isn't a daunting process. Unlike Lion, Snow Leopard reinstallation is disk-centric.

Yes, You Can Upgrade a Mac with Snow Leopard Directly to OS X Mountain Lion

If you don't have one, you'll need one. For previous MacBook Air owners, this may be an extra impediment, and for the latest adopters of the Air and Mini, you and Lion are in it for the long haul. If you can stick it out, stick with it. Otherwise, consider this your exit strategy. As a contributing editor, William Fenton specializes in research and education software. In addition to his role at PCMag.