Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion
Publisher: TidBITS / Take Control Books
Final Release Date: April 2013
Pages: 171

Best-selling author Joe Kissell guides you through every step in the process of upgrading to Mountain Lion. You'll begin with a compatibility check, learn to make a suitable pre-upgrade backup, and then follow assorted pre-upgrade advice, including managing your Apple ID, deleting digital detritus, and making a safe copy of the installer file. Joe helps you pick an upgrade plan: in-place (easy), clean install (for control freaks), over Leopard (a time-saving option), and even to a new Mac that's running Mountain Lion. He also describes the basics of installing Mountain Lion Server. After guiding you through the upgrade, Joe gets you started with key post-installation steps. You'll also find troubleshooting advice in case of upgrade failure, along with a chapter about Recovery mode.

In particular, you'll learn how to:

  • Manage iCloud: During your Mountain Lion installation, you'll be asked for an Apple ID, but should you enter one? And, if you have more than one, which one? You'll find advice for sorting out your Apple ID before you enter the installer.

  • Upgrade from Tiger or Leopard: How will you download the installer from the Mac App Store on one of these Macs? What about Rosetta for PowerPC-based apps? Joe answers these questions and discusses the special challenges you'll encounter when trying to upgrade efficiently from 10.4 Tiger or 10.5 Leopard.

  • Handle Your Hardware: Check for Mountain Lion compatibility, clear extra files and software off your disk, and test your Mac to be sure all the hardware and disks are running properly--better to discover and correct a problem now than on upgrade day.

  • Deal with duplication: Learn why having a duplicate of your hard disk is essential before installing Mountain Lion, and how to make one. Also, get help with backing up a Windows volume, should you be running Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp.

  • Consider a few geeky details: If you secure your data and documents with disk encryption now, or would like to under Mountain Lion, get advice on what to do before you upgrade and learn why Joe likes Apple's FileVault 2. Also, read what Joe thinks of partitioning and what you might want to do about it before installing.

  • Do the upgrade: Run the Mountain Lion installer, choosing all the optimal settings and options for your computer and tastes, and make sure all your personal data is still in place afterward.

  • Perform post-installation tasks: You're not done when the installer is - be sure to run Software Update, set up necessary user accounts, and (perhaps) turn on FileVault and Time Machine. You'll find help with troubleshooting any problems that may have occurred with your upgrade.

  • Go beyond the basics: Joe even covers topics such as the basics of installing Mountain Lion Server; moving from an older Mac to a newer one that already has Mountain Lion installed; and using Recovery mode to fix disk problems, reinstall Mountain Lion, and perform other maintenance tasks.

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Control Your Upgrade Experience

By Hartley the editor

from Lyndonville, VT

About Me Newsletter editor, Retired


  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


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    Comments about oreilly Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion:

    If you haven't already upgraded to Mountain Lion, I recommend that you take just a little longer to read Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion by Joe Kissell from TidBITS. In my judgement, it contains everything you need to know to before, during, and after upgrading, even including Boot Into Recovery Mode. With this information you can make better informed decisions about your upgrade experience.

    You can do an upgrade of your Mac to be just like it is except for having Mountain Lion, or you can clean it up a bit, so it will be like a new clean Mac with the new operating system. It can be more like Christmas.

    If you are at all nervous about upgrading, by reading Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion you can make your decisions with confidence. The information is well organized, clear, and easy to understand with just the right amount of joe Kissell's personal recommendations.

    If you are experienced, Take Control of Upgrading to Mountain Lion could serve as a checklist to make sure you do not overlook anything. It probably contains some good information and ideas that you might otherwise have overlooked.

    I did find that my AppCleaner application worked so you could add it to the list of uninstaller utilities on page 56.

    I obtained this as a review copy for our Macintosh Users Group

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