“While I will always urge caution about any OS upgrade, even on a Mac where the process is supposed to ‘just work,’ my own upgrade strategy tends to be more casual,” Steinberg writes. “Since I have a clone backup of my iMac’s startup drive — a complete duplicate — I would not lose anything but a few hours of time should the upgrade not go smoothly. I also expect that a fair number of the people who install OS X upgrades don’t follow any precautions at all. They just run the installer and let it do its thing. They trust Apple to figure out how to handle the entire installation process without requiring any extra intervention after the few initial setup screens.”
“For recent OS X upgrades, you haven’t even had the options of a typical clean installation, which placed your original OS in a “previous” folder, so you can check over files you might want to bring over. That’s over and done with, and the installer ought to be smart enough to sort things out and make sure that only the right files are upgraded, removed, and replaced,” Steinberg writes. “Sure, Mountain Lion’s installer handles hundreds of thousands of files, totaling several gigabytes in size. That everything will work successfully for most of you must be a miracle. Or just the work of a development team of brilliant engineers who have labored extremely hard to make the difficult seem simple.”
Steinberg writes, “But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a few precautions, and I’ll mention the usual.”
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