The Knowhow - preparing for OSX Lion
Thinking of upgrading to OSX Lion? If you're currently using Snow Leopard and are considering upgrading to Lion, you should probably check that your Mac is ready to support this latest version of OSX. Some Mac users have reported issues following installation of the Lion upgrade - issues ranging from Airport card reading failures to problems rebooting - and it pays to prepare your Mac in advance, rather than to encounter tricksy technical problems at a later date.
- First things first; If you haven't installed the pre-Lion update yet, download it now
- Once you have the pre-Lion update installed, check the compatibility of your current Mac; Lion needs a minimum of 2GB RAM to perform, as well as an Intel Core 2 Duo processor (or the new Quad-Core Intel Core i5 processor)
Since 2006, all Macs have conformed to the specifications listed above, but for Macs predating 2006 you may want to check with Apple to confirm your system's features.
You need Snow Leopard to support Lion' a direct upgrade from either Tiger or Leopard may prove too much of a software leap, and could lead to installation problems
- Back-up your hard drive' as with all software upgrades, things can go wrong with the installation process. Depending on the size of your files, you can find several different back-up facilities (you can back-up to an online storage facility or to a memory stick)
Give your hard drive a medical. All software updates introduce significant changes to the way your system operates, and Apple software is no different. Run your disk utility process (an application which fixes minor errors) by clicking on the Installer menu at the top of your desktop screen:
- From this menu, find your hard drive from the list of options on the left-hand side (see below for details):
- Click on the First Aid tab (it may automatically have been selected), followed by the Repair Disk button
- If no problems are flagged up, your hard drive is fine. If a problem is highlighted, click on Repair Disk again, this time to repair the problem
- If the second scan brings up the faulty disk again, it means that your Mac cannot repair the fault disk and you may have to take your Mac to a repair centre. Don't install OSX Lion if this is the case, because in all likelihood your Mac will not accept it.
- Switch off your automatic hard drive encryption settings; switch off your File Vault (a system which protects files on OSX), as well as any 3rd-party encryption applications which you may be running as a security measure.
- To do this, go to the main Apple menu, followed by System Preferences, and then Security. Select Turn off Firevault, and your device is disabled.
- Clean up your files and folders; most people have desktops cluttered with unnecessary files and folders. Remove these before downloading the Lion upgrade, as a simple spring-cleaning routine for your Mac.
- Make sure that Lion is going to be compatible with your can't-live-without applications. The last thing you want is to download the upgrade, only to discover that it doesn't support your favourite software programmes. You can easily find this out by checking with your retailer, however, as a general rule, the newer the software, the fewer third-party applications it will support (until they catch up with the upgrade)