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Take Control of Upgrading to Lion
Jul 28, 2011

Take Control of Upgrading to Lion

Install Mac OS X 10.7 Lion with confidence!

Join Joe Kissell and learn how to best upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion in the latest edition of his popular “Take Control of Upgrading…” ebook.

Whether your upgrade is fairly straightforward or utterly complicated, Joe explains what to do before you start upgrading to Lion, how to upgrade effectively, what to do if your upgrade has a problem, and how to get a smart start once the upgrade is completed. New Lion features that you’ll learn about include FileVault 2 encryption (Joe recommends this for most laptop users) and Recovery mode. The ebook also covers the basics of installing Lion Server.

“I was surprised at how much good information was included in this book, and how much I didn’t know. …Joe Kissell has knocked another one out of the park.”
—Elisa Pacelli, reviewer and self-described techno geek.

More Info

Benefit from Joe’s experience in writing about how to install Mac OS X since 2003, and let him help you install Lion. You’ll get specific advice for how to:

Prepare for an (Ideally) Problem-free Upgrade

  • Part with Rosetta: Understand and manage the fact that PowerPC-based software will not run under Lion, given the lack of the Rosetta emulator that was used in recent versions of Mac OS X.

  • Handle your hardware: Check your hardware for Lion compatibility. Also, in order to fully enjoy Lion, it might be time for you to install more RAM, free up disk space, or add other peripherals, particularly a Magic Trackpad.

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

  • Verify that all systems are go: Test to be sure your memory and disks are running properly—better to discover and correct a problem now than during your upgrade—and find advice on clearing extra files and software off your disk so that you get a fresh start with Lion (and more disk space for it!).

  • Consider a few geeky details: If you secure your data and documents with some form of disk encryption now, or would like to do so under Lion, get advice on what to do before you upgrade and learn how Lion’s much-improved FileVault 2 will operate, plus consider the pros and cons of running FileVault 2. Also, read what Joe thinks of partitioning and what you might want to do about it before installing.

  • Make a plan: Learn how to install Lion if you’re installing over 10.6 Snow Leopard, and consider the pros and cons of several techniques for how to install onto a Mac running either 10.5 Leopard or 10.4 Tiger. Also, if you have more than one Mac in your home, learn ways to download the Lion installer only once, but use it legitimately on your different Macs. And, if a nearly 4 GB download is unrealistic, get guidance for how to best obtain Lion.

If your “upgrade” involves moving to a new Mac from an old Mac (or a Windows PC), learn how to best install Lion (if needed) and transfer your old stuff. A tip: if possible, do not even turn on a new Mac that has Lion installed until you’ve read this ebook!

Install Lion!

  • Install with confidence: Buying, downloading, and running the Lion installer isn’t all that difficult, but it is an an entirely new (and rather slow) way of installing an operating system upgrade, so Joe explains what to expect.

  • Solve problems If your Mac won’t restart after the installation, this ebook explains exactly what to do (knock on wood!).

Start Smart with Key Post-installation Tasks

  • Avoid slowdowns: Put off a few tasks (running Spotlight, turning on Time Machine) that will slow you down during your first few hours in Lion.

  • Get set and go: Joe reminds you to run Software Update, helps you set up an extra user account while noting a few account-related changes in Lion, discusses the pros and cons of the new FileVault 2 and gives directions for enabling it, explains the Incompatible Software Folder, provides need-to-know-now Time Machine basics (including encryption of Time Machine backups), gives you the low-down on what’s going on with Apple Mail plug-ins, and more.

  • Go beyond…Learn why the $49.99 Lion Server is interesting for Lion users, and how to complete a basic installation.

Reconnoiter with Recovery Mode:

  • View the hidden volume: A final chapter explains the new-in-Lion Recovery HD volume, and even tells you what to type in Terminal so you can check it out.

  • Recover from disaster: Find out how to boot in Recovery mode, in case your Mac won’t boot and you don’t have a convenient way to boot it otherwise.

Learn Lion

  • Read the sequel: Although this ebook won’t teach you much more about Lion beyond what is described above, note that it was written in coordination with Matt Neuburg’s Take Control of Using Lion, so it winds down as that book picks up.

  • Save money with a bundle: Check the left margin of this page for bundle pricing if you purchase both titles together.

What's New

What’s New in Version 1.2

Version 1.2 is a minor update intended to address a few issues that came to my attention after the release of version 1.1:

  • Clarifies target volume requirements for Windows Backup (see Back Up Windows Volumes)
  • Corrects and updates information about how business and education customers can Buy Lion in Volume
  • Explains that because certain common Mac OS X features may be turned off at the end of your Lion installation, you should Check Service Settings before upgrading, and afterward Turn Deactivated Features Back On
  • Mentions how to unlock a FileVault-protected disk in Disk Utility after you Boot into Recovery Mode

Before I buy this ebook, can you tell me if my Macintosh will work with Lion?

Sure! The most important Lion hardware requirement is an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better. To determine if you Intel-based Mac is new enough, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu and look in the Processor line. You are looking for Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon. Unfortunately, Lion won’t work with a PowerPC processor.

Reader Comments

Thanks So Much

Thanks so much for a super ebook for upgrading to Lion. I upgraded earlier today with my iMac. I had ZERO problems due to your ebook. And, all my third-party apps which I upgraded, as appropriate, worked fine. —Barry B.

Great Value

I bought both Take Control books—‘Upgrading to Lion’ and ‘Using Lion’. They’ve been great value and really very useful. I upgraded four Macs with no problems whatsoever after creating a boot disc as described. Where I needed to keep Snow Leopard alongside Lion, because of PPC software, I followed the instructions and once again, experienced a smooth installation. —Dave W, from the UK

Really Useful Advice

Excellent books, and really useful advice. I successfully upgraded to Lion following your advice and guidance….If I had not purchased these books I would have definitely run into trouble. I had no idea the upgrade was something that had to be handled with such a lot of preparation and thought. —Thanks, C.P.

Update Plans

July 5, 2012 – We don’t plan to update the Lion edition of this ebook again, but check the Take Control catalog to find similar titles about later versions of OS X.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. You May Need to Re-download Your OS X Installer

    One of the recommendations I make in my Take Control of Upgrading to… books could potentially cause a headache unless you know how to avoid it. I tell you to save a copy of the OS X installer that you’ve downloaded so that, if the occasion should ever arise when you need to reinstall it or put it on another Mac, you don’t have to download it again. Saving the installer requires deliberate action, because if you leave it in /Applications and run it from there, OS X deletes the installer app once your new version of OS X is in place. (Some people go a step further and create a bootable volume, such as a USB flash drive, containing the installer, which makes it easier to install on multiple Macs.)

    Unfortunately, if you followed my advice and kept a copy of your installer prior to February 14, 2016 (whether or not you turned it into a bootable volume), you’ll find that the installer no longer works the next time you try to run it, because the certificate that Apple used to sign the installer (a crucial security step) expired on that day. Josh Centers explains the whole thing in the TidBITS article Previously Downloaded OS X Installers No Longer Work.

    If you’ve already saved the installer but don’t need it yet, you can delete it and download a fresh copy (now updated with a new certificate); that way you’ll be ready if and when you need it. If you created a bootable installer volume, you’ll need to erase it and follow the instructions in my book to recreate it.

    Should you find yourself suddenly in need to reinstall OS X but not have an updated installer handy, there are ways (mentioned in Josh’s article) to trick OS X into running the old installer, but they’re not ideal, and I recommend planning ahead for best results.

    This issue appears to affect every version of OS X from OS X 10.11 El Capitan back to 10.7 Lion, although a few users have reported that their previously downloaded installers continue to work (the reasons for which are unclear).

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

  2. More Ways to Obtain a Bootable Lion Recovery Volume

    In Take Control of Upgrading to Lion, I describe the process of creating a bootable Lion installer volume using the disk image hidden inside the Lion installer application (see page 72). Not everyone needs such a thing, but it can be useful for installing Lion onto multiple Macs without having to download the installer repeatedly, and for recovering from disk errors that prevent using Recovery mode.

    Although the procedure I discuss in the book is still the only way I know to put a bootable Lion installer volume onto a thumb drive, other USB drive, or SD card, a reader pointed out an easier way to create a bootable DVD from your Lion installer: simply right-click (Control-click) the Install Mac OS X Lion icon, choose Burn “Install Mac OS X Lion” to Disc from the contextual menu, and follow the prompts. That requires fewer steps than going through Disk Utility, and I’m a bit surprised that Apple put this capability there without calling attention to it.

    Meanwhile, for those who have already installed Lion and would like to put a Recovery volume on a different disk or SSD from the one holding their main Lion installation, Apple now has a new solution: the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, which Adam Engst describes in this TidBITS article. Again, the main reason to do such a thing is to provide yourself a way to repair and restore files to your Lion volume in case the disk becomes damaged in such a way that ordinary Recovery mode won’t work. If you already have a bootable duplicate—which you should!—it’s probably unnecessary to go through this extra step, but it could be handy in certain situations, such as when traveling without the drive that holds your duplicate.

    Posted by Joe Kissell (Permalink)

  3. How to Find a Quicken Replacement

    When, in Mac OS X Lion, Apple discontinued support for Rosetta, the software that allowed PowerPC applications to run on Intel-based Macs, one of the major orphaned applications that didn’t have a newer Intel-based version was Intuit’s Quicken. If you’re still looking for a Quicken replacement, read the TidBITS article Finding a Replacement for Quicken for help with the process of finding a replacement.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  4. Beware Multiple Mac App Store Charges for Lion

    We’re not surprised that there have been some glitches in the Mac App Store distribution of 1 million copies of Lion in one day, but it’s worth paying attention when you download, since some people—undoubtedly a very small proportion—have seen multiple charges for Lion. Most of the problems appear to be related to using PayPal to pay for the transaction. Some people are having no trouble getting refunds; others are getting the runaround. There’s nothing special to do; just stay alert after placing your order to make sure that if multiple charges do happen, you’ve documented everything for customer service at Apple, PayPal, and your bank. You can read the experiences of affected customers on Apple’s Support Communities site.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

The Author

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.