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by Gary Woods

On October 22nd I was in the Apple Store getting a cover for my very cool new iPhone 5S when I looked up and saw they had the latest Apple rollout playing. I asked the salesperson what had been announced and she said the Mavericks upgrade is FREE! Mavericks, is the new Apple operating system which I'd been looking at but FREE was definitely a surprise.

I'd been planning on upgrading when it came out by looking over the devices which could be upgraded and purchasing the latest iteration of Parallels which said it was Mavericks compatible but you definitely have to have a plan before you take a leap into the wild blue yonder.

Whenever I do an upgrade I always back everything up so in case something goes wrong I've got a back door. As I've mentioned before I use a tertiary backup system that starts with the free Time Machine included with the Apple operating system since OSX 10.5. I also use Carbon Copy Cloner which gives me an exact copy of my hard drive and then if all else fails I've got the online backup system Carbonite which is always running in the background.

I tested all my backups and they were working so I dove on in. On my 24" iMac which I upgraded on the first day the 5.3 GB download took about 6.5 hours. But, by the next day the download on the other 3 machines took about 45 minutes each.

The install went fine on the 24" iMac but on the MacBook Air the install stalled so I pushed the ON/OFF button and completed the install on re-boot. Unfortunately when I did this it saw the computer as a new install making all my programs and files a little tough to get to. At that point I re-loaded the MacBook Air from the Carbon Copy Cloner backup and on the second attempt Mavericks loaded correctly with all my files and programs functioning as they should.

Mavericks is pretty cool and I haven't found any issues with it so far so I'd recommend doing your backups before you upgrade but when you're ready it's time to Giddyup!

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc