The move to Mavericks
It took me a long time to download the Mavericks installer and once I had it so I put it onto a SD card and I used that to do the upgrade on my Mac. I have also just dotted to do the upgrade to maverick’s for my wife’s computer using the same SD card. That saves to having to download a large file twice. It isn’t too difficult to follow the instructions that allowed me to put the upgrade on to an SD card and you only have to do it once then put the SD card somewhere safe.
Nuke and pave – A completely clean install
My wife’s computer is getting a dirty install in that I am installing over the top of what you has there already. I may possibly redo it later but that will be when I decide to buy a SSD drive to put in there and at the same time I will probably take out the optical drive and to put another drive in the place of that. I am pretty sure that I will be getting the screwdrivers out fairly soon.
On my own drive I went for the completely clean install where I did a delete of everything that was on the SSD drive before. I also deleted everything that was on the internal hard drive. The SSD drive is one that I am running external to the computer on a thunderbolt adapter. To be honest, I thought that this would be a lot faster than working off a hard drive for the system, especially at bootup time and it doesn’t seem to be very much different. On the other hand, it could just be that I have got used to it and if I went back to booting from a mechanical hard drive I might just tear my hair out having to wait for so long for it to boot up.
It’s a little bit fiddly but worth it
When you delete everything from all of your drives you have the choice of bringing everything back from either Time Machine or one of your backups using migration assistant or to reinstall everything from scratch to get that completely clean install of Mavericks. I went for the second of those two options because it was high time that I did a spring clean of my computer, but it is a little bit fiddly even though well worth doing.
The reason that it is so fiddly is because you have two make sure that you have all of the installation files for each of your applications. There was one, DragonDictate, that I had to re-download from the vendor and I even had to pay for the privilege to be able to re-download it. It was only five euros so wasn’t too bad. You also have two make absolutely sure that you have all of the up-to-date serial numbers and passwords for all of the applications and are used one password to make sure that I had all of that in one place. Naturally you have two have a double backup of all passwords and information within one password stored elsewhere to be doubly sure that you don’t lose that. I highly recommend making notes as you go when you are creating your backups of the data for the applications. As it was I did have two do some searching around to find where it was that I had put security certificates, backups from applications with sensitive information such as passwords and things like macros I had created within Keyboard Maestro.
You also have to remember that when you have changed over to your new system you need to keep the old backups for a month or so. And because of this you will need to have other hard drives available so that you can make a new series of backups for the new system. I have been adding applications as I need them to the new system and this seems to be a good way to clear out a whole load of applications that were just sitting on the hard drive before and not being used.
It is necessary to reconnect to iTunes accounts and into your photo storage for applications like iPhoto and for Aperture. I did find on one or two applications that I lost some of the customisation and setups I had created previously. Fortunately it wasn’t big things and I was able to recreate what I had lost pretty easily.
It’s not for everybody.
For most users I would recommend the option of using Migration Assistant and if you haven’t been using your computer very often or for very long then just installing over the top is going to be all that you need. I did it the way that gives the clearest install because I didn’t think that my set of was quite correct with having added the SSD drive. You have to make your own decision based upon how you have been using your computer.