OS X El Capitan has been available for several days now, and many of you will undoubtedly take advantage of the weekend to update your MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, or even your iMac. Great, but why not take the opportunity to start from scratch, with a “clean install” ?
Basically, it is not necessary to have an engineering degree in hand to start the installation of OS X El Capitan. In reality, all you need to do is go to the Mac App Store and click a single button.
The software will then download the necessary files and it will immediately launch the installation of the system. The procedure is fully automated and does not take very long.
Pretty simple, right? Certainly, but this method is not necessarily the best. If you update your Mac, then El Capitan won't touch your apps or even your setup . Basically, if your machine messed around before, it will keep crashing.
Therefore, it may be a good idea to do a clean installation, starting from scratch.
Prepare the terrain
The first thing to do is to check if your Mac is compatible with OS X El Capitan. The good news is, the full list can be found in this article .
Just follow the link to find out if your machine can run the beast.
Then you will need to back up all your files and documents. How? 'Or' What ? Everyone will see noon at their door. As far as I'm concerned, my data is constantly synchronized with Dropbox and it is also copied at regular intervals to my NAS.
I haven't been using Time Machine for a long time, or any such software.
Afterwards, if you don't want to do everything by hand, or if you want to automate the thing, you can also go for solutions like Carbon Copy Cloner . The latest version (4.0) is compatible with El Capitan by the way.
If your data is safe then you can go to the next step and create an installation key for the system. Be careful, however, because this also means that you will have to download it on your machine, without installing it.
Again, the best is probably to refer to the tutorial published at the end of the week. Here, since you are there, you can also click here to check if your applications are compatible with the update.
Because hey, it would still be a shame to lose your favorite software packages, right?
To sum up, here's what you need to do before you get started:
- Check if your Mac is compatible with El Capitan.
- Check if your applications are compatible with El Capitan.
- Back up all your files.
- Create an installation key for El Capitan.
Launch the “clean instal” of OS X El Capitan
Everything is ready ? The time has come to get down to business and therefore install OS X El Capitan. Rest assured, however, because the worst is behind you.
Start by shutting down your Mac and unplugging all of your USB devices. Then connect your installation key to your bike.
Attention, because it is better to not make or by an extension or a port replicator. The best is to go directly to the source and plug your key into a port on your computer.
There, you will have to have reflexes because you will have to turn on your Mac and immediately press the “options” key, which is to the left of the space bar. If you are lucky, then your computer will ask you which disk you want to boot to.
Simply select your installation key and hit the “enter” key on your keyboard.
The machine will then display a new window called OS X Utilities . It includes several options. This is the last one that interests you since it will allow you to delete the partition from your disk and all the associated data.
How? 'Or' What ? Select the option and validate the operation by pressing the usual key. The tool will return you to a new window. You will have to go find your disc and click on the button to erase it. The operation is quite quick.
Then go back and select the “Install OS X” option. All you have to do is find your main hard drive and the wizard will take care of everything for you.
To summarize, in a few steps:
- Shut down your Mac and unplug all your peripherals.
- Plug the installation key into a port on the machine.
- Turn on the Mac and press the "Option" key.
- Wait a few seconds.
- Launch the Disk Utility and delete your primary partition.
- Wait a few seconds.
- Go back.
- Launch the tool named “Install OS X”.
- Select your hard drive.
- Follow the steps that appear on the screen.
And after ?
The operation can take a lot of time on the less robust configurations and it will be better to allow one or two hours in front of you just to be quiet.
Once the installation is complete, OS X El Capitan will welcome you and then ask you to answer a few questions. There you can configure your Apple account or even connect your machine to your WiFi router.
These steps are not complicated and you just need to read carefully what you have on the screen. Normally you should be fine with this without too much problem.
Update: If you don't want to take the lead, you can also install OS X El Capitan and reset the system by relying on the procedure specially implemented by Apple . Thanks to Raphaël for the reminder.