Friday, October 27, 2017

The Slow, Bumpy Trail From Yosemite To High Sierra - Not The National Park, Rather Apple Operating Systems [UPDATED]

I'm writing this on my old macbook because my newer (2014) MacBook Pro has, it says, 29 hours and 56 minutes to go before it installs the recovery OS X Yosemite.

I've spoken to six Apple advisors since October 23 when i started this venture.  I didn't upgrade from Yosemite to El Capitan because the 'genius' told me, when I asked what it would do to my version of iMovie, to stay with Yosemite.

But I'm getting notices now that my browser is no longer secure and with one bank that means I can't manage my account.  At least not in Safari.  If I go to Firefox or Chrome I can.  The Apple advisors can explain why that is so - because they update independent of Yosemite, while Safari is built in as part of Yosemite, so it can't update independently of Yosemite.  But it still is silly that other browsers work on my MacBook, but Safari, Apple's own browser, doesn't work that well anymore.

The first guy, Steven, helped me with an id/password problem.  It turns out my original apple id no longer exists.  Apparently when i registered my wife's iPhone, they gave me a new Apple id and disappeared my old one.  So we got High Sierra (the new operating system) downloaded.  I decided to install it over night because I knew it would take a while on my slow connection.

But when I tried to install it, it started and then just stopped.  I let it sit a long time before I shut it down and tried the whole thing over again.  It didn't work.

On October 26 I talked to Matt.  He had me shut things down and reload High Sierra and start the install program again.  "Call back if you have any more problems."

So I called back later that day and talked to Gina.  She had me shut down and do a recovery thing.  As soon as I turn it on, I had to hit command + option + r.  That got me a black screen with a grey globe, and time line, and a clock image next to which it said 1:07.  We figured that was how much time was left for it to work when the minute changed about every minute.  I didn't think we should both wait an hour.  She said call back if there were any problems.

There were, but I had something to do out of the house, so I called back this morning and got Kacerra (sp?).  She wanted me to shut it down again and do an recovery opening again.  Again, an hour plus a few minutes.  So she scheduled a callback for 2pm.

Shekelia (sp?).  She had me move along.  Highlight the recover OSX and continue.  Then agree to the terms. And then I get  . . . Mavericks operating system.  Continue.  A popup window that says Since Mavericks is older than what I have (Yosemite), it can't install it.  Shekelia looked in her book and then said to do the recovery reboot again.  She set up a call back appointment for an hour and a half later as I wait another hour for this to happen.  (Fortunately I have other things I can do while I wait.  But I can't blog or anything.  (Well, at that point I didn't really want to pull out my old Mac.)

At 3:30 Nick calls.  I tell him the history again as he looks at the notes on my file.  I've got it ready to install the operating system again, but I'm fearful it will give me the Mavericks option again.  It does.  But he has a new trick.  command + option + r = internet recovery, he says.  We'll do command + r.

It works right away, without having to wait an hour and Yosemite is available.  So, he tells me, download Yosemite.  That's when I got "about 35 hours and 28 minutes left" and it steadily rose up to 72 hours and then back down to 35 hours and slowly, but faster than real time, to 30 hours.

But it was clear that Nick and I would run out of things to talk about before the 30 hours was up, so he told me to try to download High Sierra when Yosemite was back up and call back if there were any problems.  Or, just stick with Yosemite and use Firefox or Chrome if I needed a more secure browser for anything.

So that's where I am - two different Macs open.  Let's see if different parts of the download go faster, or if it goes faster during the night.  I'm just hoping it works at all.

[UPDATE Oct 28, 2017 8:35am:  The recovery download of Yosemite (operating system) was complete this morning when I got up.  Much faster than the 37 hours it was estimating yesterday.  But essentially, I'm back where I started - with Yosemite.  Hopefully, a cleaner version.  But should I start again to try to download High Sierra.  A couple of the Apple advisors I talked to in the last several days have posited that I might be better off keeping Yosemite and using Firefox or Chrome if I needed a web browser that was secure enough for my bank.  Maybe I'll wait until I'm out of town where I can get much faster internet speed so each step doesn't keep me off the internet for long periods.  But then again, maybe that's not a bad thing.  And I have the old Macbook I can use as backup.]

[UPDATE Nov 15, 2017 11 am:  I'm in Seattle now and so took advantage of faster internet speed to complete this process by installing High Sierra.  It was painless.  I have a short follow up post here.]


  1. Steve, I wish you the best! Dealing with Apple support can spike one's blood pressure~

  2. Thanks for the support on this Ziba. They've been really nice and (mostly) very competent, and wait times have been less than 30 seconds. They even give you three choices of music plus a silent choice.


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.