Thursday, February 5, 2015

Problems and Solutions That I Had Installing Mavericks and Yosemite Over Mountain Lion Mac OS 10.8 to 10.10

This blog post will help those users, probably longtime Mac users, who have been holding off on updating their OS X upgrades and are now having trouble upgrading.  I talk about installing Mavericks over Mountain Lion below, but I believe folks will have the same problem installing Yosemite over Mountain Lion also.

Here’s my particular situation, and it might help you.  I don’t like updating to new OS X systems.  I am generally pretty happy with what I have and every time I upgrade to a new OS X system, I find that several of my apps stop working.  I then have to rush around and spend hundreds of dollars to upgrade those apps or to find new apps that do the same thing. 

I’ve been working with OS 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) for a year or so now.  I just shot some surf with my GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition files, shot at 1080 and 60fps.   I want to make those clips into slow motion.  Well, my old Final Cut Pro 10.0.9 app tells me that in order to export those clips, I need to buy Compressor.  So I bought Compressor 4.1.3. 

However, Compressor 4.1.3 will only work in OS 10.9.2 and higher.  So I had to upgrade my OS 10.8.5 machine to OS 10.9.  In the past, I’d get this system upgrade on a DVD, or I’d get a .dmg file that would guide me through everything.  I did get a .dmg file, but it would not work.  I’d agree to the terms, select the hard drive to install on, and click Start.  Nothing would happen. 

After some research, I found that I needed to get a thumb drive or another hard drive (I used a portable USB drive) and use that as some kind of installation drive.  So here are the steps and some screen grabs, and error messages:

1.  I am going to assume that you are experienced, and you clone your drives before updating the OS. 

2.  Get a USB Flash Drive of 8GB or higher, or a portable hard drive.  It can be a desktop hard drive.  It just needs to hold some “Recovery” data which you will then use to install Mavericks onto your existing hard drive.  Erase the portable USB hard drive, partition it for one partition, and select  'Mac OS Extended (Journaled)'.   You can name the drive “Untitled.”

3.  I obtained a .dmg file called “Mavericks Installer.dmg”.  Upon opening it, I saw a virtual drive (called “OS X Base System”) containing an app called “Install OS X Mavericks.”

4.  Usually, double-clicking this app “Install OS X Mavericks” would be all that I would need to do.  I’d choose a hard drive to install Mavericks on, and click Start.  However, this did not work in this.  Nothing happened when I clicked Start. 

5.  Upon some research, I discovered that I needed to create an installation drive.  There are at least three ways to do this, but I used the Disk Utility method.

a.   Open Disk Utility.  You will see the file “Mavericks Installer.dmg” at the bottom.  Under that will be the virtual drive called “OS X Base System.”  Choose that drive in Disk Utility and click Restore. 
b.  Disk Utility should now show the OS X Base System drive as the source. 
c.  The Destination should be blank.  Choose the Untitled drive that you just formatted and drag it to the Destination window.  Your Disk Utility should look like the below:

6.  When Disk Utility is done, the USB drive should have the name “OS X Base System” also.  It is now a bootable USB drive.  It will have the same files as the virtual drive.  Here are the files on it.  The only difference, is that this drive now has an invisible Recovery drive.  I am not real clear on this.  All I know is that now you can go into System Preferences and select this drive to be the startup drive.  Restart your machine.  The machine will now boot from this USB drive. 

7.  From there I was able to install Mavericks over my existing 10.8.5 system.  I believe I simply double-clicked on “Install OS X Mavericks” in the USB drive, but I may have double-clicked the app with the same name from the dmg file that did not work before.  I can’t remember. 

Here are some error messages that were relevant to this situation:

Feb  5 09:26:54 i7MacMini.local Install OS X Mavericks[513]: *** IFDCustomizationController_10_6 does not know the size of distant package at (null)


Anonymous said...

Hi, Found your post via Google :-) I've been trying to install 10.9 on a Parallels VM using the DMG file, with no success... I happened to have a spare USB drive and voila, it worked perfectly. Thank you! :-)

Martin Delfino said...

Copied the OS X Base System to a USB flash drive, but unable to see it when selecting it as a boot drive via Sys Pref.....