El Capitan Upgrade Experience

My experience upgrading a MacBook Pro to the new OSX

by Carl James | BLOOMINGTON, IN | Nov. 26, 2015

macOS El Capitan wallpaper

Last week I upgraded my work owned MacBook Pro to OSX El Capitan, the latest Mac OSX from Apple. I kept a running log of my experience. This is one user's experience. Anecdotal evidence has been varied on the upgrade process. I do not offer my eperience (good or bad) as anything other than what it is: a single data point.


I am at work this morning. Yesterday my boss asked me if I had upgraded to Mac OSX El Capitan on my MacBookPro 15” (2011). I had not as until this past week the key software our school uses for digital bluebook exams (Examsoft SofTest) did not support it. Now that it does I need to upgrade and be aware of the process in order to support end users as exam season is rapidly approaching.


While I am logging the time on this, please keep in mind that I have lots of responsibilities and some delays will be unrelated to this OS upgrade. I have the computer plugged-in to power. Any data I need to retain on this computer is stored with Box Sync so I have my data backed up. I am upgrading my apps in the App Store before the upgrade.


One of the apps I have as a budding developer is Xcode, and that is taking quite a while to update. Patience is a requirement when working with computers.


Still waiting for Xcode. Sent out a tweet to update followers. I’m also editing videos on other computers.


Xcode is done. Now, still in App Store, I click the “upgrade” button in the big “El Capitan” advertisement. The download begins. It is 6.17GB in size. The good news is that we have very fast internet here at Indiana University so that should be no problem. We also have Apple caching so it may be even faster.


It must be Apple caching because the download is done and installation has begun.


The screen has gone black. Based on my experience upgrading to Yosemite last year, I am being patient and just letting it do its thing. If it is still black screen after lunch I will begin doing other things.


As nothing had progressed, I pushed the power button and it quickly came up to a grey login screen. I logged in and a new progress bar is shown under my login picture. This will likely take some time. Now for lunch.


The MacBook Pro just had an auto restart and the progress bar now shows approximately 90% complete. Getting closer to getting my hands on El Capitan!


I’m in El Capitan. Process was smooth overall. All of my apps seem to work now. Not noticing a lot different on the surface, except for integration with my Yahoo! Email (I’m aging myself, aren’t I?) is working much better now.

A week after install

My MacBook Pro is working great a week later. I have not taken advantage of many of the new features yet, but all of my daily applications like TweetDeck and Mail have been fast and reliable. Examsoft SofTest worked extremely fast on this 4-year old computer. Third party brwosers like Firefox and Chrome work well although on the Mac I tend to use Safari more than any others as I'm a big user of Apple's Keychain feature.

I did have an unusual thing happen to me last night. My MacBook sounded like it was booting up but nothing was showing on the screen. I tried connect an external monitor to no avail. I researched several online help sites looking for a potential solution. I finally found one that said a known problem can occassionaly happen that causes the laptop's backlight to be turned off while at the login screen. The solution is pretty funny.

My wife help up a flashlight on the Apple logo on the back. What do you know? The login screen became somewhat visible, enough for me to login. Once logged in the backlight came back on. Here I am today typing on my MacBook finishing this blog entry.

Now time for some family Thanksgiving time!

Carl James is CompTIA A+ ce Certified

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