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about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?

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Len Wasson
about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 18, 2016 at 11:49:44 pm

yesterday I did a disk image of my entire hard drive

I plan to upgrade to El Capitan but then remembered my mail - I use Thunderbird and a private email program - so I download my incoming mail to my hard drive - do I need to do anything else before upgrading?

that is, when I restore with the disk image will my mail be there as well?

is there anything else I need to know about the mail aspect before upgrading my MacOs??


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John Rofrano
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 19, 2016 at 11:29:39 am

If you are doing a clean install and then restoring your files, I would use the Migration Assistant. It should restore all of your personal documents which should include Thunderbird email but I use Apple Mail so I can't say for sure. Even if it doesn't you can always copy them off of the backup drive later so you shouldn't loose anything but I'm guessing that when Migration Assistant moves Thunderbird as an application, it will move it's data files with it (which are your emails).

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Al Bergstein
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 20, 2016 at 2:15:38 am

It may depend on the way you handle email. For example, if you are working with Thunderbird, you may still be using POP protocol. IF you are, and IF you set your email settings to DELETE your email when you retrieve it, all your email is on your local drive, and PROBABLY is unrecoverable. But try the utility that John recommends.

IF your email is on your server, and you DID NOT choose to delete after downloading, you should be able to just connect to the server and it SHOULD download all your emails. It might take a while, but it will do it.

If you have been using IMAP protocol, then that leaves the mail on the server and simply will mirror your emails to your new system.

Since I'm not in front of your machine, I can't tell you what will work. I usually use Teamviewer to log into my clients and take a look around, before trying any major upgrade.

All in all, be sure your backup is good before starting the upgrade.

Words to the wise.

al

Al


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Len Wasson
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 20, 2016 at 4:31:47 am

I'm using POP so it's deleted from the server -

I've archived mail before when replacing hard drives, so can I do the same thing this time?

*also* wtf does that mean "be sure your back up is good?" omfg - why wouldn't it be?

arghhhh

how do I make sure it's good? I saw it on the drive I copied it to - what do I do to check it?

*also* after the upgrade - what's next? I thought I just copied the disk image over and opened it and voila everything is done - is that too naive?? no???


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Al Bergstein
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 20, 2016 at 4:43:27 am

Right. So as to your email what's on your computer and your backup is it.
Sorry to worry you, I only meant to double check that your backup worked.
If you have done it before when changing drives, you should be good to go on this.
You mention a "clone" of the drive. A clone is a complete replica with the old OS. It won't be an upgrade. If you clone a drive, and then reinstall the clone you get your current OS, not the new one, even if you installed the new one on the drive.
You need to do a *time machine* backup of the current drive, then (after checking your mail is there) do the upgrade. The TM is a file by file backup. Thats' why you can go back and see your entire directory system.
You didn't specify if you are going to erase the drive and install a complete new system, or do an over the top upgrade.
If you do a complete wipe and install, use Time Machine to get what you need after upgrading.
If you do an over the top upgrade you might not need to do much, other than possibly have to reinstall some of the apps or reenter their serial numbers.

Does the make it more clear?

Al


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Len Wasson
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 20, 2016 at 6:03:40 am

when I changed hard drives in the past, I only backed up data and re-installed the apps

I've never used Time Machine and really didn't plan on doing that. I thought the disc image would copy back onto my machine regardless of what os was on here.

that is, I thought I'd just download the OS (El Capitan is the one I'm planning on installing), install it, and yes, I would assume my drive would be wiped out so that's when I thought I'd be opening the disk image I copied and just re-copy everything onto the new OS.

Does it not work this way?

the way I am now understanding it, the disk image brings the old OS along with it? then wtf is the point of making it in the first place.....arghhhhh

browsing the info about Time Machine just now, it appears I can select what is to be copied? is that correct? would I be able to just copy my entire drive? I thought that was what the disk image did - but whatever - which is better?

then when I do a restore to the upgraded mac os - everything will copy over - but now the new q is does it matter about the older os on the Time Machine copy? that's not going to interfere, or reinstall itself, right?

wow. so glad to have asked these questions! appreciate the clarification - !


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Al Bergstein
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 20, 2016 at 4:45:31 pm

A disk image is exactly that. The value is that once you are on the new OS, you can make a disk image and afterwards you can restore the entire drive all at once, and move that image anywhere you might need it without a problem. Got an old drive you don't use much anymore? You can move the image to that drive. It's not meant for the kind of upgrade and restore you describe as what you want to do, meaning go in and pull back just your email.

Time Machine is a file by file backup. That way you can go and retrieve just one lost file if you need to. It's what *most* people expect of a backup. It's simple. That's why Apple implemented it. Like John, I occasionally make an image of my system, maybe once a month or less and routinely run a TM backup, like weekly.

So the way an upgrade as yours should be done, according to Apples' point of view, as I understand it (if anyone else wants to chime in, like John, feel free!)

(you can make an image backup just in case the whole upgrade is a failure and you want to reinstall exactly what you had before you started. This is a GOOD idea!)
Then
You use Time Machine to backup the whole drive, file by file.
Once the TM backup is done, and you have made sure it looks normal:
Do the upgrade of the OS erasing your hard drive and install the new OS.
Restore what you want from the TM backup.
Revalidate that you own certain apps, or go to the Apple App Store online and download newer versions of your software for the new OS, since there may be bugs with software that isn't written for it.
Upgrading OS's is not a brain dead affair. The time consuming nature of making sure you have all your passwords and serial numbers for some of your apps to revalidate is frustrating. I remind people that upgrading OS's is a nice to do and not a must do for most upgrades. I always wait months before upgrading after a new OS version. Minor updates for security I just do. They are usually these days benign. I stress *usually*
You should, then be good to go.

hope this helps.

Al


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John Rofrano
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 20, 2016 at 2:14:00 pm

[Len Wasson] "*also* wtf does that mean "be sure your back up is good?" omfg - why wouldn't it be? "
If you were using a backup program that backs up your files into it's own proprietary format, then there have been times when these backup files have become corrupt and cannot be restored.

For example: Apple's Time Machine uses it's own format. Have you ever looks at the files in a Time Machine backup? It bears no resemblance to the files on your hard drive. You would never be able to manually decipher them if, for some reason, Time Machine said that it could not restore them. Why would a Time Machine backup become corrupt? The most likely cause is that the drive wasn't ejected properly and some files weren't completely flushed to the drive. This may cause the files to become corrupt over time.

If, however, you cloned your drive, and you plugged the drive into your Mac and can see the files, then you already have made sure that your backup is good. Usually cloning a drive is the safest way to backup. I do both. I use Time Machine for daily backups but once a month, I clone my drive to an external disk just to be safe. This gives me two chances at restoring my files.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Len Wasson
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 20, 2016 at 11:31:00 pm

First of all, I appreciate all the info and responses here.

The main focus for this upgrade is to avoid having to re-install my apps, as well as of course, not to lose anything (like my mail). That is why I chose the disk image route.

But according to one of the responses above, re-installing a disk image will also copy the OS, is that correct? (I might have asked this previously, and somewhere it was answered so sorry if that's the case)

So it's been recommended that I use Time Machine to back up instead - and then retrieve my files there. But is this going to save me from having to re-install all my apps? would I be able to just copy my hard drive before the upgrade and then copy it over to the new upgraded os and therefore NOT have to re-install all my software?

Somehow this has become more convuluted than necessary. Let's try and keep it simple. Please.


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John Rofrano
Re: about to upgrade my MacOs - what about Mail?
on Dec 22, 2016 at 5:19:05 pm

[Len Wasson] "The main focus for this upgrade is to avoid having to re-install my apps, as well as of course, not to lose anything (like my mail). That is why I chose the disk image route. "
So why aren't you just upgrading in place? That would be the simplest solution. Take a disk image as a backup just in case something horrible goes wrong and then upgrade to the new OS from the App Store. That's what I do every time a new version of macOS comes out and I haven't had any problems and never had to re-install anything. Everything that was on your hard drive before is still on your hard drive. Only the OS gets upgraded with any of it's apps.

That is easiest way.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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