Mountain Lion – Before you upgrade

With the release of Mac OS X expected on July 25th, there are a few things you need to take care of before upgrading.

First of all you must make sure that all the applications you use on a daily basis actually work on 10.8, normally this would be a pain, as you’d have to check all the developers websites for information on updates, but there is a website you can check which should help you in this instance

If the applications that you use will all work on 10.8 then you can move on to the next step

Does my hardware meet the minimum requirements?

you can find out from this page on Apples Website

If you meet those requirements then the next step would be ensuring that your system is actually ready for the upgrade

First, ensure your Hard Drive is in good health, you can do this with Disk Utility, (located in /Applications/Utilities)

Open that and click on your Hard Drive (not the volume name) and you will see information from the Drive, the bit we are interested in is S.M.A.R.T. Status – make sure this is Verified, if not then you will probably need to invest in a new hard disk.

If it does say Verified then you will need to verify the directory structure of your currently installed OS, you can do this by following the instructions here

If you get a red message stating that your disk needs repairing then view the following video for how to resolve this.

Once that is complete and you have a green message stating that your hard drive is OK then you will need to run a Permissions Repair, which you can see how to do at the following page

OK, so now that is all done, your system should be fit and healthy, all ready for the new OS, but wait, do you have a backup of your data? if the answer is no then you should take a look at Carbon Copy Cloners knowledgebase article on backing up to a disk image

If you have any 3rd Party Encryption software running then I would disable that before upgrading, I do the same with Filevault, but thats just me being over cautious, although if you are running 10.6 I would recommend disabling it as the filevault program is quite different from 10.6’s and you don’t want to run into any issues with inaccessible data after upgrading.

Now, after all that, you are ready, it’s up to Apple to release the software now, I’ve been using the Developer Preview versions and the recent GM version, and I like it a lot, the integration with iCloud and all of the info that I have on my iPhone/iPad is great, and the ability to mirror my laptops display onto my TV through Airplay (an Apple TV is also required) is great, no more messy cables to be plugged in trailing across the floor.

Check back for more tips on Mountain Lion in the not too distant future.

Mountain Lion won’t install on Parallels

If you’ve run into an issue where you are trying to create a Parallels VM but the installation process is stuck on the grey startup screen with the Apple logo then chances are its down to the VM System Settings
All you need to do to remedy this is shut down the machine (Click the power icon in the bottom left and choose Shut Down)

Once it’s shut down you then click on the cog icon in the bottom right to get to the Config options and set them as follows

On the General tab change the CPUs: to 2

On the Hardware tab, click on the Video option, then increase the Video Memory to 512MB

and thats it

Restart the installation process and you should now find that Mountain Lion installs  as you’d expect

Mountain Lion on a USB

Ok, so to get Mountain Lion onto a USB use the same method as on Lion

First of all, you will need the following

1. Install OS X Mountain (4.37GB download from the Mac App Store)

2. 8GB USB Key

Once you have these you will need to get the Mountain Lion Disk Image, which is obtained by clicking on Finder and pressing SHIFT CMD G at the same time and entering

/Applications/Install OS X Mountain Lion/Contents/SharedSupport/

and then clicking the Go button

Once the folder opens then you need to click on the InstallESD.dmg and press CMD C to copy it, then click on your Desktop and press CMD V to paste it

Once it’s copied to your dekstop rename it 10.8.dmg

Double click on the 10.8.dmg to mount it

Next, insert your USB Key and erase it using Disk Utility as follows

1. click on the device in Disk Utility

2. click on the Erase tab in the middle of the main window

3. choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the format dropdown menu

4. name it Mountain

5. then click the Erase button

6. now click on the Restore tab

7. drag the Mac OS X Install ESD volume onto the Source field

8. drag the Mountain volume onto the Destination field and click on the Restore button

you may be prompted for your admin username and password, so enter this, then the task will start and should take around 15-20 minutes (depending on the speed of your USB2 key)

For a video taking you through the installation process once you have created your USB then click on the link below

Mountain Lion – Reformat & Clean Installation

X11 not included in 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

X11 is not included within 10.8’s installation, so you will have to install this seperately, this is simple to do as long as the XQuartz project keeps running

The XQuartz project is an open-source effort to develop a version of the X.Org X Window System that runs on Mac OS X. Together with supporting libraries and applications, it forms the that Apple has shipped with OS X since version 10.5.

Click on the link under ‘Latest Release’ to gain access to the download link.

Download the DMG and install the package and your X11 apps should work as they used to under previous releases of OS X