Whew!

The other day I received the upgrades for my Mac Mini that I had mentioned in a previous post. Normally, when I work on PCs I don’t worry too much, because I have always had a spare.

This time was different. Since downsizing, I am depending on my 2010 Mac Mini. The biggest problem I foresaw was that it had a relatively small hard drive and I didn’t think it would hold all the data from the iMac I sold. It also needed a small speed increase.

It took me literally two days to accomplish the upgrade. The installation of the SSD was a little more difficult than I expected. However, I got the SSD installed and installing the Snow Leopard OS that came on the system was no real problem.

With this done, I could see that all components of the PC still functioned. First deep breath taken.

Next I needed to install the Mountain Lion OS. This was my first mental challenge. The previous hardware installation required a little manual dexterity. This one just required mental agility, apparently more than I had after the SSD install.

I had purchased Mountain Lion for this PC. Apple licenses its OS to the apple user ID. However, when I looked up my purchases, neither Lion nor Mountain Lion showed up, and I had purchased both.

This problem required a call to Apple for support. Of course the initial part of the call goes through a rather sophisticated computer controlled conversation. The computer determined that this Mac Mini was out of warranty and they wanted a onetime $20 fee to support the trouble call.

After a couple attempts, I was able to talk to a representative (in South Carolina no less). No charge for the Apple service. It took them a few transfers, but I finally got to a person that determined that the purchases had been hidden and all I had to do was look at hidden purchases. Who would have thought to do that. Certainly not me.

Now I was able to download and install Mountain Lion. To this point all I have installed on my 120 GB SSD is the OS. Now I needed to determine how to configure my system so that the OS and all applications reside on the SSD and all data could reside on the newly configured 1TB external hard drive.

To this point , I haven’t done anything with my saved Time Machine backup because the majority of it will need to go on the external drive. I can only hope that the data can be put on the new system.

It took me nearly a day to research the Internet to set up the configuration I wanted. I watched a dozen YouTube videos, and read countless forum threads on the subject. Most started from a different point in the process than I was at.

Finally, I felt I knew enough to configure the system so that all of my data could reside on the external drive and system software on the SSD.

Now the next hurdle was to move the Time Machine data onto the newly configured system. I tried to use the Apple Migration Assistant to move the data with no luck. However, I was able to manually move the data off Time Machine into the appropriate files on the new system.

I tested the system for several hours insuring that all data had been recovered and all was well. With that I reformatted my Time Machine and did a Time Machine backup of the entire system again.

I am now up and running and all is back to normal. The SSD has sped up system. I am tired of technical problems and plan on living with this configuration until something breaks. Hopefully that won’t be any time soon.

It is always good for me to do something mentally challenging like this just to prove to myself that I can still do it.

Yesterday my Apple TV came down from the US. As with most Apple products, it was simple. Setting it up only amounted to buying an HDMI cable and connecting it to the TV and the Apple TV. I put the Apple TV close to my router, so I was able to connect it to the Internet via Ethernet. I could have used a wireless connection and may do that in the future if I move it to the bedroom.

I spent more than an hour listing to Internet music, watching YouTube videos, and learning it’s features. I have an option of connecting to NetFlix or Hulu Plus, but will have to evaluate whether it is worth the money. I will probably try their free trials. For the $85 purchase, I am very satisfied.

One disappointment was not being able to use AirPlay mirroring. That is the ability to stream what is on my iPad or Mac PC to the TV via the Apple TV. However, both my iPad and Mac Mini didn’t make the cut on eligible devices. I would have to have at least an iPad 2 or a Mac PC 2011 or later.

Oh well, you can’t have everything. I am just happy to have a full blown PC and be able to start blogging again. I did get my iPhone replaced and it should be here by the end of the month. You are now updated on my status. Whew!

11 thoughts on “Whew!

  1. Thank you… this kind of hands on experience stated clearly in text is very helpful since I have some of the same equipment.

  2. Don – One thing I didn’t mention was the screw driver set I had purchased for the upgrade. While I did not use every size in the kit, you have to have these special torque drivers. Some of the screws have multiple uses and are threaded inside the top of the screw as well.

    Without this type of torque drivers this upgrade would have been impossible.

  3. I’ve had PCs for 25 years so I’m used to stuff like upgrades. But I find Apple products very daunting. Don’t think I could get through all you just did.

  4. I have done many PC upgrades on Microsoft and Linux boxes and the hardware side is child’s play on those boxes. The software side of the setup was very similiar to a Linux configuration with the Apple twist put on it.

  5. I really appreciate all the information you have on the net, but, I am not computer literate, not had computers in school and don’t know what in the heck you are all talking about. The Yahoo keeps changing all stuff and it is really a mass state of confusion for many of us that lived in the Coal Region and smelling sulphur every day I am in the state of not even sending messages &..BCC …until I get someone here.

  6. I wonder if Steve Jobs is scowling in his grave, that you were able to circumvent all his “don’t mess with this device because I built it perfectly” devices.
    Anyway, you have a LOT more patience than I.

  7. Don, we have been watching a free movie a night for 3 or 4 yeas from youtube. as the movies exist on youtube they are streaming. I am using a program called macX youtube downloader, also free, to save movies to my hard drive. It gives you a choice of format and quality. Not all movies will download. The ones that will not download we watch as streaming video.

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