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High Sierra to Mohave to Catalina or??  



I apologize if this is covered, the search tool did not bring up my query.

I have a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro and I have been waiting to upgrade the OS until I bought an SSD.  That day has come and I have some concerns and need advice on the best way to do this.

1. I have backed up and rebooted on my external drive via Carbon Copy

2.  First question,  should I upgrade my internal drive to Mohave first and then back up again on Carbon Copy cloner? Or leave the backup as is and have that as the last working OS I have success with?

3. Once the SSD is installed, I will boot from my external and install am install a clean file of either Mohave or Catalina.  If Catalina is worth it I will go this route.  The next step I will migrate my user files over from the back up external which is the old file format and high Sierra.

a. concern I have is in the new file system.  How does that work with my backup being the old way and Catalina being the new?  What steps should I take?  Should I convert my external music files? With the new iTunes apps will all the playlists and rankings be destroyed in my iTunes user file?


That is what I would do however I don't know what the right way is to eliminate errors, slowdowns, etc.  The SSD is a crucial 1tb and I would like to have a brand new OS on it before migrating.    Please, any thoughts on how to do this right?




3 Answers

Hi Buck. I recommend installing Catalina on your SSD and using Migration Assistant to transfer your data from your clone backup. That will be the simplest approach.

There are no concerns about file system. Apple has made APFS the default on SSDs since High Sierra. (Also, Time Machine still requires HFS+.) If you're referring to the reorganization of data into two volumes—System and Data—Migration Assistant has no problem managing this shift.

Sweet, I will install a brand spanking new Catalina onto the SSD and then migrate my user data from my high Sierra back iup. Ben, Thank you. I have learned from the past mistakes to ask first before disaster strikes. :).


Ditto the above, the thing with Catalina is it installs a data drive, it does some funky partitioning that previous iterations of the OS didn’t do before, so a clean install and then a migration is your best choice.


I would go with Mojave because you simply need to run the macOS Mojave installer, and you are ready to go. It will help you install new files as well.

No real difference by running the Catalina installer.