Before going to Lion or Mountain Lion, check to make sure your applications are compatible. PowerPC applications aren't supported by either one. Application Compatibility
If you want to upgrade to Mountain Lion:
To check the model number hold down the option/alt key, go to the Apple menu and select System information.
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer) model number 7,1 or higher
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer) model number 5,1 or higher
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer) model number 4,1 or higher
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer) model number 2,1 or higher
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer) model number 3,1 or higher
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer) model number 3,1 or higher
- Xserve (Early 2009) model number 3,1 or higher
Your Mac needs:
- OS X v10.6.8 or OS X Lion already installed
- 2 GB or more of memory
- 8 GB or more of available space
If you have applications that you want to use that aren't compatible, you can retain Snow Leopard and create a new partition.
Thanks Eric. This is good to know about Lion. I'm thinking i'll just upgrade to Snow Leopard 10.6.8 since Niel says I need to have at least 10.6 to run Windows 7.
In order to do my backups before i begin upgrades, do i need to backup my Mac side on mac formatted external HD, and my PC side on pc formatted external HD? or can i backup everything on a mac formatted HD?
You can back everything up to a single drive (such as the WD Elements Desktop: http://http://wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=260 ) Macs are very picky about drives and require you to either format (requiring you to erase all data first) the drive to Mac OS Extended Journaled (PCs can read but not write to the drive, you can do many Mac related things), FAT32 (near-universal support, total size limit 4GB), or ExFAT (FAT32 but more than 4GB). Read this article to help you choose the format: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/09/19/mac-101-format-choices-for-usb-flash-drives/
Thank you Compukid. So am I understanding this correctly.... I can buy one external HD to back up my entire Mac w/bootcamp? Looking at the WD Elements Desktop, i see it is formatted for NTFS. So do i reformat it and partition it (like i did my MAC) so i can back up my Mac side to a mac formated (journaled) portion, and the bootcamp (NTFS-3g mac fuse) side to the NTFS formated portion? Just want to be sure. It's my sons computer and i'm not sure if there are files greater than 4GBs, so i'm thinking i'll partion the backup drive to be 1 "journaled" for mac side and 1 "NTFS" for bootcamp side. I haven't used/ or looked into using time machine for this backup vs. using disc utilities. what are your thoughts there?
I don't know the answer to backing up both your Mac side and the Bootcamp side. I have never used a Windows partition.
If you decide to go with Time Machine, below is an Apple Support article on Disks. Check the 3rd paragraph for acceptable formats.
Another option is to use a cloning program to copy the entire drive.
You can create two partitions (if you use NTFS you might need a driver from http://www.ehow.com/how_8105504_change-flash-drive-ntfs-mac.html ) on one drive. You don't need to create two partitions though if your son's computer supports FAT32 or ExFAT, which are as close as technology can get today in terms of universal compatibility.