Surely you backed up all your important data prior to upgrading to Mavericks?
By the way, Mavericks is only available for download from the App Store, not the Apple website.
I installed Mavericks within five hours of the announcement. Backed up to Time machine first of course. Didn't need to as all was perfect.
Sometimes stuff happens. Its why they brought out Time Machine, best backup software in the world. I used it to wind back from ML to lion while they sorted the spotlight error. There should be no need to rebuild years of work.
Thank you Carolyn and Pete. Never before have I had to use Time machine other than when I buy a new machine, then it asks me if I want to restore. This time, it slipped right by me. I've learned a lesson here and I've done so much restoration now by hand, I really don't want to risk more problems after the fact. Thank you for you correct input.
I guess what I missed was when the screen came on that said do you want to download from another computer (like you would do if you had bought a new machine and you wanted to keep everything from your old computer) and I didn't do anything because I thought since everything I wanted was already on the machine I wanted to install the new OS on, thinking it would be kept. I'm not sure if there was an option to download everything from the machine you are on. I don't think that is possible. So, at what point should I have used time machine? Wouldn't that make it go back to the previous OS and everything that existed at the last time that Time Machine performed a backup?
I need to understand what I did wrong so I don't go through this again the next time a new OS comes out.
PS: I've never lost anything when installing a new OS in the past and I've been using Macs since the earlly days. This one "gotched me."
You would not expect that message. Everything should have remained on the machine. You must have had one of those unexpected failures.
What I did was go to Apple Store, Found Mavericks, Clicked on the "Free" Button which changed to "Install". Clicked that, went to bed, and everything else was automatic. Never got any message other than Restart at the end.
The time to use Time Machine was before the install, to click on "Backup Now" to take a complete copy of everything on the Mac. In a disaster situation you could have restored all the data and apps except the OS by entering Time Machine for that backup date.
Time Machine disk drive ideally should be permanently connected to a desktop, and weekly connected to a laptop to take automatic incremental backups. I have mine in a locked cage on a shelf under the desk so even the burglar is unlikely to get it. The cable is connected to the USB hub that also has my printer attached. You need to right-click on the icon to eject it when the laptop has to be moved but it's worth it to know you can get back that photo youstored last november but has disappeared for some reason.
Setup assistant is best first time you turn your new Mac on, have firewire cable ready.
Setup Assistant, included with computers that have Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later preinstalled, can transfer data (including account settings and home folders) from a previous Mac (that's using Mac OS X 10.1 or later) to your newer computer. You'll need a FireWire cable to connect the two computers together. The Assistant offers to transfer (or "migrate") data from your older computer when you turn on your new computer for the first time.
When you start up your computer and select From another Mac on the "Do You Already Own a Mac?" screen, you will be asked to choose a migration
otherwise Migration assistant: