Updating to Macbook Air to macOS Sierra

Despite being, essentially, a Windows developer, I do own a Mac, specifically a mid-2013 MacBook Air. I use it … occasionally, let us say, mostly for iOS development. One day, there may be more to it, but that relaxed rationale is about it for now. Anyway, Apple just released macOS Sierra, the latest operating system for Macs (they’ve moved from the OS X name to macOS to match their taxonomy for iOS and watchOS).

For my own purposes I wanted to quickly note how I did it, since every time I try this out I have to look it up again. First up is that Sierra is available from the Mac Appstore, so in theory it’s just a case of downloading the install and then invoking it. However, for some reason long forgotten, I prefer to create a bootable USB drive just in case. I have Yosemite and El Capitan install USB drives, and I never remember how I made them. It turns out that I used a free app called DiskMaker X in the past, and this is what I used today (and of course I donated to the developer to thank him). Download the install for Sierra (cancel out of it after it’s downloaded), download DiskMaker X and then run it. It will find the install for the new OS, and then ask for a USB drive on which to copy it. I buy simple Kingston 16GB drives (or 32GB) from Amazon that I use for this purpose (around $5 each). After about 10 minutes or so, the USB boot drive will have been created.

After that, remove the USB thumb drive and then start the Sierra install as normal. Watch an incredibly inaccurate progress bar while it installs, and then you’ll eventually get the login screen again, but this time it’ll be for the new OS. Alternately boot from the USB drive and install it from there.

I only discovered one issue after the update: my Ethernet USB adapter (an AISX AX88179) suddenly didn’t work. It certainly had under El Capitan since that’s how I downloaded everything for this process. I soon found that there was a new driver for the new OS, so I downloaded and installed it. Apart from that, everything I regularly use on the machine (XCode, Xamarin, Office, Firefox, etc) works fine.

macOS Sierra stock photo

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