iMac randomly goes BLACK - started after OS upgrade to Sierra 10.12.3

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I have a late 2009 27" iMac.

Flawless until last weeks OS upgrade to Sierra 10.12.3

First problem was random freezing (cursor would move on screen but no mouse click function)
I disabled WebGL. Voila! Robust fix, freezing problem never heard from again

BUT NOW!...

Randomly the screen goes black.

- if, say, a YouTube video was playing, you can still HEAR it, so the “computer” is still working, just no screen

- if you were typing in a document and kept typing, the text is there when you get the screen back, so again, “computer” maintained, it was just the monitor went black

You can “get the screen back” by

- a reboot

- sleep the system then wake it (opt-com-eject, space bar)

- sleep the monitor then wake it (shift-cntrl-eject, space bar)

But the effects are only temporary.

Monitor will black out again sooner or later (may be 2 hours, may be 2 minutes, may be 2 seconds!!!)


- I have reset the PRAM/NVRAM numerous times.

- I have reset the SMC numerous times.

- In Energy Saver I have set my Display Sleep and Computer Sleep times to “Never”.

- The fan speeds and temps are nominal, so it’s not a heat problem.


I have done countless web searches, can’t find any real solution.
Everybody just says reset the PRAM/NVRAM and SMC.


But many of the posts/replies I've found are older.

So I thought I’d post my own thread and get some NEW EYEBALLS on my problem.


Any help greatly appreciated.

James

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OK, we need to know some things:

1. How did you upgrade to Sierra? Did you just do it "in place" ie, have Sierra "overwrite" the former OS? What OS were you previously using?

2. Very, very important: are you making backups to an external device?

3. Have you ever done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs?
 
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OK, we need to know some things:

1. How did you upgrade to Sierra? Did you just do it "in place" ie, have Sierra "overwrite" the former OS? What OS were you previously using?

2. Very, very important: are you making backups to an external device?

3. Have you ever done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs?

OK.
But just for the record, I'm 69 about to turn 70.
Didn't grow up with computers, don't have all this in my DNA, don't really "speak computer."
I'll try to give you the answers as best I know them.
But if I'm not right on target, just ASK AGAIN and I'll try to give you what you need.

1- I came from Lion to Sierra.
Seems like a big jump, I know.
But it is technically "allowed", and seemed to go just fine.
And...
Just went to the AppleStore (I guess, is that where I went?) and clicked and followed instructions.
So I guess I did it "in place".
Sound like it to you?

2- I always have Time Machine running and an external hard drive hooked up.
Plus, before I did the upgrade to Sierra, I did a Carbon Copy Cloner copy of my hard drive to a different external hard drive (than the Time Machine external hard drive)

3- I have never done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, because I have never needed to. I HAVE gone somewhere (? I can’t remember what utility) and looked at/checked the hard drive, and it has always looked FINE. So I have never DONE anything. Never seemed to have anything that needed to be done. And as I said in OP, computer has always performed great - right up through the day before the upgrade to Sierra.

Thanks,

James

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James, sorry to hear of your troubles. I have a very similar Mac.

Do you perhaps have a backup of your Lion setup?
 
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OK.
But just for the record, I'm 69 about to turn 70.
Didn't grow up with computers, don't have all this in my DNA, don't really "speak computer."
I'll try to give you the answers as best I know them.
But if I'm not right on target, just ASK AGAIN and I'll try to give you what you need.

1- I came from Lion to Sierra.
Seems like a big jump, I know.
But it is technically "allowed", and seemed to go just fine.
And...
Just went to the AppleStore (I guess, is that where I went?) and clicked and followed instructions.
So I guess I did it "in place".
Sound like it to you?

2- I always have Time Machine running and an external hard drive hooked up.
Plus, before I did the upgrade to Sierra, I did a Carbon Copy Cloner copy of my hard drive to a different external hard drive (than the Time Machine external hard drive)

3- I have never done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, because I have never needed to. I HAVE gone somewhere (? I can’t remember what utility) and looked at/checked the hard drive, and it has always looked FINE. So I have never DONE anything. Never seemed to have anything that needed to be done. And as I said in OP, computer has always performed great - right up through the day before the upgrade to Sierra.

Thanks,

James

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OK, understand. And for the record, I am 73. So, I can "talk" to you, and with you.

First, doing the upgrade "in place" is not always the best practice. And given that you have never done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, it is even more "problematic". Regarding such tasks, just because it seems unnecessary, it is still not good practice. I always equate owning and maintaining a Mac to owning and maintaining a car. If such tasks are neglected, sooner or later it will become an issue. Even if your car appears to be running fine, lack of maintenance will "rear its' ugly head", so to speak, and cause issues. Same with computers/Macs.

Now, that's great that you have backups. And having a bootable one, via Carbon Copy Cloner, is even better. One thing that is important, though, is whether you are using any third party software. If you are, and if you did not upgrade any of it before you did the upgrade, that can cause issues.

Additionally, how long ago did you do the upgrade (and thus the Carbon Copy Cloner backup)? Is there anything critical on your machine that you need since that backup? Like if you use a program like Quicken, possibly you have some additional transactions.

So, if you could answer those two questions first, that would be helpful. To repeat:

1. Do you have any third party software? And if so, did you upgrade any of them for Sierra compatibility?

2. Do you need anything on your machine since you did the Carbon Copy Cloner backup?

There is the possibility that recovery can be made from your Time Machine backup. But, the process will need to begin by booting your Mac from the Carbon Copy Cloner backup.

Finally, go to the App Store again, look under your "Purchases", and you should see that you downloaded Sierra. Re-download it again, as you will need the resulting file. Once you do that, along with answering my questions, I (and possibly others) can provide you with a "road map" to get things back to normal.
 
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He means a backup of your Lion "system" before you did the upgrade.

Well now I'll have to apologize to you honestone.
Don't know what you mean by "system".
As I said in my OP, I've got the CCC of the HD.
And Time Machine would have what it would have.
But if you're talking about the "install"? the Lion OS on a thumb drive or something?
No, nothing like that.

James

P.S. honestone - I be working on my reply to your post with the questions.
Between
- thinking about it
- investigating and digging up the answers
- and LOTS of "time out" to fight with the screen going black
...it's just taking me a while.
Stand by.

James
 
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honestone,

73 !?!?!

Wow. OK then.

Yessir. Scout ahead and keep me posted.


But back to the computer

1-
So... doing an upgrade “in place” is not the best practice?
I’m trying to imagine the alternative. [:scratch head:]
Can you elucidate?

2-
OK, I get the car analogy.
I remember all the time spent “defragmenting” my HD on my PC, what... 30 years ago?
But I thought Macs were self maintaining. :)
I’ll try to learn, then practice, a maintenance routine down the road.
But...
anything by way of diagnostics or repair to be done NOW?

3-
Yipes!
I definitely got a “few” third party stuffs.
I’ve gone through them and... all of the below open and “seem” to work
(although sometimes you don’t know until you get into the weeds a little bit)

- some Adobe products (Reader mainly, some other tchotchke)
- Olympus Studio 2
- Olympus Viewer 2
- Photo Mechanic
- Team Viewer
- VLC Media Player
- Volitans Smart Utility
- Microsoft Office/Word/Excel for Mac

I have Photomatix Pro and ... it’s minor enough, I’ll happily ignore it for now, deal with it later.

Worst thing I found... I have Photoshop CS3, which is importante to me.
And it won’t open. I get this:
"To Open 'Adobe Photoshop CS3' you need to install the legacy Java SE 6 runtime"
If I can just get it to open, I guess then upgrade to the latest version, A.S.A.P.

BUT... regardless of "my" problem, if maybe I have lost the "use" of any of the programs,
were you saying that those "incompatible" apps could be causing my BLACK screen problem?

4-
And now you have gotten to the question that has been lurking in the back of my mind.
I did the CCC and the OS upgrade, I don’t know, week or 10 days ago.
I have not done very much work since then, been too busy working/fighting on/with the blacking out screen.

But there is a bit of “work” of the last week or so that I would strongly like not to lose:

- 1/one Numbers spreadsheet page that I have made entries into

- some Pages documents that I have either created or edited (hard to know how many and which ones)

- my Desktop

MY ANALYSIS for You to Critique

- the single Numbers spreadsheet I can certainly put onto a thumbdrive and add back into the Numbers application once I get this whole thing stable again. I guess. Right?
Assuming there is no “compatibility” issue depending on the OS we put it into.

- my Desktop
See, I really sorta like Sierra, some of the functionality, some of the aesthetics.
So... see my “Desktop” had sort of gotten out of control,
I don’t know... coupla hundred documents and/or folders strewn all over the desktop.
So when I got Sierra installed it sort of inspired me to do some Spring Cleaning.
I’ve cleaned off maybe half of my Desktop.
Boringly, laboriously, file by file, folder by folder, seeing what each one was,
then finding where it “belonged” in my Finder “tree” and putting it there.
I’d HATE to have to do that all over again.
So my plan... just put A/one new folder on my Desktop and drag ALL the existing files and folders into that one folder.
Then name it: “All the Files and Folders That Were On My Desktop That I Put In Here to Come Back To When The Dust Settles and Proceed with Finding a Proper Home for Each of Them :)
And then put that folder somewhere, anywhere, don’t matter.
And my Desktop will be empty and not an issue for going back in Time, or having to redo the work, or anything. Yes?

- New or Edited Pages Documents
I am least clear on this. All of my Pages documents are in one folder.
But that folder also has other “types” of documents in it as well.
Some old Word documents that I brought in from my last PC. Some web urls I have drug in.
Even an odd .jpg file or two, that live there rather than in my D.A.M. program for whatever reason.
The total folder is small enough (4+ GB) that I could put it on a thumb drive I have here (16 GB)
until the upgrade dust settles, then put it back over.
But I’m nervous about that. Lotta stuff in that folder. CAN’T LOSE IT. I’m gonna put it on a stinkin' thumb drive?
And take it off my computer? I don’t know. Any suggestions?
Any way one can search a batch of .pages files by their “created on” date, or “last edited” date?
And just put those few on the thumbdrive?

5-
I don’t understand this paragraph:

“There is the possibility that recovery can be made from your Time Machine backup. But, the process will need to begin by booting your Mac from the Carbon Copy Cloner backup.”

6-
As far as “Go the the App Store again and...”
I’m not even THINKING that far ahead. Get to that later.

7-
One thought on my mind though:

What do we do when we are ANYWHERE, who KNOWS where?, in the MIDDLE of this process, zipping around in Time Machine, CCC doing it’s thing, WHEREVER... and the screen goes BLACK? Where are we then?

8-
Could any of the issue be with coming all the way from Lion to Sierra?
Any logical strategy in going back in time to where I was the day before the upgrade to Sierra,
and... doing, then, an OS upgrade/install of Yosemite or El Capitan?
And then in a second step (when? then? later?) going to Sierra?

9-
Finally, I realize this is a LOT of text back and forth already.
[not for ME, this is my "life" right now, but for anybody just popping in, man, I can understand]
And we ain’t hardly started yet, certainly no where close to “done”.
But I’ve GOT to be clear on this this time, think it through, get it right.

Ol Ross Perot, I first heard say, “Measure twice, cut once.”

Or... Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Many more similar I reckon. Take your pick.

And that’s where I’m at. I just can’t fly through this.

So, for honestone or anybody else that picks this thread up,
if this gets too tedious, I’ll understand, no hard feelings,
but for anyone who has the patience, I’ll be much obliged.


James

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Ormond - I don't know what you mean by "'setup"

My bad, sorry. I just mean a copy of the hard drive when it was running Lion. If you have that, you can restore things back to the way they were so that your Mac works while you plot your next move.

The problem here is probably that you tried to install Sierra on top of Lion, as advised by Apple. And Apple forgot to tell you that this often doesn't work. The forums are filled with people with similar problems caused by this procedure. On the larger Mac forums they arrive daily with their installation tales of woe.

A better method is to install the new OSX, Sierra in this case, on an external hard drive and play with it there to see if it works for you. This leaves your Mac's hard drive safe and untouched while you experiment.

So if possible, you might try getting rid of Sierra entirely and restoring your Mac to it's previous condition. Then install Sierra on an external drive and see if you can get it to work there.
 
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Whew, JamesD, it looks like you wrote a novel! I'll make some comments/suggestions that I hope will help you.

First of all, why the HUGE jump in the OS? Going from OS 10.7.x to OS 10.12.x means you are skipping 5 intermediate versions. That does seem like a lot to take on. My suggestion would be to try and use an intermediate one, like OS 10.9, Mavericks, or OS 10.10, Yosemite. However, I am not sure how easy it is to download either of those from the App Store. It's supposed "to be allowed", but a number of users here have encountered issues trying to do that. I have always downloaded each new OS (and any upgrades) shortly after it has come out, and in fact under my "Purchases" tab, I can actually see all the ones I have downloaded (surprisingly, Sierra is not there, but I can download it anyway).

The first thing you need to do is try and save the critical "intermediate" stuff you mentioned to a location on your external drive. You can even do it to another folder on your CCC backup. Hopefully, your machine will stay on long enough for you to do that.

Next, boot your machine from the CCC backup. Then, use Disk Utility on the backup (located inside the Utilities folder, which is inside your Applications folder) to erase and Format your internal drive on the iMac. Then do a restore from that CCC backup. I assume you know how to do that. If you don't, I suspect the process is similar to SuperDuper! (software just like CCC, although there are two differences between the two: cost, and CCC backs up the (hidden) Recovery HD partition, whereas SuperDuper! does not. Not an issue for me, though). You would just launch CCC on that backup, and it should present you with a screen that has various options.

Once the restore is done, re-boot your iMac, and then copy your saved "intermediate" stuff from the location on the backup to the appropriate locations on your internal drive.

Now, regarding what I said above about a newer OS, assuming you can download either one, I do not mean to "install/copy" it to a thumb/flash drive. If for example you decide to download Yosemite from the App Store, at the completion of the downloading, you'll see a file entitled "Install Mac OS X Yosemite" inside your Applications folder. (By the way, it will be the last version of Yosemite, OS 10.10.5). You then need to make a copy of it to another location on your internal drive. To do that, and retaining the original one, you should first make a folder somewhere else on your hard drive. (Myself, I have a folder entitled "Upgrades" within my Documents folder, and within that "Upgrades" folder, I have another folder entitled "OS 10.12 and Upgrades"). Then, click on that "Install Mac OS X Yosemite" file once and while holding down the Option key, drag that file to that other folder. If you d]forget to hold down the option key, then the file "Install Mac OS X Yosemite"" will get moved to that other location, which means it will no longer be in the Applications folder.

OK, once all that is completed, you can then proceed to test the new OS out. For that, you'll need an external drive, or if you have enough room, then you can partition one of your current external drives. Based on the two backups you are making/have made, I'm assuming you have 2 external drives. Is that accurate, and if so, how big is each one, in terms of number of gigabytes?

Regarding running the newer OS (and your apps) from an external drive, this link discusses that in detail:

http://yourgoodnews.net/news/How-to-Install-OS-X-10.10-Yosemite-on-an-External-Drive/

Of course, prior to doing the installation, you'll need to 1) see which of your third party apps need upgrading to be compatible with the OS you plan on testing, 2) obtain/download such updates, and 3) update the apps after you install the new OS on the external drive, along with the Apps. I actually have 3 of the same ones you do:

VLC Media Player
Volitans Smart Utility
Microsoft Office/Word/Excel for Mac

For VLC, you can get the latest version from here:

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

For SMART Utility, you'll need the latest version, V 3.2.3, which is compatible with OS 10.9 and above. (Note that version will not work with Lion, OS 10.7).

Now, regarding Microsoft Office/Word/Excel for Mac, I assume you have some version of Office for Mac. Is it Office 2008, Office 2011, or Office 2016? I was formerly using Office 2011, and I do remember there were some specific OS-related upgrades. But, back in October, I moved on to Office 2016. So, until you tell us which Office package you have, can't be of much help.
 
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ormond and honestone,

I have just now gotten to my office/computer, come to the Mac Help website and seen each of your posts.

I have “seen” them, but not “read” them.

But I do not need to read them to reply, so I am going ahead and replying, just so I can go ahead and:

- THANK YOU
and
- tell you my plan

I am pretty sure that there is a “plan” in your posts somewhere.
But it is going to take me a good while to... as my revered Latin master used to say,
“read, digest, and fully make a part of you” (me, in this case)
everything you wrote.

So, I’ll be off.

Studying, learning, making sure I understand all of this, getting my head fully wrapped around everything you have written.

I will come back, before I actually execute anything just to lay out what I am going to do, and let you “sign off” on it.

But at that point, the novel should have shrunk to brief precis.

Step 1 - I’ll do this
Step 2 - I’ll do that
Step 3 - blatty blatty blatty
Step 4- yada yada yada

Wish me luck.

See you in a... day or two?

James

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Sounds good, James. When you get your plan together, post it on this forum, with all the "gory" details, so that we can help in the best way possible. At a somewhat "high" level, here are the steps you should take, in order:

1. Save your "intermediate" stuff since the CCC backup. Don't save it to the desktop, just save it all to a folder entitled "Saved Stuff". And place that folder somewhere on your CCC backup.

2 Boot your iMac from that CCC backup. Then, use Disk Utility on the backup (located inside the Utilities folder, which is inside your Applications folder) to erase and Format your internal drive on the iMac. Then do a restore from that CCC backup.

3. Reboot your iMac, and then copy your saved "intermediate" stuff from the location on the backup to the appropriate locations on your internal drive.

Doing that should get you back in order, so that your issue is gone.

4. Decide which OS you want to upgrade to. Then, download it from the App Store. Follow the instructions above about copying (not just moving) the applicable "Install Mac OS X "whatever"" file.

5. Find out which of your third party apps you need upgrades for to be compatible with the OS you want to upgrade to (and test). I already provided details on two of those programs, and still waiting to hear about Office whatever. Then, download those appropriate upgrades, but don't install them yet (unless any of them are also compatible with Lion, OS 10.7).

6. Resolve the issue regarding external hard drive "space" for the upgraded OS.
 
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honestone,

OK, so I lied about going away and fully digesting everything you and ormond wrote :)

Questions coming up already.

Maybe just do surgical question here, another surgical question there, rather than all in one big bundle.

So:

Q1-


Let’s say I might decide to upgrade from Lion to Yosemite.

You say, “Decide which OS you want to upgrade to. Then, download it from the App Store.”

I don’t see anything but Sierra on the App Store.
Am I missing how to find things (I NEVER go to the App Store for ANYthing)?
Or is it, indeed not there?
If not there, are there other sources?
Are old/legacy? OS's available, like, on a thumbdrive?
Is it proper/OK to get on a thumbdrive? Or do they must be "downloaded", anything about that "process"?


Q2-

In your post immediately above, step #2, you say

“2 Boot your iMac from that CCC backup.
Then, use Disk Utility on the backup (located inside the Utilities folder, which is inside your Applications folder) to erase and Format your internal drive on the iMac.
Then do a restore from that CCC backup.”


Man, I have never liked the idea of having only one backup.

I have always had at least two backups of anything I thought was worth backing up.

Here’s my thought process:
- you hook your backup device to the computer
- begin the process: erase/format/copy over... whatever the exact process is
- something craps in the middle of the backup (computer glitch, electrical surge, whatever)
- you got no functional HD, you got no functional external HD, you got nada, all your stuff gone
- that’s why I want at least two backups of anything - if your first one craps you’ve got a backup backup

So... question is: any way I can make a “copy” of my CCC backup?
I’ve got a little stack of external HDs I could put to use.

Thanks,

James


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OK, I'll try and answer your questions.

1. Regarding the download of Yosemite, that is what I mentioned above, about other folks having difficulty downloading an "older than Sierra" OS. As I mentioned, I have never had this issue, as I always upgraded with each Mac OS that came out. Thus, I suspect that is why I can see all the prior versions of the Mac OS that I have downloaded under my "Purchases" tab. I was hoping that one of the other gurus on here would notice that, but apparently not. So, I'll post it as a question, just like I did with the need to copy that "install whatever" Mac OS file.

2. When you boot to your CCC backup and do the restore to your internal drive, that backup on the external drive will still be there. I never said it would go away.

Since you have a "little stack of external HDs", you'll be able to use one of them for installing the Mac OS you decide to test out. Of course, you'll first need to Erase and Format the one you want to use with Disk Utility, even if there is nothing on it (don't worry, it's easy to do). And don't forget about upgrading your third party apps (still have yet to see an answer regarding which Office suite you have).
 
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I guess I should mention one other thing. I believe your iMac has 4 gig of RAM. That is "basically" more than enough to support an upgrade to any of the Mac OS versions since Lion. But be aware that each succeeding Mac OS takes up more and more RAM. If you tend to run multiple applications at the same time, that could be an issue. I myself run only 1 app about 99% of the time. Once in a "blue" moon I might run 2 apps, but even with 4 gig of RAM in each of my Macs, and using OS 10.12.3, the latest version of Sierra, I am fine.
 
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OK, I made the post about not seeing Yosemite, and Cory Cooper (our resident expert with just about anything!) replied. He is what he said:

"If JamesD never "purchased" (downloaded for free) one of the OS X versions between Lion and Sierra, they will not show in Purchased, and are no longer available directly in the App Store. He won't be able to get a copy of them from the App Store. He may be able to take his Mac into an Apple Store and see if they would install an intermediate version of OS X, but they aren't obligated to do that. However, most Apple Stores would be happy to perform that "downgrade" to make customers happy".

So, it looks like you have 2 options:

1. You can download the latest version of Sierra, OS 10.12.3, and test it on one of your external drives (don't forget about your third party software and Sierra compatibility).

2. You can go to an Apple store, and with your external drive already formatted, you can see if those folks will install Yosemite for you.

I believe you can also purchase Yosemite on a thumb drive from places like Amazon, but I have never done that. Here is a link to Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=Mac+OS+Yosemite
 
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honestone et al.,


Tending to the loose ends questions you asked me:
- I have Office/Word/Excel for Mac version 2008 12.3.6
- and as to RAM, yep my machine came with 4GB,
but I recently maxed it out to 16 GB, so no RAM issue.

OK, so this has been a BUSY weekend for me.
But I think a plan is in the process of congealing.
I have some non-computer things that are going to load up my coming week, especially the front end of it, we’ll see.
But I sort of keep going back and re-reading all of the posts in this thread.
All the “Greek” is sort of turning into at least “broken English”, which is good.

More good news, for WHATever reason, the screen blacking out has lessened considerably the last two days. I’m not going to get suckered into thinking that the problem is “fixed” because I have changed nothing and I’m sure the problem is still there, lurking.

But at least I have been and still am able to get some work done.

My first job is to coral all of my “new” created or edited documents for when the time comes. And then... I can continue to work, but I just have to be systematic about where I put any new “work” so that it can be done with as needed when the time comes.

Oh, and I bin chattin’ with the Apple people just now here.

And have been told that Yosemite (which is what I am leaning toward doing), no it is not available for “download” but it IS available on disc. From the Legacy Team, which I had never heard of. And some other kind of Apple Online Store or whatever she called it.

So acquiring Yosemite doesn’t sound like a problem, if what she said was true.

So thanks to all.

It may be later this week or next, depending on when I get my hands on Yosemite.

I’ll keep y’all posted.


Thanks again,


James

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That's good to hear. But a couple of things:

1. You should still do the restore via your CCC backup (after saving your "needed" stuff).

2. From what I have read, Office 2008 is compatible for all succeeding versions of the Mac OS, including Sierra. However, given that Microsoft no longer supports Office 2008, there will not be any kind of updates (including ones for Security reasons). The last version of Office 2008 was V12.3.6, which you can get from here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36897
 
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Just a quick Yosemite report for anyone interested:

- Sherri (Tameka?) at AppleCare ("Apple Support"?) told me there is no download of Yosemite available anywhere,
but I could get the file on a disc from their "Legacy Team" and gave me the phone number. She said that is what they DO.
"Yes!" said I.

- I called the phone number for the Legacy Team and got a recorded message that that # was no longer in service, to call
123 456 7890 (some/whatever other number)

- I called that number and it was back where I started at Apple/Care/Support

- person there said "Ain't no download, blatty, blatty, blatty, but if you call one of the Apple Authorized Service Centers, they can ship you a disk. "Alright, fine." said I

- SO.... I've called a bunch of them and they indeed have the Yosemite install file, but not on a disc to ship you. They want you to spend a day dragging your computer into their shop and let them install it for you, for $70 dollars up.

So having spend a good bit of THIS day dutifully following the advice of every Apple person I spoke with, they ended up being no help at all. Looks like the options are:

1- the $70+ Apple-do-it-for-you-install

2- or get it on a thumb drive from... MacInstaller(?) seems to be the only source, that I can find anyway, on Amazon anyway.

Anybody know anything about "Macinstaller"? Track record/reliable/trustworthy/quality?

James

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