Upgrading to OS X 10.9 Mavericks – Really long install times

Mac OS X 10.9 came out on Tuesday, and I decided to take the plunge and move my 2.3 GHz MacBook Pro to Mavericks. The price (free) is right and there are big claims for its decreased power demands. You can read John Siracusa’s opus describing all the new features over at the OS X 10.9 Mavericks: The Ars Technica Review, but I wanted to detail some of my surprises/impressions.

First impression: Install time was astonishingly long. I ran the ~5 Gigabyte download overnight. It went fine, and when I came to the computer in the morning, it was ready to install. The window said “44 minutes”, and I said OK – I have about 75 minutes before I have to leave. Here’s the timeline:

  • 6:45am – Start the install process.
  • 7:59am – Still shows 4 minutes. OK. I’ll wait.
  • 8:04am – Shows 1 minute left. I gotta leave for work. At least the battery’s fully charged. I put the computer on the floor of the passenger side and let it finish as I drive…
  • 8:22am – I hear the reboot chime. Whew! The Apple appears, with the spinner
  • 8:25am – Finally, I see an OS window – it says that it needs five more minutes to complete installation.
  • 8:33am – I’m almost to work, installation completes, and shows the “Incompatible software” dialog. (The Flip WMV player isn’t compatible.) I close the lid and carry the computer inside.

So it took almost two hours to complete the “44 minute” task. At least most other things worked smoothly. But see my other posts…

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