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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8996
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I am trying to backup my laptop onto iCloud so I can upgrade

Customer Question

I am trying to backup my laptop onto iCloud so I can upgrade my OS. But I can't use iCloud until I upgrade my OS. Catch-22.
JA: Fortunately, the tech wizards we work with know their way around the iCloud, and it would be my pleasure to connect you with the best person for the job.
Customer: I am on 10.6.8
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: Nothing really. My files are backed up on Dropbox, so I figured I'd go ahead and upgrade, and then if I lost stuff, then at least I wouldn't lose my files.
JA: The Mac expert can solve this for you. Anything else you want him to know before I connect you two?
Customer: My plan was to upgrade to Mavericks because I read it was better to upgrade one step at a time. I have done all the required steps on this list, prior to the last step, which is the iCloud backup
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Mac Technician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.

iCloud will only backup certain things to backup your whole computer I suggest you get and external drive and use the built in Time Machine backup to get a full backup before upgrading. Then there are no issues with upgrading straight to El Capitan if you make certain precautions first:

Click on the first icon in the Dock (the list of icons at the bottom of your screen) which is the “face” the "Finder", then click on Go at the top of the screen, you will see a drop down menu, go to Utilities. When that opens double click on the application called Disk Utility. When Disk Utility opens you will see your hard drive (usually Macintosh HD) on the left. Highlight your hard drive and on the right select the First Aid tab if it is not already selected, then click on Verify Disk on the far right. If that is OK in green type, then click on Repair Disk Permissions on the left.

Note: If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair. If Repair is successful then Repair Disk Permissions if it is not successful let me know.