Late to the El Capitan Bandwagon
July 4, 2016 11:17 AM   Subscribe

El Capitan download problems: estimated download time goes from 1 hour to 2 days as soon as I hit 100 MB. Is this just how it goes?

Hi all, I'm trying to update a mid-2011 MBA with 4 GB RAM to El Capitan from Yosemite. I have tried to download the update several times. Each time, just as I hit 100 MB (out of 6 GB...), download speed drops precipitously. My wifi seems to be doing just fine - DL speeds are 25MB/s. I poked around on apple support forums (and have also viewed the 'should I upgrade my old machine to El Capitan' questions on and tried many of the suggestions I found there (quit app store and try again; boot in safe mode; reset PRAM and SMC; reset DNS), but each time the result is the same. Is there anything obvious I should try or is this just the way it goes? Thanks for your help, as always.
posted by mustard seeds to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do other downloads crap out at 100 MB? Sounds like your ISP might be throttling you. Try downloading it at a friend's place?
posted by rodlymight at 11:39 AM on July 4, 2016

It could be your ISP cached the first 100mb.

You can take it to an Apple Store and they'll run the upgrade for you off a USB stick which may be more expeditious for you.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:44 AM on July 4, 2016

Or at an Apple Store if there's one in your area.
posted by rodlymight at 11:45 AM on July 4, 2016

Try it at a coffee shop. I've upgraded a bunch of machines to El Capitan, and haven't seen this.
posted by gregr at 11:52 AM on July 4, 2016

Response by poster: I forgot to mention that I also suspected it might be ISP issues. I have had the same result on three different networks. Thanks for the tip about going to the Apple Store!
posted by mustard seeds at 11:53 AM on July 4, 2016

Response by poster: Not trying to threadsit, but wanted to note one more thing I noticed -- when I look at Activity Monitor, the data received appears in regular, tiny spikes, averaging 300 bytes (not kb) per second.
posted by mustard seeds at 12:00 PM on July 4, 2016

This is a common problem. The standard advice is, weirdly enough, to temporarily switch your DNS to one in Australia, e.g. See this Reddit thread:
posted by crazy with stars at 2:44 PM on July 4, 2016

Best answer: Ah I see you already tried changing DNSes. When I tried the above advice, the suggested DNS didn't speed things up, but when I pulled a random Australian one from a DNS list it did substantially speed things up (e.g. 2 days to 40 minutes).
posted by crazy with stars at 2:45 PM on July 4, 2016

Response by poster: Thank you, crazy with stars! It worked with the second DNS I tried from the list.
posted by mustard seeds at 8:19 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

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