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I am running Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 and am planning on upgrading to OS X Mavericks.

However, before I do that - I would like to create a backup of my current OS (OS X Lion), so that if things go wrong or if I want/need to, I can restore my MacBook (13-inch, Early 2011) back to OS X Lion. That's my reason for wanting to back up my OS X (image?).

How do I do this?

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Before you start, I would strongly recommend MacWorld's excellent series of articles on upgrading to Mavericks.

For taking a copy of your internal disk Carbon Copy Cloner is the best way to go. SuperDuper! is good too, but it's not compatible with Mavericks which might cause you problems if you want to back out. You can use CCC to create a separate bootable external disk (or even an internal partition). Try to use a USB 3 or FireWire disk as USB 2 is painfully slow to boot from.

Once you have taken your copy, upgrade your internal disk to Mavericks. If you don't like Mavericks you can undo your work by booting off your external disk and from there overwrite your internal disk using CCC.

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