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How do I upgrade to Mountain Lion, and then to El Capitan?

I just installed Snow Leopard (10.6.3). I have tried to upgrade to Mountain Lion, but that requires that I have 10.6.8 or higher, which I don't.

Also, I have for the last 2 days, checked for any updates and have installed whatever was available. I am now confused on what to do.

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Step Zero: consider your backup and if you want to do a two-step upgrade per http://apple.blogoverflow.com/2015/09/back-up-then-step-up-to-el-capitan/

Step One: Download the 10.6.8 combo updater at https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1399

Step Two: Use the App Store to install OS X and be aware you might need to jump 10.7 to 10.8 to 10.9 to ....

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    Step Zero: have a backup in place before you start. Jumping that far without a safety-net is not something I'd advise. – Tetsujin Oct 9 '15 at 6:37
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    You are very right @Tetsujin - I would probably install Lion onto an external drive and not even on to the 10.6.8 drive. Do all the upgrading on a system where the data was migrated in. Once all is done you could image that system back to the Mac or re-run the installers on the primary system. – bmike Oct 9 '15 at 14:00

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