Need to know which files to backup?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jiddick ExRex, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Roskilde, DK
    #1
    OMG. I just got my iBook home from repair (pretty mad at the blokes, it took them 1½ month) and I have never been happier, it literally feels like my little baby has come back home. And for all that time I has been thinking about getting a macbook, shame on me!

    Anyways to the real stuff: I need to reformat OSX, so which files do I need to backup? Which folders contain my emails, settings, keychains etc? Is it only the "user/'me'/library"?

    Thx in advance.
     
  2. Manzana macrumors 6502a

    Manzana

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #2
    you are correct

    back up your users folder and if you have room your applications folder

    users folder contains accounts which contain library which contain your email, settings, bookmarks
     
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #3
    Unless you've stored stuff in unusual places, if you back up /Users/you/ you should be fine (but I'd poke through the backup to make sure everything looks like it's there). All your "hidden" data (email, prefs, keychain, etc) are indeed in /Users/you/Library/

    Note that if you have any applications that installed stuff "system-wide" (for example, pref panes available to the whole system, screen savers or fonts available to everybody instead of just you), those will be in the root /Library folder, so you might want to at least peek into the Fonts folder there (most of the stuff should be system fonts, but if there's anything you know you installed and can't easily re-install), though really if you're doing a complete re-install, you should probably reinstall stuff like that from fresh downloads anyway, and you'll have to reinstall apps like Garageband and Adobe CS2 from scratch, too.

    One question: Do you really need to reformat? If all you want is a clean OS install, an "Archive and Install" would get you that without worrying about restoring files from a backup. Of course, you should STILL backup first, just in case, but its a time saver on the restore.

    One more suggestion: If you do want to completely reformat, tou might try using Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your internal drive to an external, then reformat and reinstall the OS, then finally use the Migration Assistant to bring your old user (and whatever else) over to the fresh install--should work fine, and you can always re-clone from the backup or move stuff manually if something goes horribly wrong.
     
  4. Jiddick ExRex thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Roskilde, DK
    #4
    Thank you for the quick replies. I do need to do a fresh install, since that's what the Applecare peeps told me is the only way to get rid of my problem with the screen going to 0 brightness when running off battery.

    Unfortunately I don't have en external drive running hfs, so I cannot clone the harddrive and use the migration assistant. I need to do a clean take-a-long-time install of OS X.

    How I just hope that the problem isn't solved and they refund me with a new Mac Pro, a 30" ACD and some other stuff my imagination just made up.
     

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