About to do reinstall. What do I copy?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by NickD, May 25, 2007.

  1. NickD macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #1
    I'm going to be doing an Erase and Install on my iMac, and I need to backup. What should I copy? I was going to do these:

    All Applications
    Documents Folder
    Music Folder
    Movies Folder
    Pics Folder

    Anything else?
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    Why are you reinstalling? Are you having problems? Many times it is easier to fix the problem instead of backing up and reinstalling.
     
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #3
    Well, your application preferences and many other user settings are going to be in your Library folder (mostly in the one in your user account, but possibly some stuff in the top level one).

    Why are you doing a full Erase and Install? If you're trying to preserve your old stuff, and Archive and Install is generally a better option.
     
  4. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    Archive and Install has given me problems in the past, so I am doing a complete clean install.

    So should I copy the Library as well?
     
  5. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    OK. I've currently got the following folders copied. If there is anything else, let me know before I wipe today:

    Applications
    Library (User)
    Music
    Movies
    Documents
    Pictures
     
  6. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
  7. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    I have been having tons of problems, which I have posted about on the forums here, but include some of these:

    Temporary Directory Problems
    Permissions Won't Repair, and won't allow me to do anything
    Won't recognize passwords
    Etc.

    I've done a disk repair, permissions repair, archive and reinstall, and nothing has helped, so I figure it's best that I just start over.

    NickD
     
  8. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #8
    I had those kinds of problems once.

    Sounds like you did a repair permissions from your install disk -- that's a NO-NO.

    Back-up your USERS folder and your APPS folder. maybe library would be good to.

    then if you need anything you can always go find it and selectively pull it out.

    when you do your reinstall, add an APPLICATIONS folder to your users account. it keeps things nice, and that's where you put all your apps that aren't SYSTEM APPS -- (browsers, onyx, all the little apps you download to use). that way if you have a problem in the future you can easily fix things. besides, it's a JUST good idea to keep YOUR APPS separate from SYSTEM APPS.

    and once again - NEVER DO A REPAIR PERMISSIONS FROM THE INSTALL DISK!
     
  9. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    When you say that I should back up my users folder, do you mean the ENTIRE users folder (with Deleted Users and all), or just my user folder (nickdanforth) within the big folder?

    NickD
     
  10. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #10
    just the users you think you need to keep to keep. i usually just click USERS to make it simple. i don't use the main admin account -- i set up another account to use all the time. that way if there is a problem, i can sign in as admin and use that account to see if the problem is with my account or the computer. i keep my top level account pristine.
     
  11. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #11
    So would I copy the ENTIRE nickdanforth folder, or just the contents (Documents, Music, Etc.)?

    And then once I reinstall the OS, what would I do?
     
  12. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #12
    keep it simple. copy the entire nickdanforth folder.

    then do a reinstall.

    then run your update. do this several times until it tells you that there are no more updates available. (you won't get them all the first time.)

    repair permissions, but don't do it from your install disk.

    then make a folder called APPLICATIONS in your nickdanforth folder OR your shared folder.

    create another USER ACCOUNT with a name you will use all the time. give it admin privileges.

    log out of your top level account and log back in under your newuser account.

    then reinstall new copies of your apps that you have and update them (if possible download new versions of them -- like firefox, onyx and adium and the things you want. put these into your newly created APPLICATIONS folder

    then run MONOLINGUAL or something like it to get rid of all the languages you don't use (this will give you about another gig of disk space.

    set your browser's download folder to "new nickdanforth/downloads"

    then after everything is all set up, look at your backup and see if there is anything you need and selectively copy those items into your fresh system (things like all your itunes music, your email, apps you couldn't find fresh on the internet.

    anything you don't need, don't copy over. when/if you ever need it, you know where to get it.

    repair permissions again.

    make a backup.dmg of your new system using your install disk so you can restore it to pristine if the need ever arises.

    you should be all set. i hope i didn't leave anything out. if i did, when you discover it you can do it.

    put the new apps folder in your finder sidebar and remove the old apps folder from it. you can always get to it from HDD
     
  13. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #13
    OK. Thanks a lot. I'm going to get moving on that, but if anyone has any more suggestions, let me know!

    NickD
     
  14. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #14
    WAIT! OP, you say you're doing an "Erase and Install" on your iMac, which if I go by your sig, is Intel?

    Then do NOT use Monolingual as it is very easy to delete necessary architectures that Rosetta requires.

    If you're already going to do an Erase and Install, choose "Options" and just don't install the languages you don't need (and if you want, negate the printer drivers, extra apps, etc. that you don't want). That's a much safer way to get rid of languages.
     
  15. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #15
    Yeah. I wasn't planning to use Monolingual anyway. Thanks though!
     
  16. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #16
    Sorry to double post, but I'm erasing the system now, and this is what I am going to do, so correct me if I'm wrong. I just don't want to mess anything up:

    I will be creating a "nickdanforth" account (account1) before anything else.

    Run updates and repair permissions

    Make a folder called applications in the new "nickdanforth" account (account1)

    Create a new user account (account2) with admin privileges

    Re-install apps under the Applications folder I created, and set browser's download folder to my "account2/downloads"

    Get all personal files transferred to account2 and repair permissions

    Is there something that I misunderstood, or am I missing something? If so let me know. Once again, very sorry for the double post, but I am very concerned about the state of my iMac and don't want anything to go wrong. Thanks for all your help guys!

    NickD
     
  17. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #17
    i think you've about summed it up.

    the main things:

    never run repair permissions from install disk

    have a separate user account for normal use, leaving main account pristine

    have a separate applications folder

    you should now have a sytem that is almost idiot proof. all your system apps are separated from your own installed apps. if there is ever a problem with anything, you can always log into your main account to see if it is the computer or software problem

    life is good!
     
  18. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #18
    one more thing i may have not stressed--
    always login to and work in account 2. the only time you will use account 1 is to diagnose problems.

    since you are using 2 accounts, you probably want to put your downloads folder, music folder, and your new apps folder into your "shared" user folder to make it easier to access from either account. that way if you set up another user later (for guest use or girlfriend use, etc., they'll have access to everything but your personal documents
     
  19. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #19
    oops. your downloads folder should probably be in your account2
     
  20. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #20
    Once again, thanks for all your help. I couldn't have figured out what to do without your help. I'll update you with my status once I've crossed some major bridges in this process.
     
  21. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #21
    that way your girlfriend or parents etc can't get to your porn stash
    and your mail and other personal stuff and everything else should always be in your acct2.

    when you give others access to your computer, don't give them admin accts and set up their browsers to have their downloads into their respective accts. that way you can let anyone play with your computer and now worry about what they will do to it.
     
  22. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #22
    yeah, you've got quite a few bridges to cross and it'll take some time to do it right -- expecially all the updates -- and searching for latest versions of your sofware and entering all your key codes (luckily you have them all backed up and you can open them to get your codes again, like quicktime-pro and others)
     
  23. NickD thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #23
    So you're saying I should make account1 a Standard, and account2 an Administrator.

    And I should also have my Music, Movies, Photos in the Shared Folder rather than in the standard User folder in account2?

    And the download folder in account2?
     
  24. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #24
    account1 cannot be a standard account. it is your top level admin account. you will hopefully never log into this account again.

    account2 will be a standard account with admin privileges. this is what you will always log into (unless you have problems).

    subsequent accounts like guest, girlfriend will be standard accounts WITHOUT admin privileges.

    music, applications etc will be in your shared user account.

    YOUR downloads will be in downloads folder in account2.

    and yes, i advise (against all others opinions) of having the same password for account1 and account2 so you don't forget.

    guest account password should be "guest", and not have admin privliges. downloads should go to users/guest/dowloads OR users/shared/downloads

    set up girlfriend's account as her name, e.g. ALICE and set the password the same. she is ABSOLUTELY not to have admin rights! downloads should go to users/guest/downloads OR users/shared/downloads.

    if you want each user to have his own itunes library, it's ok to set it up that way too, but i recommend music to be in shared.

    anything you want to share, put in users/shared. everything personal should go in YOUR OWN ACCOUNT (account2)
     
  25. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh
    #25
    you can always personalize, customize and restrict any non-admin account. if you don't want them to be able to use "garage band" or "onyx" or "yahoo messenger" just uncheck that app and they can't open it.

    when each user opens "address book" or "firefox" he will have his own copy -- without your entries or bookmarks. it's like a whole separate computer for each user.
     

Share This Page