Backing Up and Reinstall

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by caseyw, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. caseyw macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2008

    I've been wanting to completely wipe my internal hard drive on my iMac and reinstall Windows XP and Mac OS X. As things have become pretty cluttered and I'd like to start over completely and install only the things I want.

    A couple questions I have are:

    1. Can I use disk utility to create a complete backup of my hard drive, both the Windows and Mac partition, and in case things go wrong use that to simply restore my iMac?

    2. Is their a good way to keep all the registration information and serial codes from my old installation's users? I really don't want to go look up 50+ serial numbers for different applications. But I do remember having success copying the user information and simply copying them to my recently installed information, would that still work?

    3. Can I install Ubuntu 9.10 onto an external hard drive and boot from that if I would like to? I'd like to have Ubuntu there for fun and debugging purposes.

    Thanks to anyone that puts up with these questions and helps me out.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper for cloning your Mac OS X (or any other HFS+ formatted) drive, WinClone for your Windows drive.

    But the problems will not go away that way.

    You can also make a Time Machine backup of your Mac OS X system and use Migration Assistant to migrate applications, user folders and more during the installation process or after.

    MRoogle is quite a good tool to search this forums, as these questions come every once in a while.
  3. oposky2006 macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2009
    1. You can use disk utility to create a mountable disk image of the OSX side of your drive. Then when you go to restore it, you reformat/load a clean system, create a dummy user, run updates, and then go to applications/utilities/migration assistant. Mount the disk image you created then point migration assistant as the volume to transfer from. Everything should come back exactly as it was before. Another method is to use the restore feature of disk utility to restore an image of your current volume to another drive, then you can restore to the original drive. The difference between the two is using the first option you will have a clean OS installed to where if you use the restore option you are essentially cloning to another drive and cloning back. As far as bootcamp is concerned disk utility won't touch that, but a very good third party app is

    2. If you use either of the above two methods your applications will come across and you won't need to reload anything except software updates if you load a clean system and migrate your data back. For bootcamp, Winclone functions the same way to where you won't need to reload anything.

    3. You can do something like that although I've heard/seen issues that it is kinda difficult getting the Ubunto system recognized as a startup disk. Someone else will need to elaborate on this question.

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