Backing up Mac Settings and Applications

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by McBanjo, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. McBanjo macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2007
    You can ignore all this and read the last sentence for a quick summary.

    I've sold my old Macbook Pro and my new one's coming later in the week. This is the first time I have done a Mac backup/transfer, so I wanted to see if anyone with prior experience had any backup hints before I posted this notebook to the buyer. I have a separate external hard drive, and at the moment I have just used 'Disk Utility' to restore my Leopard partition to it, making a 1:1 copy.

    However, I just realised that it may not be properly compatible with my new MBP version with a different HD size and different internal components. So I want to start from scratch with the OS on the new MBP. It might also be a bit unclean and dodgy otherwise.

    I might be way off here, but I am a converted Windows user, so I am attached to old habits of re-formatting my computer every 6 months or so for a refreshed start.

    All I want to do is backup my files, settings and applications to my disk. I would use the migration wizard included with Leopard, except you can't transfer the data to a hard drive.

    Anyone have any hints on the best way to get my MBP backed up?
  2. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008

    I suggest you use SuperDuper! to make a full, bootable clone of you current internal disk.

    You could try to boot from it, once you have your new MBP. If it doesn't work nicely you can always do a clean install and then migrate your data over from the clone.

    Hope this is helpful.
  3. McBanjo thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Thanks for your reply. I see that there is a dumbed down solution for every Mac problem, I'll probably use SuperDuper!.

    I am somewhat confused and actually have no idea how OS X applications are installed and work. If I just copy my and icons across, will they work with all of my settings and data on the new Macbook Pro? I know in Windows there is a registry, and Common Files folder etc. so I would have to export or use the backup features in my programs and then import it into the new program, but there doesn't seem to be anything for Mail or Safari.

    Agh, the Win-blows man inside me just wants to rip everything apart and see how it works. But the Mac man is telling me that I shouldn't fix it when everything works perfectly and consistently.
  4. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    Basically you need 2 things.

    First is the application package (that's or Unlike in Windows these are application packages containing everything for the application to work properly.

    However, there is more to it: The folders: Library and in there Application support (both, home and system wide).
    These are the places, where the applications store their data (e.g. bookmarks, mail accounts, etc.)

    Unlike in Windows, these are simply files not packed in a registry. So you can always retrieve them later. Say, from a clone.

    And this is exactly what I suggest, to be absolutely waterproof: Clone your internal drive to the external, setup your new MBP - I'm very jealous, btw ;) - so you can always be sure, you can go back to your current installation and get files from there.

    I hope, this makes sense.


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