Best Backup Practices when Reformatting?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by rickface, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. rickface macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2008
    Hi all,

    I am finally gearing up to install Leopard on my G5 dual 2ghz. I have had the computer for maybe 5 years now and this time around I think I want to start fresh and completely reformat the drive before installing the new OS.

    As i've never done this before and there is the chance I will lose important information (ie emails), I am trying to find someone who has experience with this to see what steps they typically take prior to reformatting.

    Ideally, I would love to not have to reinstall all my applications and I would like them to all work the same way with the new system (i def don't want to lose all my emails and formatting in All the other important files I will back up myself (ie, anything in my Documents or Music folders, etc). Is there perhaps an application that does the reverse job of AppZapper (ie...gathers the application and all the files/prefs/etc that it uses)? Any other suggestions?

    Any insight would be amazing! TIA,

  2. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    Easy things to forget to backup are cookies and fonts (if you installed extra fonts), and some people forget bookmarks. If you have accounts at a lot of websites then exporting the cookies will save you a lot of signing in.

    you should just reinstall the apps if you want to start fresh, a lot of them are probably tiger versions andmight not work in leopard.
  3. rickface thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2008
    thanks for the suggestion! I would have completely forgot about my cookies....probably would have had to sign up for everything again as i dont really hang onto old password emails. That makes me think about my keychain as well....whew!

    Can anyone else think of anything im missing? So far I've got:

    1. Cookies
    2. Fonts
    3. Keychain prefs
    4. Flash Library
    5. Bookmarks (exported and'd)
  4. Saliwa macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I would advice you to backup your whole /Users as I stated it in another thread. I don't know is there are some software that store user specific data in /Library for instance, but that would be wrong as ~/Library would be the correct place.

    You should be fine with /Users.
  5. TH-Gunner macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2008
    Use Carbon Copy Cloner to create a sparse disk image of your HDD. Select either only what you want or the entire disk, your choice.

    If you back up the entire drive using CCC, you can simply drag the stuff to the newer location. So if you back up, for example, your /Users/<name> (home) directory, you can just drag you documents from the disk image to your new documents folder, videos from the disk image to the new videos folder, etc.

    This is what I always do. I just did a backup and reinstall on Friday. I backed up my home directory (/Users/<me>), my /Library/Application Support folder (so that I can keep all my settings for programs), and that kind of stuff.

    I'm not sure where mail is stored, though. I think it should be somewhere in the home directory anyway...

    Anyway, I find this to be the easiest process, as long as you know a little bit about where things are stored in OSX (like your applications' preferences are stored in ~/Library/Application Support)

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