Guidance on how to save files during reformat

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vong, May 4, 2016.

  1. vong macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2010
    Hello guys!

    I am looking to reformat my 2010 MBP. My SSD has 140GB of 'other' and I want to reformat my computer to a clean OS without using a time machine back up. The main things I'm looking to keep are my iTunes library and photos. How exactly would I save my iTunes library (playlists & etc) as we as my photos from my iPhone. For both iTunes & photos, would I just drag and drop my MUSIC & PICTURES folder onto my external HDD and then just drag them back into the reformatted MBP?

  2. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    Yes, you can totally do that. When I reformat, I always load everything from scratch. But you can just copy your data files from your Mac to an external drive.

    There might be some preference files in ~/Library/ that you might want to copy if you want to keep the setting the same.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Your iTunes library is in ~/Music and the default location of your photo library is /Pictures.

    I'd recommend you still have a current Time Machine backup, because if you missed a folder or file, its on the TM drive to retrieve.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes, but rather than drag the folders themselves, you want to copy over the entire contents of each folder. That will put your Photos or iPhoto and iTunes library on the new machine.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    Here's your solution:

    1. Have an external drive ready
    2. Download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
    CCC is FREE to download, and it's FREE to use for 30 days.
    3. Use CCC to create a fully-bootable backup clone of your internal drive. CCC will even "clone over" the recovery partition for you.
    4. Boot from the external backup (restart, hold down option key until startup manager appears, select external drive and hit return)
    5. Now, launch Disk Utility and re-initialize the internal drive.

    - Download (or install if you already have the installer) a "fresh version" of the OS from Apple and let it install on the internal drive.
    - When done, create a "fresh-new" account and get it set up
    - Reinstall apps, update software
    - Carefully do a "manual migration" from the old drive, bringing over only what you wish. This can be involved and requires care and forethought.
    You CANNOT copy the immediate sub-folders from your old home folder into the new one. That is to say, you cannot copy the folders named "Mail", "Movies", "Music", "Pictures", etc.
    HOWEVER -- you CAN copy the -contents- of these folders. For example, you could copy the folder named "iTunes" into the NEW account, REPLACING the "iTunes" folder that is inside the "Music" folder. That should work.

    Be aware that some experimentation will be necessary and you should keep HANDWRITTEN NOTES to keep from going in circles.

    But this CAN be done, if it's really what you want to do.
  6. vong thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2010

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