Need Help With Backup and Re-Install Mac OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jimleszczynski, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. jimleszczynski macrumors regular

    jimleszczynski

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    #1
    Hello,

    Looking to re-install the operating system due to sluggish behavior. My only question is what is the best way to go about doing it.

    The fear lies in my applications. I need to know the best way to restore without losing preferences, settings, layouts, etc. For instance, in iPhoto, I don't want to redo all my photo organization and events. Or in iTunes I don't want to check/uncheck songs. Mail, I don't want to lose server backups and mail settings. Docks, etc.

    Some of these things I can re-manipulate. That is not a problem. But to sort thorough 1500 photos and 4000 songs and all my e-mail would be a nightmare...

    Any suggestions?
    Or anyone who has done this recently and knows the best routine? Backup applications?

    Is there a clean way to do this, but still getting rid of all the garbage that has been accumulated over the past 2 1/2 years?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Poncho macrumors 6502

    Poncho

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Holland
    #2
    Your iTunes music and preferences (eg smart lists) are kept in your library under Music
    Your iPhoto photos and preferences (eg smart lists) are kept in your library under Pictures.
    Your e-mail is all in Mail in the Library of your home folder.
    Your Safari bookmarks and all settings are all in Mail in the Library of your home folder.

    Etc etc etc.

    Just copy all these individual folders to an external hard disc, wipe your computer, install the new operating system, then, before you launch each application (eg Mail, or iTunes), copy the folders back from the hard drive to your computer, overwriting the new ones (which will be empty) which were created when you did the clean install.

    Then launch the applications and you'll see everything just as it was before the install.

    This goes for most applications, the preference file being the one you want to back-up.

    Try it out first, say with Safari, before wiping your HD. Copy Safari folder from Library to external hard-drive, delete Safari folder, open Safari and all bookmarks etc will be gone. Quit safari, overwrite the folder in Library with the one you saved to your external hard drive, launch Safari again and all will be back to how it was.

    Same for Firefox.


    Then, when you have installed your new OS and got everything back how you want it, CLONE A COPY TO your HD with SuperDuper or Carbon Cloner so you next time you want to do this you can save a ton of time.
     
  3. jimleszczynski thread starter macrumors regular

    jimleszczynski

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    #3
    Ok. Sounds good. However, does this mean I should make frequents backups as new content is added? Clones I mean. Also what about TM. Won't it think it's a differn t computer
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #4
    What have you tried to cure your "sluggish behavior" short of reinstalling OSX? This should be the absolutely last measure, not the first.
     
  5. Poncho macrumors 6502

    Poncho

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Holland
    #5
    Yes, you can do incremental back-ups with Carbon Cloner, but to keep things nice and simple, if tunes and photos are clogging your HD up then say, every four months just repaet the steps of dragging everything off to an External HD, wiping your Mac's HD then carbon copy back the nice crisp clean clone you made. Then put the iTunes, iPhoto, bookmark photos back again.

    This is what I do as then I know I always have a clean copy of Mac OS X on an external HD I can re-boot from if I encounter probs.

    yes, you can use Timemachine. Yes, Time machine will think you have a difeent computer. But Time machine will also let you read Time Machine back-ups created on another computer.

    IU'm trying to keep things simple for you.

    Your system could be running sluggish because your HD is nearly full, you have loads of apps in your 'Start-Up items' that you don't realise are there and which are running in the background, you have installed an old version of Pic Lens, you are running WindowShade X or MenuStrip, both of which appear to use a Tiger version of scripting that can slow Leopard down etc etc etc etc...Who knows?

    Good luck.
     
  6. jimleszczynski thread starter macrumors regular

    jimleszczynski

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    #6
    Ya. No. I know how to check for all these things. I'm pretty familiar with the OS. I just wasn't sure how to back everything up when it comes to iTunes and iPhoto. and of course the problem with losing programs I have registered for that are strictly a DL from the internet. I appreciate all the help.

    However, I'm not familiar with Carbon Cloner. What's the best way to create an image and re-use this image? should you make frequent images further down the road, or just keep a plain-jane basic OS copy?
     

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