New Mac user - partitions, user data locations, Mail vs Entourage

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by maglite, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. maglite macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2008
    Just moved to a Mac from a PC and have a few Qs. Grateful for any assistance on the following:

    With my Windows laptop I used to partition my laptop hard drive into two partitions and install the OS on one partition and the other partition for data. Next I would change the pointer of my user data (MyDocuments) to the other partition. That way I could reinstall/restore ghost backups of the OS without affecting my data stores.

    What is the best way to do this on the Mac (running OS X Leopard)? Is there an equivalent of the registry on the Mac and if so, do you use this to change default locations for user documents data etc.? If not, are there tools to do so?

    I have purchased a copy of MS Office 2008 and wonder which is perceived to be the better email/calendar app combination mail/ical or entourage? What is the best piece of software to use to sync windows mobile devices via USB with either software selection?

    Finally, under Windows I used to use to a registry cleaner and a defrag tool to try and maintain the health of my environment. Are there any similar tools/needs on a Mac? If so, can anyone recommend any pls?

  2. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    You can always store your data on another partition (create partitions with Disk Utility). I don't recommend however, to move your home folder away from the boot disk. Mac OS X can be picky about where it wants things.

    I did the same thing as you (data partition and reinstalling windows every 6 months or so) but since I'm using Macs only, I had no need for such a procedure. Mac OS X does a better job of keeping itself healthy.

    No, no registry hell on a Mac :)

    I really like the combination of Mail/iCal. It's fast and it covers all my needs. I remember that it took some time for me to get used to using two programs (where I had one before). But they work really nice together so there is no need (for me) for one application covering both, email and calendar.

    Can't help you on the windows mobile device. You will probably need Missing Sync. Check Apples iSync's web page

    As said, Macs do a much better job of keeping themselves healthy. No registry, no need for defraging.
    However, you should use system maintenance tools, such as OnyX and run the cleaning scripts once in a while

    Hope this was helpful.

  3. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    From the install disk, you can always do an Archive & Install which preserves your User folder and just updates the system files taking it back to whatever came on your start up disk (probably 10.5.1 currently).

    Alternatively, you could buy a copy of Superduper which will let you Sandbox your system to an external drive so that you can tweak and play to your heart's content and then restore it back to an earlier version. Alternatively, you can use Superduper to create a bootable backup which you can restore to if necessary.

    I do recall reading an article online once about someone who ran OS X with his Documents folder etc in a different partition but it was some time ago. I don't think it's particularly common in the Mac world.
  4. maglite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2008
    Thanks for that comprehensive reply, will have look at Onyx. Do you recommend any good books on Leopard and the Mac system in general?

    I will have a look at SuperDuper, have read much and seen it recommended by quite a few people.
  5. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Just to tidy things up and add a little info, I've attached a images of all the user's system files, when ever I backup things or i need to erase the entire drive for an upgrade...

    Everything is highlighted in Yellow.
    please ignore the red highlights, those are just my archives, non active mailboxes.... this mail folder is from OSX 10.0 - not lost anything yet!! :)

    Please note:
    this doesn't include user Documents, Photos or Media files.
    It's just application data, settings, passwords and mail boxes.

    Attached Files:

    • mail.jpg
      File size:
      62.9 KB
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662

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