Options for Restoring after Erase & Install

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by drarrex7, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. drarrex7 macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2008
    I have an iMac that is about 2 and 1/2 years old. It's been acting sorta weird for a while now. Nothing major, just some strange little quirky problems that didn't used to be there. Because of that, and because I would just like to start fresh, I've been considering doing an erase and install when I install Snow Leopard.

    The thing is, I've never done that on a Mac before, and I want to make sure I don't screw it up, for obvious reasons. I feel pretty confident I can get my music, photos, and other files back without a problem, but I am really concerned about getting all my applications back. Is it as simple as copying the contents of the application folder over to the clean drive? Or do I have to track down registration information for all the programs I've purchased? And will programs I've purchased allow me to reinstall them, even if I have the registration information?

    Also, what's the best way to pull back the information. I have 1 external hard-drive and a stack of blank DVDs that I would like to employ, I'm just not sure the best way to do it. Should I just use my Time Machine backup to restore music, photos, etc.? Or should I use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my drive and pull things back manually from the copy?

    I would really appreciate any guidance you guys can provide. I've googled and googled but most things I find simply tell you how to erase and install. I'm not worried about that part; I'm worried about recovering everything afterward!
  2. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
  3. DdMac679 macrumors member


    Jul 25, 2009
    United States
    I used Time Machine the other day when I upgraded my HDD and others prefer different solutions like CarbonCopy. I had Time Machine perform a backup, did the deed, and once the operating system was installed I had TM restore my info. The only thing I needed to do was perform a software update and I was good to go. All my programs I had installed were fully restored.
  4. uaecasher macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2009
    Stillwater, OK
    just choose the update option
  5. drarrex7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2008
    If you restore from Time Machine, can you pick and choose what you want brought over, or is it an all-or-nothing thing?
  6. dandaman2 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2008
    Yeah, that can be done with time machine.

    What I usually do (and it's not usually the recommended option, someone mind explaining why?) is an archive and install. That way everything is on the HD and I manually drag preferences files and apps, as well as personal data, from the .sparseimage the archive and install creates.

    Although, I have to mention, the $30 update is only available as an update -- there is no erase+install or archive+install option, so I'm manually going through my stuff this week and I'm just doing a standard install. I'm more likely to miss stuff, but it's the best I've got. Lifehacker posted a great piece on preparing the mac for a Snow Leopard install:

  7. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020


    Aug 16, 2007
    This is false. Just like any other copy of OS X, it will have all the options when installing the OS for the first time.

    The "Leopard" up-to-date had all of them....

Share This Page