Reinstalling OS X... whats important to backup?

JeDiBoYTJ

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 22, 2004
859
0
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
im probably being a little too over cautious here, but ive had my computer for almost a year now and i think it needs a good cleaning. I have so many little files and such scattered all over my hard drive from old programs i've installed, that its really starting to take a toll on my hard drive space. many times have i seen it say "Zero KB Available"... which is definitly not good. now, I certainly dont feel like going through and deleting all those old preference files, so I want to try a clean reformat.

now to my questions: how do i properly backup important files like my keychain, or my bookmarks, or anything else that should be backed up (besides the basic stuff like my documents, my music, my pictures...etc, thats already good to go). basically, im ready to start new again, slowly install my programs again... and i guess just play it by ear from there.

so, if you have any tips or information to share, please feel free to post, even if its something simple like 'make sure to backup this file to make your life a little easier'.

thank you for dealing with my over-cautiousness. :p
 

Duff-Man

macrumors 68030
Dec 26, 2002
2,976
2
Albuquerque, NM
Duff-Man says...if you have all your install/restore disks and reinstalling all your software is not an issue, then just back up your whole "home" folder - that way you know you've got all your stuff and you can extract from that some of the pref files etc that you want to keep or reuse.....oh yeah!
 
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neildmitchell

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2005
564
0
I use Dantz Retrospect Express to backup my files.
You could try backing up files with the .MAC program called something along the lines of Backup, and I believe that Roxio Toast (Newer versions) has a file backup program .

I never backup my keychains (so i dont know about that)

Bookmarks... if using Safari, you can use .MAC to sync with the server,
or there might be a way to export all bookmarks to a file or a folder.
(You reminded me I have to backup my Firefox bookmarks too)

Im currently in the midst of a backup and I will be reinstalling the OS soon.

Good luck
 
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ham_man

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2005
2,265
0
Backup everything in your Users file for starters, and your apps folder if you would like. The keychain is located in Home Volume-->Library and User-->Library, and the bookmarks.plist is located in User-->Library-->Safari. Back up your mailboxes in User-->Library-->Mail. Good luck!!!
 
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ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,199
1,220
East Coast
In addition to the advice above, make sure you de-authorize your iTMS account. Otherwise, you'll lose one of your 5 authorizations.
 
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stevietheb

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2004
591
0
Houston
ftaok said:
In addition to the advice above, make sure you de-authorize your iTMS account. Otherwise, you'll lose one of your 5 authorizations.
If you screw this up, as I have done in the past-no biggie...here's how to handle it:


Mac OS X Hints
 
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ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,199
1,220
East Coast
stevietheb said:
If you screw this up, as I have done in the past-no biggie...here's how to handle it:


Mac OS X Hints
yeah, I know that, but I don't have 5 machines yet, so I'm stuck with a lost authorization. And it wasn't because I forgot to de-authorize. My wife's hard drive died and I had to re-install the OS.

Also, this is Apple's policy right now, but who knows if this feature will remain in the future. Why chance it when it's so simple to de-authorize?
 
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