Things to consider before formatting.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by i.shaun, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    This guide will be posted in my Problem Solving thread


    Going to format your Mac?
    I will make a list of things that you should backup. I hope this will become useful to anyone who may want to format immediately, and may miss things in their backup process. Missing items can cause problems because once you format -- It's gone.

    ----------------------------------------------
    iTunes
    Back up all your music. For information on how to do it, see Here

    Photos
    Do not forget your pictures. Use CDs/DVDs or External HDDs. iPhoto: Copy the "iPhoto Library" file (which should contain all pictures). To restore -- copy the file back, and point iPhoto to the file.

    Hold "Option" when starting iPhoto and tell it to "use existing library". Point it to the file, and you're done. The same can be done with iTunes.

    Documents
    All of your word, textedit, or other documents. Don't forget those.

    Programs
    Personally, I keep a copy of all install files (.dmg) for my programs. You may not want to waste the space, however I suggest keeping at least the install files for purchased programs such as "Snapz Pro X" or "Keyboard Maestro". (whatever you purchased).

    for those with VisualHub, it has been discontinued. To back up VisualHub:
    Copy the Application in the "Applications" Folder, and:
    -The Techspansion folder located in:
    HDD/Library/Application Support/

    -the Preference File "com.techspansion.visualhub.plist" in:
    /Users/yourname/Library/Preferences/

    Saved Items:
    Bookmarks. These can be exported from Safari or firefox.

    Mail Back up on the mobileme server, or find a way to save the e-mail.

    Chat Logs If you care about the logs in your IM Client, find them and save them.

    Torrents Save the torrent files even if they're not done. That way they won't have to start from the beginning again.

    Misc Items RSS Feeds, Macros, iCal Events, Contacts, etc. Don't forget those back those up.



    I think this covers most things. you may have additional items you may wish to backup, but those are the main things that some people may forget to think about when formatting.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    I'd just say save your entire home folder, then pull out whatever you need after the fact until you're sure you've got everything back to normal.
     
  3. maclover001 macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #3
    To add some more:

    iWeb - If you use iWeb, your entire site is stored in a file called "Domain", saved in "~/Library/Application Support/iWeb". Be sure to back this up if you want to keep your iWeb source file.

    Address Book - Hit "File" > "Export" > "Address Book Archive", and reimport the file into your new installation.

    iCal - "File" > "Back Up iCal". "Restore" to restore.
     
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    Most of these applications can be more easily restored by copying directories from ~/Library/Application Support...
     
  5. maclover001 macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #5
    Just screw the entire thing and use Time Machine ;)
     
  6. i.shaun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Now now, not everyone has a Time Machine. I'm still running Tiger here, I don't think I can even support Time Machine.
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #7
    Time Capsule is the physical device of which you are thinking. Time Machine is the Leopard-only software.
     
  8. Horst Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #8
    What happened to simple system backups ? ;)
    Clone it , baby !
     
  9. maclover001 macrumors 6502a

    maclover001

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #9
    If you use the iTunes Store, be sure to deauthorize your computer before reformatting.
     
  10. i.shaun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    that's a good one, can't forget that!
     
  11. sal macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #11
    i like this thread. Very helpful since I am getting ready to reformat my MBP.

    If you are a final cut pro user, remember to back up your custom preferences(keyboard layout, window organization, etc) same thing goes for other professional applications(cs4) where you made custom changes or created templates.
     

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