OS X clean install completed

I completed my first clean install of OS X Yosemite last Friday. I’ve previously restored Time Machine backups when migrating to a new laptop since OS X Mountain Lion, so this was daunting.

A large amount of my hand–written notes consisted of several lists:

  • My applications folder.
  • Timestamps along with the completed tasks. (Why? I wanted to see the duration for each task.)
  • Extensions for Google Chrome.

It appears that much of app–specific data — which 1) needed to be migrated and 2) didn’t have a sync or import/export feature — is stored in:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/
  • ~/Library/Preferences/

My shenanigans

Adobe Lightroom — I thought copying the Application Support folder for Adobe would suffice, but I got a “Missing Camera Profiles” error. Fortunately, reinstalling Lightroom on top of itself fixed the issue.

Mail.app — I have an IMAP account with my stagnant self–hosted site, yet I still copied the folder. I used TextWrangler to copy the portion of code that appeared to be relevant to my existing IMAP settings from ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Accounts.plist (on my SuperDuper backup). Cowboy coding? I don’t know! Next time, I’ll set it up from scratch and let it sync.🙂

Lessons and tips

Take more screenshots than you think is necessary. With Cloudup, you can upload a batch of related screenshots into the same stream. Don’t forget your Selective Sync folders for Dropbox.

Check app documentation for a built–in backup and restore feature. I didn’t realize The Clock had a backup and restore feature — despite the visible option in the app preferences. Others:

  • coconutBattery: See File → Import from archive and Export to archive.
  • Divvy
  • FileZilla
  • PopClip
  • Timing: Take a screenshot of your tracking results from the past year or so. Upon running the app, Timing recreated Activity categories I previously deleted.

Aside from my Alfred 2 usage stats were wiped, its sync feature works well. I saved a screenshot of my usage for posterity:

I love SuperDuper for backing up to an external hard drive. I used Time Machine backups first, and probably suggest using separate drives.

HP Printer Drivers v3.0 works with my HP LaserJet 1020 connected to an Apple AirPort Express. I chose the HP LaserJet 1022, 1.6.0 driver.

Erasing your hard drive before the install OS X Utilities: I thought it was processing, despite not showing a progress bar, but later found out that I had to click on one of the drives/partitions in the sidebar.

If you use a Trackpad, you may want to check “Enable dragging” by going to System Preferences → Accessibility → Mouse & Trackpad → Trackpad Options.

Alfred 2: If you prefer using ⌘–Spacebar, you’ll need to go to System Preferences → Spotlight → Search Results , and uncheck “Spotlight search keyboard shortcut”.

Audit your current applications and data regularly. A few reasons:

  • You no longer need some apps.
  • An app (or system tool which can be found in System Preferences, like Perian) were installed while using an older version of OS X, but haven’t been updated for the latest version.

Add any license or registration keys to your password manager, including the date when you received the email, and the email address where it was sent. This will save time from searching for the relevant emails.

Other thoughts/questions

  • How long I should wait before I run Smart Update (Erase then copy) to backup all files from my current setup? I’m thinking I should try and use as much of everything as I can for a week or two.
  • Can I manually delete extremely old Time Machine backups from Finder? For what it’s worth, I haven’t needed to use Time Machine to restore a file/folder.

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Community Guardian at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

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