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Originally Posted by alucard
I am about ready to install a brand new hard drive into my macbook. Would i be able to just move the programs i need to my external drive, re install OS X and then copy them back? Should the above method work?

I've been doing some research on this site and with so many different backup programs and ways of doing it i think the above is alot easier.
The easiest way to do this is to use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) or SuperDuper. The procedure would go something like this:

1. Clone your MacBook's hard drive to an image file on your backup drive
2. Install the new hard drive in your MacBook
3. Boot up using your MacBook's OS X install disc and use Disk Utility to format the new drive
4. Restore the image file from your backup hard drive according to the instructions in either CCC or SuperDuper

That's pretty much it. I just installed my new hard drive yesterday and it was a piece of cake (I did a fresh format though). If you're serious about backing up your MacBook's hard drive using images/cloning, I'd highly recommend purchasing SuperDuper. Carbon Copy Cloner is good if you're just going to use it once, but SuperDuper is easier and has more features like scheduling. If you only plan on backing up individual folders/files, then CCC should be great for one-time use. Also, you can toss your old MacBook hard drive into an enclosure for use as portable backup. See my hard drive section here for more info:

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