Thread: System Restore
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If Disk Utility doesn't help and you're ready to erase and install...

Since this is for your personal files, I would simply manually drag and drop them on the external if you can catch them all in folders: they should essentially all be in your Home folder so it shouldn't be too hard to gather them up. It would be best if you verified the files are good before erasing your internal HD though.

If you have installed any special widgets, Contextual Menu Items or QuickTime plugins and the like, you might want to look in

Macintosh HD -> Library -> Widgets

Macintosh HD -> Library -> QuickTime

Macintosh HD -> Library -> Components

Macintosh HD -> Library -> Contextual Menu Items

just in case they're not all localized in your user account and you want to save them.

If you have a good look around and you're sure everything that you need to keep is safe and backed up, go for it.

Good luck and keep us up to date with how it goes.
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