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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - backup single user to restore to new install?

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Member Since: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 53
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i'm having to swap hard drives as the one in my macbook is so full. i've taken a look at disk imaging and restore, but i don't have everything necessary, like bootable firewire enclosures for example, so target disk mode isn't something i can do.

i don't NEED to have an exact duplicate of my install if i can just get my user acc back the way it is, or as near as possible. so i have a few questions before i decide what to do.. i have various ways of backing up most things, like firefox settings/bookmarks i can upload to an ftp server, for thunderbird i leave all emails on the server so i just download them all again, msn/skype etc i just login. addressbook and ical i just backup and restore.

but for things that i can't seem to find an obvious way can i just drop a backup of files, ~/library/application support, plists etc where they ought to be and expect them to *just work* or will i have problems? my iphoto collection with keywords and smart folders would be a real pain to have to reorganise

if i can do the above, can i just create a .dmg archive by dragging my /user folder to disk utility to save on a windows machine on my network? or will i have problems getting the files back from the archive after a new install?

is there any utility i can use that doesn't involve disk cloning to do what i want? if i'm not trying to create a fully bootable mac volume, can i get around not having any firewire drive to boot to?

thanks in advance

mac mini core 2 duo - 10.5.1 server
macbook core duo - 10.5.1 client
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There are a bunch of ways to do this, but without a second drive enclosure or Target FW mode, I don't know how. If you get an external case you can simply clone your current drive to the new one with something like Carbon Copy Cloner and then just swap the drives. I've done this sort of thing lots of times, but I've always had extra drives to use.

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