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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.5 - Time Machine and System Files


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mikegs

 
Member Since: Sep 18, 2007
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For some time I have been looking for a way to format my hard drive, install Leopard, and bring back user files. The premise is that for whatever reason (playing wihth system files one should no play with) you want to start all over but not manually reinstall your user files such as mail, bookmarks, Photoshop data, system preferences, ect. Several posts have asked this question and some state that Time Machine does not bring back system files. I believe we can say Time Machine absolutely does bring back all files including any you may have mucked up.

I booted from the Leopard CD and restored he latest Time Machine backup. When I got back into Leopard the version was 10.5.2. If Time Machine did not bring back the system files I would have restored to 10.5.1 (or whatever is on the CD...certainly not 10.5.2). I tried a second time looking for some sort of option to only restore user files and use the system files on the CD...nothing found.

So; has anybody found a utility that will backup only our user preferences and any directories we specify and import them back into Leopard after formatting the disk and installing Leopard? I found several utilities that do this for Windows, nothing for Leopard. I have to think there are I/T shops with large user bases that need this functionality when rebuilding a users computer and not wanting to go through the entire machine and trying to find all of the users file and settings.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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I do believe it would be quite simple to merely write an Automator script that would accomplish what you want. Once you've decided what folders you want to keep, just write a script that will copy them to a destination of your choice. When you want to recover them, have a second script copy them back over.

Now whether or not this is a GOOD idea to do is another thing. For some directories, you'd really need to be sure they match up with the version of OS X that they came from. But if you know what yer doing, it's doable. Speaking for myself, there's been a couple times where I had to back up my Library folder and then delete the original to eliminate some problem. Then I just carefully restored select items from my backup copy of the Library to get certain data or functionality back.
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mikegs

 
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After calling Apple support to find my mail messages after the Time Machine restore (you have to restore the mail boxes individually) I asked about my need. The tech said to format the disk, install Leopard, then restore from Time Machine. It worked. When the Time Machine restore was completed the OS was 10.5. Time Machine then restored all user settings, applications, preferences, ect. Pulling all of the updated including 10.5.2 now.
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