Mac Hard Drive file double check!
April 5, 2011 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Getting ready to replace a hard drive. Am I missing anything?

This was my last question about it.

So I bought a 320 G drive and as much RAM as I could (2 G) and it will be here in a day or so.

I used the Lacie backup yesterday, and am planning to start clean with OS X.4.Something. I am using OSX.3.9 right now on a PPC G4.

I am not particularly worried, but there are a few things I would like to double check.

There are a few things I DO NOT want to lose and thought I would check in here for file-paths before I did something I couldn't undo.

I have to save my iCal calendars - there is a lot of info in them and I want to import them once the new OS is installed. I want to preserve my email database (maybe 10,000 files) and of course pics and documents.

The biggest is the mail and the calendars. Can anyone tell me where they are so I can make sure I have them on the external before I start?

Is it just as easy as making sure the user>library>calendar>mycal.ics is saved, or is there something else?

Same with mail?

posted by Tchad to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Are you changing one internal drive for another? If so, you don't need to delete anything -- just unplug it, plug in the new one, and reinstall the OS. If there's anything you forgot to copy over you can just change the drives back and get it, or even buy (cheap) a SATA to USB adapter so that you can plug the drive straight into a USB port like a thumb drive.

Apologies if I have misread your question.
posted by katrielalex at 4:14 PM on April 5, 2011

Response by poster: Yes, but I really want to start from scratch with the new one - this one is 6+ years old.

I am just asking if I am saving the few files I need to the external hard drive properly.
There are only a few I need to bring over to the new drive - I don't want to bring everything over, just pics, mail, and calendars.

It is an ATA drive.
posted by Tchad at 7:04 PM on April 5, 2011

Response by poster: I suppose I am worried about things being damaged when I pull out the old one, even though I am putting it in a case to use externally when it comes out. I just need to make sure I have things saved correctly and SEE the files myself on the drive in finder before I commit to this.
posted by Tchad at 7:06 PM on April 5, 2011

Migration Assistant is a good way to go about doing this, if you can put the old drive in an external case or something. you ought to be able to choose what you want to bring over. (10.4 was a pretty decent time ago, though, so my memory might be faulty.) failing that, both Mail and iCal have specific import/export functions. (with Mail, you just point it at your old Library/Mail folder and it figures it out. iCal has a specific Export function.) note that for all these links you should ignore anything that says "boot your Mac in Target Disk Mode" - you're essentially doing that by having the old drive in an external enclosure and hooked into your machine.
posted by mrg at 7:10 PM on April 5, 2011

Any particular reason you're wanting to do a clean reinstall on the same machine? Software troubles somewhere?

If not, I'm a big fan of the clone/replace method. I.e., put your new drive in the external enclosure, run something like Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper to clone your existing boot drive to your new hard drive, swap the larger drive for the smaller drive after the clone, and tada - your computer will be exactly as it is now, save for much more room on the hard drive.

Bonus - the clone method allows you to keep your current disk in the state it's in now in case something goes wrong with the process - you shouldn't lose any important data.
posted by owls at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2011

Response by poster: OK, just installed more RAM for the first time since I bought it and that pepped it up a bit. I bought it in 2005 and have been coasting with 512 MB since then. So with 2 G now in we are good there.

I don't have a reason for the clean reinstall, really. It just seemed, well, cleaner. There have been a couple of software hiccups with old versions of CS2 and Photoshop that I would like to fix - the Adobe folks weren't much help. It seems to me that if I am starting from scratch it would be easier to organize things - there is a tone of flotsam and jetsam that has accumulated over the past 6 years and it just seems right to me to get a clean start instead of picking through multiple system, utility, and whatever else kind of folders to eliminate and restructure what I want.

I am assuming that after I install the new disk I can just insert the OSX.4 disk and go from there; dragging and dropping some of the old files through a firewire connection as I want to.

I only barely know what I am doing here, so thanks, guys. Between you and iFixit I am limping through the process.
posted by Tchad at 10:55 AM on April 6, 2011

Response by poster: ton of flotsam & jetsam. There is a ton of it. It makes no sound.
posted by Tchad at 10:56 AM on April 6, 2011

You can drag and drop as needed if you want. For mail and calendar stuff though, I would urge at least an import/export cycle for each, if not Migration Assistant.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:37 PM on April 6, 2011

Response by poster: WOW! I did it! Now I have joined the year 2006!!!
posted by Tchad at 8:22 AM on April 10, 2011

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