Restoring only certain items after Mac OS X upgrade?
October 10, 2011 11:06 AM   Subscribe

What's the best strategy to do a clean install of Mac OS X and then restore ONLY iTunes/iPhoto libraries, and ensure iOS devices still sync properly?

Given a Mac currently running OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, I want to do a clean install of OS X 10.7 Lion, and the only items I want to keep from my current install are my iTunes Library, my iPhoto Library, and I want all my iOS devices to be synced with the new system (preferably without reformatting them).

I have access to external hard drives.

I don't want my user account, and I don't want any application preferences, keychains, password history, etc. This makes me think I can't use Migration Assistant; am I mistaken?

If I simply back up my iTunes/iPhoto libraries, and copy them to the newly formatted Mac, will the iOS devices sync properly with the Mac?

Any other steps necessary?

posted by kidbritish to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've done this before using the strategy you outlined -- simply copied data files to an external drive, then copied them back after a fresh OSX install.

You'll need to also grab your iPhone backups. They're stored in
~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

Make sure you also copy the XML files that keep track of your iTunes library. The iPhoto library is self-contained in one file so it should be fine.

Every time I do this I make a list of the folders I need to back up, but always forget something haha.
posted by yodangson at 12:37 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

You might be able to do this with migration assistant.
posted by alms at 12:40 PM on October 13, 2011

Response by poster: After a fresh install of OS X, I copied the iTunes Library and iPhone backups back onto the Mac, and everything worked great. My iPhone synced normally.

Thanks for your help!
posted by kidbritish at 10:53 AM on November 12, 2011

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