Restore apps from Time Machine after upgrade to Mountain Lion?
July 26, 2012 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Can I restore applications from time machine AFTER an OS upgrade?

I tried googling this but it seems like it's a little TOO detailed to for google to find a response to.

I want to upgrade to Mountain Lion but since my computer is pretty screwed up right now I want to do a clean install after wiping out the drive. I have time machine backups of everything. If I upgrade from Lion to ML, can I then restore my applications from Time Machine without having to find the discs? I have an older version of Photoshop that I can't find the discs for (and ultimately the serials!) that is really the problem.

posted by Thrillhouse to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are folders full of adobe stuff in the /Library folder that you'd need to grab too, but it should work. If you want all your workspaces and such, they're in you user preferences folder, which is probably hidden by default, if you're on os 10.7 right now, but Tinker tool ( I think) can turn it visible.

I would do a search for Adobe & see what-all comes up, & familiarize yourself with that, though i'm also not sure if Spotlight indexes the /Library and the /System/Library folders,so you may have to just look in there & see what you need to copy back.

I presume you're on lion now, & that you've got an intel-native version of Photoshop, when I say that this should work. CS4 & later are all intel, I believe though you can check by getting info on the app itself.

There used to be a file in one of the /Library adobe sub folders that kept your serial number in plaintext - not sure if that's still the case, but I recall retrieving serials from there a few years back.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:54 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've done the clean install method for the last few versions of OSX, and every single time my Adobe permissions got messed up and had to be reinstalled.

But not this time -- they all worked immediately after the reinstall perfectly.

**not a guarantee
posted by gerryblog at 7:22 PM on July 26, 2012

Looking at my iMac with Lion and CS5 on it this am, it looks like you want /Library/Application Support/Adobe for sure, and probably also the preference files in /Library Preference.

There's one file in /Library Scripting Additions called Adobe Unit Types.osax, but I have no idea if it's critical or not.

Also, /Library/Frameworks/ Adobe AIR.framework/

There'a couple preference files in /Library/LaunchAgents and in /Library/LaunchDaemons

(this is all CS5)

I would hope that Time Machine would preserve permissions, but I would also make sure that you set up your new OS with the exact same account short name as the old one, just to eliminate that as a point of trouble. If Time MAchine doesn't work for that, then I'd use Carbon Copy Cloner to move them over from the backup, as it is pretty good at preserving users & permissions.

I can't find serial numbers in plain text any more -- that must have been an older thing, like CS2 or 3.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:51 AM on July 27, 2012

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