Hard Drive And Program Questions


I've been given an iMac G5 which I plan to use with a DAW and plan to upgrade the std 80gb hard drive to at least 1tb and then hook up to a NAS for future storage needs and to allow me to copy stuff across from the original hard drive.

My question relates to some of the programs which were/are already installed which I don't have the install discs for ..

If I remove the original drive, install a new WD black drive with a fresh leopard install how can I copy across the programs I need from the original hard drive ?

Or should I do a time machine back up first and restore from that ( can you restore selected programs ?)

Garage band is one of the programs I want to keep and it didn't come with leopard apparently - only iLife, which I don't have a disk for.

Is it as simple as dragging the application folder across between drives ?

Sorry if these are dumb questions but I'm returning to Mac after pc and I seem to have forgotten everything !


Steve [emoji106]

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First - iLife is a suite of programs, including iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, and Garageband
You might be able to locate an older iLife installer DVD, maybe on eBay. You would be best with iLife '09.

Here's how I would proceed. Replace the internal hard drive. Put the old hard drive in an external USB case.
Install Leopard on the new hard drive. When it restarts, it will open the new user setup.
One of the first screens will ask you if you want to migrate files from another drive (among other choices).
Choose that, then, with the external drive connected, it will provide you with the means to migrate everything.
It will take some time to complete. When complete, it will finish booting up to the same desktop that you have been using on your iMac.
From the Apple Menu, choose Software Update. Let the system install updates to the system when they appear.
Run Software Update, until no further updates show up. You will probably restart 3 or 4 times before all updates are complete.

That migration process will move all support files that some of those iLife apps need to run properly.
You would still have some apps that you might not want to keep. Most can just be dropped in the trash. This is NOT Windows where you may be concerned about leftovers in the registry. OS X doesn't use a registry.
And, you will end up with a much larger hard drive, and lots of free space now.

When you replace the hard drive, make sure that you take some time to clean fans and cooling vents, etc. - particularly the top & bottom of the cooling pipe that leads across the processors. That's the panel with the big G5 embossed on the cover.


Great thanks that's really helpful - it seems then that iLife is already installed as I have all of those programs.

I've got a 4 bay synology nas on the way so I could install the original drive in that to do as you suggest.
And thanks for the advice on the cleaning just found a can of air cleaner that should do the job [emoji106]

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A Revisit on this.
As I haven't got a new hard drive for the iMac itself yet, & I want to run initially with the original 80gb drive that's already installed for now, rather than using migration assistant can I achieve the same from doing a time machine backup to the nas, re installing leopard, and then restoring just the specific programs I need from the time machine backup or would I have to restore the entire thing and then delete apps manually as you suggested ? I'm trying to keep the iMac drive as clean and sparse as possible with only the essential programs thereby leaving as much disk space free as I can, new files created being stored on the nas drives thereafter.

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