I want to save all my files and reinstall OS X.


Hey all,

I'm running 10.3.9, and was wondering if anyone has a good source or guide to help me through all the necessary steps so I don't screw anything up.


Firstly didgan, can I ask why the need for a reinstallation? I ask because it might be relevant.

Secondly, backing up all your files is a really good strategy, but please consider it a regular measure and not just for when a System re-install seems the only way forward.

I speak for many, who like me, have been there and done that ... 'there', meaning the point when it finally sinks in that you have just lost your files/photos/music, everything that wass important and represented a lot of time spent in front of your Mac ... and 'that', being the time you started creating/using your backup strategy for the first time after things are up and running again.

I started with CDs, then moved onto DVDs then DL DVDs (Dual Layer). Finally I bought myself an Ext HD and download SuperDuper after repeatedly seeing its name pop up in threads such as this, and used the Trial Version before finally registering it and having access to its full features.

I've got to say that the SuperDuper/Ext HD method of backup is so fast and easy I wholeheartedly admit that it is well worth the investment and very user friendly. Since I registered (purchased) the full version, my backup takes 15 minutes to do as opposed to the 4 hrs it took using the Trial version and the several hours it took using the backup to CD/DVD method.

So, if you can afford it, buy yourself an ext HD (very cheap, these days), you can either buy the HD separately ( about AUS$140 for a 500GB IDE and pretty much the same for SATA. Your Mac may not support SATA, IDK ), and then buy the case from eBay, or buy the HD already cased up and ready to go.

You can even use the drag/drop method with an Ext HD to backup your files but I've got to mention that since I started using SuperDuper to manage my backups I would never bother with any other method unless I specifically wanted to back up a DVDs worth of files for Archiving as the method I use with SuperDuper is that only the newer files on my HD are added to the backup and anything that is on the backup that isn't mirrored on my HD is removed. So as you can gather this type of backup is not an archive but an incremental type.

Here are a few linkies on backing up strategies:

Mac OS X data backup FAQ


Hope this helps :)

BTW, I'm not affiliated with SuperDuper in any way, I just really like it for its affordability and ease of use ... ;)
If you plan to upgrade to 10.5 (Leopard) you may extend Virgiltracy advice and buy the Time Capsule. This way you can temporarily use it as a HD whilst doing the OS upgrade. Then use time capsule with time machine and get the backups done automatically.