OS X clean install completed

I completed my first clean install of OS X Yosemite last Friday. I’ve previously restored Time Machine backups when migrating to a new laptop since OS X Mountain Lion, so this was daunting.

A large amount of my hand–written notes consisted of several lists:

  • My applications folder.
  • Timestamps along with the completed tasks. (Why? I wanted to see the duration for each task.)
  • Extensions for Google Chrome.

It appears that much of app–specific data — which 1) needed to be migrated and 2) didn’t have a sync or import/export feature — is stored in:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/
  • ~/Library/Preferences/

My shenanigans

Adobe Lightroom — I thought copying the Application Support folder for Adobe would suffice, but I got a “Missing Camera Profiles” error. Fortunately, reinstalling Lightroom on top of itself fixed the issue.

Mail.app — I have an IMAP account with my stagnant self–hosted site, yet I still copied the folder. I used TextWrangler to copy the portion of code that appeared to be relevant to my existing IMAP settings from ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Accounts.plist (on my SuperDuper backup). Cowboy coding? I don’t know! Next time, I’ll set it up from scratch and let it sync. :)

Lessons and tips

Take more screenshots than you think is necessary. With Cloudup, you can upload a batch of related screenshots into the same stream. Don’t forget your Selective Sync folders for Dropbox.

Check app documentation for a built–in backup and restore feature. I didn’t realize The Clock had a backup and restore feature — despite the visible option in the app preferences. Others:

  • coconutBattery: See File → Import from archive and Export to archive.
  • Divvy
  • FileZilla
  • PopClip
  • Timing: Take a screenshot of your tracking results from the past year or so. Upon running the app, Timing recreated Activity categories I previously deleted.

Aside from my Alfred 2 usage stats were wiped, its sync feature works well. I saved a screenshot of my usage for posterity:

I love SuperDuper for backing up to an external hard drive. I used Time Machine backups first, and probably suggest using separate drives.

HP Printer Drivers v3.0 works with my HP LaserJet 1020 connected to an Apple AirPort Express. I chose the HP LaserJet 1022, 1.6.0 driver.

Erasing your hard drive before the install OS X Utilities: I thought it was processing, despite not showing a progress bar, but later found out that I had to click on one of the drives/partitions in the sidebar.

If you use a Trackpad, you may want to check “Enable dragging” by going to System Preferences → Accessibility → Mouse & Trackpad → Trackpad Options.

Alfred 2: If you prefer using ⌘–Spacebar, you’ll need to go to System Preferences → Spotlight → Search Results , and uncheck “Spotlight search keyboard shortcut”.

Audit your current applications and data regularly. A few reasons:

  • You no longer need some apps.
  • An app (or system tool which can be found in System Preferences, like Perian) were installed while using an older version of OS X, but haven’t been updated for the latest version.

Add any license or registration keys to your password manager, including the date when you received the email, and the email address where it was sent. This will save time from searching for the relevant emails.

Other thoughts/questions

  • How long I should wait before I run Smart Update (Erase then copy) to backup all files from my current setup? I’m thinking I should try and use as much of everything as I can for a week or two.
  • Can I manually delete extremely old Time Machine backups from Finder? For what it’s worth, I haven’t needed to use Time Machine to restore a file/folder.

Time for a clean install

Since updating OS X from Mavericks to Yosemite, I’ve noticed that my laptop will randomly:

  • Not go to sleep when plugged into my Thunderbolt Display; the laptop display and Apple logo will remain illuminated.
  • Restart after a few minutes if a bunch of apps are open and my computer is locked.


I spent about two hours trying several of the suggestions in the support guide, “When your Mac doesn’t sleep or wake“. After the point of trying to reset the SMC and NVRAM, I feel I’ve put off a clean install long enough.

I’ve backed up my SSH keys for work, ran Time Machine and SuperDuper, and gathered the following articles for reference saved in Simplenote (from newest to oldest):

I promise to track my progress carefully, because I’d love to share it with you after I get to the other side.

If you have any relevant suggestions or links regarding this process, please leave a comment. I can use all the help I can get. :)

Birthday fun around Joshua Tree

My wife, Amy, planned some fun stuff in and around Joshua Tree. We arrived at Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Desert Art Museum in Joshua Tree after sunset to take some photos. After much shivering, we went to a cozy camper (found through Airbnb).

We returned to the Outdoor Desert Art Museum at sunrise, which was the first time I woke up before sunrise for the purpose of taking photos. Since it was below 40°F (4°C), my DSLR camera battery almost died, and we returned to the camper to recharge.

After grabbing a quick breakfast, the Integratron was next. We got the last tickets for the 11:30 time slot, and relaxed for an hour or so before “adult nap time”. The sound bath was fantastic! Highly recommended, and I’d love to revisit again.

Last, we saw Giant Rock in the middle of nowhere. It was an incredible trek. On the way out, we initially went in a circle. Amy drove us through what felt like an ATV course—and made it with my 2003 Corolla!

Navigating with GPS on a phone with a low cell signal caused the Waze connection to keep dropping, then recalibrate. I think a dedicated GPS device would be best.

Thank you so much, Amy. I had a blast, and look forward to another return really soon!