The process of having to restore your computer from scratch is a very time-consuming task, whether it be because of a hard drive failure or the need to just start fresh. Loading your operating system, downloading updates, and reinstalling all your applications can turn into a day-long or longer task. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can save yourself a lot of time.
In the following series, we’ll talk about ways to make your life a little easier when it comes to restoring your computer back to working condition.
Since the days of Mac OS Classic, Apple has made their Operating System quite easy to use. They have also made ways of accessing their OS just as easy. The Mac OS X operating system can be installed to just about any storage device, include internal hard drive, external USB and FireWire hard drives, and (in modern Macs with a built-in slot) SD Cards.
This ability to install to any storage device has helped me plenty of times in the past when it came time to troubleshoot, recover, or restore my Mac OS X Install.
This guide will be taking you from top to bottom with everything you need to know. This includes:
– Partitioning Your External Device
– Creating a Mac OS X Install Drive
– Creating a Mac OS X Recovery Install
– Backing Up and Restoring a Mac OS X Installation
– Backing Up and Restoring a Windows (Boot Camp) Installation
– a working install of Mac OS X
– one or more of the following External Storage Devices:
– an External Hard Drive (USB or FireWire)
– a USB Flash Drive, at least 8 GB in size
– a SD Card, at least 8 GB in size (for newer model Macs with an integrated SD Card Slot)
– Mac OS X Install DVD
The original installation DVD that came with your computer or a purchased retail copy
(for Windows users) Utility for creating images of your Windows installation on Apple Boot Camp partitions
Keep in mind that there are great pay applications available as well (such as Disk Warrior and iDefrag), but this guide will focus on software freely available to anyone. If you do use the freeware shown in this guide, please make a small donation to the people that make the software to show your appreciation.
The next part of this guide will begin by making sure the storage device you selected to use is ready for use for this project.