Mac 911: Good backup habits making migrating to a new Mac easier

To go forward, you must back up. This is an old rubric and bad joke about the importance of keeping regularly updated copies on hand of your personal and work documents and, ideally, your entire drive. Backing up is often an important stage in migrating to a new machine as well. This week, I cover my recommended methods.

Jim Kay writes:

I’m planing on purchasing the new MacBook in April, but I am wondering what the best way is to move all my files, settings, pictures, and music over to the new Mac from my current Mac?

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Spring cleaning for your Mac: How to consolidate files and remove duplicates

This week we tackle some of your storage questions, including consolidating, de-duplication, and management.

Too many drives

Reader Jon writes that he has a pile of partly full external USB drives formatted for use with Windows that he almost always mounts on a Mac, and expects there is a lot of duplication among the different drives he’s using.

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Mac 911: Making DVDs from old iMovie projects and slideshows

I still remember the glorious day when I first encountered writable CDs. It was in the early 1990s in a $100,000 system designed by Kodak to produce its Photo CDs, discs that worked with its CD/DVD player and with computer software to provide galleries to few and high-resolution scans. It took years before CD burners were cheap and then included in inexpensive PCs (and, late to the party, Macs), and the CD media dropped in price.

Then the DVD format went through a similar, but much more rapid cycle, and then on to Blu-Ray, the winner in the high-definition home video format years ago. But I haven’t owned a computer that can burn DVDs for years and I’ve never even considered writing to Blu-ray. Once hard drives outstripped the capacity to back up to more than a handful of discs and drives also became cheap to use for backup, coupled with cloud storage and online sharing, it all seemed pointless.

I’m not alone in feeling this way, but two questions from readers sparked this walk down writable memory lane.

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Mac 911: Why is my Mac full of a million tiny files?

Last time, I talked about the “dark matter” of your iOS devices and OS X systems: stuff that seems to occupy space without offering up information about why. In this Mac 911, I’ll answer more questions about storage and backup.

As many as grains of sand on the beach

Doug Eldred writes in with a concern about a form of file bloat—but not about bloated sizes. Rather, the sheer number of items that seem to appear on his drive.

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Find your missing Wi-Fi adapter and free up that 'Other' storage space

Greetings! You may be used to a much thicker mane of hair occupying the Mac 911 seat, but as you may have heard, one Mr. Chris Breen has gone on to greener pastures as an orchardman, and I’ve been tapped to take your questions.

I started using a Mac in 1985 and never stopped. I even owned a G4 Cube. My first smartphone was the original iPhone; my current, an iPhone 6. (Is it my last? As they say in Maine: Not yet.) Your problems are mine, and I feel your pain, and want your questions.

You can email things that perplex you or need solving to, tweet them at me (if brief) @glennf, or call 206–337–5833 and leave a voicemail message. (We’ll be experimenting with some audio in the future, and may put your question “on the air.”)

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Troubleshooting your Apple products: The last word

Writer Chris Breen is looking at a big change and has something to say. He writes:

After decades of offering advice to Apple users in the pages of MacUser and then Macworld, I‘m making a career change and heading off to a fruit-flavored tech company sandwiched between Santa Clara and Sunnyvale. As this will be my last word from Mac 911, is there anything I can say to put this whole “Ack, my tech isn‘t working!” thing into perspective?

I’ve found these three broad principles to be the most helpful.

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