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Move Applications after upgrade

Move Applications after upgrade

Move Applications after upgrade

I recently upgraded my mac mini by replacing the hard disk and increasing ram.  The old hard disk (10.4) is now in an external enclosure (usb) and the new hard disk has snow leopard. I have moved over data files.  Is it possible to move over some applications without having to reinstall? I have reinstalled some applications from the cd, but it is annoying to go through the steps and also not sure how to deal with the register the software sections as the software was already registered on the old hard disk.  Some of the software was also updated quite a bit since the original install and some of the software was partly on cd and partly downloaded. For that particular application, I tried reinstalling from cd, but when I opened it,it said I was missing the part that was downloaded and since it is older software, not sure I can get it again or if I would have to buy it again.

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

You can copy the 'Applications' and the Library (both 'system' and 'user') folders from the old to the new, but there is a very strong likelihood that the applications will have installed parts & pieces in places other than the Applications folder.

Here are a couple of links to help get some of the parts/pieces.

Apple also has a migration assistant, but i have never used it.   
After migration, some applications may still require updating:

If you use Time Machine, here is how to move the backups from and old to a new.  http://blog.fosketts.net/2008/07/26/move-os-x-time-machine-backups-new-disk/

Unfortunately, there will be some applications that will require reinstallation.


RE: Move Applications after upgrade

my better half,,bought a new mac, and we used the migration assistant. Both machines were running snow. It took a while,, but the new machine ended up with all the software of the old, including the MS Office.. very neat..  

RE: Move Applications after upgrade


Thanks, I'll look at the links.  I didn't use time machine as I didn't have external storage at that point.

Is it possible, with the old hd attached via usb, to go into it and run my old programs from there, or would they have to be installed on the new hd to work.  Alternatively, can I boot from the old hd and run them from the old hd as if it were still in my computer? If so, how would I do that?

At one point, I did look at the migration assistant, but perhaps I didn't look closely enough as it seemed there wasn't an option to select which programs (non apple) to move over as I don't want to move everything over.

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

You can boot from the external tiger kitty drive by selecting it as your startup disk in System Preferences.

You might get away with copying an app from the old system to the new if it is a basic program. More advanced programs like those from Adobe or Apple's pro apps should be deactivated from the old system and reinstalled on the new. Adobe apps have a specific installer/uninstaller utility that you need to run... Adobe apps are not suited for simple deletion or copying to a new location.

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

"Is it possible, with the old hd attached via usb, to go into it and run my old programs from there, or would they have to be installed on the new hd to work.  Alternatively, can I boot from the old hd and run them from the old hd as if it were still in my computer? If so, how would I do that?"

You would not want to run the programs from the drive attached as a USB device. The programs would look in the library of the fresh install, not of the install on the USB drive.

You would be able to go into the System Preferences and set the Start-Up disk to your external USB drive.  I have done this in the past and although slower than internal, does work well.


RE: Move Applications after upgrade

Since the computer is at home, I'll try the suggestions about the preferences and let you guys know in a day or so as I may not get to it tonight.  I appreciate your guidance, thank you.

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

Thanks for you assistance.  I was able to change the system preferences and boot from the external drive and run the program off it as if that was still my original computer.  Start up was slower, but seemed, at least once the desktop appeared, for what I needed to do that it was no slower than before the upgrade.  It was interesting that even though I booted from the external drive, I could still see the internal drive and open data files off it.

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

yep, when you boot to an external drive it does not disable any other attached drives

Glad you got what info you needed.

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

Macs with external drives have always functioned that way.

One word to the wise, when updating or upgrading software applications, you want to keep all the upgrades whether downloaded or otherwise for those instances where you may have to re install them. Build a separate library or put them on a flash or thumb drive or CD/DVD, that way you have them when you need them...


RE: Move Applications after upgrade

Syquest,  That is a good idea. To be sure I understand, when you say to build a library, you are suggesting that I save the files that are downloaded for update purposes and save them elsewhere? Or is library one of those functions/special folder types as I've heard the term library as a storage type?  Some of the programs seem to do direct updates, (it looks to me like the updates are done directly from the company rather than downloading first, I could be wrong on my perception) and then either the program restarts or the computer restarts when complete (such as an Apple update), where would I find these files.

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

Yes, that is what I meant. You can create a special folder or use the "PACKAGES" folder in the "Library" folder of the System. That is what I use. When you do software updates from Apple, it downloads those to the "PACKAGES" folder. So you should see updates in there, but I also put update packages in there too, for applications that I have installed, like Adobe Reader or FireFox. I also color code the stuff so I know which updates I have used. Then, I make a copy of the "PACKAGES" folder. Now in relation to Apple update, I always do a download myself, and install offline. I never do an online update, but I believe Apple update still downloads the files to the "PACKAGES" folder if you do an online update.

Hope this helps!


RE: Move Applications after upgrade

Thank you.  I'll take a look for the "PACKAGES" folder.

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

I've used the migration assistant and found it to be excellent BTW...


"The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea." Isak Dinesen

RE: Move Applications after upgrade

just saw this and you might like it:

interesting application of a tool for a purpose other than what it was created!

from the webpage:
While OS X comes with no built-in system for uninstalling applications, a lot of third-party developers have created programs that uninstall other Mac apps. My personal favorite is previously mentioned AppCleaner, but if you already have a favorite, that should work for this too. These apps are designed to search out an app's scattered preference files and trash them along with the original app. Since those are the same files we're looking to migrate, we can modify how we use the app to make it suit our needs.
The easiest way to gather up all an app's associated preference files is to just drag it right into AppCleaner. It will show grab the necessary preference files and folders and list them for you. You can probably uncheck any "cache" folders, since those won't hold any of your settings. Note the paths of the other files or folders, then hit Delete. Don't worry, they're just going to go into your Trash—we're going to snatch them right back out. Of course, if you're uncomfortable trashing them (or your Trash is just already cluttered), you can navigate to their specific folders and manually drag them out. I just find trashing them easier, since it puts them all in one place with the click of a button.

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