Clean install on Catalina

I’m about to migrate to a new Mac via a clean install. My current Mac is Mojave and the new Mac is Catalina.

I’ve searched the forum and all of what I find is 2016 and earlier. Would love some current advice on best way to handle this move.

Dropbox is not in the picture, but I suppose could be if necessary.

One simple question that I haven’t been able to pin down is how do I reveal (key sequence) my Stacks?

Thx for any wisdom you can share!

One of the best sites providing a deep insight into macOS-related issues (often from a developer’s standpoint) is the Eclectic Light Company. Here’s a link to just one of many articles regarding Catalina and the upgrade process. Search the site for more.

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Hi, I work with Macs everyday. What we recommend to customers is to always do a full backup first, before installing your new OS. You really should be backing up at least every week anyway. Backup hard drives are really cheap these days, starting at around 70 bucks for 1 TB. Get a PC hard drive and then just reformat it. Saves you money and takes just a minute to reformat. I would NOT recommend depending on Time Machine as your only back up. Other programs (I personally use a backup program called SuperDuper) are your safer bet and most will allow you to boot into them if your Mac ever has any issues. You can check out SuperDuper at the link below. It’s cheap, easy to use and VERY dependable. The developer gives world class tech support too, often within just a few minutes from when you send him your questions.

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Backup should be continuous if what’s on the drive is important.

Your data is only as good as the last backup.

I’ve been using TimeMachine only now since OS-X 10.8 Mountain Lion (2012) on multiple Macs and have done compete restores multiple times and never had an issue. I own and have used Carbon Copy Cloner, but found TM just Works well.

Since I think it was 2011 OS-X can start in recovery mode, and can even start from the internet (cmd+Opt+R). So to me, the need for CCC or its competitor SuperDuper isn’t needed. I know a lot of people use these, I just found when I had CCC running and TM, I always used the TM backups to do the restore.

I have two TimeMachines running as well as BackBlaze for offsite disaster recovery. It’s really up to the individual to set up a backup strategy that you’re comfortable with. But Backup no matter what you use.

You would think this would be obvious, but I can’t begin to tell you how many people have lost everything on their drive and then wonder with bewilderment why you can’t just snap your fingers to get it all back :slight_smile:

Had a customer going to medical school and they never made a backup, and they lost their entire school years worth of papers because of it. Backing up your hard drive is without a doubt the single most important thing to do when owning a computer!

It works well - when - it works…

Time Machine backups aren’t bootable, which is why most people have either two backups (TM + Bootable drive) or just use CCC or SuperDuper.

It always works!! I often hear people say things like “when it works” but cannot seem to get details of TM failures.

They don’t need to be unless you’re running a decade+ old Mac. Plain and simple modern Macs keep an up to date recovery partition on the bootable drive. If you had a total HD failure, then you can boot Into recovery mode right off the Internet.

I have done precisely that on multiple Macs. A total TimeMachine restore after an Internet recovery mode reboot.

Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with a backup strategy that uses Superduper or CCC. Backups are kinda what ever works for you and makes you comfortable.

That’s precisely why I think TimeMachine is the easiest least expensive backup option available. If you attach a correctly formatted drive, MacOS will ask the user if you want to use it as a TimeMachine backup drive. No brainer, no additional cost or setup. Just the price of a USB drive.

The other significant advantage is for non-technical types; you can get round the clock official Apple support. Phone, chat, Genius Bar appointment, or self-help. And at least here in the US Apple support for most OS related issues is free of charge. They can walk you right through a step by step recovery using TimeMachine and they may not do that using third party software.

But The important thing no matter what product you use is

Backup your data!


LOL. You can’t say that it " always works " because you can only speak for yourself. Time Machine is far from being bulletproof. We get several customers every week complaining about it. The Internet wouldn’t be littered with people having issues with it or posts about Time Machine work arounds if it “always works”.

I am glad that it is working for you, but I and many others have had no such luck and I will never recommend it to anyone again, at least not as their only form of back up. It is better to have no net below you and to know that you have no net below you, then to have a false sense of security. I recommend that whether someone is using TM or not, that they have a second form of backup from a second backup program produced. Backups are far too important to rely on just one, especially one like TM which has proven over time to be buggy. But again, glad it hasn’t failed yet for you :slight_smile:

Oh my, it’s on the Internet so it must be true. Show me a software product or for that matter any product that’s doesn’t have the Internet “littered” with issues. Including CCC or SuperDuper.

You always see general terms, like ”buggy” or ”failed”, but usually when and if you get details about the problem its a user error. Sometimes it’s hardware and even less often it’s a software problem. But getting the details of the failure is constantly a chore.

Is TimeMachine perfect? Haven’t seen any software yet that is. Have some folks had issues with it? Of course, folks have issues and problems with all software, that’s the reason for help centers snd forums like this one.

It doesn’t just work for me. I’ve been engaged with a couple call centers running iMacs, each with 60+ seats. Guess what software backs up each work station. We’ve put in test labs with multiple Macs as well and used TM as well. So when I said, I have done complete restores on ”multiple Macs” on not talking about personal machines alone.

Should you have multiple backups running? I do, I have two TimeMachine drives on my personal Macs and BackBlaze running as an offsite disaster(the office burns down and the local backups are gone) recovery backup.

Would I rather see someone using a single backup process than none at all? Absolutely! Ask anyone that’s done any tech support and they’d probably answer the question the same way. How many times have you asked that question, do you have a backup?

I’m delighted when helping someone and they have any backups at all.

Why do most people use Macs? It’s definitely not the price. They want it to be as simple as possible and ample support. Plugin a USB Drive and boom, the data is backed up. And if you have any questions or issues you can still get help from Apple.

If you are uncomfortable with TimeMachine and want to use something else, then good for you. As long as you back up at all your doing more than so many people. I’d be happy just to get folks to run any kind of backups.

The most important thing is to backup


Well I learned a long time ago that when someone is in denial that there is just no use in trying to convey information to them. We both agree on the importance of backing up, just not on which program to use to backup with. Good luck with your Time Machine :slight_smile:

NO DENIAL HERE. I’ve repeatedly tested my backup strategy.

No luck needed, and it’s not my TimeMachine, It’s Apple’s, built-in and supported.

You have had many responses regarding backing up your computer but when it comes to RW, what you should do is click on the Addons button at the top near the right and then Export Addons Directory. This will make a copy of all your addons which you can then bring in into a freshly installed copy of RW.
You will have to check if you need to re register any stacks etc so best to have those details at hand.

Thank you Frank! This is exactly what I discovered just a couple days ago. Worked like a charm! Appreciate your follow-up.



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