Clean up, Backup and Prepare your Computer

Clean up, Backup and Prepare your Computer

As you prepare to turn in your MacBook to be re-imaged or replaced, there are a few things you will need to do to save your bookmarks and digital files.  If your computer is running Leopard (OS 10.5) look for additional file conversion directions for movies and photos in the migrating your data instructions. Most AAPS teacher laptops are currently running Snow Leopard (OS 10.6) and migrating these files will not be an issue.

If you have questions after reading though this page please address them to:  laptop_refresh@aaps.k12.mi.us

What if I already have a time machine backup?
We do not recommend using a time machine back when migrating to a new operating system or device. We are moving forward three operating systems and recommend restoring individual files and folders rather than using a restore process. Time machine works well when returning data to the same device and operating system. Please read directions below for our recommended backup solution.

For step by step instructions, Click here for directions on backing up to an external drive. Or click on this video:

The checklist below offers a framework for backing up your information. Please remember it is the user’s responsibility to back up files before submitting their machine.  Having copies of important files in more than one location is best practice.


  • De-clutter! Space is limited. Organize your files into folders and make sure you know where everything is located within your folders.  Determine if there are files you can live without and move them to the Trash.  The Spotlight utility finds files by name or file type. To use Spotlight hold down the Command Key and tap the space bar to search for the name of the document or the extension, then open the file and export/Save As into the location you’ll remember.  This can be done offline without the internet.

  • Backup school files from your Desktop and Documents folders to the your server space, Google Drive, an external drive or a USB drive. For more details on these backup options see the Q&A below.

  • Backup your Bookmarks for your Browsers
    • To save Bookmarks in Firefox:
      • Select Show all Bookmarks from the Bookmarks menu
      • Click on the Star menu and select backup...
      • Save the exported file to Google Drive or your backup source
    • To save Bookmarks from Safari:
      • Select Export Bookmarks from the file menu
      • Save the exported bookmarks to Google Drive or your backup source
    • To Save Bookmarks from Chrome:
      • Select Bookmark Manager from the Bookmarks menu
      • Click on Organize and select Export html…Save the exported file to Google Drive or your backup source

  • De-authorize your iTunes Store account so that any music or other iTunes Store content can be re-installed on your new MacBook.  Instructions can be found at: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1420

  • Export iCal Calendars
Open iCal. Go to file, export, calendar archive,save to Google drive or your backup source

  • Backup Address Book
Open Address Book. Go to file, export, address book archive, save to Google drive or your backup source

  • iMovie Projects
Export any finished iMovie projects and copy any unfinished iMovie projects to an external storage device (flash drive, etc).  This can be done offline without the Internet.

  • ExamView
Backup the Test and Banks folder inside the ExamView folder located in the Macintosh HD or the Applications Folder.

Questions and Answers
What folders should I backup?
From the teacher home folder:
Desktop
Documents
Library
Movies
Music
Pictures
Public
Sites


What if I already have a time machine backup?
Time machine works well when returning data to the same device and operating system. We do not recommend using a time machine back when migrating to a new operating system or device. We are moving forward three operating systems and recommend restoring individual files and folders rather than using a restore process.
 
Do I need backup the software on my computer?
Your new computer will come preloaded with the standard district applications. Check your applications folder, if you have any question about a specific application please contact laptop_refresh@aaps.k12.mi.us. You are responsible for any applications that you have personally installed on your computer.

What kind of external drive should I buy?
The main things to look for are capacity and connection options. It is recommended to use a drive with at least twice the capacity of the volume that you’re backing up.
As for connections, Thunderbolt may be the fastest option, but the current teacher Macbook was built before that port debuted. Your current Macbook will support USB 2.0.
If you want to protect your data further, consider rotating a couple of backup drives, keeping one of them off-site. If you have only one drive, and it’s attached to your Mac during a fire or robbery, your would-be backup may be of no help in retrieving your lost data.

Do I need to backup my email?
No, your email and folders are still stored on the @a2schools.org domain. It is a good idea to backup important emails and attachments regularly.

What about Apple Mail?
Apple Mail is not officially supported by the district.  

What about my iPhoto or PhotoBooth library?
When you backup you Pictures file to your external drive, if you iPhoto library is contained in that folder the entire iPhoto library will be backed up. Individual photos from iPhoto or from PhotoBooth can be uploaded into Google Drive , just like the other files that you backup you are limited to 25GB of total storage space on Google Drive.  

What about my music?
If you backup your music folder containing your iTunes library it should contain all music that is on your computer both purchased music and music you imported from "original" media.
If you purchase your music through your iTunes account, you will need to “De-Authorize” your iTunes/Apple store account.  (See the checklist item above.) You will then need to "Re-Authorize" your new computer with your iTunes account.

How much storage do I have on Google Drive?
As of April, 2014, users in schools have 25GB of storage in Google Drive.

What is a USB (Jump) drive?
Most computers have at least one Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports. You can use these ports to connect many different kinds of peripheral devices directly to your computer, including printers, cameras, keyboards, or joysticks.

A USB port is a rectangular opening about 1/2" wide and 1/4" high. It should have a symbol that looks like this next to it. iMacs and other Mac desktops usually have USB ports on the back of the computer. Laptops have USB ports on the side.

Insert the jump drive to the the USB port. On a Mac, the jump drive will be listed as a "removable disk" on your Desktop and in the Finder's sidebar. This drive works like any other drive; you can drag-and-drop, copy, or save files just as you would with any other drive.

Before you remove a drive, be sure to close all the files stored on the drive and wait until the light on the drive is no longer blinking.  (A blinking light indicates that data is being written to the drive.) On a Mac, before you physically remove the drive, first eject the drive by dragging its Desktop icon to the Trash or by clicking on the Eject icon in the Finder sidebar.

Is there a Dropbox-like app that would allow me to just drag folders up to Google Drive?
There is an application that will sync your local files to Google Drive. Please follow this link for more information on Google Drive: https://support.google.com/drive/?hl=en#topic=14940

Other questions can be sent to:  laptop_refresh@aaps.k12.mi.us, if we feel your question will benefit everyone we will add it to the blog.

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