Reloading OS X Using AppFresh


Last week I went to the Apple store and looked at the new Macbook Pro (MBP). I liked the keyboard and think the one-piece construction makes the overall design really slick. I especially like the fact that you can change out the hard drive without unbolting the case. I'm always changing out hard drives on my MBPs and after a while the cases don't quite fit together like they should.

But what I really noticed was that it was fast. But my MBP should be almost as fast. I determined that I was suffering from OS rot and that a complete fresh reload was in order. I noticed that @jessestay and @qwade were doing the same thing this weekend.

I like to not reload the applications from my old disk since I usually end up with a lot I don't use. But that means a week of finding an app I need and don't have loaded yet and them hunting down the disks or downloading it. Not this time. I discovered AppFresh.

AppFresh is an application updater like the built in Software Updater, but for all your apps. Before I wiped my MBP clean, I installed AppFresh. But AppFresh's secret weapon is i use this, a handy Web site that let's you mark applications as something you use.

After I'd wiped the disk and reloaded the OS, I did the following:

  • Load the User info from my Time Machine backup
  • Load XCode tools
  • Perform a standard OS X software update
  • Start AppFresh and use the "Used but not installed" function to find all the applications I use and install them.

That's it. I quickly found and loaded all the apps I use regularly. AppFresh needs help with the download or installation process. For example sometimes, the dowload or update site needs manual intervention or the download happens, but the install needs to be run manually. Even so AppFresh makes the entire thing nearly painless. Highly recommended.

And finally, a note about Time Machine: I always use CarbonCopy Cloner to make a clone of the original disk for use later after the reload. In the past, I've reloaded User data from that disk. This time I used my Time Machine backup since it's on a RAID 0 disk with a Frewire 800 interface. It worked fine and was very fast.