This last week I bought a new MacBook Pro (at least new to me). My old model wasn’t quite fast enough for some of the massively multi-track count projects I’ve been working on, and it was finally time. If you’re thinking you need to upgrade, here’s some tricks on making it less stressful:
1. Back up everything using Time Machine.
A time machine backup is the best (and cheapest) insurance for your computer, and helps you restore everything if something goes catastrophically wrong.
2. Copy all of your files to a separate hard drive.
Once you’ve created a Time Machine backup, get an second external drive and back up all of the important data from Documents, Movies, Photos, Music, and anywhere else you have your files stored. This will help you save just the information you need, and eliminate what you don’t.
3. Don’t forget to save presets and other data from your music creation apps.
In the past I’ve forgotten to save patch libraries, channel strip settings and much more when I upgraded. Before you switch, look up all of the locations of the stuff inside apps that are important to you and back them up to your external hard drive.
4. Write down all of your passwords and login items on a piece of paper.
Don’t put it in a spreadsheet- it’s easy for hackers to get that info. Writing it all out will ensure you can actually access the apps and accounts you have when you install them again.
5. Do a “clean install” of all your applications.
I know it’s a pain, but it can really help speed up your system by eliminating corrupted or irrelevant files on your computer.
6. Install any drivers for any hardware you have.
Don’t install the drivers for your hardware equipment until everything else is in place and functioning properly.
7. Don’t wipe/sell your old computer until your new computer is completely up and running.
If all else fails and you accidentally delete an important file or can’t get a program functioning, having your old computer around as a backup will keep you productive while you troubleshoot.