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This page list a way to do a clean install of Snow Leopard without losing any of your settings. This sounds pretty darn good since my mac did get a bit slower over time.

The method basically involves copying your existing drive to an external one, then doing an Erase and Install from the installation DVD.

After the installation, supposedly, I'll be presented with an option to migrate settings from another Mac.

I am not all that familiar with the Mac, hence what is probably a simple question. With this migration option, will I be able to copy over all my applications or will I have to reinstall them from scratch?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The application that helps you migrate all your data to your new Mac is called Migration Assistant. If you start it, it tells you the following:

You can use Migration Assistant to transfer important information from one Mac to another, such as:

  • User accounts
  • Applications
  • Network and computer settings
  • Files
  • Volumes

Apparently transferring applications works, but I could imagine that some applications with an overly complicated installer cannot be simply transfered.

Why don't you just try it? If it doesn't work to satisfaction for you, just reinstall your backup.

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Depends on the applications. Some have ridiculously complicated activation schemes which require reinstallation, some don't. If you do your migration through Time Machine it generally copies just about everything.

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