Mac OS forum


Mac OS X 4.11 All my Preferences Disappeared?? Mail, Firefox

by adrianzag / May 30, 2013 2:35 AM PDT

Hi there,

I own a great 7 year-old MacBook Pro, still running OS X 4.11. Before you laugh at me for not upgrading it has worked like a dream and never felt the need to upgrade though am sure I'm missing some good things by not doing so.

Anyhow the other day, down to about my last 6 GB on my internal hard drive (87GB used of 93GB), my Mac Mail started misbehaving and asked me to restart.

On restart, my whole desktop, icons/thumbnails etc were all jumbled beyond recognition, sidebar was almost empty, Mac Mail when opened asked me to start from the beginning (i.e.set up an email account etc etc). I did this, because I could remember the settings for my addresses. Then Mail asked me to import my old mailboxes, which it did - but everything looks different, fonts, no signatures (they'd taken ages to organise) and no inbox or sent meail folders.

Ditto Firefox and Safari - when opened, all bookmarks have disappeared, and all autocomplete passwords for sites have gone.

It's clear my system is pretty messed up. Luckily, I have a bootable Carbon Copy Cloned external drive of how my Mac used to be 6 weeks ago. When I used this to boot, everything above was back to normal.

My questions are:

1) Is there any way to get back to where my system was before the blowout using my Cloned Drive? I.E. Can I simply erase the contents of the internal drive and 'paste' over it with the Cloned Drive? Is this risky?


2) Is there a less invasive way - is it easy to reintroduce the old preferences from the Cloned drive?


3) Do I need a new hard drive?

Any help would be much appreciated.



Model Name: MacBook Pro 17"
Model Identifier: MacBookPro2,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.33 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 667 MHz
Boot ROM Version: MBP21.00A5.B08
MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.4.11), Intel Core 2 Duo

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Clarification Request
Isn't this OS from 2005?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 30, 2013 3:59 AM PDT

It sounds like it served you well and it's hard to guess why your preferences vanished but it's not unheard of.

Sadly I can't find the Lion version of this link ->
If you wish to continue with this OS it's time to find out where the prefs are and when you get back to where you want to be, backup your prefs.

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by adrianzag / May 30, 2013 6:58 AM PDT

Thanks Bob for the quick reply.

I will indeed backup my preferences next time.

Meantime I'll keep searching for a solution to getting my system back to where it was a few days ago.


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