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Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

Options for installing OS X freshly when purchasing a new version of OS X from the App Store, and more covered in this week's Q&A.

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer Mac-related questions sent in by our readers.

This week, readers ask questions on how to set Time Machine to back up multiple drives attached to the system, how to install a fresh copy of OS X when an upgrade is released, and setting up a smart search to find all files on the system and not just user files.

I welcome contributions from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!

Question: Backing up multiple drives with Time Machine
MacFixIt reader Bob asks:

Is it possible to back up two sources/disks with Time Machine? I have all applications on the main drive and have added a second drive for my work. I want BOTH drives to back up on Time Machine!

Yes, you can. By default Time Machine should back up all internal drives and partitions, but will exclude external drives. However, if you go to the Time Machine preferences and click the Options button, you can select and remove any external drives that are in the exclusion list and have them be backed up as well.

Question: Installing OS X freshly when an upgrade is released
MacFixIt reader Michael asks:

As we all know OS Mavericks will be on the way any time soon to install. My question is: Can you install the OS on the iMac like getting it out of the box? Or like getting a brand new iMac?

Generally, the purchased upgrade will install directly over your Mac's existing OS and upgrade it; however, after you upgrade your system you can boot to the OS X Recovery drive, use Disk Utility to format your system, and then use the OS X installer to reinstall OS X freshly. This will place a clean copy of the latest version of OS X on your system.

Question: Setting up a search for the entire Mac and not just user files
MacFixIt reader Graig asks:

Would you be so kind to tell me how you set up a Smart Search for searching the entire Mac? I've been trying but so far no luck.

To include all files on the Mac in a search, press Command-F to start a search, and then set the search scope to "This Mac," and then choose "Other" from the criteria drop-down menu. In the panel that shows up, find the option called "System Files" (you can search for it), and then add it to the search. Then select "are included" from the second menu to allow searching of system files. Now save the search, and you should be able to quickly search all files on the system using it.

Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or e-mail us!
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