Computer-specific preference files -- caveats to migrating to a new computer

This article is for an older version of CCC. You can find the latest version here.

Some application preferences on OS X are considered "host-specific." Host-specific preferences will be ignored if you boot your cloned operating system from another Macintosh. For example, the Launchpad (Lion+) and screen saver preferences are host-specific -- if you boot another Macintosh from your bootable clone, you will notice that Launchpad and the screensaver are reflecting the default settings. This does not mean that CCC did not preserve your preferences files, it simply means that these applications do not respect the preferences files while booted from another Macintosh.

Do not fear that you have lost any data, your original preferences will be "restored" when you boot again from your original computer.

Host-specific preferences may also be ignored if you have your computer's motherboard replaced. In this case, it will be necessary to reapply your preferences in these applications.

To learn exactly what preferences are host-specific, navigate in the Finder to your home directory, then to Library/Preferences/ByHost.

Network settings may not be respected on another Macintosh

In addition to application-specific preference files, the network configuration of one Mac may not be accepted by another Mac. OS X network settings are stored in /Library/Preferences/System Configuration/preferences.plist, and CCC will copy that file unless you explicitly exclude it. Sometimes a Mac will respect the settings configuration file from another Mac, but often there are enough differences in the networking hardware configuration that OS X decides to ignore the contents of that file.