Computer died suddenly - how to migrate preferences and keyboard shortcuts?

My MacPro 2013 trash can died suddenly on me a few weeks ago, something to do with a logic board failure… Luckily I was able to salvage my internal system drive just fine using an external enclosure.

Now with a new MacStudio, I’m wondering where on the old system drive I can pull all my Dorico preferences and keyboard shortcuts I worked so hard to build?

Thank you!

1 Like

~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico 5 (or 4 or whatever version you own)

“Luckily”…? :astonished: Did you not have a backup?

Bear in mind that on a Mac Studio, if the logic board fails, you cannot salvage the SSD, as the flash storage is soldered to the logic board, and the disk controller (including encryption) is part of the system-on-a-chip.

Files without a backup are waiting to be lost.

1 Like

Thank you for your concern. I have all my project and personal files backed up on an external drive as well as the cloud. For my system drive which merely contains my OS, apps, and their preferences, I do back it up about once a month. By “luckily” I merely meant I was able to retrieve the most up to date preferences, but if I had to revert to my previous backup last month, I would have survived lol.

With my new machine which is much faster at moving data, I will probably increase my system backup frequency to once a week or so.

So, if your documents are not on your system drive, then you have them on an external drive, and then they are also backed up to a second external?

Remember that iCloud Drive is not a backup, as it will sync any file deletions across all your devices; and its version-keeping is limited. Dropbox and OneDrive are better in this respect; though I wouldn’t recommend trying to restore a whole disk over wifi!

Forgive me if I’m being overly concerned; but you’d be amazed how many people come to Mac forums asking how to recover their files because they didn’t have a backup – some 16 years after Apple implemented Time Machine!

1 Like

I did have my “documents” and desktop folders synced to iCloud actually, although because of the way the system kind of dumps various things there, I don’t personally use it myself for actual documents – I have opted to create my own separate folder for such things and project files on an external drive which is also auto-synced to Google Drive. I also have a permanent 4tb cloud backup & sync solution from pCloud which I use for all my larger projects and sample libraries etc. I use DropBox only for client collaborations as many clients I’ve worked with use DropBox, although I don’t prefer to use it myself for my own cloud backup due to various issues I’ve had with them over the years.

Lastly I have two physical backup drives which I use for Time Machine, of the system drive and of the project external drive. I just don’t prefer to backup daily because of the time and system resources it has taken in the past, so I opted to do it once a month. The way I have always treated my system drives is only for apps and their relevant files – I never save my own personal or project items to them, which is how I’ve done it for the past decade or more. Makes life much easier if I ever lose a computer or have to do a fresh re-install of everything, I don’t have to worry about losing anything :slight_smile:

Noted on the MacStudio’s design, though. I’ll look into increasing my backup frequency.


Sounds like a great setup.

Of course, the separation of the user domain, where you keep your documents, from the ‘system’ domain, where the apps are stored, with their support files, is already done for you by the file system. It’s very easy to restore a user account, independently of the apps, or vice versa.

Recent versions of macOS have taken this further, where the OS itself is now on a separate volume, which is read-only and cryptographically sealed to prevent tampering. Everything else – installed apps, user data, prefs, is all on a “Data” volume, and the Finder presents the two together as a seamless whole “Macintosh HD”.

You can now just delete the entire Data volume to achieve a “factory reset”, leaving the OS in place; or restore all your data, without needing to reinstall the OS.

Eh, sort of. I do understand what you mean, but even to this day the primary user documents folder becomes a kind of dumping ground for a lot of apps. For example on my new MacStudio, various plugins have installed their own thing, many of which entail their preferences and presets –

But none of which I would personally call “documents” as a human user - because when I think documents, I think well, stuff like PDFs, forms, letters, etc - word processing and spreadsheets really. So rather than dump my actual written documents in with these random app-generated folders, I have just created my own separate folder “My Documents” which I control the organization of separately and is literally just actual documents :wink:

Nonetheless a lot of this stems from the fact for the past decade on my older MacPro (trash can) I started with a measley 128GB internal drive, and there really just wasn’t space for anything other than apps, so ever since then I’ve just stored everything on external drives and I’ve never had a problem. It seems to work for me!

I’d agree that it’s bad form on the part of those apps to add their own folders into your Documents folder. I hate it too! If it’s just prefs and presets, they should be in ~/Library/Application Support.

1 Like