Need input on the best way to nuke and pave


I’m upgrading my Mac from a fusion drive to an SSD and am also thinking of upgrading from Catalina to Big Sur. I’m looking for input on the best way to do a nuke and pave. I have a Super Duper clone of my HD and a Time Machine backup. My previous way of nuke & pave seems inefficient. It takes me several hours , if not days to get everything back the way it was. My inefficient nuke/pave method is as follows -

  1. Nuke the HD
  2. Do a fresh install of the OS
  3. Copy user directory from clone
  4. copy/install individual apps
  5. install home brew apps
  6. Install python packages

I keep the clone around for several days in case I forget to copy something that I may need later.


The only way I can really see to speed that up would be to make sure you have the fastest internet access possible. Items 2, 4, 5 & 6 will all be speed-dependent. But I’d prioritize being thorough and getting everything updated over speed.

Actually I would advise that you not copy your entire user directory from a clone. I know this will add time to your process but the cruft that accumulates in your Library folder over time can contain all kinds of useless files, conflicting preferences, etc.