Need advice on Rebuilding my MacBook

Any Mac experts out there? (Technically my questions are platform independent, but I’d still prefer a Mac-perspective.)

I could use some help/advice before I install a new HDD in my MacBook and re-build my laptop.

Currently, my MacBook has one user account (i.e. user1) and it is set as an “administrator”.

I have heard for years this is a BAD IDEA from a security standpoint. :confused:

But my concerns are this…

If I create an “admin” account and then a second “debbie” (i.e. plain-user) account, then I will have to…

1.) Log out of “debbie” and log into “admin” everytime I need to start up MAMP (which requires admin access)

2.) Log out of “debbie” and log into “admin” everytime I need to install software

3.) Log out of “debbie” and log into “admin” everytime I need to change System Preferences, I think (This is why I’d prefer a response from a Mac guru)

4.) I will have the issue of having to build TWO profiles

5.) I will have to customize TWO profiles

6.) I will NOT be able to TRANSFER files one account to another easily

It just seems like a horrible amount of extra work for I’m not sure how much extra security?! :-/

Thoughts?

Debbie

Debbie,
It is sad to hear you had a HDD ‘disaster’. That is always disheartening.
Having worked with PCs (professionally and privately) for the entire existence of the “PC”, I would espouse the same wisdom; create a single GOD-MODE adminstrator account (for installing software and system adminstration tasks) and a “knock around” day-to-day account for yourself.

HOWEVER, after so many years in the world of Windows, I have become a Mac user over the past 11 months or so. And my experience with my MacBook leads me to advise you to the contrary. I think the ‘common wisdom’ of multiple accounts is no longer valid.
With the various flavors of Windows with which I work on my “day job” that still stands as a reasonable process to protect you from unexpected angst. But from my experience with my Mac it is a complete waste of effort (and hard disk space).
If you are careful about your usage (where you surf and what you do), if you manage your KeyChain (I occassionally purge and ‘rename’ each key; most importantly I make sure I understand why each entry in my Keychain is there and remove ANY I don’t recognize) you should enjoy trouble-free use of your MacBook.

That is MY OPINION and comes solely from MY EXPERIENCE.

I suspect there will be someone here who offers you other advice.

No disaster yet, but I suspect my HDD is going so I need to switch before it does?!

Having worked with PCs (professionally and privately) for the entire existence of the “PC”, I would espouse the same wisdom; create a single GOD-MODE adminstrator account (for installing software and system adminstration tasks) and a “knock around” day-to-day account for yourself.

HOWEVER, after so many years in the world of Windows, I have become a Mac user over the past 11 months or so. And my experience with my MacBook leads me to advise you to the contrary. I think the ‘common wisdom’ of multiple accounts is no longer valid.

Why do you say that?

With the various flavors of Windows with which I work on my “day job” that still stands as a reasonable process to protect you from unexpected angst. But from my experience with my Mac it is a complete waste of effort (and hard disk space).

If you are careful about your usage (where you surf and what you do), if you manage your KeyChain (I occassionally purge and ‘rename’ each key; most importantly I make sure I understand why each entry in my Keychain is there and remove ANY I don’t recognize) you should enjoy trouble-free use of your MacBook.

That is MY OPINION and comes solely from MY EXPERIENCE.

I suspect there will be someone here who offers you other advice.

Please explain the “keychain”.

I just have one account called user1 that is an admin level.

Debbie

Debbie,

The advice regarding admin accounts and security appears to have come from the Windows XP (and prior) days when Admin accounts were indeed fairly unrestricted. Microsoft changed this behavour with Vista and further improved it with Windows 7. You can now run an Admin account under Windows 7 with out concern as elevated credentials are required to perform any action that would be deemed harmful to the base system.

However, your query is about OS X.

An Administrator account under OS X is not the same as an Administrator account under Windows XP. Under an OS X Administrator account you will still be asked to enter a password to install many types of Applications, or to start Applications that require access to areas of the base operating system that require action. MAMP is a very good example of this.

You can safely use your Mac system under an Administrator account.

The “Keychain” is a repository for saved passwords, userdata etc that is managed by OS X. Your system password allows you access to this.