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Warning -- Migration can strip away NW Classic formatting

Posted: 2011-09-14 12:38:43
by ralph strauch
I recently opened an old Nisus Writer Classic file in NWP and found that the formatting was gone. I first thought it might be a Lion problem, but investigated by going back through old backups looking for a version that would still work. I found that March backups from my previous computer still had the resource forks that contain the formatting, but those forks were missing in April backups from my new MacBook Pro. They apparently got lost during migration from the old computer to the new one.

These files were 10-15 years old and had survived several previous migrations, but this was my first migration with Snow Leopard. Perhaps Apple removed resource fork transfer from Migration Assistant as part of the removal of PPC support. In any case, if you have old NWC files and don't want to lose the formatting, you should make sure that they get copied properly (finder copy seems to do it) when you migrate to a new machine. If you have migrated since installing Snow Leopard, you might want to retrieve copies that contain the resource forks from your old backups.

I found that files containing resource forks showed up in the finder with "text file" icons, while those without them had either blank generic icons or "unix executable" icons, so it was possible to differentiate them in the finder once I knew what I was looking for.