I'm not sure this will help your apps find your files but your best bet is to make a clone. I think Carbon Copy Cloner will let you do a basic clone without having to buy it, and there's also SuperDuper! and ChronoSync, both of which are also excellent and (all three are worth buying and are not expensive). I'm about to rush out the door so I haven't researched it but any of those apps will make an identical clone for you. Not certain that the OS will know whether or not it's not the same drive though, not without checking, which I can do later today.I need to replace an external hard drive on my iMac. What is the best way to go about this so when I am done the OS and individual pieces of software finds the files automatically? In the past I tried naming the new drive the same as the old drive but that did not help and I basically had to go into every piece of software and tell it that the file it is looking for that used to be on "External Drive X" is still on "External Drive X."
Is there a way to make this happen more efficiently? I cannot find any sort of tutorial or help topic to assist.