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Launch Services DB lost after Time Machine Restore System
After you performed a Time Machine System Restore, and you start to open some documents in Finder you will get prompts of the kind 'You are opening the application XYZ for the first time. Are you sure you want to open this application?' as if your computer was freshly installed, not having any file/type associations.

Why this is happening: the Launch Services Database was somehow not restored. Its settings were cached, and cache folders seem to be ignored in the restoration process (for good reasons).

If you want to easily and efficiently control/edit the file/type/mime/URL-scheme-handler associations, then I recommend the preference pane: RCDefaultApp

Other helpful resources:

The FAQs of RCDefaultApp give a good idea about how Launch Services works.

How to rebuild the launch services database.

Launch Services Reference at the Apple Developer site.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. RCDefaultApp has certainly been a useful tool to have around for a number of years now, and is still good in Snow Leopard. (Removed an erroneous assumption of mine.]
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Launch Services DB lost after Time Machine Restore
Authored by: phillymjs on Oct 19, '10 08:06:11AM
A Time Machine full system restore requires at least a partial reinstall of the OS from the Installer disc to get started
Huh? I've done bare-metal TM restores on several occasions, and it seems like it just restores to the restore point chosen using the copy of the OS contained in the backups. I could see how an OS install before a restore would be necessary in an environment where you can choose to set TM's option to not back up system files, but IME, that option isn't available when you're just backing up to a local drive.

~Philly
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Launch Services DB lost after Time Machine Restore
Authored by: dethbunny on Oct 19, '10 08:53:52AM
A Time Machine full system restore requires at least a partial reinstall of the OS from the Installer disc
Not true. Boot to installer disc, choose a language and agree to license, then use Time Machine from the Utilities menu. This method let's you pick a specific time to restore from, and is a more complete method than installing and then migrating from a backup through Setup Assistant.

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Launch Services DB lost after Time Machine Restore
Authored by: crarko on Oct 19, '10 09:59:04AM

After having a couple of spectacular failures trying to do bare metal restores of 10.5 Server from Time Machine backups, I must have got it in my head that it didn't work right.

That's what I get for generalizing from the specific to the global. My mistake.



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Launch Services DB lost after Time Machine Restore
Authored by: dgkanter on Oct 19, '10 02:27:38PM

I also found myself in that "first time launch" situation when doing a normal re-start after having done a Safe Boot (Shift down on start). Not a "biggie", but I hadn't expected the Launch Services Database to have been affected by having done a Safe Boot->Safe Mode as I hadn't seen any mention of that Database being affected in the Apple Support Article HT1564 (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1564?viewlocale=en_US).



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