So I just upgraded the hard drive in my generation-1 MacBookPro, from the 160GB that it came with to a groovy new 500GB drive. I took advantage of the opportunity to do a clean install of SnowLeopard; I figured that enough people have probably struggled through getting their old apps to work on the new OS that I could probably quickly Google whatever didn’t just work for me right from the get go. Well, I needed to install new versions of most apps for them to work right.
An unfortunate and secondary effect walking around with a pristine and clean new install was that all the previously memorized WiFi networks (and encryption keys) were all lost. Fortunately, I still have my original 160GB drive as an external USB. It turns out that all the previously “remembered” WiFi networks are basically in an XML format in the following .plist file:
Simply recover that file, drop it in the correct path (you’ll have to use sudo if you’re a command-line jockey) and *bang*… it works. Unfortunately, you can’t simply extract the WEP or WPA credentials, they’re stored in some <key> format. *sigh*
Still, this saved me a lot of time and headache!