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Member Since: Jun 02, 2011
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Mac Specs: IMAC Snow Leopard

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Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
OK, just a few things.

First and foremost, OS X very rarely needs to be installed clean. There's not much a normal user can modify outside of the home folder, so at worst, if you want a clean slate, you can just create a new account and delete the old one.

Given the circumstances, it sounds very likely that your hard disk is in a failing state. Hard disk failures can manifest themselves in a variety of different ways. It can just go out and stop working, but more often, a portion of the disk becomes damaged - so the installer won't know that it's writing to a partially bad drive - and this is likely the cause of the extremely long install time. Typically an OS X install should take no longer than 30-45 minutes - that was your first clue that there's a hardware problem of some kind.

At this point, I would recommend running the Apple Hardware Test:

Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test

This will help you to isolate the problem. If it is indeed the hard disk, your next step will be to replace it - then it's time to reinstall OS X and then finally, work to recover your lost data (if possible).

Thanks for your info/suggestions. I guess I'm confused about your suggestion about don't need to install SnowLeopard just create a new account. How would creating a new account fix a corrupted / damaged operating system? Thank you for the tip about the hardware test. I shall certainly do so and report whatever the results are..

I'm curious what makes a hard disk fail? This is my second mac. The first one I used extensively and it never gave me any trouble until it was stolen but that's another issue.

anyway, this newer one I have not used so much, not nearly as much as the previous running Tiger. What circumstances would contribute to a disk failure?
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