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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Best Way To Do A Fresh Install?


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Peakoverload

 
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Ever since upgrading my iMac to Snow Leopard I've noticed a definite drop in performance with certain programs most definitely running slow, for example closing tabs in Firefox takes a couple of seconds to happen after clicking the x, and occasional flakiness in some programs such as iTunes saying it can't sync to my iPhone but then continuing the task.

When I first installed SL it was as an upgrade i.e. not wiping the disk and starting again. After suffering a few weeks of poor performance I installed SL again but again as an upgrade and this improved the performance a bit and certainly less errors are coming up but I'm still not happy.

Therefore as I have some time off over Easter I'm going to completely wipe OSX and re-install from scratch but I'm wondering what the best way of doing this is?

I have everything backed up via Time Machine but the main thing I'm concerned about is loosing my settings/configurations for programs like iTunes, Lightroom, Entourage, Aperture etc as well as account settings for FTP programs, Entourage etc.

What is the safest way of doing all of this without having to rebuild libraries etc and reconfigure programs etc?
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6string

 
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Before you take anything on below, be sure that you need to, so....

Download OnyX, and use the automation tab to clean out your system.

Then, clone your system with CCC or SuperDuper.
Zero out your drive by booting off your clone on the external drive (holding option when you boot once you hear the chime), go to disk utilities, select your internal HD>erase>security options,and checking first option.

After you have zero'd out your drive, quit disk utilities, open CCC or Superduper and clone back.
If you are not happy with the way things are running then, follow the next stage.

The best way, or easiest way, that is the question!
You say that you have time, so, I will suggest the best way.

Boot from your install disc (holding C when you hear the chime), select language, go to utilities>disk utility in your menu bar and zero out your drive.
Then, quit installer, proceed with installation.
After installation, manually transfer all your docs, pictures, movies, etc, and do a fresh install of all your apps from install discs and fresh downloads.

If you really want, use migration assistant to move over your settings and whatever you choose, but in migrating stuff over, when choosing this method, often we are migrating the good with the bad, which is why I go for the "fresh" everything when the first step I posted doesn't cut it!

Hope I didn't scare you off..... Just my opinion based on the question you asked
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the8thark

 
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Since you already have a Time Machine backup. I would suggest to

1. use that or make a new TM backup if the old one is out of date.
2. Erase your hard drive. Zeroing out the drive is nice too. But the 7 and 35 zero pass options I think are a waste of time for what you want to do.
3. Reinstall SL on the erased HD.
4. Use TM to get all your data back on the HD.
5. Use the Application Onyx as the above poster mentioned. It's a nifty little OS X mantainance app. And always nice to use that on a regular basis.

Using Super Duper or CCC is not the best way in my opinion. SD and CCC are not better or worse than using TM. They are just different ways of doing the same task. Some people like doing it one way, other people like doing it another way.
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakoverload View Post
I have everything backed up via Time Machine but the main thing I'm concerned about is loosing my settings/configurations for programs like iTunes, Lightroom, Entourage, Aperture etc as well as account settings for FTP programs, Entourage etc.

What is the safest way of doing all of this without having to rebuild libraries etc and reconfigure programs etc?
Well if you really want a fresh start you are going to have to do some work. There's really no avoiding that completely. What you can do is that most applications will allow you to save your settings. For example, iTunes will allow you export all your playlists. It actually has a backup everything to disc feature.

The apps that don't have this convenient feature you are just going to have to write down the settings or you can do a screen capture when you have the settings window open so you don't have to write it all down.

For a fresh start I don't know how useful cloning your drive is. Any problems you have now will just be copied over to your backup and then copied back when you restore it. If you really want to be thorough with a fresh reinstall you really do have to reinstall everything again. It's usually applications that will give you the most trouble so manually reinstalling apps is the way to go if you want to be thorough. Simple data files can usually be copied back over to your hard drive without any problems.

FYI I personally never use the upgrade feature. I know some people have used it without problems but I always like a fresh install when I upgrade my OS. Time Machine is a recent feature but I'm used to manually reinstalling everything when I upgrade my OS. I haven't restored from TM as of yet but I believe it has an option to choose what you want to restore back to your hard drive. Like I said it's mostly apps you have to worry about. Your data files can usually be easily copied over without problems.
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MYmacROX

 
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The point of CCC or SD! is to have a safety in case something goes horribly wrong and you are unable to start your Mac. You will have a bootable back up on an external to restore your Mac's HDD IF it all goes to crap. Merely a "just in case" step. But an important one nonetheless!
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYmacROX View Post
The point of CCC or SD! is to have a safety in case something goes horribly wrong and you are unable to start your Mac. You will have a bootable back up on an external to restore your Mac's HDD IF it all goes to crap. Merely a "just in case" step. But an important one nonetheless!
I agree that a clone is nice for a just in case bootable backup if a person wants to go back, but if the OP really wants a fresh start then he shouldn't clone the drive back.
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MYmacROX

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
I agree that a clone is nice for a just in case bootable backup if a person wants to go back, but if the OP really wants a fresh start then he shouldn't clone the drive back.
Right... that's what I just said. Hence the "IF" and "just in case" in my post.

At no point in 6string's instructions did he say to restore the cloned drive to the fresh install drive. That would totally defeat the purpose of a clean install.
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYmacROX View Post
At no point in 6string's instructions did he say to restore the cloned drive to the fresh install drive. That would totally defeat the purpose of a clean install.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6string View Post
After you have zero'd out your drive, quit disk utilities, open CCC or Superduper and clone back.
Yes it wasn't suggested to clone back on a fresh install, but a clone back to original hard drive was suggested as a first option. If a fresh install is what the OP wanted I would just skip the whole cloning back step altogether.

In 6string's defense he was trying to save the OP some extra work which I respect. I was only pointing out to the OP that cloning back the hard drive would defeat the purpose of a fresh install if he didn't already know that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MYmacROX View Post
Right... that's what I just said. Hence the "IF" and "just in case" in my post.
Yes. I noticed that. I wasn't disagreeing with you. The last part of my sentence in that reply is more of a restatement to the OP rather than a reply to what you have said.
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Peakoverload

 
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Thanks everyone for your advice, much appreciated.

Just one other question, for things like Entourage and iTunes should I 'export' my e-mails and library's as if I were moving to a new computer or could I just perform a fresh install and then simply retrieve the relevant files from my Time Machine backup?
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peakoverload View Post
Just one other question, for things like Entourage and iTunes should I 'export' my e-mails and library's as if I were moving to a new computer or could I just perform a fresh install and then simply retrieve the relevant files from my Time Machine backup?
You should play it safe and use any export/backup feature if the application has it in addition to whatever Time Machine backs up. It's nice to have a redundant backup if it's possible because you never know when Murphy's Law will hit you.

It's also good experience to know which backup process worked better for you. For example, you might find that Time Machine didn't backup exactly what you wanted or that your exported backups weren't working the way you wanted it. Until a person actually restores from their backups they don't know which method is the easiest or most convenient.
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