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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Late 08 Unibody Macbook Pro 15'', Hitachi 500gb 7k500, 8gb Ram - better than new
    Is it possible - Fresh Install + Recover old files & programs
    I'm rather young to macs (3 years now) so I'm not as literate as if this were a windows based heap. Here's my dilemma - I want to do a fresh install once Lion comes out but I don't want to have to go back in and reinstall my programs and libraries (photos, documents, etc.). I use carbon copy for my backups on a usb portable hdd enclosure. I have a 2008 Unibody MBP running latest updates and in 64bit.

    Basically I don't know if it's possible to just copy one part of the system and drag it back once Lion is running and presto, back up and running.

    My reason for doing this is that my now 4 y/o system is starting to run slower than it was when I first got it. When I first got it, I could run CS4, 5 you tube's, iphoto whatever, and it still ran fine. Nowadays if I have safari open and almost anything else, it starts to hang. It's got 60gb left of 250gb total. 2g 1067 ram.

    I just figured like a windows needs a fresh install once a year, mac might need the same once every 4..... Is it OS related, is it clutter related, is it wearing hdd related, too little hdd space, otherwise? What am I missing...

    OPEN TO THOUGHTS?
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Really depends on how slow it is. IF you're just stating to notice it, I'd recommend running Onyx, resetting Safari and/or any other browser you use.

    I start noticing mine slow down at about 30% free space. You're sitting at 25%, which is really not that bad. A lot of folks say you can go lower than that, but not in my experience.

    After 4 years, I'm betting you might be ready for a defrag. Download iDefrag and let it scan your system. Take a look at where the free space is. If the free space and the data is spread out from one end of the drive to the other - you'd more than likely notice an improvement. Cloning the drive is a cheap way of doing this (putting all the data back at the beginning of the drive), but iDefrag actually does a better job with the placement of data than SuperDuper!.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Late 08 Unibody Macbook Pro 15'', Hitachi 500gb 7k500, 8gb Ram - better than new
    I'm not really 'just noticing' i'm more like 'just getting irritated' - I would say I noticed it around a year ago once I got below around 80gb.

    I've never defragged so that might help. I run verify/repair permissions once a month. A large majority of the space is music and photos but I have downloaded a LOT of stuff over 4 years and later deleted it.

    I have ONyx but I forgot what it was for.. I only have Safari for web browsing.

    I would still like to know if it's possible to fresh install + restore old files & software. Or does the software ALWAYS need to be reinstalled vs. restored.

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    Use Onyx for your maintenance problems and get things nice and fast again. When Lion is released it is by download and will then launch into a simple update from OS X.6.8. Also personally find Firefox 5.0 much faster than Safari. If you do a search of the threads you will find already some older software, such as Office 2004, will not be supported under Lion.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    At this point in time, since Lion has not been released, none of us know for sure what all options we're going to have for installing it and restoring from another machine or previous backup. We'd have to make "assumptions" that all the options we have now will be available with Lion. They probably will, and the two primary options would be restoring via Time Machine or using Migration Assistant (you would use this one).

    However, I wouldn't wait for Lion to get your machine running smoothly again.

    For the short term, I'd wager just using your external CCC backup, blowing away the internal and then cloning back to it, you'd see a speed increase. It takes me less than an hour to clone about 180GB on FW800, not sure how long it would take via USB, but should be under 2 hours. Think you'll find that well worth the time and that will defrag it at the same time.

    For the long term, you started noticing the slow down about the same time I do on my systems... 30% free space. Nowadays, I attempt to keep all system partitions at 40% free space, doesn't matter which OS I'm running. When I hit 30%, it's time to upgrade the drive or start deleting stuff you no longer want. Seeing as you only have a 250GB drive, I'd seriously recommend upgrading your drive to a 500GB 7200RPM. And while you're at it, upgrade the RAM to 4GB in preparation for Lion. For about $120, you'll breathe new life into that 3 yr old MBP. My 4 1/2 yr old is running faster than new. While I'm itching for one of those new Macs with the 2nd gen i series, can't really complain about the one I have.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Late 08 Unibody Macbook Pro 15'', Hitachi 500gb 7k500, 8gb Ram - better than new
    Ok well I'm 5 hours into a defrag and at about 60% so I'll have to see if that did anything tomorrow. Thanks all for the input. after that I'm going to run onyx as well. For others' benefit I will post back the results tomorrow.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Late 08 Unibody Macbook Pro 15'', Hitachi 500gb 7k500, 8gb Ram - better than new
    So here's the aftermath, I ran Idefrag through online method. The system seemed to be slightly faster and well it was pretty fragmented. I ran onyx also but didn't see much improvement in safari. So I thought I'd try another suggestion of replacing the hdd. So i used my 500gb (wd blue 5400rpm) that I normally backup with and things seem to be pretty good. Iphoto can scroll without jerking through my 2700 photos and Itunes loads pretty fast and once again I can play I tunes while doing something else. YAY. For now it's perfectly acceptable until I can muster up some cash for some ram. Thanks to all!

  8. #8

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Glad it's working better for ya. If the old 250GB is still bootable externally, you could try resetting Safari. The WD Blue 500GB is just an all around faster drive than that original drive though. Moving to a 7200RPM when you can will give you even a little more boost in speed you should notice in boot time and in some application start times.

    You're probably good for now. If you're planning on upgrading to Lion, I'd probably save up for the RAM first.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Late 08 Unibody Macbook Pro 15'', Hitachi 500gb 7k500, 8gb Ram - better than new
    I'm keeping the old drive as my new backup for iphoto and itunes until i can get a 1tb. It still has a little hang time before stuff opens - I remember when this machine was new everything was like lightning. I did have the issue with needing to reselect the boot drive in sys prefs and reset the vram and pram because of slow boot up speed. It's faster but not quite as fast as the previous drive. ANy thoughts on that? Also how do I reset safari if I boot in from old drive externally? DO you have a link handy?
    Thanks Bob

  10. #10

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Open up Safari - select it on the Menu bar, then Reset Safari.

    You've done the first couple of items already reset PRAM and selecting it in Sys Pref - Startup.

    The last time I did a clone, I found one other item. I use SD! instead of CCC, so don't know what you might find. What I discovered by opening iDefrag, and doing some inspecting of the graphic was that SD! put the system files and applications toward the tail end of the data. Check out this thread - some good info sprinkled throughout - then head to post 14 to see what I found after a clone and then after running iDefrag on that newly cloned drive.

    That'll give you a good idea of what I'm talking about and I have a 4 1/2 yr old Mac running the most current OS with a boot time of 19 seconds - without a SSD - and a machine that is not even capable of booting into 64 bit.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    Late 08 Unibody Macbook Pro 15'', Hitachi 500gb 7k500, 8gb Ram - better than new
    I ran defrag scan and nothing was like your situation. I did boot up from the ext drive and am doing a full defrag. one other thing I'm noticing and it may just be from having lots of data but when I dbl click on my hdd desktop icon it takes about 3 seconds before it opens. safari is running pretty quick, iTunes is perfect, iPhoto still sticks a little when scrolling but I've got a lot of large photo files over 5mb which may be dragging it down a little.

    Should I try power down unplug batt and hold power button (reset - forgot which one it does)?

  12. #12

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    If you haven't done a PRAM & SMC reset since changing the drive - wouldn't hurt.
    For Finder - dunno - I might try using Onyx. Automation tab - Rebuilding - Spotlight Index.

    After that, everything is running good, I'd leave well enough alone if that 3 second to open Finder is the only real issue left.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Late 08 Unibody Macbook Pro 15'', Hitachi 500gb 7k500, 8gb Ram - better than new
    Hi Bob,
    I've changed out the hdd to a hitachi - that was the problem. Stupid western digital non-compatibility.... But I also upgraded to 8gb ram anyway.
    Thanks MacForums members - through the collective help of everyone, we all stand to gain.

  14. #14


    Member Since
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    Late 08 Unibody Macbook Pro 15'', Hitachi 500gb 7k500, 8gb Ram - better than new
    Thanks for all your help!
    Problem solved - WD Blue HDD in a late 2008 mbp doesn't work. Sticking with Hitachi.
    Thanks MacForums members - through the collective help of everyone, we all stand to gain.

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