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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Feb 01, 2010
    OS X Lion Doing a reformat and clean install help validate steps

    About 6 weeks ago I upgraded from SL to Lion. While at first everything was working fine, over time the computer has gotten very slow, I frequently now encounter freezes in all applications - get the spinning wait cursor for about 30 sec to a minute all the time that I need to reformat and do a clean install in an effort to solve the problem.

    As I never did a reformat on a Mac, I just wanted to revalidate my steps. I do have OS X Lion Install and have an external drive.

    Step 1. Backup existing data using time machine.
    Step 2. Special boot into Recovery HD
    Step 3. Use Recovery HD to reformat the Hard drive
    Step 4. Use Time Machine to restore the files

    This is the basic method from what I could incur, however I was wondering if using time machine to restore all files that perhaps this will not solve the issue as all the old software and configuration files will be copied as well.

    1. Should I do a clean install and then re-install applications - meaning I only backup personal files?

    In this case, is using Time Machine - and then Migration Assistant the best way to go?

    2. If I was to only backup personal files - what software can I use to help me with that... e.g., do not want to copy MS Office, all the other apps? I am afraid that I will leave out some key files, like iTunes Libraries, iPhone library, keychain passwords, etc

    Any other issues / best practices I should keep in mind before proceeding with the reinstall?

    Kind regards,

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, High Sierra
    Some folks have found that upgrading from Snow Leopard to Lion causes slow downs and problems. If that's what's happening with your system, then it's best to do a clean install. Use the Recovery partition to erase the drive and then install Lion clean. During the install process, you can restore with the Time Machine backup you made.

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