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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Doing an OS re-install I will not lose files and settings, right?


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So who's done a re-install and not lost files and settings? Is it really that simple? My goal is to fix myriad small issues. Most of my posts on this site are negative ones (issues) regarding my iMac, so this may be a good option for me at this point.
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If you're referring to reinstalling Mountain Lion, you shouldn't lose any data as only the system files and kexts are overwritten. This assumes of course that you don't erase the drive or format it first!

Remember, however, since "Murphy" is always lurking about, make a backup first.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dotdotdot View Post
So who's done a re-install and not lost files and settings? Is it really that simple?
I've probably done it hundreds of times over the years. It's a pretty easy process.

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Will it fix all errors? Examples, I recently posted about my devices not showing anywhere (Finder, Dock). (I do have the Finder Preferences ticked to show the devices.) Also, I get the occasional (about once a month) crash where everything freezes necessitating having to turn it off via the power strip.

What will it not fix? That is, is it a cure-all?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dotdotdot View Post
Will it fix all errors?

What will it not fix? That is, is it a cure-all?
Is there anything in life that is a "cure-all"? Of course not. Thus an OS reinstall will probably not be a cure-all either.

I think that you're looking for is a "magic bullet"...and reinstalling the OS is not a "magic bullet" in all cases.

The best shot you have at a "cure-all"...would be to totally erase the HD, reformat the HD, and then reinstall the OS. But if you do this...you will lose all settings, bookmarks, preferences, and applications that you installed.

And you really cannot even use a Time-Machine backup to restore everything after an OS reinstall...since a Time Machine restoration may restore the problems you are trying to get rid of.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Reinstalling the OS is a "Windows fix" for many problems.

Mac users generally don't need to do this except in very extreme circumstances, so in short I agree with Nick. It would be better to troubleshoot the actual issues, but if you don't want to do that then perhaps a reinstall will help.

It should be noted that since you're keeping all your own "stuff" as it were in doing this reinstall, the problem may not be fixed by a reinstall. We simply don't have enough information to help you decide that.

For example, if you'd created a new, "clean" admin account and reported the same problems, or that you *didn't* have the same problems, then we'd have a way better idea of what might be going on and whether a system reinstall will help or be a waste of time.
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