How to (GULP!) format and reinstall OSX?

Jan 11, 2007
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Having problems with a bad install of Photoshop. It has left
pieces of its program all over my OSX and despite some great
advice, the essential registration information cannot be removed.

I'm thinking of just formatting my Mac and reinstalling OSX.
Really, it's no big deal for me. It will take me a few short hours
to complete and I'll probably find it a rather relaxing thing to do
on my day off.

So, besides the obvious question of exactly <i>how</i> to
boot up and reformat/reinstall, I have other questions first....


Fortunately, I have a .MAC account that I can backup some
aspects of my computer.

The main thing I need to back up is my <b>Mail</b> and every
single bit of content in it (FOLDERS, EMAIL, ATTACHMENTS).

1. Will .Mac take care of that? Will .Mac also automatically enter
my COMPUTER USERNAME information as long as I provide the password?

I also have the BACKUP that I know can be configured to back
up and restore certain programs as well.


Okay, in easy steps, from rebooting to inserting original install
discs to certain things I need to look for during software install....

2. How exactly do I go about reformatting, rebooting and
reinstalling OSX?

Thanks in advance!


If you have big files you want to keep, maybe you could burn them to CD or DVD?

Also if you are a .Mac user like I am, you have surely by now tried out Apple's Backup app for smaller files and data. If not, you can launch it now. I use Backup to transfer all my bookmarks and Mail stuff once a week and it works great.

I know you can use it for more types of files: it all depends on how much space you have left vs. how big the total size of the data will be.

Backup calls the different configurations Plans. See the screenshot below.

For the OS X reinstall, you could use the Archive and Install option (which lets you save your user data) but that might leave behind some residue where the Adobe registrations are left behind and am not sure if the cleanup would be deep enough to let you freely reinstall your Adobe apps.

For the reinstallation process, you just insert the CD or DVD install restart your Mac holding down the C key and follow the prompts. There are three types of installs: update the OS (you don't want that), Archive and Install and the regular Delete and Install.

Aug 25, 2006
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Your Mac's Specs
I am also trying to reformat and reinstall my OS X. I remember reading an article about installing just the OS and not installing ALL the applications in the Software Bundle, but I forgot where I found that article. Do you know how I can do that?

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