Clean re-install ML

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Jazzman25, May 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    I know there are about 50 threads dealing with this, but after reading quite a few of those I canot find quite what I need. I also admit that unlike Windows machines where I am a trained dog in doing a re-install :D, I've never done it on a Mac. The installation I have now on my iMac is now about 4-5 years old. Furthermore, the Mac has become the center of my digital life (I only have a windows machine for some very minor stuff).

    So my current install started as 10.6 (or was it a 10.5 still). Went through 3 or 4 machine changes where I always just recovered the full blown stuff from my time machine back up. Now I finally want to do something different. I feel I have a bloated machine with a lot of apps (or remainder of apps) I don't need, with a lot of mileage and it doesn't feel leen any more.

    So this is what I want to achieve:

    - Clean Re-install ML - what is the most efficient way of doing it?
    - I will not recover my applications - I want to re-install only the ones I really need.
    - I do want to recover my user data and in some cases application settings (most definitiely my Firefox user data and settings). Of course I will need to recover my itunes/iphoto libraries etc.

    And some more questions:

    - For this sort of situation is Time Machine the best utility to recover my data from (since I need some granularity in what I recover), or should I create another backup using different means?
    - Is there a good article describing these topics. Any useful links are welcome!

    Many thanks for all the help!
  2. macrumors 603


    Carbon Copy your current install with CCC, free up until 3.4.7, then erase the HD, after this pick the things you want to copy back, that's it.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Free up until 3.4.7???

    And that would not give me a clean install of the OS without 5 years of configuration history?
  4. macrumors 603


    Think you misunderstood me, also what is this ??? about, it is free up until 3.4.7.

    Make a copy of your HD with CCC, erase the HD, install OS, then copy only the things you want from the clone.
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    I did misunderstood you. You meant the app was free up to V 3.4.7. I understood something else....
  6. macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    A TM restore will not touch the core OSX files. The cleanest possible install would be sync everything you can to iCloud and Firefox sync first and don't use a restore after a fresh OSX install (best done from a USB key, google ML install on USB). Don't forget to backup your documents & media to an external drive.
  7. macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    OS X does not "bloat". You can have as many apps as you like installed on your hard drive: if you're not using them, your computer won't slow down because of their existence! (OK, unless your hard drive runs out of space.)

    I've migrated my user data across three Macs, from 10.2 to 10.8, without doing a "clean" install, and there's absolutely no slowness as a result.

    If you do experience slowness, try emptying the caches with a utility like Onyx. (You can also empty them by booting into Safe Mode.) Chances are that any perceived speed increase after a clean install will actually be because a corrupt cache has been wiped.
    Most apps can simply be deleted, to gain free space. As said, they're not hurting anything if they're not being used.

    On Windows (from what I can tell), the first response to any problem seems to be reinstalling the system. On OS X, it's the last resort. In 10 years, I've reinstalled about 3 times, and most of those probably weren't necessary.

    Reinstalling everything is a considerable strain on your storage device, and usually quite a time-consuming process. I just want you to check whether this is absolutely the optimum solution.
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Am back to this one after a long busy week at work :D

    I keep hearing from the experts that clean install is not a necessary tactics in OS X. But why than the system takes now more than 30 seconds to boot when it used to boot like a snap 2 years ago.

    And by the way, I use Onyx regularly....

    Honestly I would love to avoid a clean install. I really don't have the time....
  9. macrumors 603


    Bold, no need to do that!
  10. macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    If you are emptying your caches regularly, then that might IMPEDE performance, as the Mac will be slower until they are re-filled.
    If you are asking Spotlight to re-index regularly, then that might slow things down, too.

    "Using Onyx" -- there are a LOT of options and routines in Onyx. I certainly wouldn't run them ALL. I wouldn't run any of them regularly either. It is a useful tool if you have a problem, but it's not a chambermaid.

    One thing to do in Onyx is check that the periodic daily, weekly and monthly tasks are being run. If they are not, then excessively large system log files can slow things down.

    Next: create a brand new user account and see if things are faster there. This will pinpoint the cause of the slowness to the user or system. If it's the user, then there's absolutely no point in re-installing the OS.
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Thanks. I think I will go for the new user account.

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