Clean up Macbook hard drive

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jshelton, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #1
    Listen folks. I am still stuggling with understanding external hard drives and backing up data. I have had my MB for 7 months and I have downloaded a ton of programs here and there that I ended up removing. I have all kinds of little stray files in Finder. I have wanted to do an "Erase and Install" for a while now but I am nervous about losing some applications like Office.

    I want to start with a fresh system and have on the programs that I use, Handbrake, Office, VLC, Transmission, etc. I have my system backed up with Time Machine. What steps do I take to get the "fresh system", or is it a bad idea? Please help me out here...
     
  2. macrumors regular

    GroovyLinuxGuy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    I would just do an erase and install. I know that there are/is programs out there to clean up all those stray files, but I can't remember the name(s) off-hand (sorry, still working on 1st cup of coffe today).

    Why would you be afraid of losing office? Do you not have the original disks? Just copy over your documents/photos/misic/etc somewhere safe and you should be good to go...
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #3
    Anyone know what programs can remove stray files?

    ...or should I try an Erase and Install?
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    Look for a program called TidyUp. It'll cost you $30, but it's well worth it. Gets rid of redundant files, etc.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    the island
    #5
    I like AppZapper. It costs $12.95 but you can use it several times before you have to pay.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #6
    Is an Erase and Install necessary like it is for Windows? I know with Windows it really helped to reformat the HD once or twice a year.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    GroovyLinuxGuy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    No, you shouldn't need to do re-installs on your Mac like you do on windows.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #8
    Right.

    Things to do:
    - Download "Onyx", delete all cache/temp files, run all weekly/monthly/yearly scripts.
    - Open /Users/(You)/Library/Preferences ... look through for old preference files.
    - Go through /Applications/, see if you don't use any of them anymore.
    - /Library/Receipts is probably safe to delete (I'd backup first to be sure)
    - Use FontBook and trash and old/different language fonts you don't want
    - Go through your own documents!

    Should clear up quite a bit of space.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #9
    Thanks guys. I downloaded Onyx a month or so ago, but I was nervous about using it. I didn't want to screw anything up. I finally got everything backed up with TM though. I used a program (can't remember the name) a while back to delete all other languages which gave me some space. I'll give Onyx another shot.

    What exactly are the Library/Receipt files?
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    AppCleaner does must the same thing, but it's free.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #11
    Old setup/update files that just rot on your hard drive.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    #12
    also run DeLocalizer it is free. Also delete your printer files or when you reinstall the system, do a custom install and don't check the printers and languages box -- that should save you a couple gigs of crap off your system
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #13
    I know this article is for Tiger, but is this printers and languages you are referring to? I can uncheck those?


    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1442
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    #14
    Yeah. Printers and languages. If it doesn't let you do a custom intall, then you can probably trash them manually from your Hard Drive folder.
     

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