Fresh Install of OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Caitlyn, May 26, 2006.

  1. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Hey guys.
    I am thinking about doing a fresh install of OS X on my iBook, just because I am looking to get that extra kick in it again, and I can feel that there is unneeded crap on my computer from downloads, etc. So, I once did a clean install of OS X and it was terrible because I didn't have anything to back up with so I started from scratch. But now I do. I have a 300GB HD and in my iBook I have only 23.62GB used on my HD, counting some of the crap of course.

    So, what I'm looking for is an easy to use app that will allow me to back up more than just my apps, documents, etc. I want to be able to copy my current custom icon set, my bookmarks and little technical things like that. Can this be done?

    I'd kind of prefer not to do a complete copy from one hard drive to the other because that will probably defeat the purpose. I want to have the option to save my apps, my music, my movies, my photos (MAJOR CONCERN), my bookmarks, my icon set, etc.

    Any application reccomendations are appreciated. Thank you! I really appreciate it. :)
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #2
    Just make a copy of your Home folder to get all that you listed except the apps, which I would reinstall from scratch anyway. :)
     
  3. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    That's easy enough. Yeah, I could re-install the apps. But the Home folder even holds my icon set? Thanks so much for the reply!
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #4
    Wait, sorry, not necessarily the icon set. I didn't see that there. :eek:

    How did you change your icons? Do you have them stored somewhere? :)
     
  5. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I installed them with CandyBar. It was a mix of a few sets of icons.
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #6
    I'm sorry, but what is the purpose? What is wrong with the Mac that calls for this sort of fix?
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #7
    Well, do you have the sets stored somewhere? It should be relatively easy to reinstall them if you do. :)

    IJ Reilly makes a valid point too (as usual), in most cases a clean install won't achieve much.
     
  8. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I can feel a slowdown on the machine. This makes me think it is just general wear and tear that a computer picks up from downloading things, etc. Do you guys think there is another way to go about fixing this?
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #9
    Well, you could create a new user account and slowly migrate your stuff over. This should have almost the same effect as reinstalling the OS. However, before doing that, check Activity Monitor (and make sure you're looking at All Processes, not just My Processes) to see if there's something hogging your resources. :)
     
  10. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    well, i think that would take more time and effort than just re-installing all together.
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #11
    The new account? Actually, it'll be quicker. You'll be going through similar motions except you won't lose anything.

    Nevertheless, open Activity Monitor to see if there's something specific slowing down your system now.

    It's up to you. If you really wanna reinstall the OS, then maybe try an Archive & Install since once again you shouldn't actually lose any data. :)
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    Just downloading stuff is not going to make you Mac run more slowly, unless you've downloaded so much at that the drive is nearly full. Your perceptions of speediness are dependent on so many variables, it's difficult to know how to tell you to proceed. But a reinstall? That should be your last measure, not your first.
     
  13. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I forgot about that. Thanks, mad jew. But will whatever is slowing down the computer still be left on it with an Archive and Install?
     
  14. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #14
    An Archive & Install will grab your current system, put it to the side and then reload a new one. It won't reformat the drive so that means if your problem is a result of a fragmented drive, you won't get any speed up. However, fragmentation doesn't happen much in OSX (despite what some people say) and even if it did, fragmentation is actually one of the pettiest reasons for slowdown anyway. So, in short, the Archive & Install should speed up your machine as much as a full Reformat & Install would. :)
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #15
    No reason to re-install Mac OSX.

    Let me guess. You've been an MS Windows user before you bought the Mac.

    There is no reason on Earth to re-install Mac OSX. If some background process is running then you can see it in Activity Monitor and get rid of it. The converse si true too: If you can't see it in Activity Monitor that it is having no effect. Software does not wear out from use.
     
  16. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #16
    System reinstalls have their place, they're not a complete waste of time. Sure, it's probably overkill in this case but if Caitlyn's more comfortable doing an Archive & Install than trying other techniques, then power to her.

    Activity Monitor won't find all slow downs either, only process-based slow down. There are other reasons for slow down such as the amount of free space available on the drive, although that's not the issue here.

    FWIW, I agree that reinstalls are probably used more often than necessary, but that doesn't mean they're not always the easiest solution. They can actually sometimes end up being quicker than troubleshooting a series of small problems. Plus, if we're all backed up properly, they can actually be very quick and easy. :)
     
  17. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

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    #17
    I'd try repairing permissions first.

    And zapping the PRAM.
     
  18. Glenn Wolsey macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

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    #18
    I disagree Chris, I clean install my machines every 3 months to keep them in a nice new state, and I can always feel a difference in speed once the fresh install is finished.

    This could partly be because I make my machine work, I usually download and test around 300-500 apps a month then delete most, the machine is on 24/7, ect, I also install many plug-ins over the course of 3 months so the fresh install gives me a clean start.
     
  19. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #19

    You can't be serious! That's about 16 a day. :eek:
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #20
    My impression from spending much time on these boards is that some people just want to do this, they just have to do this, and they don't really want to know that it isn't necessary, and probably won't fix any problem that they're likely to have. I can't claim to get it.
     
  21. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #21

    Think of it like this. Speed is a subjective and relative concept, created in one's mind. If reinstalling the OS makes someone feel better because they think their system is more responsive, then power to them. It's similar to those reactions we get when new system updates are released for download, saying how much zippier Safari is. It's a placebo effect, but an effect nonetheless. :)

    Did I just make it worse? :eek:
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
    Either way, reinstalling the OS every three months qualifies as obsessional behavior, IMO. It's like burning down your house every three months and building a new one just so you can start out "fresh." Maybe I feel this way it's because my Mac has well in excess of ten years worth of work on it, I know what I've got and I count on knowing where to find it, that I can't imagine anyone exposing themselves to constant disruption on purpose!
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #23
    No, but I have some very nice sugar pills that cure cancer, if only you believe in them.
     
  24. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #24
    Back when people ran DOS on floppy disk based PCs fragmentation was an issue. Back then there was only one thread running on the machine and if the disk head had to seak the whole computer would wait for the seek to complete. Now days we all have multitasking OSes and al these process all going at the disk at once effectivly woud have it sek the head all over the drive randomly even if all the files were perfectly defragmented. But then modern OSes reorder the requests to the disk so as to reduce the overall amount of head seeking. this is the same way that an elevator in a tall building does not pick up people in the order they press the call botton. So like the above says... fragmentation is not an issue and even if you were to defragment it would have little effect.
     
  25. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #25

    Mmm... Thanks. FWIW, I don't subscribe to my own theories, I just post them. :p

    Thanks for the explanation ChrisA. :)
     

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