Is it Worth Clean Installing iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thepominlaw, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    My imac late 2009 base is starting to run a little slow, is full of folders from programmes installed and removed over the years and over the last month i have had a few issues also (scanner, printer and mouse driver issues). The system originally ran snow leopard, this was upgraded to lion and this to mountain lion.

    Probably going to regret saying this now i only have 1 month of applecare left but the mac has been super reliable over the last 3 years. Its left on 24/7 with only the screen set to sleep and is only restarted when needed.

    I use clean my mac and onyx for maintenance but I am thinking that a fresh installation of mountain Lion may help.

    Would be interested to hear your opinion, I have a timemachine backup, carbon copy backup and files on bluray disk but i am still nervous making the jump.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Yes, a clean install can do wonders.
    As for CleanMyMac:
    Five Mac maintenance myths
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    What would increase performance and speed drastically would be installing an SSD. Then you would really see an increase in speed and your iMac would feel new again.
  4. macrumors 68040


    Dec 22, 2009
    Despite what a lot of people say, Macs aren't magic and, like all computer systems, they do benefit from a clearing out now and then.

    That said, if you restore from Time Machine you will likely put all the junk back on anyway. You want to manually back up all your important files and manually restore them afterwards. That way the system and settings are fresh and you aren't restoring things you don't need. Then you will notice a real difference.
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Would like to install a SSD inplace of the optical drive but cannot find anywhere to do the install for me in the uk thats local.
  6. macrumors 603


    I say, wait a bit until 10.8.3, it might get better.

    I am on MR most of the day for ages and it seems older hardware doesn't run ML smoothly, heck even people with new Mac's are complaining about ML slugginess.
  7. macrumors regular


    Apr 28, 2008
  8. macrumors 603


    Depends, most of the time not so much, there's not much in the System folder which gets updated on a regular bases, Caches do and a few more files, the rest is static until the next update.
    And, since when can you update the System Folder by itself, there are a few more folders on the root level which also will be updated if you do so.

    Cleaning on a mac doesn't make much difference overall, but there are sometimes problems and a few of them are corrupt .plist files, caches and startup deamons and startup agents, that's where you have to look.
  9. macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2008
    I got my first iMac in 2007 and am on my 4th one now. Never have done a clean install. Did a simple Time Machine transfer from one machine to the next.

    I have had no issues. When I transfer from one machine to the next, I noticed improvements only because each successive iMac was faster than the previous.

    When you do a time machine restore, you are simply transferring data and settings. The basic OS on the new machine is already "clean".

    I guess it couldn't hurt to start fresh but in my experience, I never really needed it.

    What you can do is simply wipe your iMac. Re-install the OS and then put your data back on using Time Machine. That will probably be sufficient.
  10. macrumors 68030

    Jul 13, 2008

    Clean installs are usually a waste of time. Just because there are a bunch of deprecated files laying around doesn't mean they are slowing much of anything down. You are far better off diagnosing your problem and fixing it.

    Clean installing is like replacing your engine because your car is running a bit ragged. It might work, but a far less drastic solution, like new plugs, might have worked just as well.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 2, 2012
    Is it possible to backup the home folder and then reinstall and then copy across home folder?
  12. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Yes, but either use Time Machine or one of the cloning apps, CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper!, to clone the home folder back and forth, as copying will introduce permission problems.

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