Lion clean install, it really helped (MacBook Pro)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by rangen, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #1
    I thought this information may be of use to some of you.

    I have a mid 2010 2.53 i5 MacBook Pro 15".

    I did the SL upgrade to Lion, and suffered from several of the problems described on this forum. Alas, I made a bootable Lion USB flash drive and did a clean install after formatting my boot drive with Disk Utility. First of all, the install took 1/3 of the time the upgrade took! Now that it's installed, i've put everything back on manually (apps, files, settings etc), no assisted migration. It's a completely fresh start, and now the system is visibly quicker, snappier, more responsive, and improved boot time. Even the diminished battery life seems to have been partially recovered, I reiterate, partially.

    Yes, things like Safari memory leaks remain, and minor bugs. I upgraded the MBP from 4GB to 8GB of RAM this AM just for kicks and future proofing, though it really wasn't necessary and I did all of my testing with the original 4GB. Though this was inspired by the fact that Lion does eat a marginally increased amount of RAM, regardless of what anyone tells you, it does.

    In conclusion: I'd really recommend doing the clean install of Lion.

    (strange side note: I'm only left with a few built in desktop backgrounds after the clean install. All of the SL ones are gone)
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    #2
    Glad you got it sorted.

    I have the same model MBP but the i7. On my year old bloated SL install the upgrade took about 25 mins and after all the reindexing and a reboot everything is exactly how it was before, battery life, temps, snappiness. I wonder why some have issues upgrading and others don't...

    Did you clear all your old cache and temp files before doing the upgrade?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #3
    Thank you. I did indeed, meticulously.

    It certainly is strange.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #4
    I too did a clean install of Lion by creating a USB stick from the image downloaded from the app store and booting with it. Wiped my second drive (Im on a MP) and installed onto that, keeping Snow on the first drive. Install took no time at all and after that I manually copied over my apps, preferences and a few plugins etc from my Snow drive. Everything works great, the system is noticably snappier than Snow ever was and Ive also noticed that Lion handles memory better than Snow. I personally would always recommend a clean install of any OS, I didnt even bother trying to upgrade over Snow.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #5
    It certainly seems to be the best way at this early stage. Perhaps the process will differ with 10.7.1.

    I think the jury is still out on memory usage, for me, I'd say it manages it better yes, but it manages more.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #6
    Just adding to rangen's experience: We did clean installs on all our SL Macs the day Lion came out. In some cases, we actually went out and purchased new HDs, just because we have a policy to replace them every 18 months (it's the cheapest insurance we could think of, besides cloud backup with BackBlaze). On existing drives, we simply zeroed them, and then did a fresh install of Lion. Because we use MobileMe, we first synced with MM, which brought in our Mail Address Book, and ICal. Then added the GMail accounts, then reinstalled all of the applications we needed and used.

    Also, before we did these backups, we took screen shots of as many settings as we could think of, just to make reinstallation easier. This included screen shots of the Application folder (I'm always amazed at what apps I forget to re-back up), System Pref settings, and preference settings in the more complex apps (like DreamWeaver and Spell Catcher).

    We've done this every since Leopard, and although it always seems beforehand that it's going to take a long time, in fact it goes quite fast. And in the end, we generally end up with no problems and the knowledge that we've basically got new Macs. I am seeing the Safari memory leak as others have noted, but I suspect that'll be fixed by Apple in the next month.
     
  7. macrumors member

    spincr

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #7
    Is there an easy to understand guide for this matter?

    I'm not particularly good with these things, but i would like to improve my macbook pro.

    Quick question, how big does the usb need to be to make it work as a start up usb?
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #8
    What I've been doing for the past six years with each new OS:

    1. Back up each Mac, and then wipe the drive. In some cases, it's best to buy a new drive if it's over 18 months old. The theory is based on knowing that all drives crash, might as well be proactive and simply buy news ones every 18-24 months to avoid hard drive crash. They're just too cheap now to even worry about, and the old drives can act as archived backups. We did this for about half our Macs, a variety of towers, MacBook Pros, MacBooks, and one MacBook Air (in one case, a new SSD in the Intel Mac Pro tower).

    2. Take screen shots to make the reinstallation easier:
    - Application folder (so you remember what apps to reinstall)
    - Preference settings on any of the more complex applications (in our case, this was ones like Dreamweaver, Spell Catcher, etc)
    - we use MobileMe, so Address Book, iCal, Safari bookmarks etc will all repopulate with the new OS. But if you don't use MM, be sure to backup/export all of these.
    - System Prefences. I tend to install a lot of odd Sys Prefs, like TapDex, Perian, SteerMouse.

    3. Install Lion.

    4. Set up System Prefs, install all the apps, adjust settings

    In my experience, spincr, it's the only way to go. I personally think it's incorrect to say "it's fine to install a new OS over an existing one." I haven't seen evidence of that. True, if that old OS's machine was hardly used, didn't have a lot of old prefs, caches, etc, it's probably fine. And if that old OS isn't being used for ones livelihood. But otherwise, it's too big of a gamble to do so. My Mac guy's advice: take the time to create a new Mac. Go out and purchase a new HD, or at worst, zero the drive and start fresh.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #9
    When some of you talk about moving your apps over after a fresh install of Lion, do you mean reinstalling all the apps, or some how drag and drop from clone of the old drive? I simply have way too many apps to ever make me want to do a fresh install and reinstalling of apps. Maybe when I get the courage...

    I have a MBP and a MP, so as you can see, fresh install of Lion, and reinstalling of all apps will be terrible. Especially with my most used apps like Adobe Suite, Final Cut Studio, Aperture, etc.
     
  10. macrumors member

    spincr

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #10
    Well my mac-book Pro is from 2010, and to be honest, it was thus expensive that buying a new hard drive is out of the question. And besides i have 3 ext. drives that i use to back up my mac and each-other.

    My question is though, whether there is a guide of some sorts, one that explicitly tells me what were how and when. What you told me is a step in the right direction, however there are no other mac users close by, so in case something goes wrong, i won't have the internet to correspond back.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #11
    search for a guide on creating a Bootable Lion USB key

    follow the instructions to create it

    restart mac holding option key

    format drive with disk utility

    clean install lion

    job done
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #12
    personally i reinstall each app from scratch, the Mac App Store being helpful for this purpose
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #13
    There is no other way, ChiefRoastBeef. But given the results, meaning you get a brand new Mac that becomes fast and snappy again, I guarantee that you won't regret the decision. Take screen shots of your Apps folder, of the preference windows of your more complex applications, of System Preference settings, so that you know what to reinstall and how to set them up, but man, you will not regret this decision. I have friends who have never done this since Tiger, and when I work on their Macs, I always think, "they have no idea how much faster their machine could be working."

    For what it's worth, I do this every year-18 months. While the six hours it take always feels like it'll be a hassle, once I'm into it, I really enjoy the process. If you're like me, you install a LOT of junk over time that you just don't need any more. It's great to have a new machine once it's all done.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom (UK)
    #14
    Two questions as I am thinking of doing the same

    1. My 4 yr old MB has never had its HD replaced - I have just ordered a new one, and plan to upgrade to Lion at the same time - will I notice a difference?

    2. You say you manually install the apps yourself, would it not be easier to backup to timemachine, and use migration assistant to move everything back over again?
     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #15
    It depends on what hard drive you have ordered, though you will benefit from the clean install.

    You could use migration assistant, but manually installing the apps again guarantees a fresh start.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    NY
    #16
    Whenever a new version of OS X comes out, I always do a fresh install. This time, I tried the upgrade, and I didn't like the result. The system felt a little sluggish, and there were some weird quirks (like elastic scrolling randomly turning off throughout the day).

    Just did a fresh install, much happier with the result. My system feels snappy, and it's an opportunity for me to clean out all the programs and crap that I've accumulated but haven't used in a while.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #17
    by doing this, will i lose iLife 11 which i had pre installed with SL?
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #18
    Some of the issues that people are having may be because there is a problem with their hard drive root sector being corrupted. I have seen a number of strange behaviors happen because of this. Something like DiskWarrior resolved it. Personally, I like doing clean installs for a new OS install.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    #19
    Has anyone compared doing using migration assistant just for your apps vs reinstalling them one by one? It sounds like most folks here are proponents of the latter. Six hours seems lights, I would imagine it taking longer than that to get everything up and running.
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #20
    Lion will not re-install your iLife applications, you will have to do it manually.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #21
    My understanding, cibby, is that the migration assistant also ports over all preference, etc. files. So if any of those are damaged, we're just bringing the problems over with us. It also brings over all of the 10s or 100s of other apps that we once installed but no longer use.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #22
    But does the SL apps disc work with Lion?
     
  23. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #23
    The iLife disc that shipped with your SL powered Mac will install on Lion
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    #24
    Reading this post really is making me think about doing a clean install instead of a normal installation, and I have two quick questions?

    1. will I be able to reinstall iwork? I have the application disk, just want to make sure it will work correctly if I reinstall it onto lion.

    2. I have a bootcamp partition right now, is it possible to keep my bootcamp partition while doing a clean install?? Or will I have to completely erase my whole hard drive and redo my bootcamp partition?


    Any help is appreciated thanks!!!!
     
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #25
    I don't deal with bootcamp, but I can tell you that you'll have no problem with iWork.
     

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