The Dreaded "Fresh Install": Seeking Advice

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by stevietheb, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. stevietheb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Lately my iBook has been feeling a bit sluggish. I've had it since January, I regularly perform all of the typical maintenance operations. I even restart it at least once every two weeks. Currently, I'm running 10.3.5.

    My questions are these:
    1) Should I consider a fresh install? Or, is it possible that my yuckiness is being caused by 10.3.5 and I should wait for 10.3.6 to hit the Update and see how it works before doing the fresh install?

    2) When backing-up my data prior to the fresh install, what all should I copy over? I do not want to lose ANY of my stuff, nor my wife's stuff. Further, is it possible to keep all of my preferences for each application setup the way they are? In general, what is the best way to do this back-up?

    Thanks for the advice!
  2. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    I'm assuming you've done all the things like repairing permissions etc - it sounds like you have.

    Did it suddenly go slow or has it just gradually gotten slow? How much disk space do you have left - if your HD is almost full, this could be the problem. Panther is pretty good at defragmenting stuff but have you been using large video files on your system disk? (That didn't affect me though).

    Normally you shouldn't need to have to reboot every other week - I only reboot during updates and I don't have a problem with my PB. The other thing could be bad RAM or some program you installed that has messed with your system. Have you installed any theme-changing software like shapeshifter or anything? Preview copies of Tiger? This type of software can mess things up.

    You could do a clean install and it should sort this out but I'd only do this as a last resort. If you want to back things up, make sure your entire user directory is copied over and anything that you want saved.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
  3. stevietheb thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Yes, I've set it up so that the iBook repairs permissions on a regular weekly schedule. My HD has 14GB of space remaining, so that's not the issue. In the past, prior to purchasing a scratch disk, I was forced to use the iBook's HD as a scratch disk for Final Cut...but it's been several months since I have done that.

    I did install the trial of Shapeshifter, but I do not use it now that the trial has expired. I have not installed Tiger preview.

    When I originally purchased the computer, I also purchased RAM from crucial. The RAM that I was originally sent was faulty (caused me many kernel panics). However, within a week crucial had sent me a replacement, and things have been just fine. So, I don't suspect that it's RAM-related.

    The only recent major software change that I've made was moving from MS Office X to Office 2004.

    Programs I typically have running include:
    Office (mostly Word and/or Excel)

    I don't feel like the slowness is progressive per se. Rather, it just seems like over the last few weeks I've been seeing a lot more beach balls. Nothing is really crashing, just sluggishness and beach balls.

    What do ya think?
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Archive & Install should do the trick, and is a lot easier to recover stuff from afterward. As a side note, 10.3.6 is right around the corner. Most recent dev releases are showing fewer and fewer changes, and I predict it'll be out in a week or two (maybe it'll be longer than that, but not much).

    A clean install will better fix issues with bad preferences. Just note that you lose all saved info. Might be necessary for you. But I'd try one of the other approaches first.
  5. wowser macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2004
    Inglaterra, Europa
    isn't it a bit much that a fresh install is needed on a computer that is less than a year old?
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    The most effective thing that you can do to cleanup your Mac is to run fsck in single-user mode. Restart while holding down [Apple]-S or [cmd]-S. At the command prompt, type fsck -f. When the command prompt returns, type exit.
  7. stevietheb thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004

    I've decided to see what 10.3.6 has to say.

    My plan is to stick it out until Tiger is released, unless things become unbearable.

    Thanks for the suggesetions.
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    It would be, if it was -- which I seriously doubt. This is becoming the all-purpose fix suggested with frightening frequency for all problems in OSX, great and small. I would never suggest a reinstall of OSX on the basis of such vague symptoms. It's like the doctor suggesting you bang your head against the wall to cure a headache.

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