About to wipe my iMac and set it up as new

Discussion in 'macOS' started by dwfaust, May 21, 2018.

  1. dwfaust macrumors 601

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #1
    Question… my iMac is starting to show signs fo being full of cruft… I am seriously considering wiping it and reinstalling macOS and starting over… lots of conflicting within myself as I ponder this move… any thoughts about how to keep what’s important? I got my first Mac in 2009, and have never done a clean install of anything… when I upgrade, I use either a Time Machine backup or a CCC backup from which I restore… so I have almost 10 years of crap carried forward…

    The basics I get:
    • Make a current backup (or two)
    • I have access to all non-MAS software, including registration keys
    • iCloud will restore Keychain, Contacts, Calendar, etc

    I also have questions...
    • How can I get my old email back on my newly set up iMac? If I export all mailboxes, will that work? What about any email attachments?
    • Can I still access old TimeMachine backups if I create a new account? Will I get locked out because I am not the same "me" that created the backups?
    Has anyone here done such a thing? Is it worthwhile? What issues can I expect to arise?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    It's been a while since I tried importing mail.

    What I think you need to do:

    I'm not sure if you even need to "export" the emails first.

    Before you do the erase/reinstall, do a CCC backup so you have a finder-mountable copy of your internal drive as it exists "pre-reinstall".

    Then, set the backup aside.
    Get your OS install redone.

    I believe you can now go into Mail, and then choose the "import" feature, and "aim Mail" at the OLD (i.e., the CCC backup) copy of your home/library/mail folder, and then "bring them in" that way.

    Seems to me I've done it this way before and it's worked. But again, it's been a while.

    Then again, you could just:
    - backup to CCC
    - erase the internal drive
    - re-install the OS
    - begin setup
    - when setup assistant asks if you wish to migrate from another drive, connect your CCC backup
    - choose to "migrate your old account over" and it will bring mail, settings, etc.
     
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #3
    The mail in your IMAP and/or Exchange folders will be downloaded from the servers when you re-add your account(s) in Mail. So...that mail wouldn't have to be imported. Anything in a POP account or in mail folders that are "On My Mac" you could export from the old and import to the new. Attachments should be fine.
     
  4. dwfaust thread starter macrumors 601

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #4

    Thanks... I did export my mail and then imported it... I was worried about the mail rules, but they magically showed up... I have one gmail account that I wanted to add as POP, but HS mail doesn't seem to allow it any more (GRRRR).

    I did not want to do the migrate because of nearly 10 years of cruft... I think I have it sorted out...
     
  5. dwfaust thread starter macrumors 601

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #5
    One last concern before I do the deed... what happens to over 4 years if TM backups? Will I be able to access them, should the need arise? Or will macOS recognize me as someone else (that is, as a different user than the one who created and owned the backups) and deny access?
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    I sense those "4 years of TM backups" are mostly "cruft" that you're trying to get rid of, anyway... :)
     
  7. dwfaust thread starter macrumors 601

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #7
    Perhaps...
     
  8. dwfaust thread starter macrumors 601

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #8
    Just a follow up... for the most part, the deed is done... I do not have access to my TM backups (was hopeful, but not the end of the world)... my system is much cleaner and leaner... still finding little missing stuff like user fonts, keyboard shortcuts, etc... will take a few days to sort most of it out, but overall, it's a huge improvement over where I was...
     
  9. bopajuice Suspended

    bopajuice

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    Location:
    Dark side of the moon
    #9
    What is Cruft?

    You say your machine is cleaner and leaner? I'd be curious to know what you mean. It's not like a PC where things become corrupted or .DLL's are left behind when you delete a program, and interfere with another program.

    I am mainly interested to know what the original problem was and what has improved since you did a clean install.
     
  10. dwfaust thread starter macrumors 601

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    #10
    I got my first Mac nearly ten years ago. Over the ensuing years, I upgraded machines several times, and always just moved my stuff onto the new machine by restoring from at TM backup. As time passed, I managed to encounter bugs and issues that gradually caused some of the features (like continuity for phone calls and intermittent issues connecting to network devices like NAS and printers) to not work properly. I also began to experience issues with account permissions...

    Apple suggested creating a new account on my current Mac and reconfiguring everything in the new account, but that also caused issues with some software, as I installed it for my original account only, meaning that I had to reinstall a lot of stuff for "all users"... also, my Open With context menu from within Finder was corrupted - sometimes it worked, but mostly it took forever to populate, and when it did, there were programs listed that had long been "uninstalled" (pretty much a misnomer, as 'uninstalling' software is much like trying to clean up a paint spill in shag carpeting).

    FWIW, while there aren't .DLL files being left behind as with Windows, there are still plenty of files left behind in the Library folder, containers, .plist files and the like... so there was cruft, which I define as trash, debris, or other unwanted matter that accumulates over time.

    And after spending a couple of days preparing everything, and another doing the install, all is right with my Mac again.
     
  11. chabig macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #11
    In the future, try the Migration Assistant. It’s built specifically that and I think you’ll find it much faster too.
     
  12. bopajuice Suspended

    bopajuice

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    Location:
    Dark side of the moon
    #12
    Thanks for responding. Makes perfect sense. I have to say I have had issues in the past with older photo albums being corrupted due to revised software and the like. Sometimes Apple does not make it easy to access archived data.
     

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