Archive & Install or Erase & Install + TM Restore?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by masterjedi747, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. masterjedi747 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    #1
    Long story short: I've been having some issues with Leopard (and it looks like it was probably my fault for simply choosing the "Upgrade" option when I moved up from Tiger), and so now I'm looking into a clean install Leopard, which according to all other indications should fix my problem.

    Now, my initial reaction was to go with the "Archive and Install" option, but since I've been reading more about what people have to say, I'm starting to wonder if I should just choose "Erase and Install", and then restore from Time Machine instead? ...or is there really even a significant difference in the end?

    I would like to keep everything as intact as possible, which makes me think Time Machine would be better, but then at the same time I've read stories about people having difficulties with restoring from Time Machine, and losing certain applications/preferences, etc... but sometimes they say it works just fine. So I don't know.

    But I'd like to get some second opinions before moving forward too quickly and then possibly regretting my decision later.
     
  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #2
    None of the above -- upgrades generally work fine.

    Describe your issues with OSX, very likely a reinstall won't be necessary.
     
  3. masterjedi747 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    #3
    So much for my "long story short" attempt, huh? :p Ah well.

    It's actually just a very bizzare graphical problem that I'm having with KOTOR (rendering it practically unplayable) -- a problem that I know I wasn't having before, and which I know that I shouldn't be having now, since both my brother and one of my friends (who have the exact same computer I do, also fully updated with Leopard) have been able to play the game perfectly without the graphics issues that I'm having.

    And I know the game files themselves are all fine, both because it's got all the latest patches, and because in fact they are the exact same files that I used to launch the game on my brother's and friend's MBPs (since I just have the game files stored my portable external hard drive).

    So it's GOT to be something wrong with just my computer. More so since I KNOW that I was not having these problems when I first got the game, back when I was still running Tiger. I just very much suspect that something went wrong in the transition to Leopard, or in one of the subsequent updates.

    Add to that the fact that I also took advantage of my AppleCare warranty by calling in with my problem, and they had me run all sorts of tests to look for possible problems, but nothing seemed to turn up. So then they recommended that I re-install Leopard from the original disc, and then check the game to see if that didn't fix the problem (and then slowly add back all of the updates, watching to see if any of them mess the game up again, although they shouldn't)... and I couldn't do any of that until now that I'm home from college for Christmas, and actually have access to our family's original Leopard install disc.

    So now I'm preparing to re-install Leopard from the disc, and I'm trying to determine what the least painful way of doing this will be. I had originally thought Archive and Install, but it sounds a little messy in regards to the whole "you'll need to check every 3rd party application you have afterward, make sure they're still running OK, and perhaps re-install them if they're not" step. But then realized that I DO have my Time Machine backups right here, so maybe an Erase and Install would be just as easy (or easier) and potentially better in the long run... although I've heard stories about TM backup recoveries not always working perfectly well anyway.

    So I guess I'm just trying to get some advice as to what the best course of action would be: Archive or Erase+TM? (...unless perhaps you know of something else that I don't?)
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #4
    First, I would never reinstall OSX because of a problem with one application, especially a game. I'd remove the game. Then I'd research problems with the game before reinstalling it. That makes a whole lot more sense, to me anyway.

    As for the two types of reinstall, if you erase and install, you are starting completely from scratch. If you erase and install with a Time Machine restoration, I presume you will be right back to where you were before you started. If you archive and install, you will have to reinstall any applications which modified the system, which may include the game. If the game has a problem, you'll once again be right back where you started.
     
  5. macrem macrumors 65816

    macrem

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #5
    There are a few options when it comes time to restore from Time Machine aside from a complete system restore, namely: user files/settings and/or 3rd party applications. Here I would restore user files/settings but then maybe manually delete any files KOTOR added in the user space (e.g. under ~/Library, which I'd try in the first place before reinstalling OS X as maybe it takes care of the original issue), then reinstall KOTOR along with other 3rd party apps. I am also skeptical that upgrading from Tiger to Leopard is the root cause though.
     
  6. masterjedi747 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    #6
    There's not much to remove -- basically all of my KOTOR files are stored on my portable external hard drive (and I've determined that there isn't anything wrong with them, since other people have played the game perfectly using those exact same files on my hard drive). So unless there's something else that I don't know about, all that I have physically on my computer are the KOTOR saved games (which I also know aren't causing the problem), and I guess all of the KOTOR preferences (of which I've tried deleting all that I can find, but maybe I'm somehow missing something important?)...

    OK, so Archive and Install should be more useful in helping determine (if not eliminating) the problem, whereas a TM recovery would probably just be a waste of time?

    Because I'm 99% sure that it CAN'T be a problem with the game. I've done all sorts of research and talked with all sorts of people, and everything is saying that this really shouldn't be happening. Plus the fact that I can't re-create this problem with the game on any other identical MBP running Leopard... *shrugs*
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #7
    I presume the game itself is stored on your startup drive, or at least the installer created some files there (in user/Library/Application Support). It could also have installed kernel extensions, I have no idea. If the game has an uninstaller I'd still run it. If you're still hellbent on doing an OSX reinstall, I'd at least start with an Archive & Install, which is the least destructive method.

    And again, I'd focus my attention on the one application that doesn't run properly. If everything else is working fine, I certainly would not suspect an OSX problem.
     
  8. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #8
    Since you're going to need it anyway (if you do a re-install), download the 10.5.6 Combo update from Apple.com, and run that on your current install. Sometimes, Combo updates will fix problems because they are such a thorough install process.

    Repair permissions also, since that hasn't been mentioned.
     
  9. masterjedi747 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    #9
    Oh, I wish it did. Haven't been able to find anything though.

    That makes sense to me... and I'd certainly hate to go through the whole process and gain nothing... but what else would you recommend at this point? Should I just go through and manually uninstall every single 3rd party application I can, one by one, and see if/when that makes a difference?

    Downloading it now, but I'm not particularly hopeful. I think I actually did a combo update like this a few months ago, and I don't think it helped then either. But we'll see. *fingers crossed*

    Did that just yesterday (or the day before, I can't remember). No luck.

    The AppleCare people also had me try creating a second user, and installing the game there, but that didn't fix anything either. (<< although now that I think about it, does that fact actually indicate that my third party applications are NOT causing the problem, since they were never installed for that second user?)

    Sounds reasonable. I'll keep that in mind if/when I decide to go ahead with that extreme measure.

    For what it's worth, I also dug up some of the screenshots I took of this problem... it's a little hard to describe, and not terribly clear from the pictures, but I'll give it a shot, in case anyone happens to recognize what might be causing this:

    http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j71/masterjedi747/Picture2.png
    In this one, my character is not visible. I'm standing in the corner of the room, looking in at a small portion of a room full of characters. It should look like a normal room full of people, but several of them (here the Twi'lek characters, but it's not always or exclusively them) have what I can only describe as these huge black sheets extending out of various body parts (in this case, their heads) and up and/or across the room. When they walk forward or turn their heads, the rigid black sheet/cone things move with them. If I try to walk through the room, more characters with this same problem will come into range and cast even more giant black moving walls throughout the room, making it at best incredibly difficult to navigate, and sometimes completely impossible to see.

    http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j71/masterjedi747/Picture1.png
    This time my character in standing in the center. There should be a whole lot of flat ground, one dead monster at my feet, and one building ahead of me. But to the left you can see the body of a monster I killed, with several of these black/purple sheets shooting out of various parts of his body. I took this picture after he had already stopped moving, so it's significantly less disorienting than when these black sheets are flying around all over the screen. And to my right, there's another "solid" black wall that shouldn't be there, and I don't know why it is.

    And I know I've said this several times, but let me remind you that the game files themselves are perfectly fine -- my brother and my friend launched the game on their computers using only the exact same files that are on my external hard drive, and they found none of these problems.

    EDIT: No luck with the 10.5.6 Combo update either. Oh well...
     

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