archive install vs clean install


macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 13, 2007
which is better, and why is it better over the other one? what if i pick the worse one, what will i lose, which is easier, and worth the time to do? what if you have a drop in dvd that came with your imac, which would be better with that?

Leon Kowalski

macrumors 6502a
An "Archive & Install" or a Leopard "update" will preserve the apps already installed and just add/replace the necessary bits.

An "Erase and Install" deletes everything and restarts with a clean slate. Since the Leopard OS doesn't include the "bundled apps" that came with the original install disks, they'll disappear -- but they can be re-installed later from the Tiger install DVDs.

IMO, clean install is the way to go -- because it gives you an opportunity to get rid of many GBs of useless "bloatware" and applications that you'll never use. For example, the iWork and MS Office 'Test Drive' packages consume 2.5 GB -- that's more than all other "bundled apps" combined. Also, I currently have no use for iWeb or GarageBand, so I'll save several more GB of HD space by leaving them out until I need them (if ever).

I just did a custom clean-install of 10.4.8 -- with ONLY the required "core OS" components and absolutely nothing else. Total disk space = 2.87 GB. Next, I grabbed all the recommended Software Update packages and moved up to Tiger 10.4.10. Total disk space = 3.11 GB (including "core" apps like Safari and iTunes). IIRC, the original factory pre-load consumed nearly 20 GB.

...don't install it 'til you need it,



macrumors 68000
Apr 10, 2007
Leon gives the best reason for a Clean install. It's a chance to get rid of all the useless crap you no longer use. The other reason is if you want to wipe your hard drive and reformat it.

If neither of those is an issue, an archive and install works great. So does, apparently, the upgrade install. But I've never done that.

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
is that archive install, or clean install? how do you do it if not either?
Neither. Just an upgrade, which is all nearly anyone actually needs. If you don't want some of the applications Apple bundles with the Mac, or anything else for that matter, you simply throw them away. Wiping the drive to accomplish this is completely unnecessary and potentially hazardous.

Mac OS X Ocelot

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2005
If you archive install doesn't it give you the option to not preserve the apps and users and instead includes them in the Previous Systems folder as a disk image? Doesn't that make it basically a clean install except it makes it easier than backing up to an external drive before clean installing (unless you don't have the internal hd room).

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
Yeah, right! Please list the files you'd "simply throw away" to un-install GarageBand.
Drag Garageband to the Trash. Empty the Trash. If having the application support files around really bothers you, search for Garageband in Spotlight and drag those to the Trash too.

Or you could wipe the hard drive. Then you'd only have to figure out how to reinstall all the stuff you actually wanted. That would work too. This is obviously the more correct solution because it's so much more complicated.


macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2003
That or just chuck the GarageBand loops folder which really is the one consuming the most space. After installing FCS I had no need for GarageBand, iMovie, or iDVD so I simply did a spotlight search to locate the related files(templates, loops, etc.) and trashed them. I'd like to do a Clean Install of Leopard when my ADC mailing arrives, but I don't have the time nor the inclination to re-install the applications I currently have so I think I'll stick with Archive and Install.

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.