Archive & Install vs. Erase & Install

Discussion in 'macOS' started by -Martin, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. -Martin macrumors member

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    #1
    I've been having recurring problems that Disk Utility, TechTool Pro, DisWarrior, and Apple Hardware Test have been unable to identify and address. So, I'm now considering a system reinstall. But I'm not clear what the best approach is.

    It seems that Erase & Install is more thorough than Archive & Install, yet they both seem to enable one to carry over all of one's folders, files, apps, prefs, etc.: A&I as the "archive" name suggests; E&I because it offers the option to use Migration Assistant. So how do they really differ, and when would the seemingly less-thorough one (A&I) be preferred over the other (E&I)?
     
  2. Amdahl macrumors 65816

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    #2
    I've never used Migration Assistant, but it isn't magic. You are going to have to store your data somewhere else temporarily if you do an Erase & Install.

    You haven't described your problems, but if Disk repair utilities are involved and failing, then you either have a bad hard disk, or a very screwed up HFS+ filesystem. In that case, Erase & Install. A&I doesn't create a new filesystem.
     
  3. -Martin thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Are you saying that the only difference is the location of the “source” user data—i.e., A&I leaves it on the drive, and erases and installs a new system “around” it; E&I, erases everything on the drive, installs a new system, and copies "replacement" user data from whatever source volume you specify?

    Four kernel panics since getting the machine last spring (the first about 10 days after bringing it home); a lot of beach balls/slowdowns (they come in fits and starts); a period during which the machine would hang when I logged out (I’d have to use the power button to reboot); rashes of “fading dock icon labels” (the gray backgrounds on the dock icon labels gradually fade to a very light color), which would only be “fixed” by logging out/in, or rebooting.

    This I didn't know....and, yes, I've had the feeling that the file system/directory structure was corrupted. In fact, a new (minor) problem recently occurred just after I repaired (for the first time) the directory (rather odd result, don't you think?) via TechTool Pro, followed by DiskWarrior.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #4
    From your description of the symptoms, I'm going to guess you've got a hardware problem, most likely a bad hard drive. If you're not fully backed up already, now is the time to do it. If it was just a matter of a corrupted file system, DiskWarrior would probably have helped, and if your drive is failing, no kind of reinstall is going to cure it.
     
  5. -Martin thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    If, as you say, DiskWarrior (and I assume you also would include Disk Utility and TechTool Pro) didn’t help, it may indeed point to a hardware problem. But since DW, DU, TTP, and AHT (as well as SMARTReporter, which always runs in the background) didn’t indicate any drive problems, one could argue equally convincingly that their “silence” points to a software problem, right?
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #6
    Some would, but in my experience chronic problems like the ones you describe are more often hardware issues. The number of applications that can cause OSX to behave this badly are few and far between, and the culprits mainly known. You could try an Archive and Install, which is the least disruptive method, but I suspect it will not help.
     
  7. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    #7
    It could go either way. Backup is definitely advised. My one experience with a corrupt HFS filesystem that was unfixable by Apple tools was the result of a glitchy firewire cable. So hardware often is a cause of these nasty problems. But the HFS is still scrambled, even if the hardware problem is solved.

    E&I won't restore your data from another source(nor does it back it up); but you can do that via any means you choose before the install, and restore afterwards. Migration Assistant is probably not the right tool, since you aren't going between two Macs. If you don't need your Apps, perhaps you can use Disk Utility to make a Disk Image of your User folder.
     

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