Ars article on clean Lion install - losing the cruft

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by smithrh, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    Much like the author of the article, my Macs tend to collect... stuff over time, and I'm going to be trying a clean install, but yet migrating some of my old apps and data over.

    Not everything in the article is applicable to everyone, but it was good food for thought as we get closer to Lion's release.

    I'm likely to be buying a Mac with Lion on it already; later on I'll figure out how to/if I should migrate my current machines to Lion.
  2. Patrick J macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Mar 12, 2009
    Oporto, Portugal
    Interesting article. I did a clean install, enjoyed the experience.
  3. Roman2K~ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2011
    My basic rules for system cleanliness:
    • Always perform clean OS installs. Never trust any assisted migrations of any kind.
    • When "uninstalling" applications, remove every last trace of them by running find / | egrep -i <name>, where <name> is parts of the application name (regular expression), repeat with editor name, then any other related name.
    • Periodically check various user and system "Library", "Application Support" and "Preferences" directories.
    My systems are always clean AFAIK: OCDs have their perks :cool:.
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Lest anyone think that this is a good idea, it is not. A clean install is a procedure intended to solve vexing problems that cannot be solved by less radical means. Absent an identifiable problem with your system, a clean install is a massive waste of time and a productivity killer.

    I hate replacing old computers because of the time required to migrate documents and application, to install drivers for my peripherals, and such like. The process takes days, if not weeks, to complete. It is a sign of insanity to volunteer to go through this just to update the OS.

    I always perform simple upgrades. 99.999% of the time, I am working on a new OS while the clean install people are bringing their new OS into productive shape. In the 0.001% event of a problem, I am few minutes behind in a process that will take at least a day or more.
  5. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    I see both sides of this…I regularly clean out my Library folders (Preferences, Application Support, etc.), mostly to save space and get rid of files I never use anymore, but I have been running the same System folder on my computer since I got it (It was a new Leopard install because I never trust the mass-imaged installations from the factories, but I transferred my data from a Time Machine backup on another Mac, and then went to Snow Leopard). Three years later, things are still working fine and I'm ready for Lion.

    It's not that one way is necessarily better than the other, but Apple does make it so that you don't need a clean install each time. Some swear by it, but I have yet to see a problem in my situation…and if there ever is an issue, I could always just start from scratch and bring my documents/applications over.

Share This Page