Clean Install Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by soigne3, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. soigne3 macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2014
    Thanks in advance for reading. :cool:

    It's just about that time again, my mac is getting a little sluggish and I'm going to clean install my Macbook again :). But before I do I needed some suggestions as to what's the best way to do this.

    My old method was I would go through all my folders and backup everything I need, files, documents, adobe photoshop and illustrator plugins and patterns, etc, etc... Then I would do the clean install and drag and drop all the files.

    Now my question is, can I save time with all this back and forth if I just do a Time Machine backup, then a clean install and then just go into the Time Machine backup and drag and drop? Is it essentially the same thing? Or would there be some files I'd miss?

    In addition, I spoke with Apple Support and they suggested something I've never heard of, it's called Migration Assistant.

    Any suggestions and clarity on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again!
  2. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Migration assistant is basically where you restore from your time machine backup during the installation.

    Personally (and I just this this last night for my MBP!) I always do it manually. Given all of my stuff is stored on my network anyway, it's not really a big deal. I just take a list of the apps I have installed, copy my user folder, do the reinstall, and then copy back the contents of certain folders.

    Time machine is good for "oh my, my HDD has failed!" moments, but if you're doing it because it's gotten sluggish, Time Machine can often pull back some of the crap that's causing it to be slow.
  3. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I LOVE Migration Assistant. Here's what I do. When I'm upgrading to a new Mac or even a new HDD in an old Mac, I plug the new HDD or Mac in via Firewire and start with a virgin OS on the new drive. There are many tutorials around about how to get OSX onto a blank HDD so I'm not going to belabor that point here. Next you boot the new drive (hold down option) and tell it to "migrate" from the old HDD when prompted. It gives you the choice of using a Time Machine backup, old hard disk or even another Mac. I have only had luck migrating from a FRESH Time Machine backup so I don't recommend you waste time on that option. Simply do the following:

    1) Connect a new internal drive using an SATA to USB adapter
    2) Install OSX on it
    3) Boot to it and pick your old Macintosh HD to "migrate" from
    Be sure to migrate everything, all users, applications and settings. This saves a LOT of time later.
    4) Boot from the new drive and make sure it has everything you need.
    5) Open up your Mac and install the new drive

    Assuming you aren't trying to upgrade your internal HDD, there is a slightly modified version of this procedure...

    1) Connect a USB HDD and clone your internal Macintosh HDD to it. Carbon Copy Cloner can do this. Even Disk Utility can do this. I won't belabor the procedure here.
    2) Boot from the USB HDD and make sure it works.
    3) Wipe your old internal Macintosh HDD by formatting it with a brand new HFS+ Journaled partition and call it New Macintosh HDD (after you Know that you Know the USB drive has absolutely EVERYTHING you need)
    4) Install OSX to your freshly wiped internal New Macintosh HDD
    5) boot to the internal (freshly blank) New Macintosh HDD and when prompted, pick the external USB drive to "migrate" from.

    I like my procedure because at all times during the procedure you have one or more fully bootable OSX drives ready to go if you need it. Hope this helps...
  4. soigne3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2014

    Got it, but in theory, after I do a clean install, can't I just plug in my Time Machine Hard Drive and open it in viewer then just pick out the folders I want like you mentioned above? Because I've done it where I just dragged a folder from Time Machine on my desktop.
  5. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    You can indeed. I just copy stuff since it's a bit quicker (and i'm impatient haha). Plus I kind of like seeing a physical copy of my stuff on a HDD before hitting the erase button!

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