Clean install of Lion OS X without loosing data

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by quickmac, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. quickmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    I really want to like Lion but I'm having dozens of issues, mainly lots of system hangs, slowness, freezes, and more slowness.

    I've read others say a clean install (instead of overtop SL) have resolved a number of these issues but I've also seen users say that time machine backups done in Lion won't restore in SL. And like others I have a lot of files I need.

    So does this step process make sense for my needs:

    1.) Boot from Snow Leopard disc and erase macbook pro hard drive.

    2.) Reinstall a clean version of Snow Leopard onto hard drive and install all updates.

    3.) Redownload Lion from App store, and reinstall, then restore files from TM.


    1.) Make bootable copy of Lion installer, boot from that.

    2.) do a direct fresh install of Lion and then do a backup restore.
  2. tjsdaname macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2009
    cedar rapids IA
    I am having tons of problems too. and plan on doing the second option.

    use my macbook that still has SL to download lion and make a bootable disc, install a fresh copy of lion on my iMac and do a time machine restore.
  3. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    Yeah I'm thinking this too now, especially since there is a risk that time machine backups done in Lion might not restore correctly to Snow Leopard.
  4. Mascots macrumors 68000


    Sep 5, 2009
    I did this:
    Create a small partition to install OS X onto (which I already had), booted that partition and wiped my primary partition, then installed Lion fresh onto the empty primary partition and restored piece by piece all of the stuff from a Time Machine backup (going through and fixing my settings as I went).

    Fresh installing Lion and only restoring my files, applications, and application data made it about 100+ times better.
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'd do a migration, not a restore, if you're going with Lion.

    And you might try to not migrate everything, but do it so that you can isolate what might be causing the problem. Otherwise you risk just removing the problem and restoring it back again.

  6. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    I put the installer on an empty external hard drive I have, used disk utility to erase my macbook pro OS X partition and did a clean install onto it. For now seems to be working a little faster.

    I read this as I was migrating stuff over off my Time Machine. I usually would have just did a restore from the OS X Installer menu but for some reason I did it this way, and it seems to make a difference.

    Knock on wood.

    I'll have to keep an eye and see if Safari continues to me a memory suck and if I keep many beach balls of death. Hopefully I don't see my free RAM number drop to below 100MB again...

    Although I am willing to double my RAM from 4GB to 8GB if needed.
  7. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    With a clean install and migration of data combined with a verify disk and repair disk I am experiencing less beach balls of deaths and less freezing.

    However I am still experiencing slow boot ups and shut downs, system hangs from time to time, and excessive use of RAM. Safari seems to be the culprit running multiple processes that end up taking up close to a gig of RAM and sometimes more. As I'm writing this I have 66MB of RAM free out of 4GB. What's running? Safari, iChat, and iTunes....all Apple programs. In Snow Leopard I'd usually have at least a gig free at any given time.

    Lion OS X also has prevented a number of my Steam (a gaming platform) games from functioning, Pages hangs and freezes sometimes, Safari hangs and lags, and occasionally the system freezes entirely for a few seconds.

    Hard drive health and other diagnostics show all hardware in working order.

    So overall a slight decrease in problems since doing a clean install but overall a headache compared to Snow Leopard. And I can't revert back to SL because Time Machine backups done in Lion apparently don't carry over and I've created a lot of new files since then. Like others I don't have the time to manually back up all those new files; thats why I got a Mac with Time Machine.

    Apple really dropped the ball on Lion OS X and while the features in theory are great, it really is Apple's Vista right now. Its a resource hog and full of bugs so far (like a small bug when clicking on an on screen icon or button doesn't lead to any response from system).

    The answer for now seems to be to spend money and max out the RAM soon to 8GB to correct for resource hogging. Hopefully as Lion ages, Apple releases more updates to correct these glaring issues.
  8. WiBu macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2010
    Safari currently has a memory leak, regardless of how much RAM you have it will eventually slow down your system if you have it open for a reasonable amount of time.
  9. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    Yeah I have noticed this. Apple should fix this.

    In the meantime I have discovered that disabling RSS bookmark updating, disabling Top Sites in bookmarks, and disabling Top Sites as new tab default page has helped a little.

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