Doing a fresh install

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Jardins de Vin, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Jardins de Vin macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #1
    Over the years plenty of useless files have found their way on my computer (maybe even bad ones) and now I believe it’s time to do a fresh install.

    So, I really want to make sure I don’t do anything wrong or delete anything important. I have a few questions left.

    Loading a backup would be useless because it would restore the “bad files” again. But I was wondering, as for files that I would like to keep, is it alright if I simply copy them from a Time Machine backup?

    Like, I could copy all the stuff I want to keep to an external hard drive (for example my iTunes library, my iPhoto library, various documents).

    But do I need this at all? I mean I could just simply go to the backup volume and manually copy these files, right? What are the pros and cons? What do you suggest?
     
  2. 53kyle macrumors 65816

    53kyle

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    #2
    I think you should manually copy over all important files to a drive and then manually copy them back when you reinstall os x. The pro would be that you can easily copy them without waiting for time machine to back up everything else, same as restoring your files. The con would be that if you accidentally forgot to copy files it would be extremely hard to get them back or maybe impossible if you erase the hd or format it.
     
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #3
    Don't restore files by dragging files from the TM backup to your hard drive in the Finder.
    Use the TM app.

    The merits of a clean install are over-stated. I've done three in ten years, and two of those probably weren't necessary.

    If you are going to put everything back except for a few things, then why not do it the shorter way? Just identify the things you don't want to restore to a clean system, and delete them from your current setup. :D
     
  4. Jardins de Vin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

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    #4
    Well, everything is backed up already and if there’s things that aren’t, it shouldn’t take too long :) Also, I’m not backing up anything. If I would load the backup, I would load the “bad files” again, see what I mean? If I do a fresh install I’ll do a backup after the fresh install again, and delete all other backups.

    And yes it would probably be impossible to get them, but since I have Time Machine running anyway I should be able to get my hands on them somehow! As far as this goes, it should be fine I think.

    I’m wondering if it might do some problems with the iTunes Library, or the iPhoto library. I’m wondering how exactly you copy something like this, I mean you don’t just simply copy folders (at least I think you don’t). Because there’s playlists, and albums, and cover pictures, and so on.

    If I would be restoring the backup by using Time Machine, I would load plenty of files that I wanted to get rid of, and I would be where I stood at the start again ;) Hehe.

    And about deleting the “bad” files… if it was just that easy! I’ve had a trojan once and I’m pretty sure it’s still lurking around. It’s not easy to spot all the files that applications and so on leave, even after you uninstalled them, or removed them with AppCleaner or similar. I’m pretty sure there would suddenly be plenty of space on my Mac :D
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    I believe what benwiggy is suggesting is you could do your clean install then from the Time Machine star field thingy interface (<< official name :)) you could select say the Documents, Pictures, and Music folders and just restore those alone. He is not suggesting a full TM restore.
     
  6. Jardins de Vin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

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    #6
    Oh alright, I can decide what I can restore? I didn’t know that, definitely cool to hear :) How would I do this?
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    Just do your clean install, then once you setup your account open the Finder and select the folder you want to restore and then click Enter Time Machine from the Time Machine menulet at the top right. Then select the point in time on the right you want to restore that folder from and click restore at the bottom right of the screen.

    I have to say though, I agree with benwiggy that this whole "clean install will fix everything" thing is a bit oversold. If you are not really sure what you are doing you can lose data and really get yourself sideways. :)
     
  8. Jardins de Vin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

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    #8
    Alright, thanks :)

    And yeah, I know that it is. And in fact, I’m scared to loose some stuff, but I’ll just simply copy everything that can come to my mind to the external hard drive. But in the end, Time Machine has still done backups and I will restore it from there like you said, so nothing can really go wrong… :)

    I also have a game that I would like to make run again. It wasn’t really meant to run on Mountain Lion. It worked fine under Lion (which it was made for), and it worked fine on ML as well until I reinstalled it at some point. It had some bugs then and it was harder to install (I needed nasty tricks), now it doesn’t work at all anymore.

    It seems like when you have this transition from one OS (Lion) to another (ML), it’s all fine but the installation process is making problems.

    So I was thinking that I could just simply install Lion again if I do a fresh install.
    I’m planning to do this with the CMD + R function. I’ve bought ML from the Apple Store, once I’ve done my fresh install, can I simply re-download it and jump from whichever Lion version will be on there to the last ML?
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    When you do a command-r to reinstall it will reinstall whatever version you have now. So if you have Lion and a Lion recovery partition, it will install Lion. If you a Mt. Lion recovery partition it will install Mt. Lion.
     
  10. Jardins de Vin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

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    #10
    What’s a recovery partition? I have the latest Mountain Lion, so I guess if I do CMD + R, it will reinstall Mountain Lion, right?

    The Mac however came with Lion (it’s from September 2011).

    It’s already from the time when Macs didn’t come with install DVDs anymore and you had the CMD + R option, kind of stupid then I guess since I can’t install Lion anymore now. :confused:
     
  11. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #11
    What I was suggesting is that if you know which files you will choose to restore, then you also know (by definition) which files you're not going to restore.
    So instead of deleting everything, reinstalling the OS, and restoring some of your files, just delete the ones that you don't plan to restore. Thus saving yourself a lot of time and effort.
     
  12. Jardins de Vin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

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    #12
    Oh, alright. No that definitely wouldn’t work, you don’t know how much crap can accumulate on a computer after so much time :D

    It’s not like I see these files anyway. I’ve gotten rid of all the stuff I don’t want anymore long time ago, but there’s plenty of stuff that we don’t even know where it’s located or if it was there already in the first place.

    Also I’ve had a trojan once, so that scared me a bit. I managed to stop it from working, but I’m pretty sure it’s still lurking somewhere in the dark areas of my :apple:. Who knows, it might just be uploading all my photos to a server right now…
     

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