First Clean Install Ever - Advice Please

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by star555, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. star555 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Cambodia - Thailand
    #1
    Due to a problem, I need to do a clean install, as this will be the first time ever I could do with some advice.

    As my iMac is still only Six months old I have not installed many applications on it, so may be doing a full clone back up
    may not be necessary . ( ? ) This is a list of things I would like to back up and re install on my iMac after the clean install is done..

    Firefox 3 ( keeping all my bookmarks, add ons Etc )
    Apple Mail ( keeping all my mail and settings )
    LittleSnitch ( keeping all my permission settings Etc )
    iPhotos ( keeping all my photos )


    When I check out the position of the above applications with Easy Find , that I want to backup and save to transfer back to my iMac later , they seem to be all over the place in separate parts.


    Can some one please tell me the best and easiest way to backup the above items on to my current Seagate USB external HDD
    and how to then transfer them back to my clean installed iMac.

    any advice and comments most welcome :)
     
  2. matperk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    #2
    Best thing to do is a full clone and keep referencing it. I just did this on Friday. I imaged my entire drive, and pulled back what I need. This is the safest move.

    If you don't feel like you need to, at least grab your home folder, specifically the pictures and library folders. Library is where most of that app data and preferences is stored.
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #3
    What kind of problem? Reinstalls are almost never necessary.
     
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #4
    I agree. Especially a clean install. Those really can be a headache because you never end up with the same system that you originally had. Anyway to keep all of your settings just backup the Application Support and Preferences folders in the User Library (or just backup the entire Library Folder).

    But yeah, what's the problem? We can likely save you a headache.
     
  5. star555 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Cambodia - Thailand
    #5
  6. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    I did a clean install and i'm back better than ever. I don't recommend cloning your system if the system seems corrupt in some way, you may just clone the problem.

    I'm not sure how to save specific settings, I re-did all mine, which may seem like a pain, but at least I went over it all and know it's good.


    Firefox - can be re-downloaded. Go into the bookmarks menu and select "file>export" This saves the bookmarks. As for Add-ons, I'm not sure if they can be located in finder and saved, I never used any really useful ones. I don't even use Firefox any longer.

    Mail - I'm not sure where the mail is stored, but i'm sure it can be saved. I let mine be deleted, only saving what info seemed important. As for settings, I just re-did them upon re-installation.

    Little Snitch - it may be a pain to go through it all again, is there no settings export feature?

    iPhoto - assuming you have a more recent version, the entire iPhoto library is a single file. Just copy it, then replace it upon re-installation. iPhoto will open and read the library file, which will already contain all imports. Settings will have to be re-done.

    iTunes - Same thing. Copy entire "iTunes" folder, including album art, music folders, and the XML and iTunes library file. Upon reinstallation, go into "Music" and if there is an iTunes folder there, delete it. Replace it with the saved library. Upon opening iTunes, select "do not scan for files" (they're already there), and just skip through the setup until it brings up the library. Since it brings up the old library, everything will be there, including playlists, songs, album art, and everything.



    When I did it, I saved:
    -iTunes library
    -Photos
    -RSS Feeds (exported from NetNewsWire)
    -Macros from Keyboard Maestro (exported)
    -Bookmarks from Safari
    -Calendar Events
    -documents/files.

    I re-installed OS X Tiger, and updated it. I then re-installed all apps, and checked the settings in System Preferences, and each program. This took some time, but everything is brand new, running smoothly, and in check. I even set the corners of my screen to bring up expose, or the dashboard. I registered all shareware, and imported my Calendars, macros, iTunes library, photos, bookmarks, RSS feeds, and documents.

    I opened iTunes and it worked immediately, no importing, sorting, or anything. Photos are in folders alone (i hate iphoto), calendar is back up, macros all work perfectly, and RSS feeds all back to normal.

    I also customized my folders in the finder sidebar. It took 1 day, and everything is back up.
     
  7. star555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Cambodia - Thailand
    #7
    i.shaun , Thanks for that , I was thinking that if my current problem at ..

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=579338

    can only be solved by an Erase and Install , then may be its not a good thing to fully clone every thing just in case the issue causing my problem is transfered back to my iMac on the re transfered clone. Thats why I was thinking of only keeping a few Applications shown in my list and just transfer them back to the iMac after the Erase and Install had been done.

    Its just knowing where to exactly look for the applications that I want to clone as shown in my list , and if it can be done to preserve each application / file in full and transfer them back to my clean iMac so they work as normal ?
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    I have not seen this particular problem, but if I was prepared to throw in the towel on other methods of diagnosing it, I'd certainly try an Archive and Install first. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
     
  9. star555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Cambodia - Thailand
    #9
    Hi IJ Reilly , and thanks for the advice , Ive been thinking a bit more about what to do next as I can't seem to find an answer to my problem other than than the Archive and Install option ... '' BUT '' how about this thought ..

    If I do an Archive and Install is there a possibility of transferring may be a problem that currently exits now
    on my computer ( Causing the current problems ) over to the new Achive and installed set up , and I then find that I still have the same problem even after doing an Archive and Install ..?


    now that's got me wondering :( any thoughts on That ..?
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
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    #10
    If the problem does persist, then you can escalate the solution. Never do more than is absolutely required -- that's my thinking on diagnosing and fixing problems.

    Have you tried to google this error message, btw?
     
  11. star555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
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    Cambodia - Thailand
    #11
    Hi , Yes Ive searched every where for an answer to my problem and the general advice seems to be , do an Archive and Install or Erase and Install.

    So just thinking about what you said ....

    Never do more than is absolutely required

    makes good sence , So its looking like an Archive and Install is my first port of call, then if the same problem is still there , move on to a full Erase and Install.

    As Ive never done either of the above, I am just wondering if I do an Archive and Install ,would all my '' paid '' for applications be put back as normal ?

    Thanks
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #12
    Archive and Install creates a new System folder and archives the old one as "Previous System." It does not change any other directories, so it should not affect installed applications, with the exception of applications which have installed kernel extensions into the System. Most don't, but this doesn't mean you don't have one of these applications, which means you will need to reinstall it. (You will know if this is the case if after the Archive and Install an application doesn't run properly.) Still, this is a lot less work than starting from scratch, which is what you get in an Erase and Install.
     
  13. star555 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Cambodia - Thailand
    #13
    Hi , Thanks for that, I'm getting a bit worried now after reading this from an Apple Document ..


    Important: Performing an upgrade or Archive and Install installation when there are unresolved directory issues can make the issue worse, and possibly lead to data loss.



    :(
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
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    #14
    This is a real concern, which is one of the reasons why I always recommend trying to diagnose the real issue instead of trying to blast it away with a reinstall. Unfortunately, I don't have a clue about your issue.
     
  15. star555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Cambodia - Thailand
    #15
    Hi , Yes I would love to fix the problem with out having to go through all this
    but it looks as if its not to be .. :( I will post how it all turns out .

    Thanks
     

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