Format vs TM Backup vs Defrag - HELP!!!!!!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by palebluedot, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. palebluedot macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    I recently deleted my Bootcamp gaming partion so I could make it smaller. I then realized I need more space and so later on I deleted it again and tried to make it bigger. I got the infamous "files can not be moved" error which is Apple's nice way of saying "sorry we don't build in good defrag tools for large files, just small ones". Suffice to say, I cant install Windows without either doing a bootdisk defrag of my system using a third party tool like iDefrager or doing a fresh fromat of the hard drive.

    I think I would like to do a fresh format as its quicker and cleans out your system but my problem is thus:

    I dont know if I should back up my mp3s, pictures, aim convo logs, etc. to an external and just recopy them over with fresh installs of all my apps or if I should do a Time Machine restore (either the restore in the system disc or a restore after a fresh format and install of OS X). I have a Time Capsule so the ****** lag is a factor there.

    Please help demigods and knowers of OS X. Which is the best option for me to pursue!?
  2. palebluedot thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    Or would iDefragger be the best? I just know OS X seems to slow down after awhile and get more beach balls so I wanna do the best option since I have ot either format or defrag to install windows
  3. vansouza macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2006
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    I just went through a system meltdown today, ADC prevents me from details. I used Time Machine and Carbon Copy cloner as well as ChronoSync for special directories like Documents and iTunes. So before you employ any solution to solve your essentially windows problem... backup x 3.

    Then try the minimal solutions first... try an Archive and Install first which will save all of your current settings and folders...

    Good luck...
  4. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    I recommend Time Machine or doing a complete disk image of your drive with DIsk Utility. Once restored, either method gives you a completely up to date system that is fully defragmented.

    iDefrag is also a possibility, especially if you think you are using the drive in a way that will cause frequent need to defrag.
  5. palebluedot thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    I went ahead and did a fresh format (write zeros to the drive) and then did a clean install. Then I used migration assistant and just copied my user over (so it would copy just the home directory). I didn't copy programs as I felt it was a good opportunity to get rid of clutter.

    Two questions though:

    1) Does Migration Assistant copy old system files and crap? I deleted about 3 gigs of "Application Data" from my home library that I saw it copied over. i am worried it copied over more useless nonsense?

    2) For future reference, are you guys saying that doing a backup from my Time Capsule/Time Machine will in fact automatically defrag the free space as its going? thats sweet if its true.
  6. jimleszczynski macrumors regular


    Jan 19, 2008
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    I plan on doing a similar process this evening. What files do I need besides my mail folder, preferences, documents, iTunes, iPhoto, etc. I just copied the entire folder of iTunes and iPhoto over and planned to replace them before launch. Will this perform an accurate procedure? What do I need to do to contain my iPhone backup, iWeb syncs, mac mail mobile me synced mail. ? What do I need to keep to contain all of these preferences?
  7. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I'm going through the exact same issue, except I really, really don't want to have to format my drive (again). I've been able to get about 12gb out of over 100gb free to partition off, but I really need to get closer to 20 or 25gb. Are there any free/open source defrag tools for this?

    I think it's really un-Apple for them to pop up a message telling you to "backup and reformat your drive"...
  8. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    If you do a full system restore, with erase/format, (from the OSX DVD), the files restored by Time Machine will not be fragmented. Backing up alone doesn't defrag.

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