How do I do a "clean" install of OS X without formatting?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ethana, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. ethana macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    How do I do a "clean" install of OS X without formatting? I have a ton of data but don't have an external drive to store it all on.

    How do I do a clean install of the OS without formatting my drive?

    Can I make a second partition, store my files on it, erase my first partition and install OS X, boot the newly installed OS, copy over my files from the second partition, and then merge the second partition back in to the first one?


  2. vevierta macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2009
    As long as you have enough space for the partitions, it sounds like that would work.
  3. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I'm pretty sure that's how a clean install works. You have to format your hard drive. How you back up your data is your choice.
  4. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    The only way to do a clean install is to format the hard drive. Its called a clean install because you wipe the hard drive clean and install the OS again.

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