How often do you guys reformat your computers?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DramaLLama, May 24, 2013.

  1. DramaLLama macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2011
    Do you guys like to start clean every so often just 'cause? Or do you only do it when there's issues? How often do you all reformat and start new?
  2. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I used to do that with Windows XP about once per year. Since I've been on OS X for the last 7 years, I've never done a format and re-install - not even when upgrading to the next OS version.

    My experience with OS X has been a great one with very few problems overall.
  4. chambone, May 24, 2013
    Last edited: May 24, 2013

    chambone macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2011
    Never. I just keep bootable backups to clone over if I screw up. The last time I used installation disks is about 4 years ago.
  5. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Only when Apple comes out with the next version of OSX. Always a clean install for me. I firmly believe it's why I've never been plagued with any of the "freakish" issues you see around here.

    I think the Apple OSX coders use a clean and pristine drive during development so that's what I try to replicate.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Same here. I used to reinstall Windows XP about every three month or so (otherwise it would become unbearably slow and glitchy). With OS X and Vista (and up) it is simply not necessary.
  7. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    This is the practice I follow, for me it's been well worth it. Combined with common sense safe computing practices, I've experienced years of reliable uptime.

    That said I'm also focused on maintaining a solid backup routine. These two together are priceless insurance that keeps me from having to deal with various glitches. It's a lot nicer to enjoy using my Macs rather that spend time troubleshooting them.
  8. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Yes sir my friend. Daily for me. A 1.5TB drive handles Time Machine backups (1 TB) and SuperDuper does a clone using the remaining 500GB partition.

    All just by plugging in a cable. (Thanks to some 3rd Party utilities and an Applescript). True, all my eggs are in one basket but I've never experienced such painless "peace of mind" before. I've got a bootable clone in case I need it and TM files from 2011 (which I occasionally revert to).

    I did that with my kids' XP machine when they were younger. I gave up trying to remove all the trojans and crap they collected over the course of 2 months so I just burned a restore disk, gave them 2 days notice to save any files then nuked the bastard. Regularly. (and with some degree of glee I might add).
  9. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2013
    I went a step further, deleted Windows from the computers and installed Linux on them. We kept one Windows machine for times when that's all that would work but that's now seldom to never. I then later bought some Macbook Pros and keep Linux on a desktop and my Chromebook. No trojans, viruses, etc. Clean running and now I don't feel like the IT guy at home.

    Edit: and now I never need to format except when installing a new Linux distro. I never upgrade, always a fresh install.
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I haven't found the need to reformat or do a clean install in over five years. I find that most issues can be resolved by effective troubleshooting and targeted actions, rather than throwing everything out and starting over.
  11. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    But if you're like me I'm sure the relatives and friends still call and stop by... Windows machines in hand!

    It's amazing what performing a Windows "System Restore" to an earlier time does for one's reputation as being a technical genius.
  12. ultra7k macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    until they go mess it up again hahah.

    I guess I was on cycle to format my win7 gaming rig (when i had it) in a few months since it was getting noticeably slower, even with an SSD.

    Prior to that, every 1.5 years I think, formats were mandatory.
  13. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Never for me as well

    And I have never had a problem upgrading the OS either
  14. Michaelgtrusa, May 24, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013

    Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    For me every 60 days, it helps a lot and I see big improvements.
  15. TheAppleSource macrumors regular


    Mar 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I only ever do it as a very last resort. If I've tried fixing something for a long time to no avail then I will try a full reinstall. It's not ideal if you're like me and have a fair amount of configuration that needs to be done to get your computer back to the state that you are used to it being in!
  16. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I've been a Mac user since early 2008, never did one, never felt the need to either.
  17. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2013
    Or how many times a simple reboot fixes....well, most things! Printer spool issues, wireless random disconnects, overheat conditions, freezes and lots of other small problems.

    But I can honestly say I HATE issues in the registry when you get some stupid malware or virus that takes over the machine and you have to get into a terminal to delete a file and get into registry to delete the registry entry. People who run Windows but do not remember DOS seem to go into shock when they see a Windows terminal open and see you navigating the file system manually. Ugggg....I sooooooo love OS X and Linux for not having such issues.
  18. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    It's not a regular thing for me like it was for older versions of Windows. I tend to only do it if I'm repurposing a computer for something else or replacing the HD. For example, when I replaced my 2006 MB with a new MBP, I reformatted/installed and just turned it into a general purpose web machine. There was definitely a performance difference doing that.

    I've also noticed a performance difference when I've done it in the past with our old iMac. I'm not convinced that OSX is immune to the "slow down over time" disease. It's just not nearly as bad as with Windows XP and whatnot.
  19. No-Me macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2011
    Like some others, always when Apple releases a new OS. And for the same reason I never use the migration assistant when I get a new machine.
  20. b3av3r macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2012
    I've only had my MBA for about 6 or 7 months so no experience at all with reformatting a drive with OSX. However, the only time I ever reformated my win machine was when I did a OS upgrade like from XP to win7. I never formatted my machine as a fix because it never got something so serious I couldn't fix the specific problem.
  21. amit715 macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    new york
  22. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I reformatted once on a mini where the HDD had become corrupted and would not boot.

    Otherwise never. Mac user since 2005.. I have a 2008 iMac that has been on pretty much 24/7 with no issues. I upgraded to Mountain Lion with update install and have had zero problems. No hardware issues, no software issues.

    I do keep bootable backups of all of my Macs, at least 2 per machine, but I don't use Time Machine - I don't feel that I need that level of backup, just the clone backups from SuperDuper
  23. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    I do it whenever I get a new computer for myself and for major OS upgrades (eg. SL to Lion, but not Lion to ML), but mostly just because I like starting with a totally clean slate as it gives me the chance to try new ways of organizing more easily. That works out to about ever other year or so. I only do it for the family computers (wife and children) on major hardware upgrades, which usually means when forced to by Apple's lack of OS support for older computers.

  24. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Never for me, I don't fix something that's not broke. I've never had a problem and have been a Mac user since ohh.. 1984 or so.

    Now there have been a few hardware and software issues along the way, but never needed a reformat and reinstall to fix.
  25. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    When I bought it (it was used). Two OS upgrades and a new SSD and haven't done a reinstall.

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