Inherited Mac - Wipe n Reload, or tweak ?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by sparge, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. sparge macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2009
    My brother passed several months ago. I inherited his Mac OSX. Awesome computer, even though I do Windows primarily.

    My quandary: I've set it up for my 15 yr old son to use. All data has been organized (removed/archived offsite) appropriately. I'd like to assign my son as the primary/admin user. I'm curious as whether it'd be best to just start fresh (format and reload), or change the settings/name of current "home" user.

    The hard drive has been partitioned, and there are several awesome apps (for which I still have installation media). I'm worried that changing user settings can cause hiccups later on when using apps loaded by the original user. Also, I'd prefer (although its not imperative) not to have a paritioned hard drive.

    Again, I know exactly what I'd do if this was a windows machine, so please forgive my "newbie"-ness. Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Sorry for your loss.
    Since applications are installed system-wide, you can create a new user account in System Preferences, and you can also make it an administrator account. Click on Accounts (in the 4th row for System), open the padlock in the lower left by entering in the existing user's password, then click on the + sign above the lock. Set a new name/shortname, new password and verify, and make sure you have it checked to "allow user to administer this computer" or the account type is "Administrator" rather than "Standard." Logging out and into the other user account will then allow you to delete the original administrator user and retain all of the installed applications.
  3. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Jan 30, 2008
    My vote is for wipe and reload.

    This is really the best way to go. It's good to get rid of all the left over stuff and start new. Then you can reinstall the stuff you want to use.
  4. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    Definitely start fresh, for all you know, the previous owners accidentally got socially engineering into installing a trojan or keylogger.

    More likely, but still not too likely, there may be modified settings, other such things. It'll be harder to troubleshoot any problems since you don't know the exact history.
  5. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Wipe and start afresh. Depending what it is, might be a good time to think about adding in a bigger hard drive also.
  6. DolemiteJackson macrumors member

    May 6, 2006
    My condolences for your loss. As long as you've saved what you want and have the install disks, I'd wipe clean and start over.
  7. sparge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2009
    Thanks everyone ! I've temporarily created a new user (with admin rights) and deleted the original user. I do, however, plan to reload in the not too distant future.

    Would appreciate any links which might include tips and/or step-by-step. I'm not that uncomfortable with doing it (done it with Windows boxes numerous times), but would be interested in any details unique to Mac's OS.

    Thanks again !

  8. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Sorry for your lost, Sparge.

    There is no compelling reason to wipe and reload. It's not like it's a pc full of adware, spyware and trojans. But if you decide wipe and install is the way you want to go...

    Wipe and reload is very fast and painless on Mac. No looking for cd key numbers. No phone calls to Redmond Washington to prove you are not a thief. No clicking through endless dialog boxes to make decisions you don't care about or understand...

    1 Simply insert the OS X dvd that came with the system and boot from the dvd.
    2 Pick wipe and install (rather than archive and install), then go for a walk. It's a computer. It can do a thing or two without babysitting. I know you're used to that attention deprived toddler called windows, but OS X can do something right without intervention. Really.
    3 Done. *

    (* well you will have to make one or two decisions such as creating a user account and picking your default language)
  9. SamNeeds macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2007
    Sorry to hear for you loss.

    I'd definately go for a rebuild - doesn't take too long.

Share This Page