Is it possible to reinstall OSX without deleting docs, pictures and stuff...

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ZballZ, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. ZballZ macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    Maybe it's a habbit from Windows, but after installing a bunch of freeware apps and removing most of the useless ones again, I feel like I should reinstall OSX - to keep the system stable. (I recently had iPhoto and Word shut down on me a couple of times...)

    Is this possible without deleting all the personal stuff? All my document, pictures, music and so on?? - The apps dont matter much, I kept the installers of the ones I want to keep.
  2. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Yup. The installer will offer you the option of saving the user account. Just go slow, read the fine print, and you will be fine.
    Before you do that, have you done the Disk Utility --> Repair Permissions deal yet. That is definitely the place to start.
  3. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    I'll try the repair permissions first...

    If I save the user account during re-install, would that mean it keeps EVERYTHING? albumart, iPhoto-albums, iPhotobook, iDVD projects ... the whole bunch?
  4. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    I have been running on OS X 10.4 Factory install since I bought my powerbook more than 1.5 years ago. And it is still running rock solid.
  5. ZballZ thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    Mine is running solid, too, compared to windows! Perhaps I am idealising OSX, but I thought that sudden shut-downs were almost unheard of. It happened to me all the time in WinXP - which is just the way it is. Changing to mac, I thought this was the end of shut-downs, and now iPhoto crashed on me 2-3 times one day, and word 2-3 times as well. Is this normal behaviour, or does it mean something is wrong??
  6. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Reinstalling OS X is generally safe, it will not eat your files. Email, browsers, etc are all held safe and sound. Now, having said that, I will deny having said that in a court of law! Make a backup of your important stuff. Do that even if you don't reinstall the system. The Mac OS is very forgiving but, Mac or Windows, your hard drive will die someday. Maybe in five years, maybe in five minutes.

    Permissions are the usual culprits in a misbehaving Mac. Run Disk Utility --> Repair Permissions at the first sign of trouble.

    Then grab your Installation CD, reboot with the "c" key held down so that the Installation CD is the boot drive. Pick your language (English is good...!) and run Disk Utility --> Repair Disk. Run it until it is clean. You can potentially Repair Permissions from the CD boot, but don't. It doesn't know who you are and it will reset permissions that you will have to repair when you boot normally.
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    You can lose those old Windows habits -- reinstalling OSX is almost never necessary! Unexpected application quits are very unlikely to be caused by problems with OSX, so you won't cure them that way anyhow.

    Don't reinstall, and enjoy the Mac advantage to the fullest.
  8. SandynJosh macrumors 68000

    Oct 26, 2006
    I'm a little confused. You seem to say do THIS because it's safe and you won't lose anything. Then you seem to say if you do the SAME THING, is will reset your permissions.

    What exactly are you saying? :confused:
  9. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    If you have a external HD, then you could backup your iTunes. iPhoto, Safari Bookmarks, Movies, Documents, Applications, or whatever else you need, and then initialize/reinstall that baby.

    Then what i would do is create a partitioned drive, with the OS on a smaller partition, and all of you apps like Photoshop, or whatever else that doesn't need to be in the OS Applications folder to work [unlike Microsoft's Office Suite, this needs to be in the OS Apps folder].

    This helps out, if say in Jan. or whenever 10.5 comes out, if you want to upgrade with a clean install. All you would have to do is simply delete the OS partition of your hard drive, and not the other partition. This way everything will still be on the other partition after your new fresh OS X install.

    However, what the other people have said will/should do the trick. I don't think you would need to do a Repair Permissions twice like stated above. You should only need to do it from your current OS install. After doing so it would be smart to Restart, and then Repair your HD from the OS X DVD if you need to do so.

    Good Luck.
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes but you should do a backup first. You'd be nuts not to. User error is always a possibility.

    Also after you do the re-install you will need to update to the current versions then yu will be back EXACTLY to to place you are at now. I re-install likely will do nothing.
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What he should have said has that "repair permisions" on the CD is likey a version of two back from what you have on the boot disk. Apple has issued some updates. It's best not to do this from the CD.
  12. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Thank you ChrisA!
    Repair permissions from the Disk Utility on your hard drive after a normal startup. You can't Repair Disk from Disk Utility after a normal boot/login.
    Repair Disk from the Disk Utility when you start up with your original Installation CD. The confusion is my fault, you have the ability to Repair Permissions after booting from the CD...don't!

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