OSX clean install and development environment

Discussion in 'macOS' started by estockme, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. estockme macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
    Hi all-

    I've always been confused about the specifics around a clean install from recovery of osx and how time machine works into that. my mba is 3 years old at this point and still running well for the most part, but i have intermittent issues and learned to code over the last year. now i'm working as a developer and this machine sees much less daily use, so i'd like to spruce it up- maybe a new ssd, maybe a new battery, and a fresh install.

    question: if i do a clean install, will time machine undo all the freshness? Should i just start from scratch and restore my home folder piecemeal? Most of my actual docs/music/photos are in the cloud or backed up on an ssd, so accessing those shouldn't be a problem, so if i'm better off restoring those individually and setting up my IDE from scratch i'd take that route over potentially restoring a buggy system from time machine.
  2. iSimx macrumors 6502


    Sep 26, 2007
    Definitely best to start from fresh and put back any files manually. Then you'll have a clean system rather than restoring those extra files from Time Machine.
  3. mattysouthall macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2012
    Time Machine just restores a users directory right? It won't mess with any System files so I don't see the issue really?
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    If you do a TM "restore" it actually completely over writes the internal drive and moves the OS and all apps and data from teethe backup over to the drive.

    Then you have a TM "migration" which uses the existing OS on the internal drive and imports the users apps, settings, and personal data into the OS version on the internal drive.

    Then you have option three like the OP is after. That involves erasing the drive and reinstalling the OS then manually reinstalling all apps and manually moving data folders back over. Neither of the first two options is a true clean install like OP is after.

    OP>> Yes a TM restore or migration will undo any benefit from the clean install. You gotta do it manually.
  5. estockme thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
    thanks, everyone! I guess I'll wait for the new os about the mountain to come out and then buckle down.

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