Should I or shouldn't I: clean install Lion???

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by katewes, May 18, 2012.

  1. katewes macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2007
    My dilemma: presently my Snow Leopard MacBook Pro 5,3 - 2.8GHz Core2Duo, 8GB RAM is running the best I've ever had any computer, smooth as silk, email setup is a dream with no bugs. (I've experienced Mail app bugs in earlier Leopard and Snow Leopard versions up to 10.6.6). And not one of Lion's visual features interests me. In fact, I loathe the prospect of losing SAVE AS because I use that all the time particularly with Preview. Online reports are that Lion is slower and buggier. Even after 10.7.4 the reports are mixed ranging from better, no change or worse - no consensus. The prospect of losing the dream performance of my 10.6.8 setup is upsetting.

    BUT, I am going on a season of extensive travel where my Mac may face risk of being stolen. Last time in Spain, in one week I had three attempts at theft. Once, a thief actually ran off with my pack and computer, and I only managed to retrieve it because a passerby nabbed the thief. So the risk of losing my Mac is real, not imaginary. On my notebook resides critical business records, which I cannot afford to let fall into the wrong hands.

    Therefore, the one and only feature on Lion that attracts me is the full-disk encryption for my business records. (Snow Leopard's FileVault doesn't seem an option, since I heard that SL's FileVault creates a single encrypted file that is prone to corruption, and also requires an equivalent amount of free-disk space to be effective).

    Other encryption systems don't seem viable. I can't just encrypt the critical files, since it's the emails that contain a lot of information.

    In writing this, I guess I've answered the question for myself: given the choice of (A) a buggy Lion 10.7.4 computer vs. (B) loss of mission-critical business records - I'd have to say I'd choose (B).

    Still interested in everyone's comments, though.

    As a last resort, what about keeping SL for its peak performance, and using SL-FileVault, and relying on TimeMachine restore in case things go wrong?
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    From the very get go (i.e. launch) of Lion and install I have found it to be all around faster, particularly in the Finder. I have, and still don't, understand the complaints regarding Lion being slow. I do not like Mission Control though, still.

    I have a 2008 iMac with 4gb Ram and 128gb SSD.
  3. katewes thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2007
    A friend upgraded from SL to Lion, and reports that everything is slow, particularly Mail - so I have that close-hand report.
  4. PurrBall macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    Lion is definitely slower than Snow Leopard on the same machine, however, 10.7.4 makes it resemble Snow Leopard much more in terms of performance. Given that you have 8 GB of RAM, I'd say go for it (Lion loves RAM more than cookie monster loves cookies).
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    It's quite prudent to be reluctant to upgrade system software if stuff is working for you.

    But there are also risks: security being one of them. Apple patches older stuff, but newer stuff is generally better in this regard, as you've found with FV2. Sandboxing is another. And Lion is no better or worse than SL IMHO; take online reports with a bit grain of salt.

    You could use True Crypt to create volumes to store your critical stuff, but I suspect you already know that.

    You asked originally about a clean install; not really necessary in most cases. But in yours, why not partition your drive and have a SL partition and a Lion partition? You could use Lion on the road with FV2, having beforehand erased all critical business info. Then just migrate back when you return. And you get to use one or the other depending on what meets your needs.

  6. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    Because you have an SSD...

    Try running Lion on a regular HDD and you know why...

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