Software Installation Monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Carioy, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Carioy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    #1
    I'll be getting my Mac very soon so I'm very eager to start testing stuff out.

    Now I know that removing an application in OSX is a lot cleaner than Windows since it doesn't have a registry but I've read that some programs will leave files all of the place, even when deleted.

    Some referred me to Appcleaner and similar tools but as they seem more "after the fact" I wonder how clean it can make my system?

    Back in the Windows world I used ZSoft Uninstaller and it would first take a snapshot of the system before you installed an app and then afterwards. So that if you decided that you didn't want it anymore, the uninstall would be perfectly clean (yes, I have an OCD about having a clean system... :)

    So I'm wondering if there is a similar app for Mac?

    Or if there isn't would Time Machine work as a way to set everything back to it's clean/pristine state?

    I know at the very least I can just test things out for a month or so and then after I figure out what I want then do a clean install of OSX. But that seems really tedious if I discover any other new apps later.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    Im not sure this sort of thing exists for OS X just because, as OS X is UNIX based, even if the files are left floating, their very small, generally shared with something else, and you can only do it after the fact (Also, I havent reinstalled OS X on my MacBook in over 2 years, and thats with numerous app installs and uninstalls, and I cant notice any difference between it as it is and when I boot it from a clean OS X install on another HD)
     
  3. Carioy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2011
    #3
    Thanks chrismacguy!

    Performance is the major issue, but the other one is simply having stuff on my system that I don't want. I know, I know, it's a little OCD but for some reason it bugs me :)
     
  4. MacTribe macrumors member

    MacTribe

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #4
    One thing you could try, but probably not exactly what you're looking for, could be carbon copy cloner. Essentially you could clone your harddrive before installing an application, then restore back to how it was before.

    I dont think its a practical solution to every application you install, but perhaps for the sake of making sure you have a good backup before making a major change or installing something untested - this may work OK.

    I agree with the others on simply using AppCleaner, Mac's are not like windows PC's.. They only have a few plist files that need removing after uninstalling and you dont really have to worry about it taking up space or dirtying up the OS.
     
  5. JamesMB macrumors 68000

    JamesMB

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    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    You might read post #4 in the link. Most of those app removal programs for OSX leave behind a lot of crud.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1036981
     
  6. Carioy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2011
    #6
    Yeah, I was thinking of doing this as well. Probably not after every application but I guess I could test them in sets and from there decide the best ones I want to use.

    Thanks so much for the link! So it looks like perhaps cloning/restoring my system might be the cleanest way...

    I'm surprised there's no utility that does this, not even a Unix/Linux one.
     
  7. Carioy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2011
    #7
    I hope it's OK to update my own post 2 months later but I think I found a possible solution.

    I just recently discovered fseventer and it will record all the files that are written and changed.

    The only tedious thing is that you have to manually go through the file list that was recorded by fseventer if you want to delete everything.

    Also there's a paid app Yank which is supposed to record and uninstall everything for you but I haven't tested that yet.
     
  8. JamesMB, Mar 9, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011

    JamesMB macrumors 68000

    JamesMB

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    #8
    I would almost bet, that it wont remove everything. The only sure way of doing it, is the way that I linked to, and it only takes a minute or two to get it all.
     
  9. JamesMB macrumors 68000

    JamesMB

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    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
  10. Carioy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    #10
    Thanks JamesMB :)

    Yeah, the software description said it would take a before-and-after snapshot so it reminded me of similar Windows software that did it well.

    But after reading some reviews, there does seem to be some problems with it.

    When I get the time I'll test them both out, manual and software-wise (and I've seemed to have stumbled into some more software that does these before-and-after snapshots like MacMagna Uninstaller, DesInstaller, CleapApp, etc.)
     

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