Thinking of a total fresh install of MacOS Sierra - help prepare please

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MrMister111, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. MrMister111 macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    I have a late 2012 iMac 8Gb RAM, 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 512 MB. I will be upgrading to MacOS Sierra when released officially.

    So I'm currently on v10.11.6, not sure what my iMac originally came with, but I've just always updated to new MacOS when they've came out.

    I'm thinking this time I may re-install from fresh, as it seems a little slow, glitchy (keyboard on log on, not working specifically a lot), and maybe just to get everything back to how it should.

    is this a good idea? what do I need to do when MacOS Sierra comes out, how would I install form fresh? do I need to download an image for a USB pen or something?

    More importantly, I will run Time Machine backup, but obviously I won't want to recover from this, so as a backup I will, but what else will I manually need to backup and how.

    I basically have spent hours and hours of my life organising my Photos and iTunes, so can I just copy the original folder of these to a USB drive, then put them back in on MacOS Sierra? what else, just copy any files from the user folder and drop that back in?

    I'm computer literate, but never done a complete reinstall on Mac, have on Windows often (a pain!)
  2. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    With the age of your machine, it may be worth quickly checking the HDD is OK. It may be failing from age/wear & tear alone. You can verify the SMART data by downloading SMART Utility here:

    If it shows anything other than 'Passed', it definitely would be time to change the drive.

    Regardless, even if the SMART comes back OK, it may be worth looking into swapping your HDD for an SSD. The bottleneck in most Mac systems will always be the hard-drive, and especially on the newer iterations of OS X, they really don't sing on spinning drives.
  4. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    I think everything is fine just seems it's time for a fresh install. Maybe it's from my windows days!?!

    Either way I think a fresh install must be better, even what Apple says about it, surely its better overall?

    Mine has a fusion drive in also.
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    Okey dokey. In which case, you can review the instructions below. This would also be relevant if you upgrade to Sierra and want to do a fresh install:

    1) Backup your drive with Time Machine. This is essential, as you can later migrate apps/data through Migration Assistant, or completely restore from your last backup.

    2) Hold CMD+R on startup to boot into OS X Utilities. Format disk through Disk Utility. Select 'Reinstall OS X'.

    3) You're done. Clean OS installed.
  6. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    That it! So will it connect to MAS and download Sierra once it's officially out?

    On TM you say migration assistant. Never heard of that, what does that do please? How do you do it? Will it recover the other users files only on my iMac?

  7. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    The CMD+R/OS X Utilities will only reinstall the current OS you have on your Mac. So if you want to do a clean install of Sierra that way, you'll need to upgrade to Sierra first and then do that.

    Migration Assistant is an application within OS X, wherein you can migrate applications/data from an external drive, or a Windows system. You can do this after OS X is installed and manually select what you want to restore.

    Hope this helps, though please let me know if you have any further queries. :)
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "More importantly, I will run Time Machine backup, but obviously I won't want to recover from this, so as a backup I will, but what else will I manually need to backup and how."

    I will offer a better suggestion:

    Forget TM and create a bootable cloned copy of your 10.11.6 drive using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (my preference is CCC).

    With an exact copy of "what was" close-at-hand, you are protected if things go wrong. Time and time and time and time and time again, we see posts here from folks who said, "I upgraded to the new OS, it doesn't work for me, and now how do I get back to the old one?".
    BUT -- they have no cloned backup, which makes it easy to get booted (from the backup), re-initialize the internal drive, "re-clone" the backup BACK TO the internal drive.

    With a bootable cloned backup, it's trivial to "get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged..."
  9. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    What kind of keyboard? Wireless?

    Reinstalling OS X is a waste of time, especially if you are planning to use Migration Assistant. Specific problems can be solved, performance can be improved by doing a bit of housekeeping. You don’t seem to have a compelling reason for doing this other than the belief that it might make some things better. OS X now completely maintains many system locations, which significantly reduces the opportunity for breaking things.
  10. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    Yes it's an Apple Bluetooth one, sometimes when you go to log in random things type as if a key is stuck in, and it won't let you login.

    Sometimes have to do a forced restart, holding in the power button, not good for the iMac, to recover.

    I don't have a compelling reason, other than it must be better to have a clean install.

    I thought migration assistant would literally just copy over the files required?
  11. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015

    I wouldn't recommend installing Sierra at the launch date. All previous OS versions had problems at the release. Its possible you don't have any problems but its safer to wait at least 2-3 updates before installing Sierra.

    For the record there is no way I am installing Sierra at the release, I probably wait at least 5-6 versions and I might skip Sierra completely.

    As for backup I agree with Fishrrman, Cloning is good alternative to Time Machine. You could use Disk Utility to make Clone, although El Capitan Disk Utility can only barely manage it (Apple executed Disk Utility in El Capitan :mad:). Time Machine backup has in my experience tendency to become unreliable after a few years. You can find more information here.

    Clean install is only beneficial if you have OS related problems, usually its a waste of time.
  12. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    It's a known problem with Bluetooth keyboards. The pairing isn't always immediate after a cold boot and that can cause keys to stick or the keyboard to be unresponsive briefly. You can try pairing the keyboard again.

    This might be caused by hardware problems, outdated or problematic drivers and other software. You can try making a brief diagnostic report with Etrecheck to see whether anything comes up (you can also post it here for us to have a look at).

    The problem might also persist, which means that the entire undertaking is for nought.

    Depending on what you are copying, you might carry over the problems. Migration assistant is a crude tool for selective importing. It is usually not a good idea to import only pieces, because you might end up with redundant or incomplete data, for instance by importing an application but not its helper tools in the library.
  13. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    well thanks for this tip worked a treat, great idea!

    I backed up with TM before upgrading to MacOS, backed up a few other files, Libraries etc. I then did the upgrade to MacOS. then restarted with CMD-R and did a clean install of MacOS.

    Copied over Photos and iTunes library into correct folder, and "bobs your uncle" - worked great, thanks again
  14. lie2me macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2010
    A backup needs to be made first. Do both a time machine backup and a super duper backup to different hard drives. Time machine does incremental backups. SuperDuper can do complete snapshot backup. Although with a new drive, time machine can do a complete snapshot as well.

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