Thinking of reformatting HD, should I?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MAGICMAN320, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. MAGICMAN320 macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2005
    I have a powermac tower 1.8 ghz 2g ram. Ive had it for about two years now. Thinking about reformatting the hd. (starting over)
    Since ive had it ive never done a defrag or anything. Just straight working on it. It crashes alot after i wake it up or during application loading sometimes.
    When i make a dvd from i movie, the picture breaks up at times during playback. Thats why I decided to start over. What should i do to reformat or should i?
    Any suggestions are welcome. Thanx in advance
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Well, generally it shouldn't be necessary, but "shouldn't" and "isn't" aren't the same. If it's acting that oddly, it's probably worth at least a reinstall to see if that helps.

    First, I'm assuming that you have a retail copy of Tiger. If you're still using the version of 10.3 that came with it, the suggestions are basically the same, though. (If you are on 10.3, an upgrade might be a good idea, though you may do better to wait a couple months until 10.5 ships.)

    So, the easiest thing to do is an archive and install; boot from the OS install disc, then select install, and under options make sure "archive and install (preserving Users)" is set. What this will do is install a fresh copy of the OS, but bring over most of your applications and all of your user settings. This gives most of the benefits of a clean install without a lot of the hassle.

    Once that's done, reinstall any applications that didn't make the transition (you may want to just reinstall everything to be careful, since it shouldn't take that long), and while you're at it make sure everything is the latest version available. If you're happy that everything is ok, delete the "Previous Systems" folder at the top level of your boot drive.

    If you want to do a completely clean install, you're going to need a way to backup everything you want to save; my suggestion would be thus:

    Get a backup drive, then use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your boot drive to it. Check to make sure the clone operation worked properly (boot from the backup, that is). Then boot from the OS disc without the backup drive installed, reformat the hard disk, and install a fresh copy of the OS.

    Then when you start up, use the neat little transition application to import your user data from the backup drive--this works quite well in my experience. Once that's done, immediately update to the latest OS version and anything else Software Update suggests. Finally, install all your applications (and again, make sure they're the latest version).

    The drastic reinstall may not be necessary unless you have a BUNCH of junk on your boot drive, or perhaps a whole lot of large files that have severely fragmented it...
  3. MAGICMAN320 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2005
    Thanx 4 the reply.
    Wow, I have no idea where to begin. lol. Maybe i should just send my machine to you. lol there something (easier) i can do?
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Well, the first half of what I said is "the easy way":

    1) Back up any important data just in case anything goes wrong.

    2) Get the OS install disc you have--either the disk that came with the computer, or a copy of Tiger that you bought later.

    3) Put the disc into the computer, restart, and hold down the "C" key. It should boot up from the install disc.

    4) When the installer comes up, select your system disk, then click the "options" button down at the bottom.

    5) On the sheet that appears, select "Archive and Install," and make sure "Preserve users and network settings" is also checked.

    6) Click Ok, then Install. Wait while it installs.

    7) Assuming all goes well, you'll reboot into a system that looks pretty much the same as before, but is now a "clean" install of the OS. Run Software Update and install whatever comes up. Reboot and repeat until it shows nothing left to install (everything up to date).

    8) If you have any software you use frequently, see if there's a newer version to download, and if so, get it and install it. If you use Photoshop or any really "Big" software packages, you may want to reinstall them just to be safe.

    9) Once you're sure everything is running smoothly, delete the "Previous Systems" folder on your drive (that has all the "old" OS stuff, saved just in case).

    10) Enjoy.

    Apple also has a document outlining the same procedure:
  5. MAGICMAN320 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2005
    Thanks for the rreply. I will do this tonite.
    I also ran the hardware test cd and an error code came up.
    2MEM/1/4: DIMMO/J11
    what is that?
  6. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I just say boot from your OS X DVD and do a drive repair. Reformatting might help out on some small issues, but overall I don't think it'd be worth all the trouble. You might not think about it, but having to redo your settings is a real pain.
  7. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    That means you likely have a bad memory module, which would certainly explain the odd behavior. At this point, don't format or reinstall. It would be a complete waste of time without doing other troubleshooting procedures first, and could possibly render your machine completely unusable.

    Open your machine up and locate the memory banks. You should see "J11" printed on the circuit board next to one of the slots. Remove the memory module from that slot and see if the odd behavior disappears. You could also try the hardware test again.
  8. jonnylink macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2007
    Also if you are planning on getting leopard I'd try holding out until then and make your life a little easier by having a nice clean install. Also, you could then reformat the drive and use the ZFS filesystem!
  9. mac-convert macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2006
    Are we there yet?
    Found with a google and ended up on macfixit

    The DIMM in slot J11 is not working properly. However, read the thread, since the person swapped the dimm's around and created other problems.

    Good luck - hope this helps...

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