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macstatic

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
1,993
162
Norway
I want to upgrade my mid-2010 Mac Pro from MacOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra) to 10.14 (Mojave).
What is the actual difference between doing an upgrade and a clean install?
And are there other ways to upgrade (I seem to recall an option after booting into "recovery mode" (CMD-R while booting) which reinstalls the existing OS, but I'm not sure what this actually does)?

The computer appears to work fine/there aren't any apparent bugs or shortcomings that I know of: but having used it for several years you never know what's going on "under the hood", and in the past I've always chosen to do a clean install when upgrading the OS, just to be sure I don't pass along any problems to the new OS.

So why am I asking about this? Well, I've set up my Mac Pro with MacOS and the apps on an SSD, while all user's home folders are on a separate hard drive. If I was to do a clean install I would have to "join" the Home folders with the appropriate usernames I'd create (which would be a hassle given that there's quite a lot of data on that drive), but as far as I know, when doing a normal upgrade the OS would keep all the login info/user configurations as they were before the upgrade -this would be a lot easier, but I'm not sure how much "cleanup" such an upgrade does compared to a clean install.
 
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Isamilis

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2012
2,006
910
If you have time, would be better fresh install as you “upgrade” to major version.
 

macstatic

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 21, 2005
1,993
162
Norway
Yes, and this is what I've done in the past. But with the Home folders on a separate drive it complicates things, and since nobody really knows of a correct way to proceed I'm worried it might actually bring along serious issues in time.

I tried to search for info info on the "re-install MacOS" but I can't quite figure out what it does. Does it just replace the OS Kernel while leaving everything else as it is, or does it replace everything except the Home folders? So essentially you lose all your settings, apps, DAW plugins and so on. Does anyone know?
And how does this (and followed by doing an upgrade to 10.14 Mojave) differ from just running the 10.14 Mojave installer and saying yes to upgrading the current (10.13) OS?
 
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