What are the steps to Reinstalling Mountain Lion without losing all your files?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by macuser1232, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. macuser1232 macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    #1
    Hi, lately I've been a little bit paranoid about my Mac because it has been doing some strange things and I figured that if I reinstall OS X 10.8 my worries would be over. All I know is that I am going to need an external hard drive to store all my files(I think) and that when Mountain Lion reinstalls it will replace the Library and System/Library folders.
     
  2. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #2
    You should always have a backup, but a standard reinstall won't delete any of your files. Nothing of yours is stored in /System or /Library, btw, with the exception of system-wide extensions and preference panes, etc, but those will also be preserved normally.

    jW
     
  3. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    #3
    So, you telling me there will be an option to reinstall the OS without deleting files? Could you maybe walk me through a little?
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Doing "some strange things" is not a reason to wipe your system. Describe the problems that you have having. If your problems are real, then there may be members of this forum who can help you solve them.
     
  5. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Orlando
    #5
    I'm telling you that you'd have to go way out of your way to actually delete your files. If you simply boot into your Recovery Partition and tell it to "Reinstall OS X", it will do so, and not touch your files. The only way you lose files is if you specifically open Disk Utility, Erase your drive, and then proceed with the install. If you don't seek it out, you won't delete your files.

    jW
     
  6. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    #6
    Well they're all one time things.

    ----------

    You sure about that?? I want to see a picture of where it says that it will not delete your files.
     
  7. The Economist macrumors 6502

    The Economist

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    Mexico
    #7
    I have a better idea. I want you to inform yourself about all of these things you are asking. There is plenty of documentation available on the internet, manuals, guides, walkthroughs, you name it.

    If after informing yourself you are still unsure of what will happen when you press that button, maybe you shouldn't even be doing it in the first place.
     
  8. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    #8
    Why don't you answer my question? That's why I posted this topic on the forum. Maybe I couldn't find an answer on the internet.
     
  9. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Orlando
    #9
    I already answered you. I was a certified tech at 15 yrs old. Get a life. If you want photographic evidence, take a picture yourself. We're not here to hold your hand and baby you through every step.

    jW
     
  10. Zerozal macrumors 6502

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    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    PA
    #10
    Jeez dude--you should have a backup of your files anyway. If something bad happens when you upgrade, just restore your files from the backup.
     
  11. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

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    Dec 21, 2011
    #11
    images.jpeg
     
  12. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2011
    #12
    http://support.apple.com/kb/PH10763 says it won't delete your files but your files might be what is causing your perceived issue. Best to wipe everything without backing up.
     
  13. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    Backup, backup, backup, backup. Only a fool keeps no backup of their data because sooner of later you WILL have data lost by hardware/HD failure or software mistake. To top it off Apple makes it so easy and intuitive with TM that even the most non tekkie person can do it.
     
  14. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    macuser1232

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    #14
    What I am going to do is purchase an external hard drive and backup all my User files including a download of OS X Mountain Lion in my downloads folder. Then reinstall the OS.
     
  15. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

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    Dec 21, 2011
    #15
    Ok. I'm sure Mal will be standing by. :D
     
  16. waynep macrumors 6502

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    Dec 31, 2009
    #16
    First step = Make sure you have a backup of your data.

    If you have no backup, you WILL lose files someday. It's not a question of IF . . . it's a question of WHEN.
     
  17. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #17
    I'm waiting with baited breath…

    Actually, I probably won't even bother checking back in on this thread. :rolleyes:

    jW
     
  18. RadicalxEdward macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #18
    Jeez, talk about thread drama. I can understand the OP's position. In my case I have 3/4 of my internal and external drives filled with media and no money to buy another external drive (or pay a service) to back up all this data. My mac is also DEAD SLOW most of the time. It takes about 15-30 minutes to boot from power off to able to control desktop. Sometimes even more. I've had as little as half the drive filled after deleting stuff trying to see if a fullish hard drive was what was slowing me down but it made no difference. I have a 2.2Ghz i7 with 8GB of ram so it shouldn't be bogging down with almost every action I take with only 1 app open at a time and no background apps (ie stuff thats only running in the task bar type stuff)

    So now I'm thinking of reinstalling the OS since none of the generic fixes are helping (repairing permissions, cleaning caches, etc) but I don't have space to back up all my stuff. So I would need to feel confident that reinstalling won't erase my stuff. When I have the money to afford backup space i'll backup my data but until then I just have to be extra careful with it.
     
  19. palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #19
    Caution

    If you erase and re-install 10.8...everything will be lost! You must use time machine to back up your folders and applications. You must also back up your favorites of Firefox or they will be lost when a "new user" is created.
    You apple mail may be lost too. after U create a new user, your third party apps must be dragged to the doc as you will not see them.
    Be carefull

    Having an external HD of at least 500 Gigs is A MUST HAVE.
     
  20. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #20
    Nobody's suggesting an "erase and re-install". If you just do a re-install the user files will not be lost. Unlike much older OS X Installers, Mountain Lion won't even suggest an erase. You have to go out of your way to do it.

    HOWEVER it probably won't solve the OP's problems. It could be a corruption in the user files. Best to first create a second user account (always a good idea to have one anyway) and see if the problems still exist from the fresh account. Or it could be a hardware problem that no amount of reinstalls will fix.
     
  21. cooky560 macrumors regular

    cooky560

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Around
    #21
    1. Make a time machine backup
    2. If you want to do, feel free to erase and install
    3. If you did an erase and install, in the installer select "restore my files from a disk"
    4. Insert the disk containing your time machine backup.
    5. Wait
     
  22. RadicalxEdward macrumors 6502

    RadicalxEdward

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #22
    First, thank you all for your responses.

    Second, I didn't think to try a different user on the same drive considering a duplicate drive had no speed issues with the same user account (it was an exact duplicate)

    I am currently using the 500GB drive that came with my macbook pro and have transferred over what I can fit from the old drive (apps, user account, etc) and am loving OS X's ease of migration. Definitely another reason to never go back to windows.

    I downloaded Tech Tools Pro and will do some diagnostics on the drive as well as take Talmy's suggestion of trying another user account on the problem drive.
     

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