Which is more recommendable? Clean, or upgrade?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by raymondu999, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Hey all. Just wondering. When upgrading an OS (eg Tiger -> Leopard, Leopard -> Snow Leopard) is it better to do a whole clean upgrade or are the benefits of such a clean install minimal? I wanted to know because when I buy Snow Leopard and install it on my Macs, I'm scared that a non-clean install (archive and install) would move some cr*p into the new install, like stuff that isn't needed, such as crash reports, etc? Or should we just do an upgrade?

    And also, given that Snow Leopard is a "performance" upgrade in most cases, should we give it grace by performing clean installs only?

    Thanks.

    EDIT: Oh, and please post reasons why :)
     
  2. Matek macrumors 6502a

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  3. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

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  4. MrM macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Doing a clean erase and install will make your computer run much faster than it would installing over the old system.
     
  5. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #6
    As for the "why" of things, I believe the clean install is preferable since Snow Leopard is a smaller footprint OS than Leopard. So it makes a certain sense that erasing the larger Leopard to replace it with the smaller Snow Leopard would streamline operations a bit. Someone will correct me if I am mistaken, but I think this is a big part of the "clean install" reasoning.
     
  6. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #7
    I am thinking on doingteh same but tehre are so many apps and stuff that i have taht i don't want to lose. i don't think i know how i am going to gte it all back on SL would a app.folder copy do it?
     
  7. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I've got 15 commonly-used apps to reinstall. Hmmm... Should I do a clean? The speed is tempting...
     
  8. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Would the speed increase between an upgrade & Install be noticeable over clean install?
     
  9. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #10
    i would think so yeah... but i dont know if dealing with all the commonly used apps re-installs for some of us will be good enough to do a clean install....
     
  10. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #11
    I pretty much doubt it. I would just do an upgrade, save yourself a bunch of time. I know everyone here has their approach but why would there be an "upgrade" option if it wasn't optimized to clearly get out the old and bring in the new? The logic of doing a "clean install" or "erase and install" is based on paranoia and I don't quite understand it.
     
  11. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Ah... but how about from a technical standpoint though? Let's assume I don't mind reinstalling and redoing my whole setup.
     
  12. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #13
    I, still, really don't see any significant benefit. Honestly. I mean, all of your applications you have installed (in your Apps folder) won't be changed at all and even if you erase them all and install them again you'll be right back where you began with them. They won't change unless they need a 10.6 upgrade which isn't Apple's or OS X's responsibility.

    I suppose you could do the erase and install thing to clear out old preferences and other defunct files that just take up HDD space, but it's not going to give you more GHz or Gigaflops or RAM or anything.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #14
    Neither of your two options. The proper way to upgrade MacOS X is a simple upgrade.

    This is how Apple designed the OS upgrade process and intended for it to work.
    • Archive & Install and Clean Install are intended as last-ditch remedies to vexing problems. Upgrading the OS is not a vexing problem. Don't treat it that way.
    • It will work 99.99% of the time. A Mac user of 20 years on multiple Macs, I can count on one hand the number of problematic simple OS upgrades.
    • When your OS upgrade is done, you are done and may immediately return to work. You don't need to spend extra time moving files around and reinstalling third-party apps to restore your Mac to its previous level of productivity.
    Reinstalling the OS is a Windows solution to a Windows problem. It may not be necessary in the strictest sense, but reinstalling Windows will often fix a problem faster than finding its cause.

    MacOS X is much more robust. However, many switchers from Windows bring their old ways to their new platform. The Mac way is to take the simplest, most logical route. It will save you hours--if not days--of wasted time.
     
  14. TH-Gunner macrumors regular

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    Mar 28, 2008
    #15
    Agreed. Upgraded systems on windows OSs become sluggish. Clean install is always recommended.

    However, OSX seems to be a lot better with upgrading. Comparing upgraded systems to clean install systems - I honestly don't notice any difference.
     
  15. Amdahl macrumors 65816

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    #16
    I agree. It is mostly paranoia.

    To some extent, it may also be an unconscious way of defragmenting your hard drive. Dropping in the new system files on top of the old ones may also contribute to fragmentation. But defrag can be done via drive clones, Time Machine erase& restores, or using iDefrag.
     
  16. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Say you're current machine's started to get a few kernel panics (My MBP got one the other day - My first EVER kernel panic) then does doing erase & install help any?
     
  17. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #18
    If you are looking for peace of mind, then by all intent and purposes do a clean install. I'll still be your friend if you do. I'm just telling you my experience on such things. Believe me, I have done the clean install, I have done the boot from another drive install, I have done the zap the PRAM, zero out the drive format in Journaled and Journaled + on a Tuesday install. And none have ever provided me any significant "Performance" that made me say "WOW!".

    I also had a hell of a time with Mac OS 7, 8, and 9 when a clean install was more common because Mac Classic compared to OS X sucks donkey. So perhaps that's why I'm just so glad that I don't have to bother with the headache of these non-straight forward installation techniques, cause I've wasted sooo much time in the past with them.

    As for the kernel panic thing if another one happens within 3 days of the first while doing the same thing (or something similar) then we can look at that issue. But kernel panics can be somewhat mysterious to decipher.

    Do whatever install you want man. Regardless of how ya do it, you're not going to hurt anything.
     
  18. Amdahl macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Generally, an Archive & Install is likely to do the same thing for you. The OS files & Extensions(drivers) are set aside and a new, clean version is installed. Kernel Panics are not generally caused by problems in the Apps or user profiles.

    If they don't go away after a fresh OS is installed, the possibility exists for an OS bug or hardware defect. Be extra suspicious if you have added RAM to your system.
     
  19. raymondu999 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    If so, would an archive and install actually take up space from the old install?
     
  20. Amdahl macrumors 65816

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    #21
    The old and new are still on the drive. You can find it in the Previous System folder, and it is perfectly safe to trash it, unless you want to keep it around for some reason.
     

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