Windows trauma: How often do you format? Why?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by GuillaumeB, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. GuillaumeB macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2007
    Just behind you
    Hi all,

    A year ago I switched to the Mac community and got a 2,4GHz MacBook Pro. I honestly do not miss Windows at all. I do have a Bootcamp partition to test out software that I write about for magazines.

    otherwise I have become a pure Mac fan

    Yet I can't help formatting my hard drive every 3 or 4 months. I simply feel the need to. Though I understand that I could only run a bunch of scripts with Onyx. Also , I uninstall application with AppDelete to make sure everything is gone...I guess i'm just scared that craps will keep slowing down my system.

    How often do you format? Is this a purely Windows thing? i just cant help feeling that It will run better if I do a clean install. Am I right?`

    If you think I am over reacting, which I probably am, can you explain me why so that I can really do away with what's left of my poor Windows experience?

    Help me cure my Windows trauma !

  2. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    I can't help cure you… but I can ask:

    If I had to take all the apps off of our Macs and PCs every couple months… :rolleyes:

    Doesn't sound like a very productive thing to do. :eek:
  3. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    You don't need to keep formatting.

    The reason you do with Windows is because of the registry - it clogs up over time, no matter what you do really. Vista was supposed to fix that problem, but it hasn't really.

    OS X hasn't got a registry, so it doesn't slow down over time. My installation of Leopard runs just as quick now as it did when I first installed it on the day it came out.

    I don't format at all. I formatted to upgrade to Leopard, because my macbook hadn't been formatted once since I'd had it. So in the 2 years odd that I've had it, it's been formatted once. Not once have I noticed a slow down.
  4. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
  5. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    Stop doing that!

    I had a problem with my MacBook Pro - it started getting slow, so (returning to my Windows roots) I formatted and reinstalled. ZERO difference.

    Turns out it was a physical problem with the drive failing.

    Not only is formatting unnecessary, you can run the same "install" of OSX for as long as you want. It moves portably (either with a firewire cable or by restoring from a Time Machine backup) to new upgraded machines seamlessly.
  6. priller macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2007
    I formatted & did a clean install on mine the day I bought it, won't be doing another format & clean install until I buy a new computer.
  7. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"

    Once had an issue where my hardware was crapping out on me and I did a clean install, but ended up buying a new computer anyway.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  8. Sorkvild macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2007
    If anything you are increasing the wear and tear on your drive. Don't do it!
  9. GuillaumeB thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2007
    Just behind you
    yeh but see it you only move an application to the trash... there are still things left from this application on your computer for example. thats why I use App Delete. In the same way
    Also I don"t know why but those past three weeks I have observed something really odd. When I boot up, the top bar will auto-load my two fav apps (dropbox, gSync) but the white background takes forever to show up.

    Sometimes I feel like going back to Tiger but I would miss Spaces... it seemed to work better for me after all.
  10. applefan69 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 9, 2007
    If you like tiger then go for it, your entitled to do whatever you want.

    Im sure there is a 3'rd party form of spaces that you can download for tiger somewhere.
  11. beige matchbox macrumors 6502a

    beige matchbox

    Mar 16, 2005
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Other than major updates I think I've only ever had to reinstall MacOS X maybe twice, I've been using OS X since 10.1 was released :D

    Also, the only reason I had to reinstall was I went a little too far with the tinkering and managed to make the system unrecoverable :rolleyes:
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I formatted my windows computers about once a year. It seemed to clear up conflicts and such that I couldn't clear otherwise. Once I started using my mac exclusively I think I fumbled around looking for things to do but soon realized that it was unnecessary.
  13. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    I've had my iMac for over a year and a half and have never reformatted it because I have so much data on it (over 250GB worth) and no external HD. As for my MacBook, well, long story short I installed some updates and couldn't reboot so I had to reformat it after I only had it a few months.
  14. cazlar macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I reformat when I get a new machine (to only install the bits I want). Other than that, never.

    With a new major OS update, I'll generally do an Archive and Install rather than upgrade or clean, so that's sort of a partial (OS only, not personal data) reinstall.
  15. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Try a different strategy

    Instead of a format/install, have your Time Machine backup ready. Boot your OS X DVD, and erase your drive, then restore from backup. You'll have the same system, fully defragmented.

    You'll still need to defrag your Safari cache once after a week or two, since Caches aren't backed up:
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I format once every OS upgrade. Technically I don't have to, but there's enough hooplah with program incompatibilities and this gives my system a completely clean slate and it forces me to have everything backed up.
  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
  18. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    I also use App Delete, or rather I did until they decided to charge for it. Now I'm going to back to uApp if it works with Leopard. But even so, the OS doesn't ...feel...cluttered if you get me. Windows starts to feel cluttered (to me at least) after a period of uninstalling and reinstalling, etc. OS X doesn't have that feeling.
  19. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    I format OSX once every few months. It makes it faster, and I don't care what anyone else says... this isn't because a clogged up registry is slowing things down; its because I gradually accrue crap (programs, documents etc) that slow it down and a clean reinstall requires me to sit back and think which things I really need; slimming things down. Since all my stuff is backed up regularly its no big deal; just drag and drop the stuff I want back on. Takes 20 minutes to restore after a clean install.
  20. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    How often do I format?

    Macs: Never
    Windows machines: Never

    When I got my first real computer back in 1993, I was always messing up stuff and it seemed like I was reformatting and reinstalling every few weeks. I would lose everything I had saved and it got really old.

    That all seemed to change back in the early 2000s when suddenly I realized I had gone a whole year without formatting a Windows machine. It still ran as if it were new. The longest I went on a Windows machine was well over two years since then.

    On my MBP, I formatted once because one day I had opened up iTunes and it well, it was empty. The music was all there but my library was empty. I tried all the suggestions from people and realized it would just be easier to format and start again.

    Since then, I formatted once more so I could do a clean install of leopard since my MBP originally came with Tiger, I just wanted a clean install. That was back in early March and I don't plan on formatting again anytime soon. It's too much of a hassle on any computer.

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