Write 0's is the way to go


cluthz

macrumors 68040
Jun 15, 2004
3,118
3
Norway
With Old mac os (6,7,8,9) i did this once every year, but after osx came out i have never done it.
My old sawtooth G4 has had 10.1, 10. and now 10.3, and i only updated the OS every time insted of wiping the the hd. I still think its running great (well as great as a G4 400 mhz could)
I can't see why erasing your hd (and writing zeros when you formating it) every fourth month would be resonable.
Maybe you feel it runs faster that way, but i don't see why.
In my opinion, I think it's total waste of time...
 

robotrenegade

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 16, 2002
921
1
Greenville,SC
Well I do a lot of video and multi-media projects(making the drive make empty fragments). From what I've seens and heard its best to clean install when you upgrade OS like 10.2 to 10.3. Every four months maybe crazy if you don't have a 500GB LaCid firewire 2 drive. It really only takes about 2 hours to back up and running. Do it sometime, it really helps. I bet you'll see a faster computer.
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
If you do a lot of media, surely you should have a drive for OS/apps, and then a bloody great drive for the data (video etc) that you (understandably) wipe every few months, but leave your OS/apps drive alone.
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
robotrenegade said:
why would you need a drive just for your apps.
Did I say that? No. I said OS/apps. You keep all the tools you need to work on one drive (your OS+apps), then you keep your data files on a separate drive so that you can wipe that drive as often as you like, without causing you the hassle of reinstalling your OS and all your apps.
 

dotnina

macrumors 6502a
Aug 19, 2004
856
0
edesign -- that is one of your best images yet. :)

I also don't understand why a clean install every 4 months would be beneficial. I'm not knocking it, I'm just wondering. Is there really a noticable speed difference? Are there other benefits too?
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
dotnina said:
edesign -- that is one of your best images yet. :)

I also don't understand why a clean install every 4 months would be beneficial. I'm not knocking it, I'm just wondering. Is there really a noticable speed difference? Are there other benefits too?
If you were doing lots of video work, and the video data was on the same drive as your OS and apps, then yes, it would make a difference (video work fragments drives like there's no tomorrow). But as I said, if you are doing lots of video stuff you should really have a separate drive for it so that your OS/app speed isn't effected.
 

robotrenegade

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 16, 2002
921
1
Greenville,SC
dotnina said:
edesign -- that is one of your best images yet. :)

I also don't understand why a clean install every 4 months would be beneficial. I'm not knocking it, I'm just wondering. Is there really a noticable speed difference? Are there other benefits too?
I do it for that reason, doing it every 4 or 6 months isn't a big deal for me. It's really not as hard as others are saying. You do see a speed difference. Systems seems to run better. You don't need to do this, I just like to. But listen to whatever you like.
 

cluthz

macrumors 68040
Jun 15, 2004
3,118
3
Norway
You don't need a entire drive for video scratch, a partition is good enought.
You can wipe the partition instead of the whole drive..
 

robotrenegade

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 16, 2002
921
1
Greenville,SC
edesignuk said:
Did I say that? No. I said OS/apps. You keep all the tools you need to work on one drive (your OS+apps), then you keep your data files on a separate drive so that you can wipe that drive as often as you like, without causing you the hassle of reinstalling your OS and all your apps.
"did i say that, ummm yes you did, oh sorry I missed os +apps. You really need to relax. Walk away from the computer it's only a message board.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,571
2,661
Bay Area
robotrenegade said:
"did i say that, ummm yes you did, oh sorry I missed os +apps. You really need to relax. Walk away from the computer it's only a message board.
um... nobody's getting upset here but you. Let's just all cool it, ok? Seems to me to be totally a matter of preference... if you think it helps to clean install, great, go for it. Others don't find it necessary. Fair enough?
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
robotrenegade said:
"did i say that, ummm yes you did, oh sorry I missed os +apps. You really need to relax. Walk away from the computer it's only a message board.
Ummmm, no, I didn't. OS/Apps means OS+apps, it's one an the same :rolleyes:

Only a msg board, IS IT!? Gee, thanks for pointing that out to me.

[relaxed] :p
 

mms

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2003
784
0
CA
Reformatting so often... that's for Linux users. Like they say, if there's no problem then don't try to fix it. OS X should work just fine without continual reformats under most uses. I find that the regular system maintenance (repair permissions, update prebindings, run cron tasks... you're of course doing these, right?) are enough to keep my system running smoothly.
 

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
5,403
0
edesignuk said:
Note to any mac newbies reading, do not format your mac every 4 months!
Newbs, you will disregard the above suggestion. It's better to refresh your system pretty often versus once every year or two or three. You keep the number of old beta/bugs/memory leaks on your system down if you keep refreshing your Hard Drive, whereas if you don't refresh your Hard Drive at least once a year, those problems will stay on your computer and multiply over time, leading to more problems. Anyone that sees more than one refresh per year as irrational and thus refreshes his/her machine not so often is thus being stubborn in his/her method of thinking. If it's due to lazyness or lack of time for not refreshing often, well, that's another story.

A refresh every four months is nice. I do it once every 5 to 7 months, and almost never go past 7 months before a refreshment...usually because AppleWorks develops this wierd stuttering problem after 4 months of usage and become serious at 6 months. Still, with a nice big external Hard Drive, I can refresh my system in one day.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
I have never wiped my iMacs hard drive. It runs like a charm. If you do a lot of video/picture work, just create a new partition, then wipe that every once in a while. I'm sorry to say that I don't do that with my iMac, but when I get Tiger I might set it up that way...

Anyway, every 4 months is really extreame. Everyone here I belive knows that, nessicary or not. And writing 0s??? You don't sell it every 4 months do you?

(And if you do, can I get some of that money tree seeds?)
 

JFreak

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
3,145
0
Tampere, Finland
A LOT better solution would be to partition your system drive in such a way that the OS (system+library) and apps reside in one partition and all user files somewhere else. that way the only changes that the system partition will be affected are those that come from updating the OS or some apps. or if you do really heavy work and can only afford really small RAM and therefore do massive hard drive swapping.

"how do i move user files away from the system partition?" - you need to have active root account and edit /etc/fstab file with a text editor via terminal. with that file you can setup a mount point (a low-level hard drive alias) and telling the system that "/Users" directory is found from "/Volumes/anotherpartition" just makes that another partition appear as /Users folder and the system keeps running as usual - only that it writes all files addressed to /Users to that anotherpartition you defined in the /etc/fstab file.

there is another benefit from this approach, too, and it's called "system re-install without a need for user file backups". as you can understand, wiping the system partition will not wipe the user partition and doing a re-install to the system partition will not affect the user partition in any way. only that your re-installed system will not automatically see your anotherpartition as the /Users folder but you will need to do the /etc/fstab modifications again after re-install, or, you can just back up the fstab file and after re-install, just copy that file back in its place and do a reboot.

i wouldn't do a complete re-install every 4 months even if i have this partitioning scheme implemented. it's not necessary anymore. the system slowdowns are just plain and simply a memory from the past. why? because i only have 15GB for system and apps, which means there's not much additional space that the system could fragment itself into.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,805
1,697
Western US
Huh?

What are all these problems you people are having that make you want to wipe your hard drive periodically? That's NUTS with OS X. First of all it keeps its own system fairly well defragmented and optimized. Any other user drives or partitions you can keep in top shape with a good disk utility like DiskWarrior or Tech Tool Pro. I've had OS X on my PowerBook since 10.0, now 10.3, without ever having reinstalled or wiping my hard drive. And my Mac gets a workout. I run dozens of apps from 3D rendering to Xcode to After Effects to Cubase, plus many games that have come and gone.

I can't imagine the hassle of this clean install nonsense. Unless you have a specific problem, that is completely unnecessary. Just periodically run the works with your disk utility, and run Repair Permissions and you'll be fine.
 

JFreak

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
3,145
0
Tampere, Finland
HiRez said:
What are all these problems you people are having that make you want to wipe your hard drive periodically?
problem is that in default osx installation the USER FILES are located on the same partition than the SYSTEM FILES, and while system keeps itself in fairly good condition, that "fairly good and decent" becomes "horrible" once the user files have been fragmented all over the partition. it is only after that point (where the system partition is already fragmented by user files) when doing a system upgrade or a major app install leads into even more severylu fragmented system.

if system files and apps are installed into a dedicated partition and all user files (including user library (!) that has all preference files and such) are located elsewhere, THEN it's overkill to reinstall periodically.

when i was new to osx i used the default installation and found that in my (relatively heavy) use the system was taking a serious performance hit after half a year, give or take a few months. i then re-installed few times a year to make system perform as it should, but about a year ago i decided to accept the little trouble called partitioning, and guess what - the system has not been affected from slowdowns ever since! i don't have to think about re-installing panther, because the system keeps performing, and i can assume i don't have to do that before next fall when i'm installing the tiger.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,805
1,697
Western US
JFreak said:
problem is that in default osx installation the USER FILES are located on the same partition than the SYSTEM FILES, and while system keeps itself in fairly good condition, that "fairly good and decent" becomes "horrible" once the user files have been fragmented all over the partition.
Aye, I do have my System on a separate partition as well. It helps. One for OS X, one for user folders, one for media only. That helps. But, you can still defrag the System disk using a DW or TTP, whether it has user files on it or not.
 

JFreak

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
3,145
0
Tampere, Finland
HiRez said:
Aye, I do have my System on a separate partition as well. It helps. One for OS X, one for user folders, one for media only. That helps. But, you can still defrag the System disk using a DW or TTP, whether it has user files on it or not.
yep, but (given that you don't reinstall apps on daily basis) the point is that you don't even have to defrag the system drive, if you only install apps once, and do the os/app upgrades that apple and 3rd parties suggest.

if you have system and user files on separate partitions, you'd only have to defrag the user files. it's actually better to leave the system as it is ;)
 

JFreak

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
3,145
0
Tampere, Finland
by the way, the /etc/fstab trick is REQUIRED step in separating user files from system partition - if you don't do it (and just save your documents elsewhere), the system keeps using user library (called ~/Library) on the system drive, which is the #1 reason for system drive fragmentation.

so, to repeat myself: you don't have truly isolated your system before you make a /Users mount point that leads to some other partition.