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View Full Version : Re-formating a HDD an starting over


steveb
02-12-2008, 09:53 AM
Hi, some advice needed if you've the time.

Now that SD is out and working on Leopard it's time to wipe my HDD and start over.

I've done a clone of the HDD (and tested it) so I know I'm safe with a fully working version of my present system, incase things go a bit wrong! Next I plan on formatting my HDD and installing a fresh version of Leopard, it's a CPU drop disc I have, bought recently with a new machine (which I kept at Tiger so licensing wise I'm OK) I've done this plenty of times on Windows, but not on a Mac, so some advice would be cool.

First off, what is the best procedure for formatting and installing a fresh copy of Leopard? Should I use Disk Utility to first format the drive, or does the CPU drop in disc of Leopard do this for me?

Next up, Keychain. Can I copy my keychain from the SD cloned version back to the HDD once Leopard is re-installed? If so, how?

Next, Mail and contacts. Obviously I want all my mail settings in the new fresh version of Mail, likewise my contacts. Hoe can I do this?

I think I've everything else covered: Bookmarks is easy with export/import, I've all my apps and serials backed up to a separate disk so they'll be OK. I think that's it.

Finally is there anything else I should be thinking about? Any advice?

Finally finally, is there anything in SD! that will make this process easier?

Ta.

dnanian
02-12-2008, 09:56 AM
Why do a clean install like this?

If you must, I'd suggest migrating from a full copy when prompted to "copy from another mac" during your first boot. But in general, I suggest doing an upgrade install, and not a clean one.

Stray
02-12-2008, 11:23 AM
Clean installs allow one to shed all the cruft that's built up in the system over a long period of time. You can create an optimized build of the system and see a performance increase. Granted, Mac OS X doesn't slow down the way Windows does over time, but it's always nice to have a totally fresh install.

dnanian
02-12-2008, 11:29 AM
I've really not found this to be the case with OSX, Stray. Certainly Windows, yes... but OSX doesn't really have "cruft".

steveb
02-12-2008, 11:40 AM
Interesting you should say that.

I've just bought my wife a lower spec'd MB, and it flies compared to mine. Granted she has no plugins, but the difference is very noticable.

I guess I'm approaching this as an Ex windows users (only been on Macs for 15months), where you really must reformat every year to keep machines running, so I'm guessing doing so on my MB will clear out the junk and get the speed back up.

But, well, really, your saying, most likely not worth the hassle?

BTW- My MB runs Leopard is already running Leopard.

dnanian
02-12-2008, 01:03 PM
That's what I'm saying...

justG
02-13-2008, 10:27 AM
I'd have to respectfully disagree with Dave on this one. I'm also relatively new to the Mac, using a first-gen Mac Pro bought in late 2006. Since I download, evaluate and then delete so much software, OS X absolutely *does* accumulate application soap scum over time. I find a fresh install of the OS on occasion, followed by re-installing applications on an as-needed basis, makes a world of difference. (I like to call it recapturing that new computer smell.)

Long-time Mac users will insist from here to Sunday that a) Mac drives don't need defragmenting and b) taking the time to perform a clean install is a waste. I've never bothered with defrag, but in the latter case, I think they're just plain wrong.

[Edit] If you do decide to proceed with the clean install, you might find my method helpful. I have a 15GB partition on one of my drives. On it, I have a clean OS install + driver updates (peripherals) + software updates (Apple) + essential-to-me utilities (SuperDuper!, iPartition, etc.). When I want to do this fresh install thing, I just use SuperDuper! to clone that partition back to my main drive. I'm up and running in < 20 minutes.

Hope that helps!

steveb
02-13-2008, 12:20 PM
That's a good idea there.

I have a lot of respect for Mr.N as he seems to offer decent advice and certainly knows what he's about, so I have considered what he's said, but I'm gonna try it anyway. At the end of the day if nothing improves, then hey, he's right, and I'm wrong. A state I've become used to over the year (me being wrong that is!).

So, back to the original questions: Anyone any advice?

justG
02-13-2008, 02:30 PM
I don't know if any of this is the "best" way of doing things, it's just what I'd do. YMMV.

First off, what is the best procedure for formatting and installing a fresh copy of Leopard? Should I use Disk Utility to first format the drive, or does the CPU drop in disc of Leopard do this for me?
It's been a while since I've done this, but you should be okay just booting from your Leopard disc and following the on-screen instructions. A fresh install (without updates 'n' such, just off the disc) takes me 12-15 minutes.
Next up, Keychain. Can I copy my keychain from the SD cloned version back to the HDD once Leopard is re-installed? If so, how?
Sure. Your keychain's in ~/Library/Keychains. It's named login.keychain.
Next, Mail and contacts. Obviously I want all my mail settings in the new fresh version of Mail, likewise my contacts. Hoe can I do this?
Mail:
~/Library/Mail
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist

Contacts:
~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.AddressBook.abd.plist
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.AddressBook.plist
Finally finally, is there anything in SD! that will make this process easier?
Not to my knowledge, except for saving a "clean slate" SuperDuper! clone for the next time you want to do this, as I mentioned earlier.

Hth.

steveb
02-14-2008, 08:16 AM
Excellent, thanks.