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How to (GULP!) format and reinstall OSX?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Having problems with a bad install of Photoshop. It has left
    pieces of its program all over my OSX and despite some great
    advice, the essential registration information cannot be removed.

    I'm thinking of just formatting my Mac and reinstalling OSX.
    Really, it's no big deal for me. It will take me a few short hours
    to complete and I'll probably find it a rather relaxing thing to do
    on my day off.

    So, besides the obvious question of exactly how to
    boot up and reformat/reinstall, I have other questions first....

    BACKUP

    Fortunately, I have a .MAC account that I can backup some
    aspects of my computer.

    The main thing I need to back up is my Mail and every
    single bit of content in it (FOLDERS, EMAIL, ATTACHMENTS).

    1. Will .Mac take care of that? Will .Mac also automatically enter
    my COMPUTER USERNAME information as long as I provide the password?

    I also have the BACKUP that I know can be configured to back
    up and restore certain programs as well.


    REFORMATTING & REINSTALLING

    Okay, in easy steps, from rebooting to inserting original install
    discs to certain things I need to look for during software install....

    2. How exactly do I go about reformatting, rebooting and
    reinstalling OSX?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Daryl L

    Daryl L Supporting Actor

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    Obviously I'm no expert [​IMG] and don't even own a mac (YET!) but I've been reading and bookmarking a lot (min of 3 hours a everyday!) the last few weeks about macs in preperation of my purchase. Anyhow, here's some links you can review that may be of some help. [​IMG]

    Apple - Support - Discussions - Format and reinstall ...

    Apple - Support - Discussions - Reinstall Tiger ...

    Apple - Support - Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger - Installing Tiger and Other Software

    Mac OS X 10.3 Help: Reinstalling Mac OS X

    Mac OS X 10.4: About installation options

    Mac OS X: About the Archive and Install feature

    Mac OS X: How to back up and restore your files
     
  3. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    The User folder is where all your internet/email, address book, etc info is stored - back it up. We'll assume your 3rd party installers are in the user folder as well? Zero the drive before installing the system.
    after the basic system install and the updating that will happen after your first boot, you can drag and drop the email and browser files from the backup user library and you'll have everything in place. A restart will show the items dropped into email, bookmarks. Best to reinstall the big apps from scratch.

    You can overkill by cloning the entire drive first, but your user folder is the most important item.

    .Mac is OK, but I'd do a local hard backup.

    Ron - If you need more info, I'll post. It's really easy.

    Eric
     
  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I think Erich pretty much has it covered. Try to migrate as little as possible from the old HD, only the account, email and other critical things.

    Most of all, and just to reiterate what Erich said, ZERO THE DRIVE FIRST!! This is easy by booting from the install disc and when you reformat the drive, select options and an option that says something like Zero All Data. Writing it once is fine. It will take maybe an hour or so, depending on the size of the drive, so just go have lunch. Just be sure all your critical stuff is backed up to another physical drive first.
     
  5. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    John - I forget - The drive utility is in the menu above the OSX installer? I think there's only a basic erase in the System installer options, so you have to launch the drive utility first to get a zero option from the booted MacPro DVD.

    I know it's that way on a factory Tiger DVD and previous sys 10 DVDs.

    E
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Yes, you need to boot from the install disc, once the installer window appears you choose Disk Utility from one of the top menus ("Utilities" I think) wipe and format the drive, then quit Disk Utility and continue with the install normally. I'm glad you pointed that out. Simply running the installer, I believe, only gives you the option of reformatting the drive, which does essentially nothing.
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Just to verify, you boot from the install disc, choose your language, then choose Dick Utility from the Utilities menu. Wipe the drive, choosing to zero all data in "Options". Once it is wiped, quit Dick Utility and continue running the OSX installer.

    It's funny, I do this all the time to repair the discs and permissions. I've do it so often I had completley forgotten how it is actually done.
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Ron, if you can, make a full bootable backup using SuperDuper. Even if you don't restore everything using this backup, you will have a safety net in case you miss any files as you re-install.

    - Steve
     
  9. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    Moving your mail to a new machine or a newly formatted machine is a cinch. Just backup the ~/Library/Mail/ directory and the com.apple.mail.plist file from ~/Library/Preferences/ and move that directory and file to the same locations on the new Mac or new installation.


    [​IMG]
     
  10. DavidJ

    DavidJ Premium
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    Do you have a beta of Leopard? I don't have that utility. [​IMG]
     
  11. Oren

    Oren Stunt Coordinator

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    Hang on, reformatting and reinstalling seems extreme. What was the great advice you received? Have you explored all options with respect to Photoshop? Have you seen http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/knowled...fm?id=kb400993

    and

    To remove previous Photoshop CS3 installation attempts:

    Insert Adobe Photoshop CS3 Disk 1 into your DVD-ROM drive.
    Double-click the DVD-ROM, and double-click Setup.
    Select Remove Adobe Photoshop CS3 Components, and follow the on-screen instructions.
    On the Remove Installed Components screen, select Remove All Application Preferences.
    After the removal is complete, restart your computer and install Photoshop CS3.
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I really have to thank you guys.

    Thanks to your help, I was able to successfully remove all
    elements of Photoshop and do another successful install.

    This means that I will not have to format my drive after all.
     
  13. Oren

    Oren Stunt Coordinator

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    That's good news. I've learned over the years that, with a Mac, if it's hard, then you're not doing it right. Meaning, with Windows I would encounter situations where the only solution is to reformat and reinstall, because the problem is so deeply embedded in Windows, usually wrapped around the registry axle in a way that can't simply be fixed by editing it.

    I've never encountered that on a Mac. Ever. On the Mac the solution is sometimes so natural, so obvious that people miss it, because they expect it to be hard, "just like on the PC."

    Side note: OK, Macbook update out, Macbook Pro update out, c'mon with the iMac update so I can create the iMac media center Mac!]
     

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