View Full Version : At what point to reinstall

31st March 2008, 03:24 PM
Guys having owned a mac happily for a fair few months now, I am asking myself a question, not because I need to do it but just as a post of interest.

When I used to use my old PC's, every now and again a complete re install of windoze offered a new spurt of speed and life. As I'm assuming all the unwanted crap that was hogging the system gets cleared off.

Does this happen to OSX.

My system still feels zippy and great but would I notice a speed difference just by doing a clean install as all my tunes, movies etc are on a external drive.

I don't install and uninstall software regularly and pretty much most stuff I have installed is still where it should be and I use it regularly.

I dont use time machine so it would be a clean install from the retail box of Leopard which I purchased back on the launch day

31st March 2008, 03:26 PM
A new system is always nice, however OSX doesn't suffer from the "winrot" effect. Though a heavily used old install will still benefit from a fresh install imo.

31st March 2008, 03:30 PM
You don't need to. If you've been using it for a few years, and installed heaps, then you can do a re-install, however, if you haven't been using it for long, you don't need to. Macs don't get Winrot, as the previous poster stated :). Just remember to have around, or more than 20GB of free space on your hard drive. This will keep it fast.

A RAM upgrade will also speed it up noticeably, if you ever notice it lagging when running lots of programs.

31st March 2008, 03:36 PM
I try to keep as much free space as possible on the main macbook drive , as mentioned keeping all my media files etc on the external. Iphoto and Itunes seem to run fine doing it this way.

I have the max 2gb ram as it says in the documentation, but i read on here that I could still put that upto 3gb, would this make a difference, I also read you shouldn't mix modules i.e., 2gb ad 1gb stick of ram

31st March 2008, 03:38 PM
You should never have to re-install. You could run iDefrag over your machine once in a while. This would help speed things up. An erase-install is the equivalent of doing this.

31st March 2008, 03:40 PM
I reinstalled the operating system on my G4 when I switched from System 9 to OSX in about 2001. The G4s still going on OSX 10.4.11 and never been reinstalled. Been used most days.

My G5s bought in 2004 has never been reinstalled although it has moved to OSX 10.5.2.

Are you supposed to reinstall?

First I heard of it.

31st March 2008, 03:45 PM
Looks like there is no need to reinstall then just a flash back from the grey days of windows XP

Thanks guys

31st March 2008, 04:08 PM
I've had to reinstall once in 12 years. Something was corrupt on an old System 7 PowerMac and reinstalling was the only option.

31st March 2008, 08:23 PM
What the rest of the guys have said -- there is no need to reinstall MacOS. There is no Registry to become cluttered with crap, no rampant collections of malwares, no hordes of programs installing DLLs and then forgetting to use them.

My G4 has been on the same install of 10.3.9 for two years and it is still just as stable and smooth now as it was back then. And it gets used for hours per day, seven days a week.

kim jong il
31st March 2008, 09:44 PM
I have the max 2gb ram as it says in the documentation, but i read on here that I could still put that upto 3gb, would this make a difference, I also read you shouldn't mix modules i.e., 2gb ad 1gb stick of ram

For gaming, matched RAM will/should give you a significant performance boost. For everything else more is probably always going to be better. For more information on this issue check out this article: Is More RAM More Important than Matched RAM in the MacBook? (http://lowendmac.com/musings/07/0525.html)

31st March 2008, 09:52 PM
I've never reinstalled OS X on my iMac G4, which I bought in 2003, just archived and installed when upgrading to Panther and Tiger.

I try to keep about 30% of the disk free, and run iDefrag about every 6 months and occasionally Disk Warrior to check the disk for errors. Apart from that I do a little bit of housekeeping to remove old stuff from the Application Support folder.

I do all this stuff very occasionally, whilst at the same time frequently adding and removing programs and generally mucking about with the machine. Part of the reason for my using a Mac is to make life that little bit easier, getting fixated on running "maintenance" seems to me to be missing the point.

1st April 2008, 06:50 PM
instead of idefrag, i did this. i backed up my HD using superduper, then wiped the drive clean, and restored the drive. made it super zippy all over again. i reckon i'll do it every few months.

El Guardo
1st April 2008, 07:15 PM
There is a somewhat noticeable improvement in speed following a clean re-install, but that soon disappears. Hence the only real time you need do a clean install is when there's a operating system point update (ie. 10.3, 10.4, 10.5 etc.)