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jheidelo Oct 23, 1999 05:51 PM
Mac OS 9 - To Upgrade or Install New
I'm interested in hearing people's views on whether to upgrade a current installation of MacOS 8.6 or install a clean copy of Mac OS 9, reformatting the hard drive?

M Gerenser Oct 23, 1999 05:56 PM
I find that its not too much trouble to do a fresh install. You don't have to erase the disk. I generally do a "clean install" and update the hard disk drivers. Then, you can carefully and selectively copy over your CPs, CMMs, extensions, prefs, etc.
scott Oct 23, 1999 07:28 PM
In my opinion, it's always a good idea to do a clean install. This creates a backup copy of your current System Folder, and then installs a fresh one, all without needing to reformat the hard drive (which is quite difficult or impossible with any other OS I've come in contact with). This tends to weed out any foreign or corrupted items that have worked their way into your system.

However, this also means that you will have to migrate over extensions and control panels by hand, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. You may come upon something that you didn't even know was installed on your machine. You will likely also have to re-enter serial numbers in software. You will also lose all of your preferences. You may decided to migrate over all your preferences files as well, but then you're sort of defeating the purpose of a clean install.

I tend to go a bit farther than most do (or need to). I backup all my documents (but not applications or System Folder) onto CDRs, reformat the hard drive, and reinstall everything. This serves a few purposes:

1) The system is "clean": no foreign stuff floating around, and I can find out what software (if any) I use has problems with the new OS.

2) It forces me to do a complete backup of everything

3) Putting backups on read-only media protects my documents from viruses.

4) Reformatting eliminates any hard drive fragmentation

Most people really don't have to do this, and you really have to be careful you don't wipe out something important, but if you want the cleanest, fastest, most stable system possible, it's the way to go.

- Scott

Scott Stevenson
Contributing Editor,

wlonh Oct 23, 1999 07:37 PM
have a look at this nifty (so i'm told) app:

it will assist a Clean Install by helping you with the migration process...

and yes by ALL means it is far better to wipe one's HD clean and do a new install rather than a clean install and that is the_only_way i will upgrade OS'es. u betcha.

[This message has been edited by wlonh (edited 10-23-1999).]
typoon Oct 25, 1999 07:33 PM
Clean install is best but when that is not possible you can always install over. Another good thing about installing over the exisitng OS is that you then do not need to re-enter any Serial numbers. Some program serials will transfer fine but those that don't you need to re-enter the serials. If you reformat the drive you then of course need to go though the hassle of re-installing your apps
joeyzr Nov 12, 1999 11:28 PM
I want to do a complete reinstall of all software and OS 9 on my revb iMac. It may sound drastic and I realize there will be a lot of extra work (backup files, serial nos) but I want the cleanest install possible.

Now, how do I do it? Boot off the OS 9 CD and select ERASE DISK for the hard drive, then install? Please help.
wlonh Nov 12, 1999 11:51 PM
OK, you should check this article out:

ok... ok... so it IS and OFFSITE reference (not a MacNN resource)... sosumi.

joeyzr Nov 13, 1999 10:40 AM
Thanks. That article answered a lot of good questions. But I still do not understand how to actualy erase the HD. Do I boot off the OS 9 CD and erase the HD using the Special menu before instaling OS 9 on it?

Thanks in advance.
Flurk Nov 13, 1999 10:50 AM
Open drive setup 1.8.1 (Utilities) and initialize your drive. You can always select the custom option to make 2 or 3 partitions.
Don't use the command 'erase disk' in the special menu of the Finder.
If your drive is not supported by Apple use HD speedtools 2.5.1 or another OS 9 compatible utility.
Misha Nov 13, 1999 10:54 AM
Whenever a major upgrade to the Mac OS comes out I always clean install it, for reasons that Scott mentioned above.

However, simply clean installing them copying all your other extensions and control panels and preferences (and whatever else) into the new System Folder sort of defeats that purpose; you may as well as upgrade.

You don't need to erase your HD, but clean installing the OS and the installing all your Applications again (so that fresh copies of their system items are placed in the System Folder) works wonders for stability.

Apparently there has been a way to clean install since System 7.5 (or maybe even 7.1) but it required a key combination to be held down when the installer was loaded. Anyone know anything more about this?

Misha Sakellaropoulo
Senior Editor, MacNN
iMac2Day, iBook2Day
joeyzr Nov 13, 1999 11:08 AM
Thank you both. One last question, I promise, and this one is not so much about OS 9.

When I buy Imation SuperDisk diskettes to backup, do they have to me Mac format? Or can I buy PC format and then use the Special menu to format them into Mac?

Thanks again!
wlonh Nov 13, 1999 12:21 PM
you can reformat them no prob
joeaux Nov 13, 1999 07:20 PM
I always install over the old version. I've found that if you keep your system 'lean and mean' to start with (i.e. no crap in the system folder) upgrades don't hurt.
Ster Nov 13, 1999 11:27 PM
something else i keep in mind is this: how many times has the system folder been 'dirty' upgraded. i.e. if you started w/ 8.5, dirty to 8.6, dirty to 9.0, that's two dirty upgrades. i'll allow two dirty upgrades, but no more. also, how major are said upgrades? if i'm going from 8.5 to 8.6, that's not a huge deal. going from 8.1 to 9.0, though, is a big deal, and i wouldn't dream of doing anything but a clean install in that case. (we just tried 8.1 dirty to 9 at work... shudder!)
my 0.02 USD,
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