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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > stock OSX install. leave it or reformat?

stock OSX install. leave it or reformat?
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quattrokid73
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May 29, 2007, 11:34 AM
 
when i pick up my new macbook, is it wise to leave the stock installed OSX, or zero the drive and start fresh from the discs?


idk what experiences you guys are having with the stock installed OS, so i am interested in your opinions.


thanks
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peeb
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May 29, 2007, 12:02 PM
 
Unless you are very worried about scraping every last mb of space from the disk, not much point in re-installing. Leave it how it is unless there are things you know you want to remove.
     
amazing
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May 29, 2007, 12:58 PM
 
Don't bother reinstalling.

You can remove unwanted language resources by using monolingual or delocalizer. If you don't plan on using stuff like garageband, you can save lots of space by removing the support files. After all, you can always reinstall from the iLife disk. You can also uninstall the iWork and MS Office demo.
     
ghporter
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May 29, 2007, 01:11 PM
 
I don't see a need to reformat at all. "This ain't Windows, ya know..." And Apple does not include a lot of trialware and other garbage that sucks up disk space. The worst they do is provide the "test drive" version of MS Office-which you can remove without a second thought by using the tool in the Test Drive folder. (Manually removing Office does not work and goobers stuff up.

After about a year with my MBP, (and judicious use of external drives for stuff I don't need every day and my iTunes library), I have about 22GB used on my drive. Not bad, eh?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
frdmfghtr
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May 29, 2007, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I don't see a need to reformat at all. "This ain't Windows, ya know..." And Apple does not include a lot of trialware and other garbage that sucks up disk space. The worst they do is provide the "test drive" version of MS Office-which you can remove without a second thought by using the tool in the Test Drive folder. (Manually removing Office does not work and goobers stuff up.

After about a year with my MBP, (and judicious use of external drives for stuff I don't need every day and my iTunes library), I have about 22GB used on my drive. Not bad, eh?
While there may not be a lot of individual titles, there ARE in fact quite a few apps that you may or may not use. The biggest offender is GarageBand; it has about 3 GB of files!

I've heard good things about apps that remove unneeded languages and printer drivers, and also bad things. IMHO, the best way to get rid of local language files and unneeded print drivers is to not install them in the first place. When I upgraded my HD and trimmed out a fat from a fresh OS X installation, the installation size dropped from about 10-11 GB (IIRC) to 3.7 GB.

Seeing as how your Mac will be new, and that a fresh OS X installation really doesn't take that long, AND there's no "activation" nonsense like there is with Windows, I would perform a re-installation. Select the things you want, leave the rest unchecked, and enjoy your new Mac!
     
quattrokid73  (op)
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May 29, 2007, 07:02 PM
 
thanks fellas. when i got my MBP, it was used, so i knew id reformat regardless.

i have used almost all of the space on my MBP HD though. what is the proper way of uninstalling garageband in its entirety? i might be interested in doing so.

also, how do you guys like iMovie and iDVD. i've only used final cut studio, which i love, but the 30gb is a steep price to pay for something i will use once in a while nowadays. im trying to save HD space for a large music library and a partition for xp pro (RC Flight simulator i use is windows only).
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Big Mac
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May 29, 2007, 07:31 PM
 
Unless you have a good reason to nuke the factory installation, don't bother. I usually end up cloning the drive of a new Mac, but that's mostly because I don't particularly trust Migration Assistant; I don't like waiting for Spotlight indexing.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
SLiMeX
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May 30, 2007, 01:45 AM
 
Reformat
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Simon
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May 30, 2007, 05:11 AM
 
It's a personal preference. Some like the fact that you can start it up and get to using it right away. Others don't like apps which they'll never use taking up GBs of their disk space.

Since Apple made it very easy to install additional packages later on (just run the "Install bundled apps only" installer on the install DVD), I personally choose to install my own customized lean setup when I get a new Mac. But as I said, that's a personal preference and entirely up to you. It works fine both ways.
     
xsphat
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May 30, 2007, 05:25 AM
 
I kept the stock install until I got boot camp.
     
Aegis
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May 30, 2007, 07:44 AM
 
I always have fun doing a fresh install. Makes a new machine feel more personalized and effecient. But there is certainly nothing wrong with saving yourself some time and running it as is
     
mpancha
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May 30, 2007, 09:51 AM
 
Its personal preference at the end of the day.

I always do a format using the OS DVD just to get rid of the printer drivers, languages, and all the software I would never use. Out of all the preinstalled software, I only use iPHoto, iTunes, iMove and iDVD. But for some reason all kinds of other stuff is installed. I usually end up with about 3-5ish GB in savings. With new bigger hard drives 3 GB isn't a lot, but if you're saving spae for a music library, that's 500+ songs.

There are tools that will allow you to uninstall the printer drivers and languages, but honestly, it only takes 15-30 minutes to do a fresh install of OS X, may as well do it and get it over with, at least that's my feeling.
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quattrokid73  (op)
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May 30, 2007, 11:43 AM
 
im hearing you mpancha....

when you reformat, what is your process?

up to now, ive zeroed out the drive first, but then when i start the process, it installs everything without options. so how do i "uncheck" progs and stuff i dont need.
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patrix
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May 30, 2007, 11:56 AM
 
I myself saved around 10GB when I reformatted and didn't include printer drivers, languages, garage band and other such app, etc. Nothing to scoff about.

I don't quite remember the install process, but I'm sure there's a custom install button or option somewhere that will allow you to choose which packages you want..

Patrix.
     
Simon
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May 30, 2007, 02:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by quattrokid73 View Post
so how do i "uncheck" progs and stuff i dont need.
Just before you give the installer the final OK, there's a 'Customize' button in the bottom left corner of the installer window.
     
ghporter
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May 30, 2007, 10:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post
While there may not be a lot of individual titles, there ARE in fact quite a few apps that you may or may not use. The biggest offender is GarageBand; it has about 3 GB of files!
The individual programs are not hard to delete, unlike Windows programs that take the correct incantations and fresh chicken guts swung over your head. ESPECIALLY "bundleware" that the computer maker gets a kickback for-those pieces of ...stuff are often very difficult to remove. But not on a Mac! Drag the app to the trash and it's gone!

My point is that, to delete these apps and recover their space, you need not reformat the drive, unlike with a Windows computer where there are so many interconnected dependencies that reformatting is often the ONLY way to rid yourself of what you don't want.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
frdmfghtr
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May 30, 2007, 11:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The individual programs are not hard to delete, unlike Windows programs that take the correct incantations and fresh chicken guts swung over your head. ESPECIALLY "bundleware" that the computer maker gets a kickback for-those pieces of ...stuff are often very difficult to remove. But not on a Mac! Drag the app to the trash and it's gone!

My point is that, to delete these apps and recover their space, you need not reformat the drive, unlike with a Windows computer where there are so many interconnected dependencies that reformatting is often the ONLY way to rid yourself of what you don't want.
Agreed that removing apps is much, much easier, but in some cases (like GarageBand) dropping the app in the trash isn't enough. There may be preference files in the ~/library directory, support files in a different directory, etc. In other cases (like the Office test drive) you have to run an uninstaller in order to do the job properly--a fact that might be missed thanks to the usually-sufficient-drag-and-drop-to-Trash method.
     
quattrokid73  (op)
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May 31, 2007, 02:23 AM
 
i love the system on mac's for getting rid of progs, but i like the idea of a fresh install minus the things i dont need.
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peeb
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May 31, 2007, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by frdmfghtr View Post
Agreed that removing apps is much, much easier, but in some cases (like GarageBand) dropping the app in the trash isn't enough. There may be preference files in the ~/library directory, support files in a different directory, etc. In other cases (like the Office test drive) you have to run an uninstaller in order to do the job properly--a fact that might be missed thanks to the usually-sufficient-drag-and-drop-to-Trash method.
Yes - that's a huge peeve of mine - even Apple does not write all its programs to be deletable by it's own recommended method. If programs are going to be allowed to leave crap all over the place, then they need to have uninstallers.
     
tavin64
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May 31, 2007, 01:41 PM
 
reformat and take out all the unwanted apps and languages (garageband, imovie, idvd). Of course if you are going to make movies keep those but you can save a ton of space by not installing everything you dont want. And while people say that macs dont come bloated with stuff you dont need unlike windows, at the end of the day an app you dont need (even if its made by apple) is still bloat.
     
quattrokid73  (op)
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May 31, 2007, 06:28 PM
 
im guessing there is also an option to uncheck other languages?
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tavin64
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Jun 1, 2007, 12:09 AM
 
yeah when you do a custom install of osx you will have the option of picking which languages you want to install. You will see once you boot into the install cd, its pretty self explanatory.
     
J-Shock
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Jun 1, 2007, 04:05 PM
 
Ive been using my Macbook for a bit more than a month now and i would like to trim the fat of my OSX installation. Is there a way to not loose anything when i do this. What i mean is when i do my clean install without the programs and drivers i will never use, is there a way for all my documents, files and programs to be reinstalled and brought to exactly how they were before?

Ive used SuperDuper before but i dont think it can just install programs and docs... Thanks
Peace
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peeb
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Jun 1, 2007, 04:33 PM
 
Archive and install.
     
mpancha
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Jun 3, 2007, 12:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by quattrokid73 View Post
im hearing you mpancha....

when you reformat, what is your process?

up to now, ive zeroed out the drive first, but then when i start the process, it installs everything without options. so how do i "uncheck" progs and stuff i dont need.
For me, first its the obvious backup of all things needed. That obvious backup is

1) my documents/music/photos/desktop directories.
2) Mail/Mail Attachments folders from my user library.
3) backup of my iCal/Address Book and Safari Bookmarks.

I have all my dowbnloaded apps (freeware/sharewares that I can't do without) in a "software" folder in my documents directory.

Then, give it a quick once over, and at that point stop thinking about backing up. I find the more you think about it, the more likely you're going to drive yourself insane. Now, you just hit restart and have faith in yourself that you have all your needed files. Boot up off the OS CD and just an erase and install. I don't do a zero out b/c the laptop is staying with me, so there's no worries of using software to find old documents... they're my docs, so doesn't bother me too much if they are retrievable.

During the install watch for buttons on the bottom left of each step for more options/customize. When you click on that button you will be given choices for how you want to format your drive the first time you see this button, and the second time is to customize your OS X install. That step gives you options for selecting/deselecting Printer drivers, languages and software. I generally remove all the languages and printer drivers. I have no need for drivers for every printer made, just the 2 I have. ANy others I come across I can always download drivers for. THe applications, those are up to you, you keep what you want.

As for uninstalling... my two cents on this part, true on a Mac it is supposed to be as simple as delete the app file. However, I find that this never completely removes everything associated with said application. If it even leaves a single preference behind, the uninstall system is flawed. My take is, OS X and WIndows equally suck. They work great when they work, when they don't do what you want, they both make me want to throw said machine against a wall.... that of course is just my two cents
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