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Clean Installs with Time Machine—an oxymoron?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I know this topic has probably been beaten to death, but I have been searching this forum and the web in general for the past 2 hours and still have yet to come up with a definitive answer to my question.

I am having serious computer issues (freezing, etc) and before attempting to go the Apple Store route, I want to try and see if a clean install of Snow Leopard (which I am running) will solve my problems.

In order to perform a clean install, I will have to backup all my files and applications. Obviously, Time Machine is the backup master here, but the question is, will it backup my problems as well as my files?

I really just want to backup my files, music, and Applications. I know I can tell Time Machine to backup just those folders, but I also know that there are many other related files (especially for Applications) lurking in other folders (such as Library > Application Support). With this in mind, I would imagine that in order to not miss anything, I would need to make a complete backup and complete restore once I wipe the drive and reinstall the OS.

Will doing this carry forth my garbage and problems? I hope not! It would be a huge help if anyone can share some insight!

Thanks in advance,
Joel
post #2 of 6
"Clean installs" are mythological, especially as a cure for any problem you are likely to have. About the only software issue that could cause system-wide problems is a bad kernel extension, and these are very rare. As a first step I would suggest that you create a new "virgin" user, and log into that account. See if the problems persist. I'd wager they will. Second, if you have an external drive, install Snow Leopard there, boot onto that drive and test. Probably that won't help either but it's a relatively easy diagnostic step.

You don't say what other issues you are experiencing -- but the most likely source of freezing is a hardware fault, I'm afraid. Bad RAM is a common culprit.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

but the most likely source of freezing is a hardware fault, I'm afraid. Bad RAM is a common culprit.

http://www.command-tab.com/2008/01/1...nder-mac-os-x/
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the reply! Really good suggestionswill try both. I didn't even think about the ram, that could very well be the case. I took it to the genius bar to test it and they said everything is fine, but I'm not buying it. Just bought some new ram to give it a go. Will keep you posted.

Another odd thing is that it seems to freeze when the computer shakes or is bumped. Feels like a hardware thing for sure.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktz View Post

Another odd thing is that it seems to freeze when the computer shakes or is bumped. Feels like a hardware thing for sure.

Hard disk issue?
post #6 of 6
Could that be the HD parking feature kicking in? I am just a newbie, but I have replaced two HD in MBP already and read about that sometimes causing a freeze up when the computer is moved. Now back to the expert commentary already in progress...
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AppleInsider › Forums › General › Genius Bar › Clean Installs with Time Machine—an oxymoron?