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Warning: Do not re-install Lion unless you really have to

987 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Jul 27, 2011 2:24 PM by cp_whaley RSS
cp_whaley Calculating status...
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Jul 22, 2011 9:59 AM

I always pay the price by being an early OS X upgrade adopter!


After two days worth of dealing with the new Mail's failure to migrate my former 60,000+ email respository, I decided to re-install Lion... thinking that the Mail app may have been at fault. BIG MISTAKE!


My Mail problems remain (see the HUGE stream of problems on that front in the Mail-related forum(s)), but the re-install totally clobbered all my system related settings, by desktop geography, and god knows what else.  I had about 100 icons in my dock. All of them were trashed, leaving only the basic 15 or so Apple apps.


The re-install took over 4 hours compared to my original install of about 3 hours.  There were no indications at any point along the way that anything was wrong, and my final indication from the installer was that everything is cool. Not so!


I doubt if there's a quick fix for this, but if there might be, please let me know ASAP.  Otherwise, I suspect that I have many hours of work ahead of me rebuilding the left-side, Finder window list, resetting all of my System Preferences, rebuilding my Dock, etc.


I know this is the first time that Apple has built the re-install into your hard-drive, but I have have nothing good to say about this.  Give me an old-fashion DVD disk re-installer anyday.



  • ebinellis Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)

    Did you have a Time Machine backup?


    You can restore your preferences to obtain most of your settings back.


    Sorry to hear about the troubles though, thats never fun.



  • Thebestplacehere Level 3 Level 3 (700 points)



  • coocooforcocoapuffs Level 3 Level 3 (845 points)

    I think that's right, and you are prompted to use a TM backup to get all the settings / apps /  etc. back from there. But for the love of pete, why people would ever rely on TM or any other method of disaster recovery other then having a clone is beyond me. A clone is the best way to get things back when you really need them. But in the op's case, that would not help, as you need a clone of a stable system in the first place.

  • ebinellis Level 3 Level 3 (685 points)

    You are fine to restore your Preferences folder and all contained contents, the Lion folder structure is largly unchanged, and the changes that have been implemented are not on a level the average user will come into contact with. save the hiding of the library and such.


    You could also create a new user completely, log into it and remove your user, and then use Migration Assistant to pull your user back from your Time Machine backup for a complete restore of everything (be sure to back up any new documents and data created since your last Time Machine backup prior.)


    In regards to clones (coocooforcocoapuffs), I've run into a number of problems with users employing cloning software, both CCC and SuperDuper, you would be suprised how many of the people on these boards with issues upgrading are dealing with underlying issues caused by cloning in the past.


    In my opinion Time Machine treads the line between recovery and rebuilding well, allowing you to have a clean OS reinstalled if needed without the excess work of starting from scratch in terms of settings and configuration.


    Then again I've got an old school mindset to computers, and think a new OS install every once in awhile isn't a bad thing.


    To each his own...



  • Philly_Phan Level 6 Level 6 (11,010 points)

    cp_whaley wrote:


    I had about 100 icons in my dock.

    Wow.  How could you find anything?

  • Alex Zavatone Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Where, where, where is the Mail forum????


    And I completely agree with cp_whaley's last sentence 100%. 

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)

    Clone what you have now. Make and maintain multiple backup types and sets.


    Use another drive if you can to do a clean install of Lion also, then point Setup Assistant where you want to import from (TM, clone, etc).


    Mail threaded view can eat up 80% of all your processor cores so it really can hog and bog down.


    How to prepare your Mac for OS X 10.7 Lion

    How to create an OS X Lion installation disc MacFixIt

    Upgrading to Mac OS X Lion Protocol


    OS X Lion Install to Different Drive


    Using Cloning as a Backup Strategy


    How to keep Snow Leopard when upgrading to Lion

  • coocooforcocoapuffs Level 3 Level 3 (845 points)
    Mail threaded view can eat up 80% of all your processor cores so it really can hog and bog down.

    Ha! Where did you pull that number from? Seems to me firefox is still the biggest pig in the pen.

    Screen Shot 2011-07-23 at 10.39.37 PM.png


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