3 Replies Latest reply: Mar 6, 2013 12:14 PM by Kappy
rcat17 Level 1 Level 1

My IMac is running slow and not running well I think I need to reset the entire computer back to clear and start from scratch ... Anyone know how to do this

imac 27", Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    Clean Install of Snow Leopard


         1. Boot the computer using the Snow Leopard Installer Disc.  Insert the disc into the

             optical drive and restart the computer.  After the chime press and hold down the

             "C" key.  Release the key when you see a small spinning gear appear below the

             dark gray Apple logo.


         2. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue

             button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.

             After DU loads select the hard drive entry from the left side list (mfgr.'s ID and drive

             size.)  Click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.  Set the number of

             partitions to one (1) from the Partitions drop down menu, set the format type to Mac

             OS Extended (Journaled, if supported), then click on the Partition button.


         3. When the formatting has completed quit DU and return to the installer.  Proceed

             with the OS X installation and follow the directions included with the installer.


         4. When the installation has completed your computer will Restart into the Setup

             Assistant. Be sure you configure your initial admin account with the exact same

             username and password that you used on your old drive. After you finish Setup

             Assistant will complete the installation after which you will be running a fresh

             install of OS X.  You can now begin the update process by opening Software

             Update and installing all recommended updates to bring your installation current.

  • rcat17 Level 1 Level 1

    I don't have any disks is there a setting in computer to click to just start the computer over to a default like when I bought it.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    No. The only way is to boot the computer from the installer disc if you want to return it to factory default.


    On the other hand you can try to fix what you have:


    A Basic Guide for Data Migration


    If you are migrating a PowerPC (PowerMac) system (G3, G4, or G5) to an Intel-Mac be careful what you migrate. Keep in mind that some items that may get transferred will not work on Intel machines and may end up causing your computer's operating system to malfunction.


    Note: if you are upgrading to a Mac with Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later, or with the intent of upgrading to 10.7 or later anytime in the future, be aware that any applications that are not labelled Universal, or haven't been upgraded to Intel CPU compatibility will not run on Lion or later.  Documents may migrate if an Intel native application exists that will open them, but applications that are PowerPC only will not.  This user tip explains what else is needed for upgrading to Lion: https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-2465.


    This also means for any Mac model whose hardware or firmware that has been refreshed on or after July 20, 2011, you won't be able to install 10.6.8 or get Rosetta from it unless you follow a link at the end of this tip.  It may be better to get a used or refurbished Mac that predates July 20, 2011.  See the Snow Leopard tip on the bottom for which Macs support Rosetta, which in turn supports older PowerPC applications.


    Both Leopard (10.5) , and Tiger (10.4.4 through 10.4.11, excluding 10.4.0, 10.4.1, 10.4.2, and 10.4.3) have PowerPC and Intel Mac support, and upgrading to either, this tip here, as well as links to my tip on Tiger and Leopard will help with your upgrade.


    The Knowledgebase article Intel-based Mac: Some migrated applications may need to be updated refers to methods of dealing with migrating from PowerPC chips to Intel with the Migration Assistant safely. The authors of this tip have not had a chance to verify this works in all instances, or that it avoids the 10.6.1 and earlier Guest Account bug that caused account information to get deleted upon use of the Migration/Setup Assistant. However, a well backed up source that includes at least two backups of all the data that are not connected to your machine will help you avoid potential issues, should they arise. In event it does not work, follow the steps below.


    Rosetta supports "software that runs on the PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor that are built for Mac OS X". This excludes the items that are not universal binaries or simply will not work in Rosetta:


    Classic Environment, and subsequently any Mac OS 9 or earlier applications

    Screensavers written for the PowerPC

    System Preference add-ons

    All Unsanity Haxies

    Browser and other plug-ins

    Contextual Menu Items

    Applications which specifically require the PowerPC G5

    Kernel extensions

    Java applications with JNI (PowerPC) libraries


    See also What Can Be Translated by Rosetta.


    In addition to the above you could also have problems with migrated cache files and/or cache files containing code that is incompatible.


    If you migrate a user folder that contains any of these items, you may find that your Intel-Mac is malfunctioning. It would be wise to take care when migrating your systems from a PowerPC platform to an Intel-Mac platform to assure that you do not migrate these incompatible items.


    If you have problems with applications not working, then completely uninstall said application and reinstall it from scratch. Take great care with Java applications and Java-based Peer-to-Peer applications. Many Java apps will not work on Intel-Macs as they are currently compiled. As of this time Limewire, Cabos, and Acquisition are available as universal binaries. Do not install browser plug-ins such as Flash or Shockwave from downloaded installers unless they are universal binaries. The version of OS X installed on your Intel-Mac comes with special compatible versions of Flash and Shockwave plug-ins for use with your browser.


    The same problem will exist for any hardware drivers such as mouse software unless the drivers have been compiled as universal binaries. For third-party mice the current choices are USB Overdrive or SteerMouse. Contact the developer or manufacturer of your third-party mouse software to find out when a universal binary version will be available.


    Also be careful with some backup utilities and third-party disk repair utilities. Disk Warrior 4.1, TechTool Pro 4.6.1, SuperDuper 2.5, and Drive Genius 2.0.2 work properly on Intel-Macs with Leopard. The same caution may apply to the many "maintenance" utilities that have not yet been converted to universal binaries. Leopard Cache Cleaner, Onyx, TinkerTool System, and Cocktail are now compatible with Leopard.


    Before migrating or installing software on your Intel-Mac check MacFixit's Rosetta Compatibility Index.


    Additional links that will be helpful to new Intel-Mac users:


    Intel In Macs

    Apple Guide to Universal Applications

    MacInTouch List of Compatible Universal Binaries

    MacInTouch List of Rosetta Compatible Applications

    MacUpdate List of Intel-Compatible Software

    Transferring data with Setup Assistant - Migration Assistant FAQ


       Because Migration Assistant isn't the ideal way to migrate from PowerPC to Intel Macs, using Target Disk Mode, copying the critical contents to CD and DVD, an external hard drive, or networking will work better when moving from PowerPC to Intel Macs. The initial section below discusses Target Disk Mode. It is then followed by a section which discusses networking with Macs that lack Firewire.  You can also determine if you have Firewire by looking at this image of the ports typically found on a PowerMac G4 Firewire 800, which has two 6 pin Firewire 400 (IEEE 1394a) ports below the USB ports, and below that, a Firewire 800 (IEEE 1394b).


    PowerMac G4 MDD rear.jpg


    The 4 pin Firewire found on many camcorders is just a Firewire 400 port that is not powered by the computer.  Cables exist that can convert between all three.

       If both computers support the use of Firewire then you can use the following instructions:


    1. Repair the hard drive and permissions using Disk Utility.

    2. Backup your data. This is vitally important in case you make a mistake or there's some other problem.

    3. Connect a Firewire cable between your old Mac and your new Intel Mac.

    4. Startup your old Mac in Target Disk Mode.

    5. Startup your new Mac for the first time, go through the setup and registration screens, but do NOT

        migrate data over. Get to your desktop on the new Mac without migrating any new data over.


    If you are not able to use a Firewire connection (for example you have a Late 2008 MacBook that only supports USB:)


    1. Set up a local home network: Creating a small Ethernet Network.


    2. If you have a MacBook Air or Late 2008 MacBook see the following:


    MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)- Migration

    Tips and Tricks;

    MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)- What to do

    if migration is unsuccessful;

    MacBook Air- Migration Tips and Tricks;

    MacBook Air- Remote Disc, Migration, or Remote Install Mac OS X and wireless 802.11n networks.


    Copy the following items from your old Mac to the new Mac:


    In your /Home/ folder: Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures, and Sites folders.


    In your /Home/Library/ folder:


    /Home/Library/Application Support/AddressBook (copy the whole folder)

    /Home/Library/Application Support/iCal (copy the whole folder)


    Also in /Home/Library/Application Support (copy whatever else you need including folders for any third-party applications)


    /Home/Library/Keychains (copy the whole folder)

    /Home/Library/Mail (copy the whole folder)

    /Home/Library/Preferences/ (copy the whole folder)

    /Home/Library/Calendars (copy the whole folder)

    /Home/Library/iTunes (copy the whole folder)

    /Home/Library/Safari (copy the whole folder)





    /Home/Library/Syndication (Tiger) or /Home/Library/PubSub (Leopard) <<< RSS

    /Home/Library/Internet Plug-In

    Credit goes to iBod for this information.


    If you want cookies:



    /Home/Library/Application Support/WebFoundation/HTTPCookies.plist


    For Entourage users:


    Entourage is in /Home/Documents/Microsoft User Data

    Also in /Home/Library/Preferences/Microsoft


    Credit goes to Macjack for this information.


    If you need to transfer data for other applications please ask the vendor or ask in the Discussions where specific applications store their data.


    5. Once you have transferred what you need restart the new Mac and test to make sure the contents are there for each of the applications.


    Special instructions for those who have purchased Mac models that do not support Rosetta:


    The newest (post 2010) Mac models run only Lion or Mountain Lion. They are not able to run Snow Leopard at all. However, you can still run PPC applications using Snow Leopard and Rosetta by intalling Snow Leopard as a virtual machine using Parallels. This is not an exercise for the truly inexperienced user, but it is completely doable provided you are willing to spend some money and some time. For complete instructions on what to do see https://discussions.apple.com/message/18280105#18280105. Although the instructions are keyed to Parallels 7, you should instead use the latest version, Parallels 8. (This information was contributed by user MlchaelLAX.)


    Written by Kappy with additional contributions from a brody.