Do most people wipe out their hard drives and reinstall the operating system as a virgin “clean install” every so often? Or do a lot of you just install upgrades on top of older operating systems so as to preserve your custom tweaks and prefs and settings and whatnot, and migrate them over from one disk to another when you upgrade your hard disks? Restore from the last good backup if you have a bad crash and keep going?
My main computer’s current hard drive was purchased about a year ago. I partitioned it, as I usually do, into several partitions, and then inserted the backup CDs with the files from the previous hard drive (including the operating system files) and dragged them to the respective partitions of the new hard drive.
On the previous hard drive, I had had one bad crash under one of the installed operating systems about a year and a half ago, and did reinstall that operating system from the CD, and the clone of it that’s on my current hard drive is still pretty much a virgin OS as of that date.
The partition I’m using now, meanwhile, has an operating system that in one sense of the word has been around forever, and I’m wondering if that’s highly unusual or fairly common.
It was installed on top of a clone of the one that crashed back that was made long before the crash and before upgrading the hard drive. Prior to that hard drive, it had been copied over in a similar way from the hard drive that came with the computer. The original copy of that operating system, on that hard drive, was in turn installed over a yet earlier operating system. (Details: Computer first ran with Mac OS 8.1; a clone of the 8.1 was made to install 8.5, then 8.6 on; later, a clone of 8.6 was made and 9.0, then 9.0.4, were installed on top of that. All three operating systems eventually moved to second, then third, hard drives used in same computer).
The computer didn’t come with this copy of MacOS 8.1, though. I had MacOS 8.1 set up just the way I wanted it on my old PowerMac 7100 , so I nuked the hard drive that came with the new computer (low level reformat) then partitioned it and copied the MacOS 8.1 from the 7100, adding some new files and extensions and control panels that were specific to the new computer. The MacOS 8.1 on the 7100 was originally installed over a clone of the System 7.6 that is still installed on its other hard drive. The 7.6 was updated from various permutations of the System 7.5 that the 7100 shipped with. So the operating system I use now has a direct line of ancestry to a copy of System 7.5 that came new with the 7100. Oh, and when I first got the 7100, I copied over all of my applications, control panels, extensions, disk accessories, fonts, and preferences from the System 6.0.8 that was on my Mac SE, tried them out, discarded the ones that were incompatible or made obsolete by built-in features of 7.5, and kept the ones that still worked. And some of those dated back to System 4 days.
How’s that for a digital pedigree? Are you astonished that it runs trouble-free, or are you about to post a reply beginning with “That’s nothing, let me tell you about the files on my drive…” ?