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Fresh system install OSX

I have a 21.5" , 2.7 GHZ Intel i5, 12 gb RAM,  iMac and it's been feeling kinda slow lately , I've had it a a year and a half or so... I've been reading around and other than using DISK TOOLS on the hard drive people recommend I run a fresh install of the OS.

If I do this, will I loose all the applications that I've installed?

Would you recommend I do this?

Thanks for the advice Experts!
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Jacko_Pinto
Asked:
Jacko_Pinto
2 Solutions
 
comfortjeaniusCommented:
If you do a fresh install you want to back up any data that you already have on the machine.
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Raymond PengSystems EngineerCommented:
I would recommend an External HDD that supports Time Machine.  Once you have a Time Machine backup - you can basically reformat the old HDD or heck - buy a new HDD, and using Disk Utility, you'll have the option to restore from Time Machine.
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Jacko_PintoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for commenting.  I have a time machine backup.  But if I restore to that, won't that take me back to the same place I was? Or would the system reinstall "clean things up" and after restoring things would work better?
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Raymond PengSystems EngineerCommented:
Yes - but you have the option to restore certain files / folders and not all applications if that's what you'd like.  You can actually use Finder to manually browse those files and copy over later after you do a clean install.

If you currently have a normal Sata HDD, I recommend an SSD for significant improvement.  Restoring from Time Machine actually rewrites / defrags the files as it restores.  Either way you have all data through Time Machine.
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strungCommented:
Doing a system re-install is a PC thing. I have used multiple Macs for 20 years and have never had the need to do a system re-install except in the case of a hard drive failure.

You need to troubleshoot why the Mac is slow.

Here are some things to do:

1. Make sure you have at least 15% free space on the hard drive. Macs will slow down if there is less than 15% free.

2. Open Disk Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities. Check to make sure the S.M.A.R.T status in the bottom right corner shows "verified". If it shows anything else, your hard drive is failing.

3. While in Disk Utility, run "Repair Permissions"

4. If you are running Lion (OS 10.7) or Mountain Lion (10.8), reboot while holding down Command-R to boot from the recovery partition. From the menu choose Disk Utility and Repair Disk. Once that is done, restart normally.

5. Pull down the Apple Menu to Software update and make sure your software is up to date.

6. If you have specific slow down, open Activity Monitor and click on the %CPU column to sort by CPU usage. See if a particular application or process is hogging your CPU usage.

7. If the slowdown seems to be internet related, you could go into your network prefs, hit the Advanced button and DNS tab and enter 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 as DNS servers.
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