I was always taught to erase and do a clean install of every major OS update once it's at .3 or later. Of course, when not in the middle of a project. My two editing machines (MBP M1 Pro and iMac intel) are still on Monterey (latest version).
With all the changes on the backend of the OS, is a clean install still recommended?
I usually do a clean install but on occasions when I have not there have been no problems.
Sometimes if a year has gone by without me updating I will do a clean install just to get rid of any accumulated crud.
Thanks inbro! I read this article from
late yesterday on doing a clean install. It's not addressing video editing machines, of course, but it seems to give the benefits, which I expected, and then a bunch of reason it may likely not be needed. A few of the reason why not to do a clean install, were not very clear to me. Ha, ha, maybe I needed more coffee.
I know the last time I did a clean install on a Mac with a T2 chip I had to jump through a bunch of hoops. It all worked well in the end. Currently I'm not encountering any noticeable issues with either of the editing Macs, but I have also not been using any cleaning apps like CleanMyMac or the free and much more complicated Onyx. I was curious if any video editors find these cleaning apps (or others) helpful to keep their editing machines humming and potentially help them avoid a clean install.
Onyx is not "malware" like CleanMyMac or other "simple to use" "cleaner" apps. Tinkertool and Tinkertool System are also okay to use. But, with any of the applications, if you don't understand fully what's going on you can potentially damage your system.
Avoid installing Chrome (chromeisbad.com). Use Chromium, Brave Browser, etc. instead, if you need a "Chrome-like" browser.
For standard macOS maintenance, you might periodically start up your Mac in Safe Mode, which cleans cache/temp files, helps fix font issues, and other system maintenance activities.
When running First Aid be careful to "show all devices" as instructed in the above article. Then, you should run First Aid on each item, in the order shown below.
Note that you may have Time Machine Snapshots that can slow this process down A LOT. You can reveal those Snapshots (View -> Show APFS Snapshots, Shift-Command-S) and delete them to speed up First Aid. They will be recreated automatically.
Cleaning apps - especially CleanMyMac are considered to be the most deadly things you can use together with the Chrome browser.
Keep clear of them!
My clean installs are relatively simple and quick.
I make sure everything is backed up before I begin as everything on the drive will be deleted.
I have a bootable USB 3.0 SSD (or HDD) onto which I download the macOS installer.
I boot into the external SSD/HDD, erase the Mac drive and set the installer to install on the Mac.
When it's done, I DO NOT USE migration but manually add all the essential apps etc. that I need.
I have just read the MacWorld article which suggests making a bootable copy of the installer on a USB stick.
I have used that method but it is rather fiddly and I found that the stick had become corrupt when I came to use it on another Mac a year later. That is why I now use a bootable SSD or HDD . . . much simpler, more reliable, probably faster and a lot more bangs for your buck as you can use it for normal storage when it's not being used for installing.
Well since you asked, and FYI - I have never done a clean install on any of our Mac editing stations (except for one MacBook Pro which arrived with a previous version of the OS...so we wiped it and installed the newest at that time before we began using it).
On all other Mac Pros, iMac Pros and iMacs we have always updated over existing OS systems . I don't ever recall any issues. We do maintain the systems on a regular basis and manage all external and internal drives to ensure ample space. We repair permissions regularly on all drives, ensure system fonts are stable without duplicates, confirm all plugins have the proper updates for the current version of FCP and OS they run on, and a host of other small routine maintenance measures.
I do remember back 4 or 5 years ago one system had a corrupt user account, but we followed the standard procedure for repairing a user account and the system was restored perfectly without having to reinstall anything.
Maybe I've just been lucky in this regard, but a clean install on our systems would be a real PITA and time consuming since we have numerous plugins and other applications we use daily alongside FCP and Resolve. If we do ever see a big problem, we can then, at that time do a clean install, but the track record with incremental updates has been clearly in our favor so far.
...but a clean install on our systems would be a real PITA and time consuming since we have numerous plugins and other applications we use daily alongside FCP and Resolve.
Ain't that the truth. Say something doesn't feel right. Oddly an export that generally takes one hour now chugs along at 90 minutes. I can live with that since two days later everything's back to the usual 60 minute export.
Who knows why these things happen but they routinely do. Last time I did a clean install (just the sound of it sounds glorious doesn't it?) it took WEEKS to get things back to reasonably normal getting both audio and video plugins and effects playing nicely with each other and hundreds of previous edits going back years. Just tracking down the serial number for an add on in a who-knows-what email account it's keyed to will take days.
A clean install for me? No thanks, no way unless everything's completely bricked.
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Happen to catch this chaps plight? Final Cut Title effect no longer working - fixing in motion And that's just from a tepid FCP update knee capping a simple effect. Methinks doing a clean install will find many of your projects awash in red warning triangles.
Wise words all. I've only encountered a couple of issues once, that I can remember, from not doing a clean install. That was years ago. No other maintenance tricks could fix them, so I just went ahead and did a clean install and all was right with the world. I was dreading doing a clean install of Ventura on two Macs.
Thanks again everyone!