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July 20, 2011 / David Bleeker

Should you do a “clean install” of Lion?

With some previous major releases of Mac OS X, upgrading over an existing OS X installation—for example, installing 10.3 over 10.2—entailed some degree of risk, as existing applications, add-ons, and support files could conflict with the new OS. For this reason, many people have advocated performing a “clean install”: wiping their hard drive (after backing it up, of course), installing the latest version of OS X, and then either using Setup/Migration Assistant to restore their application and/or personal data, or copying over their data and manually reinstalling programs.

Given Lion’s new download-and-install procedure—instead of a bootable installation DVD, you download the Lion installer to your Snow Leopard Mac and install it from the same drive—many Mac users are asking two related questions: (1) Can you perform a clean install of Lion? and (2) Should you? [read more]

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