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When to Do It:

  • Whenever you have made a change to your system software version shortly before the onset of the problem.

  • Whenever you have a specific problem using system software (such as a problem with the functioning of the Finder).

  • Whenever you have a problem with recently added software that does not appear to be due to the causes described in previous Fix-Its or any other identifiable cause—even if you have made no changes to the system software.

  • Whenever a symptom, such as a system crash, occurs in a variety of different contexts or across a variety of applications.

  • Whenever you need to upgrade to a newer version of the system software.

I would not automatically do a clean install of the system software in all of the above cases. But it remains something to consider. For some of these symptoms, other causes exist, but system software remains a prime candidate.


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