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A. Installing Mac OS X 10.4 > The Clean Install

The Clean Install

In Mac OS 9 and Windows, the clean install is considered an essential troubleshooting technique. It entails installing a second System Folder or Windows folder—a fresh one, uncontaminated by the detritus left behind by you and your software programs.

In general, though, you and your software can’t invade the Mac OS X System folder. The kind of gradual corruption that could occur in those older operating systems is theoretically impossible in Mac OS X, and therefore the need to perform a clean install is almost completely eliminated.

That’s the theory, anyway. In fact, somehow or other, things do go wrong with your Mac OS X installation. Maybe you or somebody else has been fiddling around in Terminal and wound up deleting or changing some important underlying files. Certain shareware programs can perform deep-seated changes like this, too.


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