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Cover image for Clean Install vs Backup
Andrew Baisden
Andrew Baisden

Posted on

Clean Install vs Backup

When it comes to setting up a new computer what is your preference? In my case I much prefer to do a clean install it might take a lot longer but I feel like that's the best way to set up a new system from scratch. So any errors or old files which you might have had but forgotten about are no longer an issue. It's also a great way to get rid of any bugs or problems that you might have had as this is going to be a brand new start.

I also find it great setting up a new development environment that matches your needs. However on the other side maybe some people just don't have the time and they just want to restore their computer to how it was before and avoid wasting a few days downloading and installing everything over again.

Top comments (8)

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I am all about the clean install. I tend to keep everything I care about in the cloud in some way. It's a chance to start fresh.

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

Cool I have just been using time machine backups. Might consider a cloud solution at some point too. What are you using?

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Christian Siber

I was doing full backups back then (late 00s). But after never really restoring them I thought to myself why? And I came to the conclusion that a fresh install was always preferred because I could start new. Getting rid of all those unused executables and libraries that were slowing down my machine was a bliss.
And after all... all I need is the data to be backed up (what I regularly do with my NAS) - "backing up data is the new system backup" imho
Proograms are installed manually as I need them (never bothered me tbh) or via ninite.com/
Configs are checked into a github repo and easy to setup

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt • Edited on

I actually do backups, but never really restart from backups.

Backups are usually dirty and heavy. Never liked it. I don't need faster restoration that much.

And syncs sometimes fall under the same category.

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Andrew Baisden Author

Exactly I am really only using backups for my current setup just in case I need to restore some files or roll back from some broken changes. But if its a NEW install then I prefer it to be clean.

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Pushpinder Pal Singh

I actually do a regular backup but when it comes to setting up a new device/computer I would do a clean install, it just feels..... how do I say it....... fresh.

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden Author

Yes fresh is best haha

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Phil Ashby

Fresh install every time of a minimal host environment, then possibly some development packages if I'll use them in the host (eg: vim, vscode, build-essentials), but nothing outside the stable repository (I'm a Debian fan). If I need anything specialised (such as Windows binaries, or to work on a particular foreign distro), then it goes in a VM or container. No pollution is my golden rule!

All my important 'stuff' is in git, or otherwise off-machine on my home NAS and backed up to multiple locations.

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