Re-Imaging My MacBook Pro

I have thought long and hard about re-imaging my MacBook Pro over the course of the past week and last night I decided to go ahead and do it. So I spent time backing up my photos, files and music that I wanted to bring forward when I was done re-imaging.
Below are some of my reasons:

  • I am really trying to simplify my life and I use my MacBook Pro more than any other tool.  I spend far too many hours a day on it, so it seems appropriate to really take a look at what software I need with regards to my new simpler lifestyle of semi-retirement.
  • While teaching I used my personal MacBook Pro for a lot of school stuff.  I want to make sure that I have gotten any of the school or student related stuff off my computer that I don’t need or don’t want access to anymore.
  • Over the course of the past year I have experimented with way too many different desktop software applications and it is time to ensure that any leftover files are no longer on the computer. Just good housekeeping habits, some files just seem to be fairly well hidden and while they may be harmless, with all the privacy issues going around the Internet today, why take any chances.
  • Re-imaging forces me to look at what software I actually like, need, want or use on my Mac. I have too many programs that duplicate what other programs do and want to reduce the clutter.

Here are the programs I am starting with:

I would probably get rid of Front Row, Dashboard, Chess, Image Capture, and maybe iDVD if I was sure that there were no negative consequences for doing so. In the 18 months I have had my Mac, I haven’t done more than just open these programs to see what they were – I never used them.

I am sure that this list will grow, but when I add another desktop application, I want to do it for a reason, not just because it came with the laptop or because I thought it was a good idea earlier and found that I never used the program after the initial few times. I know that I will be adding NeverWinter Nights II and Sophos sometime this afternoon, but other than that I think I will wait a few days before adding more software.

Below are screenshots of the software that I had on my Mac before I started this re-imaging.

You will notice that iPhoto, Garage Band, iWork Suite, Microsoft Office for Mac and a bunch of other programs have been left off my Mac for now.  I am going to see if I can survive with just Google Docs and Evernote as my primary Office (Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Slideshow and Notebook) & Productivity Suite (Mail, Address Book, Todo list). Less choice also means that I will have to learn how to use the software that I have kept at a higher level than I am presently doing or switch it for something else that might work better/differently.

I have noticed a definite improvement performance on my Mac.  It feels snappy, instead of sort of sluggish and I haven’t been seeing that Spinning Wheel of “Time to Wait” stick around nearly long or as often as it had been over the past couple of weeks.

When was the last time you re-imaged your Mac? Is it time for you to do it?

Okay it was a bit of a pain to go back and add programs back, remember old passwords (stuff that I never added to LastPass) and some of the other “little” things that you forget about when you re-image your laptop.  In the long run I have a feeling that I will be very glad that I decided to re-image my Mac.

Yes as Apple moves to iCloud and Lion over the next few months, I will probably have to add iPhoto, Keynote, Pages and some other Apple programs back into the mix, so that I can try all the new “stuff” out. Until then this should be a pretty decent chance to see how minimalist I can become on this laptop.

Is there any software that I “have to have” that isn’t on my current list?  Why do I need it?



3 thoughts on “Re-Imaging My MacBook Pro

  1. I've always been PC faithful. But, I think you're talking about de-fraging your computer. If so, I need to do that also. My computer is a mess because I very seldom use anything but the Internet nowadays.Actually, if I ever get any extra money, I'm thinking about buying a simple Netbook.Good job!


  2. Hi Linda – No this is bringing the computer back to new out of the box condition (in PC terms I reinstalled the operating system), deleted all the files and started over . Defragging is one of those maintenance issues I don't have to worry about on a Mac. :-)I found that netbooks with their small screens didn't work for me due to my eye sight declining as I get older (otherwise known as macular degeneration), I had to hook up a monitor to it so I could use it easily. The 13 inch screen is about as small as I want to go.Thanks for commentingHarold


  3. Linda – I was a PC from Windows 1.0 onward, then switched to a Mac in Dec 2009 and I don't plan to go back. I like the Mac environment and that I don't have do nearly as much maintenance as I do on my wife's Dell.Harold


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