Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

Don't Use "Archive and Install"

Thanks to the fine folks at badgertronics, I was able to upgrade my Powerbook to Panther free-of-charge. I initially did an “Archive and Install” upgrade, as recommended by the upgrade guide at TidBITS (easily worth the measly $5, IMHO). But soon after the install, I noticed that my system seemed a lot slower. I couldn’t pinpoint a specific problem, but things just seemed sluggish. I definitely noticed that DNS seemed to be broken. I was moved to act when I noticed that my IMAP client (offlineimap) took 15 minutes to sync 48 IMAP Maildirs between my Mac and my server. According to the offlineimap docs, syncing 50 Maildir folders should take around 3 seconds. Hmmm…. that seems a little wrong.

I searched the Internet but was unable to find a specific fix for this problem. A few posters intimated that doing a fresh “Erase and Install” of Mac OS X 10.3 was better than using the “Archive and Install” option. So, this weekend, I backed up my HD using Carbon Copy Cloner, erased my HD, and did a fresh install of Mac OS X Panther.

As expected, everything is quick and zippy again. A sync of my IMAP folders takes 15 seconds now, as opposed to 15 minutes. While I’m happy with the result, I wish I could figure out why the “Archive and Install” option resulted in such a poor outcome.