Step 1: Back up!

I moved all my vital files onto a usb drive, then got stuck finding a way to do a clean install of Lion, from within Lion. So, here's how. You will need: Now that you have all your files safely backed up somewhere, we can get to actually doing this. This should take you into Lion Recovery Mode pictured.

Now, you are presented with a dialogue giving you four options.

The Safe Mac » How to reinstall Mac OS X from scratch

Now, select Macintosh HD from the list on the left. Select the Erase tab. Then press Erase At this point, you can start reinstalling any other applications you might have had installed. Do not try to copy them from your backup. Reinstall them from the original disks, or download them from the original source.

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Once you have completed the seventh step, you should have your machine back to a state pretty close to where it was before, though hopefully without the issues that caused you to go to all this trouble in the first place. Is it enough to choose Erase? Are the results of Erase command similar to Format option from Windows?

There is no need to zero out the drive. Erasing is sufficient, there is no malware that can survive that.


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Malware would have to somehow embed itself into the hardware such as in the firmware in order to survive a hard drive erasure. While just hitting Erase gives you a clean drive to reinstall to, it would be a very good idea to to zero the data. The zeroing touches every block of the drive, so if you do have a bad block it would be found and retaliated to a good block.

How to Do a Clean Install of OS X Lion, From Lion

This would be more important on a drive 3 years and older vs a newer drive. It was true years ago, but modern drives automatically map out bad blocks as they are encountered. Zeroing the drive these days is only important if you want to wipe the data and prevent it from being recoverable.

I really want to do a totally clean install of ML. Is there a straightforward way to accomplish that? You can download the Mountain Lion installer, then make a bootable install disk out of it and use that to erase the hard drive and install ML. If you make a bootable install disk according to those directions, then you can install in an offline situation.


  • How to Create a Bootable Mac OS X Lion Installation USB Drive?
  • How do I install OS X (Lion)?!
  • How to reinstall Mac OS X from scratch.

Search for: Step 1: Back up! Step 3: Reinstall This step is pretty simple — just follow the directions to reinstall the system on the newly-erased drive.

Step 2: Erase the hard drive

Step 4: Update Once your system restarts successfully, you will need to be sure that it is fully up-to-date. July 21, at 4: June 22, at Jose says: May 11, at Brian says: July 8, at 4: July 8, at 5: Yousif Anwar says: July 10, at 8: M says: Tricky Business says: July 21, at March 18, at 3: BP says: July 8, at 6: July 9, at 3: Marcus says: July 8, at July 9, at 1: Josh says: July 9, at 6: Carl says: July 22, at 9: Rue says: August 4, at 6: Dana says: October 11, at 9: April 17, at 2: Albert Kinng says: May 19, at 1: OS X July 9, at 9: July 9, at July 9, at 5: July 10, at 4: Cam says: July 11, at 4: Nick says: July 11, at 7: Stef says: July 25, at 4: July 11, at Kapilan says: July 16, at July 17, at 7: August 9, at 7: March 18, at 4: July 12, at 9: OSXDaily says: July 12, at July 21, at 3: Bubba says: July 22, at 8: Nicholas says: July 27, at Mike says: July 12, at 5: Curious says: July 13, at July 13, at 3: July 14, at 3: Paul Skeldon says: July 14, at July 14, at 9: Robby says: July 16, at 3: Twitter vs.

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Reinstallation of OS X Lion On a 2011 MacBook Air

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