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Is there a way to wipe my Mac without impacting Lightroom?

hbwilliams22

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I basically want to factory reset my personal Mac but don't want to impact Lightroom. As it stands currently, all of my images are stored on an external hard drive and not on my computer. Is there anything to take into consideration to achieve this?
 
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So where is your Lightroom catalogue? It contains all the work you've done on those images and records where they are, so you need to make sure you have it backed up - and that's true even if you weren't planning to wipe the computer. Also consider any presets you may have saved..
 

hbwilliams22

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So where is your Lightroom catalogue? It contains all the work you've done on those images and records where they are, so you need to make sure you have it backed up - and that's true even if you weren't planning to wipe the computer. Also consider any presets you may have saved..
I believe my catalog is on my computer. What is the best way to back it up before wiping? Simply relocating it to the external drive before moving it back after the computer restores?
 
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I believe my catalog is on my computer. What is the best way to back it up before wiping? Simply relocating it to the external drive before moving it back after the computer restores?
Sounds like you want to do a 'clean' reinstall. I do that now and then but you do need to be really careful. I always have two backups before starting. Just copying you Pictures and Documents folders isn't enough. There are a lot of important files in Library (which is usually hidden and you may not have backed up).
I usually rely on ChronoSync to make my backups as it will verify copies and can include the Library and other hidden files easily.
Simply copying all your data back doesn't do what you want. You'll have all the old files and settings back again so you will unset your reset. Better to reinstall each app and bring its data in separately rebuilding the Preferences as required.
Its a lot of work. Proceed with caution.
 
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I believe my catalog is on my computer.
I am sure you're right, but let me say this with the best intentions - you should know this, not assume it. Often it is in the default place, but you may have it elsewhere. You should always know where your catalogue is, and know that it is backed up so that if you lost your Mac, you could recover your work from the backup.

So in LR, go into Catalog Settings and you'll see its location. There will be other files in the same folder, but the critical file is this lrcat.
 
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Leave it to me to be the contrarian. Why do you feel that you need to wipe your primary disk and reinstall MacOS? I have never seen a situation where this is necessary. Rarely on Windows for expediency on a Corporate environment And Never for MacOS. MacOS has compartmentalized each app such that they don't interfere with each other. You simply uninstall the apps that you don't want and Mac removes everything related to the app. When you upgrade the OS, Apple removes the old files and replaces them with new files.

Since you don't seem to be computer literate enough to know what Lightroom files are important or where they are, you probably should not tackle major surgery on your computer without professional help.
 

hbwilliams22

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Leave it to me to be the contrarian. Why do you feel that you need to wipe your primary disk and reinstall MacOS? I have never seen a situation where this is necessary. Rarely on Windows for expediency on a Corporate environment And Never for MacOS. MacOS has compartmentalized each app such that they don't interfere with each other. You simply uninstall the apps that you don't want and Mac removes everything related to the app. When you upgrade the OS, Apple removes the old files and replaces them with new files.

Since you don't seem to be computer literate enough to know what Lightroom files are important or where they are, you probably should not tackle major surgery on your computer without professional help.
I am simply trying to restore my computer factory settings and then put lightroom back on my computer.
 
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I am simply trying to restore my computer factory settings and then put lightroom back on my computer.
That is clear, but the question was: “Why?”. I agree with Clee. I have used Macs since the Macintosh Plus (Macintosh Plus - Wikipedia) and I have never felt the need to wipe my main hard disk and start all over again.
 

hbwilliams22

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That is clear, but the question was: “Why?”. I agree with Clee. I have used Macs since the Macintosh Plus (Macintosh Plus - Wikipedia) and I have never felt the need to wipe my main hard disk and start all over again.
I don't feel like I need to explain "why" but the computer is from 2017 and used by multiple people. I would like to start from a clean slate to ensure the computer is not compromised in any way.
 
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I don't feel like I need to explain "why" but the computer is from 2017 and used by multiple people. I would like to start from a clean slate to ensure the computer is not compromised in any way.

Your need to explain “why” is a key to getting the best answer. Wiping the hard disk is really NOT the best answer.
If multiple people have used the computer and each has those own login username. Simply removing those users solves your problem since Apple compartmentalizes each user in their own sand box. Remove that users sandbox and all of that users crap is gone too. If you have multiple users on the same login ID, simple create a new master admin and wipe away the others

If your Lightroom Classic catalog is in some user’s sandbox, you need to move or copy it to another user before you remove that user from the system.


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Wiping the Mac is one thing, but I am concerned that you don't address my point that you should always know exactly where your catalogue is.
 
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I believe my catalog is on my computer. What is the best way to back it up before wiping? Simply relocating it to the external drive before moving it back after the computer restores?
You could do it that way, as long as your catalog (and its associated files) were all safely moved to that external drive.

But is that the only thing you want to save? If there are other personal and work files you want to restore to the Mac, it would be easier to use a good backup/cloning application such as Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper!, or ChronoSync to copy the Mac’s entire data volume to the external hard drive. One click and you would be sure nothing got left behind by accident.

Mac clean installs as much easier than they’ve ever been. The steps are basically back up the data volume, wipe the Mac from Recovery mode, then restore the data volume using Migration Assistant (in Recovery mode) or using the backup application you used. Or If the data volume contained files from those other people and you don’t want to put those back on, you can start over on the clean Mac and manually restore specific files from the external drive by dragging them back onto the correct location on the Mac.
 
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Your need to explain “why” is a key to getting the best answer. Wiping the hard disk is really NOT the best answer.
If multiple people have used the computer and each has those own login username.
I think if the OP wants to wipe his drive that's fine, there are many reasons for wanting or needing to do this. It may be that multiple people using this Mac did not have their own login for example. I like to wipe my drive every few years to remove the accumulated files left behind by trial software for example.
 

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I think if the OP wants to wipe his drive that's fine, there are many reasons for wanting or needing to do this. It may be that multiple people using this Mac did not have their own login for example. I like to wipe my drive every few years to remove the accumulated files left behind by trial software for example.

I have just seen an organisation with decent security totally hacked (IT destroyed). Every machine will be wiped, you can't prove you have removed every trace of the attack otherwise.
 
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I have just seen an organisation with decent security totally hacked (IT destroyed). Every machine will be wiped, you can't prove you have removed every trace of the attack otherwise.

The organization that you reference is probably a Windows shop. There are reasons that MacOS is considered the most secure. One, Macs have about 2% of the computer market. This makes the Mac platform a less desirable target for hackers.
Two, Most Malware is designed for the Windows platform And while that does not mean that Macs aren’t vulnerable. Apple has usually been very proactive in quickly fixing vulnerabilities in their OS.
Three, Users are sandboxed from each other meaning a Mac specific Virus downloaded from one user won’t affect others because the users (except the admin) don’t have access to the OS components OR folders. New security, introduced several versions ago only give apps access to specific folders and admin permission needs to be granted for access to other parts of the computer system.

My Mac is so secure that I do not feel the need to install active anti malware tools running in the background. Instead, I run MalwareBytes every few months. It rarely detects malicious software, mostly inert Windows malware when it does. Without a third party antiMalware app sitting between my app and the files it wants to access, my MacOS is not slowed down checking every file accessed for malware.

Your home network is less vulnerable than a corporate IT with lots of users displaying many levels of ignorance over IT security. If you are cautious and don’t download untrusted software, keep your MacOS up to date with the latest security patches and stay away from dubious websites your Mac is safer than any othe operating system.


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MacOS market share is about 15% (of desktop computers), but indeed it is more profitable for malware writers to concentrate on Windows.

Thanks for the correction. My number was an old statistic and i knew that when i posted.


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