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When installing Tiger or Leopard, there was an option called "Erase and Install" that would delete the disk before installing the new OS.

In Snow Leopard, this option seems to be missing. Is there any way I can add "Erase and Install" back to Snow Leopard?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

With Snow Leopard Erase and Install is now a two step process:

  1. When you start up off the Mac OS X Install DVD from the Tools menu choose "Disk Utility". You will then want to erase the hard drive you want to install on.
  2. Install Mac OS X as you would normally.
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It always bugged me that the installer would take part in the destruction of data - one click away from the option that preserves that data. Kind of like putting your hypothetical "enable world peace" button next to your "global thermonuclear war" button. If you could, why not put them in different rooms so as not to tempt fate. – bmike Sep 21 '11 at 20:35

Use the tools menu --> disk utility to erase the partition you want to install Snow Leopard on. Then proceed with the installation.

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Because Snow Leopard is an technically a Leopard upgrade it might not be readily accessible.

You can boot up and under the "Tools" menu open up Disk Utility to erase before you install.

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Snow Leopard is not an upgrade in technical terms or in practical. No version (at least since Jaguar) of OS X had that. All the CD/DVDs were always able to install a full copy of the OS, regardless of the “licencing” terms. Snow Leopard just changed the method to make it less confusing for users installing over a previous OS. – Martín Marconcini Sep 9 '10 at 23:47

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