My Mac Pro had been having a weird issue with Spotlight frequently crashing. Spotlight's the built in search feature and then some - besides searching I also use it as a program launcher:
- COMMAND-SPACE (launches Spotlight)
- type the first few letters of a program name
- hit RETURN to run said program
- type a math equation
- if needed elsewhere then COMMAND-C/COMMAND-V to copy/paste results
I use both of those way more than searching, and was getting rather frustrated with Spotlight crashing, so decided it was time for a Clean Install and just migrate over my user account for the data, but none of the programs.
One wrinkle is I'm a couple OS versions behind due to my 2TB Aura SSD - I've been running version 10.12.x (Sierra) due to a compatibility issue with 10.13.x (High Sierra). The workaround is to reinstall the original 256 GB Apple SSD, upgrade it to High Sierra, then reinstall the Aura SSD and repeat the upgrade process - which is why I'd been putting it off until now.
First thing I did put the High Sierra installer on a USB stick, boot the computer from it so I could run Disk Utility, then cloned the Aura SSD over to an extra HDD. That took 26 hours to do (the clone process also verifies the copy) during which I tracked down the original SSD which I've not used in a couple years.
I then removed the original SSD from the external case and reinstalled it in the Mac Pro as the High Sierra installer won't let you install to an external hard drive (strange limitation considering you can boot from an external hard drive).
After that I reinstalled the Aura SSD in the Mac Pro and did a Clean Install of High Sierra. Encountered numerous system crashes during the process, all appeared to be tied to APFS (the new Apple File System geared towards SSD drives). So I then tried to install the latest OS version 10.14.x (Mojave) but it displayed an error stating it was not compatible with the Aura SSD.
Eventually I reinstalled the original SSD, did a clean install to it (rather than an upgrade) and tried to migrate my account over. No luck, insufficient room even if I deselected everything I could from the migration process.
So I ended up creating a new account for myself. A number of pending updates were ready for High Sierra so I applied them. Some of the release notes referred to fixes to APFS, so once the updates were done I cloned the original SSD over to the Aura SSD.
After confirming the system was now stable, I'm now I'm in the process of recovering my data from the HDD backup and reinstalling the applications. Critical ones are done, banking software, mail, etc, others are pending.
The restored mail did a weird folder nesting that's taking some time to clean up:
Sadly this means SpiceC was once again moved to the back burner.