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First, is there any benefit to re-installing Snow Leopard? My current installation was a transfer of an existing installation from a different laptop, and it seems like I've been getting a bit of "slowdown" over the last couple years. Should I re-install Snow Leopard, and if so what's the best way to go about doing that without losing applications and files?

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See here, here and here and the other topics in the Linked section on those pages' sidebars.

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