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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Restoring Mac OS Software

The Mac OS X Install disc installs the latest versions of the standard Mac OS X applications. However, your Mac may have come with a number of other applications, such as the iLife suite, games, and even Mac OS 9. If you erased your drive prior to installing Mac OS X, or if one or more of these applications or Mac OS 9 has become damaged or corrupt, you'll probably want to get them back. To do this, you will need the Restore feature included with the disc(s) that came with your computer. Exactly what disc(s) you get, whether it is a series of Restore CDs or a single DVD (that combines Install and Restore options), and how it all works, varies as a function of the Mac model you purchased. In this section, I will focus mainly on how it works for the newest Macs (released in 2005). For older Macs, consult the documentation that came with your machine.

Note: The only thing that will not get restored by this method is the collection of music files included on some iMacs and iBooks. If you want to save these, you must back them up first. A Restore also may not reinstall software that comes on its own CD, such as the World Book software.

To restore software on the latest Macs, which include a DVD (more likely two DVDs, Install Disc 1 and Install Disc 2) that combines the Mac OS X Installer and the ability to restore bundled software, you have two choices:

  • Install Mac OS X and Bundled Software. This icon, when double-clicked, will ask you to restart and will then boot from the DVD. You'll be presented with a standard Mac OS X Installer that behaves just as I described earlier in this chapter. However, the Custom Install pane will also include options for bundled software.
  • Install Bundled Software Only. This icon will launch the standard Mac OS X Installer utility and give you the option, in the Custom Install pane, to choose the bundled software you wish to install.

Note: On some older Macs, an Install and Restore DVD will have icons for two options: Install Mac OS X and Install Applications & Classic Support. Launch both to completely restore all the preinstalled software on your Mac.

When you're finished restoring your software, use Software Update to check for and install any more recent updates to the applications you just reinstalled. Alternately, if you've already downloaded the updates to your drive, just open the .pkg files directly and install them.

Note: The core software used to run Software Restore is actually the Unix command asr (for Apple Software Restore), which you can access directly from Terminal. The cool thing about asr is that you can use it to restore anything, not just the files on the Software Restore CDs.


Figure 3.10 A look at the contents of a Mac OS X Install and Restore DVD that comes with a Mac. Note the Install Mac OS X and Bundled Software icon and the Install Bundled Software Only icon.

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