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How I "Archive & Install" ... never loose your data


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Like many i have run into many situations where updating the system or something along those lines completely botches the system, and then we are forced to do an erase and install or something of that nature right? Well after doing this once i realized there was a way to perform whats known as an 'Archive and Install' on osx86 installs, This will permit you to keep ALL your Apps (application folder) and ALL user information (home folder) when or if you need to reinstall your system after a unrecoverable crash.


These are the steps I use after i botch my system.

1) Boot to install disk

2) Continue past the language screen until you reach the "welcome" window.

3) Select 'Utilities' from the menu bar and open 'Terminal'.

4) Enter this. press Enter/Return after command> cd /Volumes/NAMEOFYOURDRIVE

5) Enter this command to view all files in the root directory. press Enter/Return after command > ls

6) We are going to use the next command to remove all of the system files > rm -rf /(all system files BUT 'Applications' & 'Users') . You can put spaces in between each folder name to speed up the removal process, heres an example: 'rm -rf /System /Library /cores /dev /yourmom etc... . When you are finished or think you are use the 'ls' command again to verify that you only have 'Applications' & 'Users', of course you dont have to remove AAAALL of em but i do. Now quit out of terminal by selecting 'terminal' next to the apple and select 'quit'

7) Continue through the install and when you get to the customize screen of your install disc, choose the items you would normally choose. And then install. After install you will add your dev id's as you normally would.



After your install you may not have access to the user account that you were using, BUT the user folder should still be in /Mac HD / Users... Here is how to get your user account back...


1) Enable root > Open 'Directory Utility' , click the padlock at the bottom left to open (put in password) , select 'Edit' from menu bar and then 'Enable root user'. For the password i would just use the password 'root', but you can use what you want/.

2) Log out / Log in to 'Other'. For the user name use 'root' & for the password use 'root' or what ever you set the password to.

3) Go to system preferences and open accounts. Create an account that has the same 'SHORT NAME' as the name of your home folder which is located in /Mac HD/Users. So if the name of my folder in /Users is "coolkid", then i will create a user who's short name is also "coolkid".

When you create the account you should get a message 'An account with the same name already exist... do you want to use that folder..." press yes or ok or what ever and then your done. Log out and log into the account with your name and you should be looking at your account. I do this all the time as an apple tech support rep & on my own machine.


For more info on Apples 'A&I' look here: support.apple.com/kb/HT1710

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