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Easily remove an installed OS X system Install
There's a great thread on the MacNN boards talking about removing OS X without erasing a hard drive. "Schmoo" (who may be an Apple employee; check the MacNN thread!) presented an AppleScript that can be used to easily remove all traces of OS X from a hard drive. So if you have a version installed that you'd like to remove, check out Schmoo's script in the Update soon and Applescript to Uninstall X thread.

[Editor's note: I've pasted Schmoo's AppleScript into the second part of the article; read the rest if you'd like to see it...]

If you've installed Mac OS X over Mac OS 9.1 on a drive and want to remove the Mac OS X items from the drive:

- reboot into Mac OS 9.1
- paste this script into a new script window in the script editor and save it as a classic applet. quit script editor.
- run this script

All Mac OS X items will be placed in the trash.


property root_items : {"bin", "dev", "Network", "private", 
"sbin", "usr", "Volumes", ".DS_Store", ".hidden", "cores",
"etc", "tmp", "var", "Applications", "Developer",
"Library", "mach", "mach.sym", "mach_kernel", "System",
".Trashes", "Users", ".vol"}
property systemfolder_items : {"Classic", "Classic Support",
"Classic Support UI", "ProxyApp"}
tell application "Finder"
set this_version to the version as string
if this_version does not start with "9" or
this_version is not greater than or equal to "9.1" then
error "This script requires a Mac OS 9.x system greater than 9.0.4."
display dialog "This script will move Mac OS X items from the startup disk to the trash." with icon 2
display dialog "Should this script delete the Users folder?" buttons {"Cancel", "Yes", "No"} default button 3
set the users_flag to the button returned of the result
repeat with i from 1 to the count of the root_items
set this_item to item i of the root_items
if this_item is not "Users" or
the users_flag is "Yes" then
if exists (item this_item of the startup disk) then
delete item this_item of the startup disk
end if
end if
end repeat
repeat with i from 1 to the count of the systemfolder_items
set this_item to item i of the systemfolder_items
if exists (item this_item of the system folder) then
delete item this_item of the system folder
end if
end repeat
display dialog "The Mac OS X items have been placed in the Trash."
on error error_message number error_number
if the error_number is not -128 then
display dialog error_message buttons {"Cancel"} default button 1
end if
end try
end tell
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Easily remove an installed OS X system | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Third time is a charm!
Authored by: cntrytwist on Sep 02, '01 10:57:11PM

I tried installing Mac OSX over the top of my Mac OS 9.2. When I rebooted after the initial install, the setup assistant ran as usual, but after completing the quesitons, I had only generic Icons, and I couldn't run any programs. Something about no associated progvram to run that file. (I had OS X beta on at one point in time and thought that might be posing a problem.)

Tried running the script, it did remove a large amount of items from the hard drive, but upon installing a second time, I found the same problem as before.

This time I ran the script, but I also searched the hard drive for hidden files using Sherlock. I deleted every file listed in the first portion of the script. Upon reinstalling, things worked fine.

Oh, I had to get creative to get my OS 9.2 back as I couldn't even run the startup disk program. I booted to an OS 9.1 CD, chose my startup disk from there, and upon rebooting, things were back to OS 9.2

[ Reply to This | # ]
Doesn't remove invisibles
Authored by: Xeo on Dec 17, '01 02:08:40AM

I can't get it to remove the invisible files, which is the whole point of this script. "delete item "blah" of startup disk" fails if the item is invisible. if exists item "blah" of startup disk" returns false for the invisibles.

I really want this script to work. I hate using ResEdit to make all the files visible first. This script does me no good if it can't delete the invisibles.

[ Reply to This | # ]