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Security update and 10.1 reinstall issue! System
As noted on MacFixIt and a couple of email lists I receive, the recent Security Update seems to carry a very heavy penalty with it:

This article states that you cannot reinstall OS X 10.1 over an existing installation if the security update has been installed. Instead you must reformat the hard drive before reinstalling OS X 10.1! There's a reader report on MacFixIt that claims success in reinstalling 5G64 (the pre-security-fix build) over 5L14, but it's unconfirmed by anyone else at this point.

I have to agree with the majority here - this is amazingly bad. It used to be that an easy way to fix an unfixable OS X problem was to re-run the installer; it would repair the existing installation without touching anything. Now, instead, it appears we have to reformat our drives in order to reinstall. I, for one, would not be happy about having to backup and restore some of the more 'deeply rooted' programs I've installed such as mySQL and SAMBA. So instead of a quick "install in place", I'd be looking at the time loss from not only backing up and restoring my normal user and applications folders, but also reinstalling and configuring all of my more complex UNIX installations ... some of which took considerable time to get working.

Apple needs to fix this problem, and quickly!
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Always partition
Authored by: dahlenu on Oct 24, '01 05:00:00PM

This hightlight the need to partition. Always make a separate partition for the system.
A complete OS X plus Developers Tools fits on a 2 GB partition, but I would advice at least 3 GB. Then move the home directories to another partition and never install applications on the system partition. Whenever possible, do modifications on some other partition, link if necessary.

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Be careful!
Authored by: smark on Oct 24, '01 06:10:26PM

As for the unconfirmed MacFixIt report, note that the KB article doesn't say that you can't reinstall 10.1 over the security update, it says that you shouldn't -- which hints an incompatibility (small, possibly unnoticeable in "normal" use, if the user report is true) with a patched/replaced file that the 10.1 installer doesn't replace when reinstalling.

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Disk Imaging Needed
Authored by: victory on Oct 24, '01 08:28:54PM

Yeah. I agree completely that 10.1 is lacking in terms of a quick recovery solution.

Traditionally the sysadmin philosophy on the Unix side has always been to rely on a recent backup (rather than attempting extensive repair) if the system ever got hosed. It a way it's somewhat regrettable that as the 'largest Unix vendor on the planet' , Apple doesn't offer an easy method to backup their flagship OS.

Thus far every method to backup/restore/move a OSX partition has involved arcane tricks such as moving the files from OS9 then manually correcting links, using the DiskCopy with the Apple Software Restore app (only works if your volume has <2GB of data), etc. And since the BSD subsystem is actually running on top of HFS+, you can't even use the traditional Unix 'dd' method.

What I would give to have a partition imaging app like Norton Ghost for OSX. But who knows, maybe once Retrospect for OSX is done, we'll have just that.

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Disk Imaging Needed
Authored by: Fsckd on Oct 25, '01 10:47:32AM

The answer to the Mac OS X backup problem is simple -- Partition all drives as UFS. Excellent back-up tools (tar, gzip, dump and restore) ship with the OS, but do not function on HFS+. I've gotten excellent performance out of 10.1 on UFS, plus the reliability and flexability one expects from a UNIX system.

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Disk Imaging Needed
Authored by: victory on Oct 25, '01 12:51:51PM

Yes. I agree that UFS is probably the way to the future. Besides simplifying backups and improving performance as it also offers greater security in that you can't muck with it from the OS9 side as you can with an HFS+ partition.

However, the biggest problem at the moment is that there are packages (mostly originating on the Mac side) that break without HFS+'s upper/lowercase filename tolerance. Yeah, I know that UFS filenaming (case-sensitive) is the way that *real* Unix filesystems have always done things, so it's weird to see things breaking when using it. I'm sure work is underway to ensure that all Apple stuff is 'UFS clean' but personally, until then I don't want to have to deal with another potential source of mysterious and unnecessary problems that may come with it. (Remember Classic not working under the OSXPB if installed on an UFS partition?)

On the other hand, maybe I'll give OSX-on-UFS a second try on my home machine.

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Disk Imaging Needed
Authored by: Fsckd on Oct 25, '01 03:01:37PM

Actually, Classic still won't work under UFS. I've actually trashed Classic and it's preferences a long time ago, so I forget about it sometimes. If you really need to run old apps, you're stuck with HFS+.

My feeling is that if Apple intends to keep HFS+ as the default file system, we'll eventually see the Unix tools rewritten to handle the resource forks. Until then, however, I recommend UFS for anyone who doesn't need legacy support.

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Just delete System Folder
Authored by: gisborne on Oct 26, '01 06:17:53AM

I got out of this predicament by deleting the OS X System folder and reinstalling.

All of your customizations, files, and every other thing you've added live outside the System folder. It's a bit brutal, but it did the trick, and I've not noticed even one preference setting that was lost.

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