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Some introductory backup tips System
I recently did some Mac OS X support for Chuck Joiner of the Apple User Group Advisory Board. He was interested in backing up and restoring his copy of Mac OS X. Just in case you are interested in doing clean backup too, here are some tips.

Just worry about your Library, Applications, and Users folders; users, under most circumstances, shouldn't modify the rest. Think of the library folder as your extensions and preferences folders, and you users folder as your documents and more preferences folder. If you are an admin user, it should be quite happy to let you copy your applications and probably library. But it will probably still balk at your users folder. It would be best to do this under Mac OS 9, or as root (see below)

If you need to do a restore, just reinstall the OS and the using Mac OS 9 place your old Apps, Users, and Library where they belong. I know that the reinstall can be a little tedious especially if you have to start back at 10.0.X, but in the long run it'll lead to a healthier install anyway.

If you would rather do a backup from within Mac OS X, you can open up non-accessible files (like those owned by other users) by enabling the root user. If use improperly, the root user can be destructive to Mac OS X, though it's not unlike Mac OS 9 and older in that you have access to EVERYTHING.

Once root is enabled, you can go into system preferences, and in the login section on the Login Window tab, either set the "Name and password entry fields� option, or the "show "other users" in the list for network users� options. Now you can log out, and log in as root with whatever password you set. Since root has total access to everything, you won't have any problems accessing your files.

[Editor's note: We've posted tips on backup programs, backup scripts, Retrospect, etc. ... but this post is a good general overview of some backup strategies. Note that they will not apply to all users, especially if you've installed some customized UNIX software. Of course, if you're in that category, you've probably got your own backup strategy already.]

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No need to enable root account !
Authored by: Jayce on Mar 26, '02 01:30:26AM

There is absolutly no need to enable the root account, especially for a backup...
sudo is here for this usage...

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No need to enable root account !
Authored by: davidro on Mar 26, '02 06:14:16PM

I agree,<strong>please</strong> stop reccomending using root login. sudo is your friend!

Also, you will not successfully copy permissions, and user attributes when you use Mac OS 9 to copy OS X files.

Take a look at Mike Bombich's site for more details, at



[ Reply to This | # ]
No need to enable root account !
Authored by: Hes Nikke on Mar 28, '02 06:51:38AM
well there is always
sudo ditto -vR -rsrcFork 
but in case you didn't read the thing, i didn't mention the command line once. apple says you don't need the command line if you don't want it, all i did was proove them right. :P or i could have recomended using psudo but that is a 3rd party utility and just as big of a can of worms as the terminal

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ResEdit vs. root
Authored by: WillyT on Mar 26, '02 07:23:01AM

Hey if your comfortable using ResEdit in your OS 9 System folder go ahead and enable root. Just don't say we didn't warn you.

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Panther Experiacnes
Authored by: Hes Nikke on Oct 28, '03 12:12:56AM

aside from the loss of the Other Users option, everything in this hint still applies...

vacuums do not suck. they merely provide an absence that allows other objects to take the place of what becomes absent.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Panther Experiences
Authored by: Hes Nikke on Oct 28, '03 12:40:55AM
oop, i just found a way to get the other option :)

vacuums do not suck. they merely provide an absence that allows other objects to take the place of what becomes absent.

[ Reply to This | # ]