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Remove Classic cleanly Classic
When I updated to 10.4, I realized I hadn't used Classic for a very long time. I wanted to remove it, and prevent the Classic System Preferences pane from appearing. Lots of hints describe messing with the system parts to do this, but it felt pretty untidy to me, so here's what I did.

You can't simply trash the System Folder that is used for OS 9, as a booted OS X won't let you -- it says it's in use. I rebooted in single user mode (hold Command-S at startup), mounted the drive writable and removed it that way. Once at the singleuser prompt, do
$ mount -uw /
$ cd /
$ rm -rf 'System Folder'
Be very careful with your spaces and escapes, or it's bye-bye to the /System folder (the actual OS X folder!), which would be very bad.

That's the system taken care of.

Now you can reboot and remove /Applications (Mac OS 9) from your disk -- the Finder lets you do this just fine. Now to fix things up so that the Preferences pane doesn't appear, and the system doesn't think there's an OS 9 bootable part of the disk. In the Terminal, do:
$ sudo bless -folder /System/Library/CoreServices
Thiss will re-bless the OS X folder, and remove any blessing from the now-removed OS 9 folder. You will also need to find the com.apple.Classic.some_number.plist file in ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/, and remove it:
$ rm ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.Classic.some_number.plist 
If there is a file at ~/Library/Preferences/ called com.apple.Classic.plist, remove that, too. Additionally, there may be a folder at ~/Library/Classic containing a file called .LoadClassicPref. That should be deleted, too, after checking that there's nothing in the folder you want to keep:
$ rm -rf ~/Library/Classic
You may wish to repeat the above preference removals for all users.

That's it. No removing OS X components or otherwise messing with /Library or /System, and the Classic Preferences pane will know not to appear. All you are doing is removing the preference files left over from when you had OS 9 installed, so that the Classic prefpane re-looks at the system, and doesn't bother loading.
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Remove Classic cleanly | 28 comments | Create New Account
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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: inemo on May 05, '05 02:57:38PM

Thank You!

I wiped my Hard Drive to install Tiger, but just copied back across all my user folder, thus meaning classic wasn't installed but the prefpane still showed. Now it doesn't! :)



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: theoracle on Jun 15, '08 01:10:17AM

I looked at this today while removing files that were obsolete. I got the message but what was keeping it from deleting it is the finder the finder and one other app was locked. I made a copy of all the files dumped them in the trash and emptied the trash, it left the two that were locked and I was able to go back to the original files and unlock the two files and then selected all and sent them to the trash.

Then I found with the finder and removed "Classic Startup.app" and Classic.prefPane. You cannot remove the Classic folder, the system thinks it needs it so I let it have that folder but got rid of everything inside it.

It was that easy.

TheOracle



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: deleted_user18 on May 05, '05 03:04:17PM

I did the same some years ago.

Now in Tiger when you have quick eyes (or an slow mac :-) you can see that the classic prefpane is loaded behind the other prefpanes. To me it looks it is loaded dynamically.

So maybe there is something I can remove from my system so that it is no longer displayed. And I too don't want to mess with files in /System/Library.



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: deleted_user18 on May 05, '05 03:08:17PM

Ahh, the second time I tried your hint it worked!

Maybe I forgot something the first time or it is because I did not delete the plist files from the trashcan?

Thanks alot!



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: Baggins on May 05, '05 03:30:30PM

You don't need to reboot into single user mode to do this.

Just type sudo rm -rf 'System Folder' at a terminal prompt.

The "file is in use" error only happens when you try to trash through the finder.



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: geohar on May 05, '05 03:39:18PM

Sure, that'll do it. I just figured that the notification about being in use may indicate some semi-regular access to the folder, and voted not to trash it whilst things were potentially looking there.

You're quite right though, if you feel brave, that'll certainly remove the directory.

George



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: drewk on May 05, '05 04:01:04PM

I clean installed Tiger and classic was not installed. Now THAT is clean!



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Remove Classic EASILY
Authored by: rhythmicmoose on May 05, '05 04:58:31PM

No rebooting required.

1. Trash all "System Folder" contents.
2. Log out.
3. Log in.
4. "System Folder" can now be trashed.



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Remove Classic EASILY
Authored by: chabig on May 05, '05 05:55:02PM

I like this solution!

As for the prefpane, why not just remove it to? It's at /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Classic.prefPane

Chris



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Don't remove prefpane
Authored by: genericuser on Oct 02, '05 05:41:14PM

Because altering anything in /System is a bad idea. The modifiable parts of the system are in /Library. Apple puts the two in seperate directories so you know what's safe to change.



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: veloso on May 05, '05 06:07:56PM

That's why I have classic on a disk image.

Just create a .dmg, copy all the classic stuff onto it, bless the system folder, and choose that folder in the classic system prefs.

The neat think about classic on an image is the image will automatically mount when classic is needed.

No more classic cruft hanging around, but it's there if you need it.



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: gorkonapple on May 05, '05 09:58:30PM

Yes you may want to modify this and use the sudo instead. Commnd line doesn't give you that mumbo jumbo about files in use. YEAH! Thanks for freeing up some space! I have not played with classic at ALL in well over a year. I bought my Powerbook in January 2004. I finally have been able to dump the monkey of Classic! :D



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: cilly on May 05, '05 10:08:45PM

There are two more places which may be looked to delete files:

/System/Library/CoreServices/Classic...

/System/Library/PreferencePanes/Classic...

---
cilly @ http://www.cilly.dyndns.org



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: windrag on May 06, '05 02:10:49AM

Well, I went for it, with no ill effects so far. I tried the instructions from the original hint, but I was still getting the Preference Pane showing up. Every time I would launch System Preferences, the ~/Library/Classic folder was being created again. I decided to get dirty and delete the System/Library/PreferencePanes/Classic.prefPane and System/Library/CoreServices/Classic Startup.app. No problems yet. YMMV. Be careful!

---
Ryk A. Groetchen
700MHz iBook 16 VRAM G3
640MB RAM
OS X 10.4



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: geohar on May 06, '05 03:43:51AM

To me, the whole point was not to touch /System. A fresh install of Tiger or panther will still have those components in /System, but just decides on the fly not to show the Classic Prefpane.

George



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: mbogosian on Feb 20, '06 01:31:42PM

Unfortunately, having Classic.prefPane around still impacts the system, even if OS9 is not present. For example, in a fresh install of Tiger without OS9, every time a volume is mounted, several "Classic" things happen for that volume:

  • the (hidden and useless-for-OS-X) files Desktop\ D* are created at the root level
  • /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Classic.prefPane/Contents/Resources/ClassicPrefHWTest is run (which can be very time consuming and disk-intensive for large file systems)

As far as I know, there is no way to turn off that behavior without either removing /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Classic.prefPane or renaming it (e.g., to Classic.prefPane.off). That is unless I am missing something.

Can someone speak more intelligently on this?



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: hand123 on Feb 07, '08 10:09:42AM

I still have the "9" in the Finder menu bar at the top of the screen near the clock, volume, screen res. Everything else has been removed. Any ideas on how to remove that "9" in the menu bar?
Thanks



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Feb 07, '08 10:17:26AM

"Normally", you'd remove the menu bar OS 9 item by turning off this option in the Classic prefpane before you trash the Classic prefpane. But if that's gone now, just hold down the Command key, and drag the OS 9 item down and out of the menu bar.



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: whenders0n on May 06, '05 12:21:06AM

Funny that this hints got posted today, because just yesterday I was trying to do this and I missed a character and ended up deleting my system. Right before print out a paper due in an hour. Whoops. I had a blast reinstalling...



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: sig eigei on May 06, '05 07:26:31AM

I don't know about removing Classic from Tiger since I removed it way back when I installed Panther, but my trick for getting around the 'in use' issue was to add a new folder "untitled folder" to the root level - threw the "System Folder" inside and then deleted the "untitled folder". Worked fine for me and no terminal.



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: Gilleus on Dec 01, '05 10:34:19AM

You are a genius !! I was wordering how to remove the classic system. I did what you said and it worked easily. Thank you very much !!



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: ChzSteakGuy on Aug 03, '05 05:49:01PM

everyones tips here are great thanks. One more question though. whenever osx boots up or i login a fresh (after i have deleted it b4) Desktop (Mac os 9) shortcut folder is created. How do i get rid of this?



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: angawi on Aug 31, '05 10:43:01AM

How would I go about restoring the Classic preference pane if I deleted it?



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: nung on Sep 13, '05 03:54:10AM

Hi - I am running Panther 10.3.9 - I installed Classic from my OSX disc but then realised I didn't need it so I followed some hints in the forums to remove Classic from my system because I didn't want it there. However I think I must have deleted too many folders, or something that I shouldn't have. I recently wanted to run an installer that required Classic and so because I didn't have Classic anymore, I re-installed it from my disc, but it didn't work. When I run the Classic based installer it comes up that there was an Unexpected error (error code -1). Can anybody help me? I don't want to have to re-install my system :(



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How do you rebuild your desktop database then?
Authored by: kholburn on Feb 20, '06 05:58:08PM

Rebuilding my destop database is the only thing I use Classic for now. How would I do that if the Classic prefpane was no longer there?



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How do you rebuild your desktop database then?
Authored by: Beavis on Feb 22, '06 07:58:03AM

The desktop database isn't used for OS X, only for OS 9. No need to rebuild it if you're not actually using OS 9 for anything.



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: novicew on Nov 04, '06 05:46:26AM

I have the same problem as the previous two posters. I have managed to remove OS 9 as describes here. But when I tried to re-install it somehow did only an UPGRADE leaving some important files. When tried to open an OS 9 App. I get "An Unexpected Error (Internal Error -1)



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Remove Classic cleanly
Authored by: theoracle on Jun 15, '08 01:17:45AM

I looked at this today while removing files that were obsolete. I got the message but what was keeping it from deleting it is the finder the finder and one other app was locked. I made a copy of all the files dumped them in the trash and emptied the trash, it left the two that were locked and I was able to go back to the original files and unlock the two files and then selected all and sent them to the trash.

Then I found with the finder and removed "Classic Startup.app" and Classic.prefPane. You cannot remove the Classic folder, the system thinks it needs it so I let it have that folder but got rid of everything inside it.

It was that easy.

TheOracle



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