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Restore Classic with drag and drop Classic
If you have to reformat a hardrive and want to get your fully set up OS 9 system back after the reformat, here's how. First back up the folder named "System Folder" that contains the OS 9 installation you'd like to save. After you have finished installing OS X, just drop the System Folder back onto the hard drive and restart to recover your old installation. OS 9 should work flawlessly after the restart.

[Editor's note: I haven't tested this hint myself, but it makes sense given that OS 9 installations could be copied via drag and drop. I've also used this method to put my "optimized" Classic folder on various OS X hard drives; just drag and drop, and then reboot on the other drive and fire up Classic. Of course, if you're going to reformat a drive, you should be running a full backup of your drive using one of the available backup programs!]
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Set OS X web search site via Classic Classic
In Jaguar (10.2), the system default search page is not accessible in the Internet prefs pane, and is set as excite.com/apple. This pref can still be changed, however, by opening the Internet Control panel in Classic. At the top, select "Mac OS X" as the "active set" and click on the "web" tab. Now you can change botb the the default search page, as well as several other system preferences which are no longer accessable through the OS X System Preferences.

[Editor's note: I was definitely able to set the search page this way, but I'm not sure what effect it might have had -- can anyone confirm that this does, indeed, work as expected and changes the search page in OS X apps?]
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Invisible partitions cause Classic install problems Classic
I finally got around to reinstalling Classic on my Powerbook 667. The 9.2 CD installer would keep freezing when trying to find mounted volumes on which 9.2 could be installed. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, especially when I was able to get to the volume selection page but didn't have any available volumes.

Then I remembered I had used SetFile to make my partitions invisible to the Finder on my desktop. Turns out that all partitions need to be visible for the 9.2 installer to work properly. A few Terminal commands later, and I had Classic working again; a few more and the partitions disappeared again from my OS X desktop.

One other note, when using the Finder toolbar buttons to go to "Home" "Applications" etc, invisible partitions will appear in column view, but not on the desktop. A little annoying, but not nearly as bad as a cluttered desktop.
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Store Classic preferences in home folder Classic
Apple must have read my OSX Beta comments. Classic is now much more tightly intergrated with OSX.

Two things I have noticed so far. Fist Apple's Mail app is pretty nice but I still use Entourage for my email. When I upgraded to 10.2, my mail had vanished and it took me a few seconds to figure out what had happened. New (I believe) in 10.2 is the ability to have Classic save its preferences in your user area. Just go to the Classic Panel in the System Prefs. Click on the Advanced tab and then click on the "Use preferences from home folder" checkbox. Voila, you will now have your own Classic preferences, and more importantly, your own email.

This tighter intagration also means that when I click on a link in an email using Entourage, it opens up Mozilla now instead of IE like it used to.
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Speed bump Java-based web games Classic
My Mom likes to play the Pogo.com Java games. In OS 9, this is fine, because Java runs at a usable speed. However, on her iBook 500 in Mac OS X, Java games at pogo.com play at an unusable speed.

Well, I really wanted to upgrade her iBook to OS X to take advantage of the new features in Jaguar, so I needed a solution. I found that running Internet Explorer in Classic mode runs at the same speed as it does in OS 9, Java and all. So, if you miss playing your Java games in OS X due to them being very slow, simply start up Classic IE and play at the same old OS 9 speed!
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Run Classic from a disk image in 10.2 Classic
I recently posted this hint in the MacNN OS X General Forum and thought the macosxhints' readers may also find it useful. It explains exactly how to set up a disk image from which you can run Classic.

With Classic on a disk image, one can keep a "clean" root directory (OS X only) and use the Classic environment a la Virtual PC and XDarwin, essentially. However, you can't, as far as I know, autonomously *boot* the computer from an OS 9 System Folder on a disk image ... which seems exactly to be what Apple will prevent in new Macs starting in 2003! So Classic on a disk image is only useful as long as all your Mac OS 9 apps actually work well in the Classic environment (most of them should do, anyway).

Read the rest of the article for the how-to...
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Force Classic to open a dual-OS application Classic
There are some applications that can be double-clicked in both OS 9 and OS X, and they run equally well under either environment (AppleWorks, for example). Sometimes, you are in OS X but you want to run one of these applications in Classic mode.

If you're lucky, this is easy. Just select the program in the Finder, Show Info, and check the box marked "Open in the Classic Environment." But sometimes this box is missing. Well, here's how to make it show up.

First, keep in mind that the program absolutely must be double-clickable in OS 9 for this to work. Now, control-click on the application and choose "Show Package Contents." Then open the "Contents" subfolder and edit the file Info.plist. If Contents is grayed out in the Finder, you can use the Terminal to open the folder.

Add the following key/value pair to Info.plist:

Key: LSPrefersClassic
Value Type: Boolean
Value: True

If you installed the Dev Tools, you can use Apple's handy Property List editor to do this easily, but otherwise you will have to manually enter the XML.

Save and close the file. Now when you Show Info, the option should be there. I have tried this successfully on AppleWorks 6 and AOL Instant Messenger.
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Guides to optimizing and troubleshooting Classic Classic
I wrote a guide to optimizing and troubleshooting Classic last year after giving a talk at the New York Macworld Expo. I need to do some updating of the guide, but almost everything in it is applicable to the current versions of the OS.

I also have a page up with some info about Classic based on a presentation Ted Landau (of MacFixIt) and I gave at the last Expo.

[Editor's note: Excellent resources, both of them! I also hope to have my "Optimizing Classic" article from a recent Macworld Magazine online in the near future.]
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Classic can cause printing failures Classic
I kept getting an error saying that the printer connection couldn't be opened when I would try to print a document in OS X.

After trying and failing with some debugging steps that have worked for me in the past, I tried running the print utility that was installed with my driver (I am using a Hewlett Packard 832 C DeskJet). I told the utility to print a test page and I got an error that said that Classic had control of the printer. I stopped Classic and everything worked fine again.

[Editor's note: This also happens with my Epson when Classic is running - I either have to pull the USB cable and reconnect it, or stop and start the print job in order to get the printer to print. If Classic is not running, all is fine.]
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The setuid bit and Classic startup problems Classic
Apple's kbase document 106639 lists a easy sounding fix to the Classic startup halt that ends with the message "You are running Classic without superuser (root privileges). Ensure that TruBluEnvironment is setuid and owned by root, or reinstall your Mac OS X System Software."

Unfortunately it didn't work for me, and it took forever digging up a fix in an unrelated article. The problem wasn't ownership, it was the setuid bit. In the Terminal, type:
 % cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Classic
Then go inside the ClassicStartup.app:
 % cd "Classic Startup.app"/Contents/MacOS
and type % sudo chmod ug+s *then type
 % chown root *
And your Classic should work again.
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