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Cancel a Mac Store app update while it's downloading Install
In the Updates section of the Mac App Store, if the user chooses to update an app or apps, the interface offers the ability to pause the download of the update, but seemingly not to cancel it. Canceling the download is possible by holding down the option key. The "Pause" buttons change to "Cancel" buttons.

[kirkmc adds: I don't have any current updates to be able to test this. I don't think this stops the update from generating a notification after you cancel the download, but I'm curious as to what happens. Post your experiences in the comments.]
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Install Windows 7 on external drive using Boot Camp (Lion) Install
Having purchased a Segate GoFlex Desktop Thunderbolt Adapter made me wonder if it's possible to install a Bootcamp-Partition on an external Drive. Well it works; sort of.
  1. Launch Boot Camp Assistant.
  2. Select the local Drive for installation (not the external Drive) it will take about 20 GB of disk space.
  3. Boot Camp Assistant will now repartition your local drive.
  4. Wait a while for Boot Camp Assistant to finish preparing the drive.
  5. When the Windows 7 Installer comes up simply choose the external drive as target, not the local one.
  6. Proceed with the installation.
When booting your Mac (holding the Option key) you'll now see that there is a local Windows 7 boot volume. Unfortunately, you will have wasted 20 GB creating a partition on your main drive.

[kirkmc adds: I haven't tested this. I don't know if Disk Utility can delete that partition; live partitioning is possible, but in some cases certain partitions can't be deleted.]
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How to reset Lion back to the Setup Assistant Install
There have been previous hints on how to reset earlier versions of Mac OS X to delete users so that it boots to the Setup Assistant again. This can be useful if you are passing on or selling your computer to someone else. The most recent hint was posted in 2007 for Mac OS X 10.5 and there were significant corrections included in the comments. There is also a command that changed in 10.7 (also in the older hintís comments) and even with the modifications suggested in the comments, the hint is still incomplete.

So instead of adding yet another modification in the comments of a hint related to 10.5, I thought I would submit a new hint brining everything together from the old hint, its comments, changes needed for 10.7, and the missing items I have found. This provides a current version of the hint for 10.7 and presumably 10.8, though I have not been able to test on Mountain Lion.

1: Remove references to, and the stored passwords for, your local WiFi network.
  • In the Finder, choose Go > Utilities.
  • Open Keychain Access in the Utilities folder.
  • If you donít have a list of keychains on the left, choose View > Show Keychains.
  • On the keychains list on the left, select the System keychain. There should be an AirPort network password item in the list for your local WiFi network. Select it and press Delete. Confirm that you want to delete the item and quit Keychain Access.
  • Go to System Preferences > Network
  • Select Wi-Fi from the list on the left and click the Advanced button on the bottom right.
  • In theĎPreferred Networks: list, select your network and click the minus button below the list.
  • Click OK and then Apply button in the main Network Preferences window.
  • Click Turn Wi-Fi Off, then click it again to turn Wi-Fi back on. It should not connect to your network anymore (and should ask for a password if you try).
2: Still in System Preferences, click Show All at the top left and then click the Users & Groups icon. Delete all users except for the one you are currently logged in as. In the rest of this hint, this remaining user will be referred to as USERNAME.

3: Boot your Mac into single user mode by restarting and holding down Command-S at startup.

4: Mount the filesystem in write mode and delete the USERNAME home directory.
$ mount -uw /
$ rm -R /Users/USERNAME/


5: Load OpenDirectory so we can remove the systemís record of USERNAME.
$ launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.opendirectoryd.plist

6: Find the UID of USERNAME.
$ dscl . -read /Users/USERNAME GeneratedUID
In the next step, type in this UID where you see GENERATEDUID written.

7: Remove USERNAME from the systemwide admin group and then remove USERNAMEís record.
$ dscl . -delete /Groups/admin GroupMembers GENERATEDUID
$ dscl . -delete /Groups/admin GroupMembership USERNAME
$ dscl . -delete /Users/USERNAME


8: Remove the Setup Assistant flag so that it runs when the Mac is started up.
$ rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

9:[optional] Remove the cache files and virtual memory swapfile.
$ rm -R /Library/Caches/*
$ rm -R /var/vm/swapfile*


10: $ shutdown -h now

If you want to check that the Setup Assistant will run, you can turn on your Mac. When the Setup Assistant starts, just press cmd-Q on the keyboard and you will be prompted to shut down. Your Mac has been reset.

[kirkmc adds: I'm running this hint because it contains a lot of useful information. But I wonder why one can't simply erase the hard disk and re-run the installer to get everything back to its initial state. That seems a lot easier to meÖ]
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Display a list of files in package while in Installer Install
If you press Command+I while in the OS X Installer, a small window displays, showing the contents of the package about to be installed.

[kirkmc adds: This is great; I don't know why we haven't had this submitted before. I tried this with a number of installer packages. In most cases, the window shows the contents of the .pkg from the very first window. However, when checking on the Mac OS X 10.7.3 Combo Updater, clicking the disclosure triangle next to the name of the update in the file list window displayed "The file listing isn't yet available," but the file list then showed up a few seconds later. Note that all you can do is view the file list; you can't copy it.]
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Install Windows XP on a Sandy Bridge Mac Install
Installing Windows XP through Bootcamp on a Sandy Bridge Mac is not easy. Apple decided to limit the Sandy Bridge version of Bootcamp to Windows 7, so no XP drivers are available. There are ways of tricking Bootcamp into installing XP, but they all fail for the lack of a decent video driver. The default video driver is flakey, and crashes on boot up.

There is a way to have XP on a Sandy Bridge machine. Get a copy of VMWare's Fusion 4 and install it. Fusion can do a clean install of XP or work from your Bootcamp partition. I used the Bootcamp option which took about 10 minutes to set up. XP boots and runs flawlessly. There are no missing drivers in device manager. Windows boots faster in Fusion than it did from the Bootcamp partition, probably because it's not searching for drivers.

I know, I know, XP is ancient and over a decade old, but some of us need it to run old software. If you have a new Mac and need XP this is the way to go.

[crarko adds: I presume you could do the same with Parallels. I admit to never being a huge fan of Bootcamp, with good VM options available. Now Apple, please let us install Snow Leopard legally in a VM on Lion (or Mountain Lion).]
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Install recent versions of Adobe Creative Suite on case-sensitive volumes Install
Anyone who has ever tried to install parts of Adobe Creative Suite on a case-sensitive partition will know that Adobe doesn't support case-sensitive disks. Back when I first encountered this problem, I simply assumed that case sensitivity was a new thing and Adobe would fix this in a version or two, since it's a relatively trivial thing to do.

Unfortunately, Adobe's solution to this was to simply make it so the installer refuses to install on case-sensitive partitions. It also insists that you install on your boot partition. So if you happen to have formatted your primary partition as case sensitive, you're basically out of luck.

I spent some time coming up with a solution that uses gdb (the gnu debugger) to trick the installer into thinking that your disks are case insensitive so it will let you install the software. The next step would then be to go through and rename all the files that Adobe has yet to fix themselves so that you can run the software off of your case-sensitive disk.

As I was finishing and getting ready to write up the instructions, I ran across a considerably cleaner method for tricking the installer. It also requires you to have the Developer Tools installed, but it requires considerably less effort on your part. The author of it suggests a method for installing onto a case-insensitive disk image, but if you skip steps 5-7, 9, 10, and 12 (as of this writing) in those instructions, you can just install directly on your disk, and then rename the files so that the apps will run directly off your disk and you don't need to mount a disk image every time you want to use them.

There's a script included in the writeup on my website that will do the renaming for you (at least as of the version of CS5 that I have) for Photoshop and Illustrator.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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A script to keep Flash Player up to date Install
Frequent security updates to Flash prompted me to write this script to keep Flash current on Intel Macs that I manage. While more recent versions of Flash can be configured to notify end users of available updates, this script will silently check and upgrade to a newer version if one is available.

It works by checking the installed version of Flash (if any) against the version number available for Mac Safari/Firefox/Opera on Adobe's About Flash page. If the two are different, it downloads the DMG of the latest Flash installer to the same folder where the script resides, silently mounts the DMG, and executes the installer package buried in the 'Install Flash' application. It runs completely silently and will log all of its activities to a file for later review. If Flash is not present, it will be installed on the system. In its current form it will not advise users to quit their browsers, because it was written to be run during off hours on machines sitting at the login window.

To use it, save the script file wherever you like on your system (I make a directory called 'Management' in /Library), and make it executable. Run it manually via Terminal, or via a launchd item for 'set it and forget it' operation. It needs to be run with root privileges, or the installation will fail.

Here's the script:
#!/bin/sh
# Script to download and install Flash Player.
# Only works on Intel systems.

dmgfile="flash.dmg"
volname="Flash"
logfile="/Library/Logs/FlashUpdateScript.log"

# Are we running on Intel?
if [ '`/usr/bin/uname -p`'="i386" -o '`/usr/bin/uname -p`'="x86_64" ]; then
	# Get the latest version of Flash Player available from Adobe's About Flash page.
	latestver=`/usr/bin/curl -s http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ | /usr/bin/grep -A2 "Macintosh - OS X" | /usr/bin/grep -A1 "Safari" | /usr/bin/sed -e 's/<[^>][^>]*>//g' -e '/^ *$/d' | /usr/bin/tail -n 1 | /usr/bin/awk '{print $1}'`
	# Get the version number of the currently-installed Flash Player, if any.
	if [ -e "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/Flash Player.plugin" ]; then
		currentinstalledver=`/usr/bin/defaults read /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/Flash\ Player.plugin/Contents/version CFBundleShortVersionString`
	else
		currentinstalledver="none"
	fi
	# Compare the two versions, if they are different of Flash is not present then download and install the new version.
	if [ "${currentinstalledver}" != "${latestver}" ]; then
        /bin/echo "`date`: Current Flash version: ${currentinstalledver}" >> ${logfile}
		/bin/echo "`date`: Available Flash version: ${latestver}" >> ${logfile}
		/bin/echo "`date`: Downloading newer version." >> ${logfile}
		/usr/bin/curl -s -o `/usr/bin/dirname $0`/flash.dmg http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/current/install_flash_player_osx_intel.dmg
		/bin/echo "`date`: Mounting installer disk image." >> ${logfile}
		/usr/bin/hdiutil attach `dirname $0`/flash.dmg -nobrowse -quiet
		/bin/echo "`date`: Installing..." >> ${logfile}
		/usr/sbin/installer -pkg /Volumes/Flash\ Player/Install\ Adobe\ Flash\ Player.app/Contents/Resources/Adobe\ Flash\ Player.pkg -target / > /dev/null
		/bin/sleep 10
		/bin/echo "`date`: Unmounting installer disk image." >> ${logfile}
		/usr/bin/hdiutil detach $(/bin/df | /usr/bin/grep ${volname} | awk '{print $1}') -quiet
		/bin/sleep 10
		/bin/echo "`date`: Deleting disk image." >> ${logfile}
		/bin/rm `/usr/bin/dirname $0`/${dmgfile}
		newlyinstalledver=`/usr/bin/defaults read /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/Flash\ Player.plugin/Contents/version CFBundleShortVersionString`
        if [ "${latestver}" = "${newlyinstalledver}" ]; then
            /bin/echo "`date`: SUCCESS: Flash has been updated to version ${newlyinstalledver}" >> ${logfile}
        else
            /bin/echo "`date`: ERROR: Flash update unsuccessful, version remains at {currentinstalledver}." >> ${logfile}
            /bin/echo "--" >> ${logfile}
		fi
    # If Flash is up to date already, just log it and exit.       
	else
		/bin/echo "`date`: Flash is already up to date, running ${currentinstalledver}." >> ${logfile}
        /bin/echo "--" >> ${logfile}
	fi	
else
	/bin/echo "`date`: ERROR: This script is for Intel Macs only." >> ${logfile}
fi

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. I've mirrored a copy of the script here.]
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10.6: A workaround for a Boot Camp x64 installation issue Install
Snow Leopard only hintToday I installed Windows 7 Ultimate x64 via Boot Camp on my 2007 MacBook Pro 2.4GHz machine. I was stumped when I couldnít install the Boot Camp drivers from the 10.6 DVD in Windows.

I tried several different approaches, but every single try ended with the message Boot Camp x64 is unsupported on this computer model when launching the Boot Camp setup app. I could also not install the 3.1 update. The only visual indication was Nvidia drivers installing, and afterwards, it would simply quit while all the time there was no reference that I was actually about to install Boot Camp.

Knowing that I didnít do anything wrong, I didnít want to give up and finally found a solution. Here's a step by step guide:
  1. Boot into Windows 7 and insert your 10.6 DVD
  2. Right-click on Start » Programs » Accessories » Command Prompt
  3. Select Run as Administrator
  4. Type cd /d D:, then press Enter
  5. Type cd Boot CampDriversApple, then press Enter
  6. Type BootCamp64.msi, then press Enter
The regular Boot Camp installation window should come up and install just fine. Afterwards I was able to update to 3.1 (the version on the 10.6 DVD is 3.0) without problems. I used the Apple-supplied standalone download of the 3.1 update, but it should also work using Apple Software Update from the Start Menu.

I hope this is of help to others -- I read that some of the newer iMac models also aren't (yet) supported by Boot Camp, so maybe this solution works there, too.
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Install Windows in Boot Camp despite a defective SuperDrive Install
My 2007 DC MacBook (running 10.6.2) has an internal SuperDrive that is defective, which hampered my Boot Camp installation. 2br I set up the MacBook up for dual boot with the Boot Camp assistant, and I wanted to install Windows using a bare internal drive (Samsung) connected to USB thru a USB2.0 to SATA/IDE cable. The process failed after restart -- it stuck on the boot screen, displaying an Apple icon with (sometimes) a flashing question mark.

Looking for a solution I came a across rEfit, which is a kind of boot manager for EFI-equipped (Intel) Macs.

Install the program and restart the MacBook twice. After the second restart, the rEfit boot menu should be visible. When I connected an external CD/DVD drive that contained a bootable Windows CD, that disk showed up as bootable. You selected the Windows installation disk and it continued with the installation process.

For me it saved the day; I was able to install Windows XP in Boot Camp using this method.
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Run full OS X installer for another drive without rebooting Install
If you ever need to install (or reinstall) OS X on a drive other than your current boot drive, you can do it without rebooting. (Normally, when you launch the OS X installer, it reboots your machine before starting the installation.) With this hint, you can do the whole install process while booted normally from your current drive -- so you can keep working while the install is going on.

To do that, just launch the Unix executable for the installer application on the DVD, by running the following command in Terminal:
sudo /Volumes/Snow\ leopard\ Install\ DVD/System/Installation/CDIS/Mac\ OS\ X\ Installer.app/Contents/MacOS/Mac\ OS\ X\ Installer
To make it work even faster, you can clone the install DVD to a small partition on one of your drives, and then modify the above command to point to the path to the installer application on that partition.

This older hint does the same thing, with one key difference: This method provides essentially the same GUI interface you get when you boot from the DVD. This lets you run the full system restore from Time Machine from the Utilities menu, for example. I don't know any other way to do that without booting from the DVD.
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