If you've installed an application from a .pkg-type installer, Mac OS X keeps a listing of what was installed in the Library/Receipts folder -- either the top-level Library, or your user's Library. The lsbom command can be used to see this list, and to uninstall the application.
First, find the receipt. It will be in either ~/Library/Receipts or /Library/Receipts, as the name of the package. The actual bom ("bill of materials") file is located at, for example,
Use the lsbom command to see what was installed:
lsbom -fls /Library/Receipts/some_app.pkg/Contents/Archive.bom
You can use this list to manually delete the items installed, or you can feed the list to rm to delete the installed files. Be sure to examine the list of files before trying to remove them -- this command will only work if the paths are relative to the root directory ("/"), and I haven't tried it with names with spaces.
This will remove any installed files, though directories must be removed manually. I tested this using the Mac package for FontForge, and it successfully removed the program's files. I originally saw this code in this post in a Mac OS X mailing list (from 2002).
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one, and there's a warning in the original mailing list post that notes this may be a bit dangerous due to differences in the .bom structure between different apps.]
Do you like to know which files and folders get created or modified when you install a new application? I can suggest two different solutions: Either use a tool to track all file system changes, or use a tool that searches the disk by creation/modification dates.
[robg adds: This hint includes information about using a free program, Find Any File, as one way to track file system changes. The author of this hint (Thomas Tempelmann) is the author of that application. However, because there's good information here in the hint, and because the app itself is free and seems to work well, I felt it was worth sharing. Read on for the discussion...]
Since moving to Snow Leopard, I've noticed an innumerable number of times where software installations would get stalled at the "Preparing..." stage. If you've noticed it too, chances are you're an iPhone developer, too...
It turns out the simple fix for this problem is to quit the iPhone Simulator, and then try the installation again.
If you've been using your Mac for months before deciding you need a Boot Camp partition, you may find it's too late. When you run the Boot Camp Assistant, it may tell you that you have too many 'large files' on the system for Boot Camp to create a partition.
One solution found on the interwebs is to use iDefrag to defrag your computer. I am not a fan of this, as I am on a budget :). As an alternative, try these steps:
Open up Disk Utility.
Navigate to the Partitions tab.
Shrink your primary partition by the amount of space you want your Boot Camp partition to take up. NOTE: You may need to do this in two or three tries, as Disk Utility may throw an error if you try to resize by too large an amount. I had to do it in three small increments.
Now that the partition has shrunk, expand the partition so it covers the rest of the disk, or as much space as you would like.
Run Boot Camp Assistant. Everything should now run smoothly.
This method worked for me, after tinkering for an hour or so trying out different solutions.
I still have my good ol' trusty Imac G4, and still love it and use it every day (you know I can't afford a new one). I had the need to install a few apps that are not available for Mac OS X, so I reinstalled VirtualPC 7 (VPC7) and shook the dust off my old Windows 98 disk.
However, I found out that although I could install VPC7 under Leopard, I couldn't use CDs, DVDs, or even disk images to install Windows98. So then I tried Q-[kju:], but it was impossible to use -- it kept crashing, there was no network, no file sharing, and it was impossibly slow.
There was no apparent way to fix the installing issues with Windows98, so then I thought to copy the contents of the Windows98 CD into a VirtualPC image. However, I then couldn't find a way to mount the .vhdp image. After struggling for two days, I was about to quit until I found out that .vhdp images are basically a bundle with an alias and a standard .vhd image inside. With that in mind, it was finally possible to install Windows98:
First create an empty fixed-size virtual hard drive with the VirtualPC assistant. In my case, it was a 1GB drive.
In Finder, Control-click on the newly-created hard drive and select Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. You will see two files: one alias named MainPackageFile, and a vhd file named BaseDrive.
Move BaseDrive to the Desktop (or just leave it where it is), then mount it by dragging BaseDrive onto the left side of the Disk Utility window (where the disks and drives are listed). Finally, click on the Mount button in the tool bar.
Copy the contents of the Windows98 CD onto the mounted drive. When the copy finishes, unmount the drive.
If you moved the drive to the Desktop, as I did, just move it back into the bundle. Otherwise, continue on.
Create a new PC in VPC7, and assign the virtual hard drive to the second bay of the PC.
Boot from the floppy disk, and install from the hard drive. Remember it must be from a different drive than the target disk (C:).
If you try with XP or other OSes, please let me know how it goes.
If your bootloader gets changed or corrupted, this fix will restore it without damage to your disk partitions.
This hint may be a bit esoteric, but I thought I was up for a long night of reinstallation pain before stumbling upon this fix. I made the mistake of trying to use an Ubuntu 9.04 boot CD to install Ubuntu to an external (USB) drive on my Mac.
Don't do this, unless you know the following: Regardless of the fact that you chose the external drive upon which to install Ubuntu, you won't be able to boot back into your Mac without changing the bootloader. I ended up with the dreaded question mark folder when I tried to reboot my Mac, and nothing worked to boot into my OS X partition.
Luckily, I have a bootable external drive with OS X on it, and I was able to boot into it by holding down the Option key (the primary partition still did not show up).
Over the weekend, in preparation for an upcoming review of the newest versions of Fusion and VirtualBox, I needed to set up a new Boot Camp partition on my MacBook Pro. Because Windows 7 isn't yet officially supported by Apple, and Vista isn't widely used, I chose to install XP Pro. My XP Pro disc is a Service Pack 2 release, so after booting into Windows, the system found and downloaded a bunch of updates to apply, chief among them Service Pack 3 (SP3).
The update process went smoothly, until the system tried to install SP3. The update process started, then died with this error:
An error occured while copying file osloader.ntd. Cannot copy file to destination directory. Click Retry to retry the operation or click Cancel.
At that point, the only solution was to bail on the update, and have Windows back out the changes it had already made. I tried a few times, but always got stuck at the same point. After a fair bit of digging and hair pulling, I found this Apple Support document that describes the problem, its cause, and (most importantly) the solution.
You can read the details in the support doc, but in case that ever vanishes, here's a quick recap. The problem is caused by Windows' insistence on writing the SP3 update to the first partition it sees. Because Boot Camp 3 mounts your Mac OS disk as a read-only disk in Windows, this is the first partition the system sees, and the SP3 install fails.
While attempting to upgrade my MacBook Pro to 10.6, I received the error message "this disk cannot be used to start up your computer." I only have one disk and one volume, so that disk was my only choice.
I tried running Disk Utility to repair the drive, but that didn't help. I searched the web and came up with a solution that works. Using Disk Utility from the installer, slightly reduce the partition size on the boot disk. The act of changing and rewriting the partition seems to fix whatever is causing the issue.
In Leopard, Software Update gave you the choice of either downloading or installing an update. Under Snow Leopard, though, the download option is gone; it's install or nothing.
[robg adds: There's a new Update » Go to Apple Download Page menu item in Software Update; every update should be available there for download. While this change simplifies the Software Update app, it does add a step for those who prefer to download updates (for updating multiple Macs, for instance).]
My Logitech mouse stopped being recognized in Snow Leopard. Logitech, in their infinite wisdom, has their Logitech Control Center 3.0 installer recognize and defeat any attempt at installing on any system other than 10.5.
The simple solution is to view the contents of the installer .pkg file (Control-click on it an select Show Package Contents), then navigate to Resources » Logitech Control Center.mpkg and double click. This launches the installer with no system version test, and re-installs the components in the correct locations. Restart and voilá -- mouse recognized!
[robg adds: I don't have a Logitech mouse to test this one with.]