January 28, 2003

Jaguar reinstall


Odly enough, Jaguar on my Powerbook decided to no longer do drag-and-drop. I noticed it first in Mail.app, where I couldn't move emails to a different folder. Then I noticed that in Finder I couldn't move icons off the desktop. The situation got really bad when I noticed I cannot create bookmarklets in my Web browser. So I decided to reinstall Jaguar on my 9 months old Powerbook, which I've upgraded from 10.1.2, successively up to 10.2.3.

I backed up everything in my home directory, /private and /usr/local on an external Firewire hard-disk. I used a simple shell script based on rsync:

rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H --delete /private /Volumes/WD40
rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H --delete /Users /Volumes/WD40
rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H --delete /usr/local /Volumes/WD40

I reinstalled Jaguar, logged in as root and restored the settings using another shell script which reads like this:

rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H /Volumes/WD40/private /
rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H --delete /Volumes/WD40/Users /
rsync -av --copy-unsafe-links -H /Volumes/WD40/local /usr

I then rebooted the machine from the terminal using the reboot command, to avoid any data being saved on the above directories by the GUI applications. When the machine restarted, I had all the settings I had prior to the reinstall, minus some add-on applications I had installed.

I also had to reinstall a lot of commercial applications, which was a pain. I felt like back in the days I was installing Windows over and over again because of registry corruption or who knows what :(

One thing which surprises me at MacOS X is the fact that you need to reboot your system when you upgrade certain applications. I assume these applications update shared libraries, but nevertheless this should not be required. I certainly don't have to do this on Linux when I upgrade glibc or any other system library. Having to do it on MacOS X is really a bad thing: how is it better than Windows then other than a nice GUI? If this also happens on OS X Server then it's really bad.

Anyways, my laptop is now much faster than it used to be. Most applications start up much quicker, and there isn't so much disk access going on. I guess the previous file system was very fragmented.

Posted by ovidiu at January 28, 2003 12:14 AM |
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