Sunday, March 18th 2007


Removing OS 9 (Classic) from an OS-X upgrade system on an iBook
posted @ 2:32 pm in [ Fixing Things -iBook -Technology ]

We’ve recently adopted 3 G3 iBooks, largely for testing new websites on Mac browsers, but also to use as light weight wireless email machines for the team.

As they’re pretty low spec. (500MHz, 14Gb hard disk, 128Mb memory as standard) we upgraded them to OS-X and helped them on their way with an extra 1/2 Gig (512Mb) add-on memory which improved performance considerably.

What I didn’t notice until we’d upgraded the second one, was that there is an option during the OS-X install, to not just perform an upgrade, but to remove any existing O/S from the iBooks and just have OS-X installed.

So, the question then was, how can we remove OS 9 from the other iBooks that we’ve already upgraded as we’d actually quite like the disc space it was using back?

1. Don’t start like this

Our first approach was to drag the OS 9 Applications out of the Applications folder to the trash, and the same for the OS 9 Desktop. Bad idea. Basically the machine then refuses to reboot (we guess as it is still trying to start some OS 9 files that aren’t there).

2. Do start like this

2.1. Boot into single user mode

The right way of doing this is to boot into single user mode by holding Apple + S during startup and mount the disks as per this article – http://www.westwind.com/reference/OS-X/commandline/single-user.html

2.2. Remove the OS 9 files

With the file system mounted as read/write, then you can start to remove the OS 9 system from the machine and all associated files. What’s really interesting here is that the removal of the “Classic Startup.app” is what fixes the problems we created by just deleting all the files using the desktop – more information here – http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20030418104032267