Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 15th Oct 2003 22:47 UTC
Mac OS X I was able to try out and preview Mac OS X Panther 10.3 for the past few months after WWDC and for the last few days I am running a latest version. So, what to expect from Mac OS X when it comes out on the evening of October 24th? Come in and have a look in this preview article. Update: screenshots removed at request of Apple.
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Loosing data with clean install
by milke on Thu 16th Oct 2003 20:02 UTC

<quote>That was not a big deal for me as I don't have any important data on my Macs, but it may be troublesome for people who who are trying to install on their primary machine.</quote>

Why would you have to loose all your data with clean install? This is what I usually do (bad experience in Windows taught me that): I got my iBook 12" 900MHz with Mac OS X 10.2.4 preinstalled on 40GB disk drive with single partition. After playing around for a few days just to get the feeling about the system (this is my first Mac ever, I had occasional experience of using pre-Mac OS X systems, but no Mac OS X, but I have some experience with Unix/Linux, which was helpful), I booted from Mac OS X install CD, run Disk Utility from there, delete the only partition, and made two partitions: the one named Jaguar for the system, and another one named Users, for the data for all the users (well, just me for now). Then I clean installed the OS on the Jaguar partition and after that was done, I got two "disks" mounted: Jaguar partition mounted in the root directory /, which contained the whole OS, and Users partition mounted in /Volumes/Users. Then, I logged as root (actually you don't have to, but I prefer that way), copied all the content of the /Users directory (made during install process) on Jaguar partition to Users partition, deleted /Users directory from Jaguar partition and from the Terminal.app made a symbolic link in root directory / named Users:

>cd /
>ln -s /Volumes/Users Users

Now I got /Users directory, which is actually a link to another partition. Logged out, logged in as milke, and I was done.

After several days, I wanted to assure myself that this works, so I booted from install CD, from disk utility formated the system (Jaguar) partition and did clean install once again. The whole process of making symbolic link must be repeated, but after I did it and logged as milke, I got my sistem back with all the preferences (because they are kept in my home directory on Users partition). Even the icons on the dock representing yet uninstalled apps (destroyed during format and install process) were there, represented by stylish question marks. You don't even have to throw them away, install the apps and put them back on doc, just install the apps, log out and back in, and the icons representing apps are back in all their beauty. Launch them, and they wake up just as you leave them the last time (window position and size, colours and other preferences are retained).

Now, I know that you Eugenia know this for sure, I just wonder why don't you use this approach? Also, this might be helpful for the Mac users coming from the pre-Mac OS X background, who don't know much about the Unix-like systems, but would like to configure their systems that way.

Sorry about my English ;-)