Edit: After half day, my wife’s Mac started having the same problem. I have then applied the solution that I found in the Apple
The Guide On Reinstalling Mac OS X
While it is not as common but there are times when you might need to reinstall Mac OS X operating system. With many different ways to do that you might feel a little overwhelmed by choices and wanting for easier ways to reinstall the operating system.
This article takes you through few easy steps to get the reinstallation done. However before you start, you must have these things
• Backup location for important files.
• A retail OS X Installation Disc or
• Mac OS X Install & Restore CD/DVD
Let’s have a look at the steps now:
Backing Up Data Before Reinstalling
Before you start the reinstalling process, ensure that all the data is backed up. Check for your personal files and take their backup. Do not rely completely on Archive and Install features. They might miss a few files.
Identify the ideal backup location.
External drive, CDs/DVDs and online storage are few prominent options. External hard drives may be the most ideal option when the size of data is large. CDs and DVDs are other options when you have a disc burner and the computer is still rebooting. Online storage can come to your rescue when the data is not too large and you have access to an FTP server or a MobileMe account.
Decide on what to backup.
Once you have decided on the place you will backup your files, pick the files you need to back up. A general advice is to back up all the personal files. They are mostly located in your home folder and may include images, videos, documents et al.
There is no need to backup applications as most of them can be reinstalled through external drives. In fact, reinstalling is an opportunity for people to do away with applications that they don’t use much.
There is no need to back up system files as they get reinstalled during the process.
You will also have to enable the Root user. For Mac OS X 10.5, you need to go to the Finder’s Go Menu and select utilities. Now launch the Directory Utility and enter the password. Once done, press ‘OK’. Open Edit menu and enable the Root User from here. You will have to assign a new password. Create it and click ‘OK’.
For Mac OS X 10.4 and Earlier Versions, go to Finder’s Go menu and select Utilities. Launch the NetInfo Manager Utility. Locate the Lock icon in the Manager window and click on it. Input the password and confirm it. Go to the security menu and Enable Root user. Set a new password and confirm it. Once you are done, follow the steps mentioned below.
• Now click on the Apple icon on the top left corner
• Log off from the current account name
• Login as Root user
• On the next screen click on ‘Other’
• Type “Root” to rename
• Enter the password you created few steps back.
• Through the root user, drag the files you want to backup location and you are done.
You can select the Personal files by launching “Macintosh HD” and moving onto “Users” folder.
Select an Install Type
Mac OS X gives you three reinstall types. Therefore it is essential that before proceeding with taking back up, you know what those options offer. Let’s have a look at these three options:
Archive and Install
This option is available with Mac OS X 10.2 and later and moves existing components and files to a folder called Previous System. Once the files are moved, the option carries on with reinstalling the operating system.
Archive and Install option also saves personal files and account information. However in case of not using Snow Leopard, you will have update the software completely to start using the Mac.
Archive and Install (User & Network Settings not preserved)
As the name implies, this Archive and Install option does exactly the same however doesn’t preserve the settings, meaning you will have to configure the settings once the reinstall is complete.
The option nevertheless preserves the personal files.
Erase and Install
Erase and Install erases the content of the hard drive completely and reinstall everything from the scratch.
Reinstall Mac OS X
• Insert the Operating system CD in the drive and let it be recognized.
• Restart your Mac and hold down letter “C” while the Mac starts up.
• Hold the letter ‘C’ till you see grey screen with a spinning gear and Apple sign.
• Pick the language from the Mac OS X Installer screen and ‘Continue’.
• Click on Continue on the next screen as well.
• Click Agree once you have gone through the Software License Agreement text.
• Pick the volume you want to install the operating system. Macintosh HD is the default name.
• Click “Options”. This lays in the bottom corner. Pick your installation type.
• OK the type and click ‘Continue’. You will see a confirmation window. Click ‘Install’ to authorize the process.
After the Installation
Reinstallation only gets the files and folders back. There are many things that get left during the process. You can take help of the following steps for getting your Mac to perform as it used to:
• Hook it up to an internet connection and update your Software. For this, click on Apple icon and select ‘Software update’. Check for all the updates and install all to ensure you don’t miss out any.
• Now run Repair Disk Permissions. For this, move on to the Finder’s Go menu and select utilities. Open Disk Utility and click on Macintosh HD. This lies on the left hand side. Click on “Repair Disk Permissions” and let the scan complete itself. If you find a need to restore any files or software simply refer to the location you created the backup and restore the files.
• Archive and Install is one of the most preferred option, however applications like Microsoft office will have to be reinstalled.
• Ensure that you update all Apple Software Updates completely for a glitch less experience using your Mac.
Always keep in mind to take a back up on an external hard drive to ensure that no matter what reinstallation type you pick, your data remain safe.