Although Mac OS X A clean install replaces the System Folder , which contains all the vital parts of the Mac OS, instead of updating or modifying it. A clean system install is usually only necessary if parts of the system have become corrupt or damaged and cannot be repaired by utility programs such as Disk First Aid or Norton Utilities.
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In the following instructions, you will be directed to boot your computer from your system installation disks. These are the media, either floppy disks or a CD-ROM, that have the installation software for your operating system. If you have floppy disks, insert the first system installation disk in your floppy disk drive, then restart your computer. The computer will use the floppy or CD as its startup disk, and you should be able to begin your clean install. On a Mac, how do I change my startup volume or boot from an alternative volume, disc, or device? After a clean installation, you will need to move any third-party or non-standard software you have installed from your Previous System Folder to your new System Folder.
Mac OS 9 for OS X/macOS
This includes any fonts, control panels, extensions, and other system software that is not a part of a standard Mac OS installation. Place this software in the appropriate folders inside the System Folder e. Make sure that third-party software is compatible with any updates you may have installed. But for most adherents to the ways of OS 9, that doesn't appear to be the case.
If you've gotten this far in this story, it's likely the majority of you reading have and use a Mac OS 9 computer and already know all of the above. Whether you're a long time Mac OS 9 user or just starting out as a hobby, there are some security best practices that are a good idea to follow. The same security advice holds true today. That said, using an antivirus in those days on a Mac was more to protect your friends and colleagues using Windows, to make sure you didn't accidentally forward them an email with a virus or give them a CD or Zip drive with a malicious file on it.
Well, there's Disinfectant , which can still be downloaded here. It doesn't protect from the malware that was available for Mac OS 9, so it was pretty useless even back then but it's an option. There's also Virex, which can still be downloaded here.
It can't be updated as the virus definitions server cannot be reached, so by default you're stuck with virus definitions from and a manual update file from And then there is Intego's own VirusBarrier. VirusBarrier version 1. It took some digging a few months actually , but we found VirusBarrier 1. This is a fully functional and pre-licensed version.
Mac OS 9 for OS X/macOS
If you already have a VirusBarrier 1. If you have your Classic Mac connected to the Internet or a network of any kind, a firewall is most certainly recommended. I do not recall a Mac with OS 9 on it ever being hacked back in the day, but those days were long before hacking was the popular cybercrime it is today.
It's not unreasonable to think there are ways to hack OS 9, and tools such as Shodan can make finding such machines much easier. Due to the limited system resources available though, a hardware firewall might be a better way to go here, but this can get pricey and you have to know how to properly configure and monitor it. A software firewall, however, is the next best thing. NetBarrier was revolutionary for its time, release by Intego in While the chances of running into Mac OS 9 malware today are slim to none, unless it may be hiding in your old backups, the chances of intrusion via the network or Internet are as high as they've ever been.
Want to run NetBarrier 2. You can grab a copy of it right here. Once installed, I recommend disabling features you don't need and spend some time exploring this highly customizable firewall. You will find a live network monitor in your Control Strip which is also fully customizable, so it can show you exactly the live traffic of the application or protocol you want to keep an eye on.
And if you want to see even more real-time traffic stats, just minimize NetBarrier and it'll transform into a Real Time Monitor. NetBarrier also runs very light, taking up just 4.
ARCHIVED: In Mac OS 9.x and earlier, what is a clean system install, and how can I do it?
With Mac OS 9 not having the most solid reputation for stability, having a backup of your system and files is important. At the time it was and still is one of the best Mac OS 9 backup utilities around, because of its versatility, speed and reliability. With Personal Backup, you can set one or several tasks that either backup or synchronize your data and set a schedule to run hourly, daily, when you shut down your Mac and can even retain several copies of the data.
Backing up automatically, let's say every hour, and retain old copies of data Sounds like Time Machine to me! Indeed, it is exactly like that, without the fancy animations you have in Time Machine these days, of course. Clone the whole system daily, synchronize select folders and backup folders with often changing contents while retaining as many copies as you want. Personal Backup will let you do it. You'll have a hard time finding this on the Intego website these days, but we dug up a copy and made it available right here.
Mac OS 9 does not multitask like OS X does, so running a backup utility or antivirus scan will tie up your system pretty good while it's running, hence the recommendation to run these kinds of intensive tasks while you're away from the keyboard. As with the previously mentioned utilities, Personal Backup runs very light, taking up just 1. If you compare the above resource usage screenshot with the ones from VirusBarrier and NetBarrier, you'll notice a difference in color scheme and Mac OS resource usage.
This is because I had to re-take some screenshots on another computer. Just now, my PowerBook G3 that I was using up until this point decided to stop powering up! I was able to boot up a PowerMac G4 from the clone made by Personal Backup, copy the whole Mac OS 9 system back and continue work in less than 12 minutes.
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The fact that this happened while I was writing this article cannot be a coincidence, so I had to share this. For those not familiar with Mac OS 9, I keep mentioning the amount of memory these apps use, because back in the day and still today, depending on the hardware that's used memory was measured in MB's, not GB's. That is assuming the memory was upgraded; in its default configurations, some of those machines had just 32 or 64 MB of memory!
With such little resources available, every megabyte counts. Intego no longer supports its legacy products for Mac OS 9, so use at your own risk.
An OS 9 odyssey: Why these Mac users won’t abandon 16-year-old software
Grabbing a new hard drive for your OS 9 computer falls under data security. Amazingly, most of these old Macs still use the original hard drive. The higher capacity drives offered in the G4's were faster at rpm, but could still be pretty noisy.