Aborting On the Second Disk on a Restore

Scenario: Client attempts to restore their iMac using their Software Restore disks (10.4.10) but the second disk containing iLife for some reason refuses to be recognized. iLife is already installed and the OS has been installed but the Installer will come up everytime you attempt to start up the computer.

The workaround: Start up the computer in single user mode. Then use the following commands (not the ones with ## preceding them however)

## Mount the filesystem so you can read and write to it
mount -uw /
## The files we want live in /var/db
cd /var/db/
## Files that tell us it's a multi disk install
rm .AppleMultiInstall*
## File that tells us to pop up the registration dialog
rm .AppleCustomMac
## Something else to do with setup (Locale Setup?)
rm .locsetup.plist  

I removed all 3 files because they looked like the most likely culprits but gut tells me the .AppleMultiInstall* files are the only ones that have to be removed but I wasn’t able to test it.

You’re now able to boot the computer just fine - it’s imperative however to be sure that you know what has been installed as you’re interrupting the installation. Because in this case I knew that only iLife was on the second disk (in terms of what had been selected to be installed) I didn’t go ahead with reinstalling the OS to be on the safe side.

This has been tested on Mac OS X Tiger 10.4, it should be identical for Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 as well but I’m not 110% positive.

iPhone Restoration : Restoring Home Screen Layout (Pre 3.0)

After having gone through 3 iPhones and countless restores of different iPhones and iPod touches I had to get to the bottom of how to restore my layout of my apps on my home screens.

The Cause

When you restore your iPhone / iPod touch to it’s factory defaults the device is not connected to an iTunes account. When you restore it from your backup (to put your apps and info back on) it will load anything that does not require authorization through the iTunes store (with the exception of free apps - though purchased from the iTunes Store they seem to get loaded anyway). So when you finish a Restore From Backup the first time around it will not load any paid apps or music until it’s authorized. It does it’s authorizations seemingly right after you’ve restored it as it accesses the iTunes Store as if it was just plugged in. Why that has no effect on purchased music I’ve no idea.

In the end you’re left with a phone / iPod that has only part of the data it had on it before and requires you to press Sync again to put your paid applications and purchased music on to it. The biggest issue here is that if you have any data stored in that application, like say Things, or high scores from a game, or just find reorganizing your home layout frustrating you’re out of luck. The paid apps are installed anew, and placed one at a time into the earliest empty spot on your home screens. Frustrating. Thankfully there is a workaround.

The Workaround

  1. Perform a backup before you restore.
  2. After restoring your Phone to the whichever OS version
  3. Restore from your backup (you can cancel syncing music when this part finishes - it will start up again after the next step)
  4. Restore once more - you may see two backups to choose from as it would have created a backup after the restoring. Choose the one that would have a timestamp just before you do the restore.

Annoying because a restore from backup may take as long as 5 or 6 minutes but at least you aren’t stuck reorganizing your applications the way you wanted them again.

EDIT: From what I can gather 3.0 has fixed this issue.