Mac OS: Reblessing Old System Folder After Clean Install

This article describes the process for possibly reactivating (re-blessing) the original system folder, after a clean installation, if the original System Folder was not thrown away.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Startup Disk version 9.2 and later allow you to easily switch between System Folders on the hard disk volume. Startup Disk 9.2.1 is available from Apple Software Downloads (

If you are using Mac OS 9, consider using this version of Startup Disk to more easily select and change the active System Folder.

If the steps listed below do not work, you will have to reinstall system software, then complete the steps listed in your clean install instructions.

Note: The following instructions are applicable to Mac OS 8 as well.

Due to the wide variety of situations a clean restore can be used to troubleshoot, be sure to read the instructions below carefully, in order to determine whether your overall initial issue would benefit from this procedure. If you are troubleshooting SCSI issues in particular, make sure you have resolved those issues before proceeding. If you are not sure, do not follow these steps.

To re-bless your System Folder:

    1. Start the computer from an external floppy disk or a startup CD.

    2. Close all your windows, then open your hard disk.

    3. Choose by Name from the View menu. Verify that the System Folder has a small picture of an original Macintosh in the middle of its icon. This will resemble a picture of a monitor. This is the currently blessed system folder that is running your computer.

    4. Open this System Folder. Move the System suitcase into the Preferences folder. Close the System Folder.

    5. Verify that this System Folder no longer has the original Macintosh icon.

    6. Rename the System Folder Clean System Folder.

    7. Rename the original System Folder (the one you wish to use again, not the one from Step 6) back to System Folder.

    A. If you used System 7.5's Clean Install option, open the System Folder, double-click on your System suitcase. Close the window which appears, then close the System Folder.

    1) If a picture of an original Macintosh does not appear in the middle of this folder's icon, open the System Folder again.

    2) Drag the System suitcase and the Finder to your hard disk icon.

    3) Close the System Folder.

    4) Open your hard drive and drag the System suitcase and the Finder on top of the System Folder icon. The original Macintosh icon should appear on the System folder immediately.

    B. If you used another type of clean restore, you ordinarily would have had to separate the System suitcase and the Finder from each other. One of these files would have been placed in the Trash, or in your Preferences folder, or someplace other than loose in the System Folder. You need to find the System suitcase and the Finder, move them to your hard disk, close your System Folder, and drag them on top of your System Folder icon. The original Macintosh icon should appear on the System Folder icon immediately.

    8. Restart your computer. It should start up from the original System Folder. If it does not, repeat the original clean install steps.

    9. Put Clean System Folder into the Trash and empty the Trash. You will lose all data in this System Folder, so make sure that you have not installed any software in that System Folder except for the basic system software.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2012