iMac: System Software Reinstall Options

This article describes the options for reinstalling iMac system software.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
The iMac comes with two CDs that allow you to reinstall system software, the iMac System Software CD and the iMac Restore CD. Each CD is bootable.

iMac System Software CD - This CD contains installation files that will reinstall the iMac version of the Mac OS. To reinstall the system software, use the Installer application and follow the standard Mac OS 8.1 installer procedures. Installers for utilities and bundled applications are also present on this CD.

iMac Restore CD - The Restore CD contains an image of the iMac hard disk as it was shipped to you. A utility called Apple Software Restore allows you to restore the hard disk to that configuration. The Restore utility has a number of options to control formatting of the hard disk or saving of data and applications before using the Restore utility. Read the Restoring iMac Software text file to understand how to prevent accidental data loss.

To restore the iMac hard disk
If your computer came with both Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS X installed on the hard disk, you should follow the restore procedure outlined in Article 60847 "Apple Software Restore: How to Perform a Multiple Disc Restoration"

Start the system with the Restore CD in the CD drive while pressing and holding down the C key. This action causes the computer to boot from the software on the CD-ROM instead of the hard disk. You will see that the CD icon in the Finder is then located above the hard disk icon on the desktop. Double-click on the CD icon and double click on the Apple Software Restore icon. After launching Apple Software Restore, you should see the following splash screen. Click the OK button to continue.

Apple Software Restore Options

Restore in Place
Click the Restore button to restore the configuration "Mac Restore CD" onto "Macintosh HD," Overlapping files on "Macintosh HD" will be replaced by the corresponding files in "Mac OS.img."

Erase Macintosh HD before restoring
Click the Restore button to restore the configuration "Mac Restore CD" onto "Macintosh HD," using Macintosh Extended volume format. "Macintosh HD" will be usable as a startup volume only on PowerPC computers. The contents of "Macintosh HD" will be erased before restoring

Default setting: If neither Restore in Place or Erase "Macintosh HD" is checked, you can use the Volume Format menu to choose Standard or Extended format. You will see this information in the "Descriptions" window:

Click the Restore button to restore the configuration "Mac Restore CD" onto "Macintosh HD," The existing contents of "Macintosh HD," will be moved to a folder named "Original Items."

The iMac Restore CD also contains a utilities folder that allows you to perform checks on the hard disk. The utilities folder contains a set of standard Apple troubleshooting tools and utilities.

Finally, there is a folder on the Restore CD called Configurations. This folder contains a disk image file which includes all the iMac's software that the Apple Software Restore utility copies to the hard disk during restoration.
Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012

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