Re-organising hard drive by mistake. Clueless!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Leydeno, May 19, 2005.

  1. Leydeno macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello! I bought an iMac G5 about a week ago. Somehow, I have managed to completely reorganise the hard drive by mistake. For example, I now have duplicate copies of some files, including iTunes music files and I think I also have unintentionally set up another user account! Basically, is there any way I can restore the files to how they were when I bought the computer without losing any of my music files? (I am not exactly technologically minded by the way). Any advice would be greatly appreciated as my girlfriend has yet to see my handywork, and she is NOT going to be a happy lady!
     
  2. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #2
    The easiest way to keep the files you need would be to burn them to DVD, or copy them off to an other drive, and do a fresh reload of the operating system to get everything back to new condition. Do you have an external hard drive or an other computer to copy them to? It is always good to have some kind of backup system to assist with issues that can happen like this.

    I am not as OS X savvy as I am XP, or Classic MacOS, so I am not sure of a utility that can do this for you. The only way I would know how to revert is to do what I mentioned above, or delete the duplicate files manually, which would be a long process depending on how many files you copied by accident.
     
  3. Leydeno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Yep. I can burn the files onto a DVD. I have tried reloading the operating system but it kept all the previous settings! I'm not entirely sure how to completely restore the system. Thanks for the advice though.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #4
    If you want, you can do a fresh install that will delete everything from your hard drive and load on the OS again but you will lose everything. To do this, there's an option on about the fourth page of the Install OSX DVD, once pressed, find the erase and install option.

    Otherwise, if iTunes is organising all of your music (it's an option in the iTunes settings) then you can "Show duplicate songs" from the Edit menu and ditch the double-ups from there.

    And the second account? Well, I'm pretty sure that if you're logged on as an admin user then you'll be able to delete the second account from the System Preferences under the Accounts tab.
     
  5. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #5
    OK... you might not have to do anything as drastic as re-installing OS X.

    What folders do you have 'duplicates' of and where are they sitting. For example, there are two (or more) Library folders - one sits at root level (you'll see it when you click on Macintosh HD in the Finder sidebar), one sits at each user level (when you click on your name in the sidebar). These do different things - one holds system-wide information, one holds local user info. There are a few folders like this in the system.

    As far as music files go, there is a preference in iTunes to copy the music into the iTunes folder. This means that you can end up with two copies of all your songs - one in the iTunes folder (within Music) and the other the original music files that you brought over from another computer. I burned the 'originals' to data CDs and then deleted them from the Mac since they were all now in iTUnes.

    If you go to System Preferences, you'll see an Accounts preference. This shows you how many users you have on your machine. There will be you (presumably as Admin) and any others you might have created (Standard or Managed). If you've accidentally created a user account you don't need, you can delete it here by highlight it and clicking on the minus (-) button.

    If you really feel you have to start again (this really should be a last resort since you will lose all your files and applications!) then burn all the files you want onto various DVDs. For iTunes or iPhoto, burn the entire iTunes or iPhoto library folders, not just the music/image files inside them. Put your restore DVD into your Mac and then restart holding down the letter C. It will boot from the DVD and you should then be able to follow the instructions - once you've chosen the HD you are installing to, you may have to choose 'options' to tell it what kind of install you are doing - Erase and Install if you are getting rid of everything, Archive & Install if you are keeping your user folder/settings.
     
  6. Leydeno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Mr Mad, thanks for the help. Just checking that if I do carry out the fresh install, will I lose any other programmes (other than the files created by myself) that the Apple people may have kindly put on that aren't on the installation CDs?
     
  7. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #7
    Yes - the fresh install wipes EVERYTHING - applications, preferences, data, etc. - that you haven't backed up. Not all applications can be copied onto CDs or DVDs and dropped back into the Applications folder. Those that are installed by doing just that can, but others must be reinstalled.
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #8

    If you use the iMac restore DVD/CDs you'll be able to keep everything that your Mac originally came with but programs like Office that you would have installed from a separate CD will need to be reinstalled. :(

    All your files will be lost from the hard drive too, so back them up. :cool:
     
  9. Leydeno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Hi Applespider. Thanks for your post. I appear to have duplicates of quite a few folders, including Library, The Guitary one (unfortunatley I'm not at the computer) and a few others. Also, my account name appears on the left hand side along with 'Desktop', 'Music', 'Photos', etc like you said but what is the point of it being there as it just holds some of the same files as are in 'Applications' or 'Music'? Also, what files are supposed to be in the main HD logo at the top. I've lost track with all the moving around I've done! Sorry, I'm being a little vague.
     
  10. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #10
    Those files in the left hand side are there as shortcuts - they aren't really folders, but rather quick ways to access frequently used folders. You can add items to that area by dragging them in there (other items will move out of the way to make room) and remove them by dragging them out (you'll see a poof icon on top of the icon of the object you're dragging as well as the object leaving the bar to indicate that you're going to remove that object from the bar if you drop it there).

    The HD should have Applications, Developer (if you have the developer tools installed), Library, System, System Folder (if you have the Classic environment installed), and Users.
     
  11. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #11
    Did you possibly make extra shortcut or alias copies, as opposed to actual copies of data?

    If you just see duplicate items on the left hand side ( as wrldwzrd89 said) you may just have extra shortcuts, and nothing more. in that case you could just remove the extra shortcuts on the left side, and that will get you a more "normal" looking interface.


    If you actually have massive amounts of duplicate files that you want to "clean up" you can just leave them (if the system is currently stable). or you can try to be selective and delete some of them.

    Since you are so clueless as to how the OS X operating system works (no offence intended) you may be better off doing a fresh reload. Trying to go through doing the peck and delete method may make your system unstable or not useable in the least.

    Installing applications and such shouldn't take that much time, and down the road you may want to get setup with a way to archive or backup your important applications and files.
     
  12. Leydeno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Lovely. Thanks again for your help. I don't think I'll do a fresh install then, but organise the HD folder the way I want to. I think I was just a little worried that if I deleted anything from within that folder, then I would be deleting some fundamental programme!
     
  13. Leydeno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Hi 840 Quadra. Is there any file I definitely should not delete, even if there is a duplicate copy within HD? I would like to clean it up a little bit.
     
  14. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #14
    Deleting things from the HD level isn't usually a good idea. They are system-wide files. You'll have folders with the same name (like Library/Applications/Application Support) at both HD and user level. Keep them both - they're doing different things.

    As 840quadra says, if OS X is running OK, just leave everything where it is and when you're more familiar with the system, you can try cleaning it up (if it really needs it). Since you're in London, you might want to consider going into the Apple Store and speaking to someone who can explain what's going on in person for you.

    As far as 'organising' goes, the same thing holds - don't move things around in the HD level. It's best to keep your Applications all in their Applications folder and not move them around - at least the Apple ones so that they can update properly through Software Update.

    You can 'organise' as much as you want in your Home (User), Documents/Music/Movies folders but leave the System stuff where it is - or you may have no choice in having to reinstall OS X!
     
  15. Leydeno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Right that's it. I'm not touching a thing until I'm more familiar with the computer! Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction. Since my lady is clueless too, she needn't know a thing!
     
  16. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #16
    Right on.

    Listen to Applespider, she can explain things much better then I can when it comes to issues like this. I am in IT, so my descriptions sometimes come off like I am trying to show off, it is actually caused by working with other IT people who know the language.

    Sounds like your system is stable and you will have plenty of time to set things the way you want them on the system. From your original post, I was thinking your system was in dire need to be put back the way it was.

    Hope your Apple computing is fun and care free!!


    Cheers,

    840
     
  17. Leydeno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I think the system is stable. I have a funny feeling I may need some more help in the near future though!!!

    Cheers!
     

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