Is there a "System Restore" for Mac OS X?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by richard13, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    In Windows, if I've done something that I think has/will cause system instability I can run System Restore to get me back to a time when I knew I had a good configuration.

    Last night I was trying to get my Canon Pixma IP5200R printer which has already been set up and on my network to work with my MBP. Using the System Preferences > Printers tool didn't seem to find it. So I went to the Canon web site and installed the latest driver. This didn't do anything (that I can find) I then downloaded the printer Setup Utility for Mac. That didn't want to work unless I plugged it in via USB. So I installed the Canon IJ Network Tool. I can't even find that after installing. I'd like to get rid of this Canon software now. I threw the Setup Utility in the trash but I can't find the IJ Network Tool to do so. Also, how would I uninstall a driver?

    If I can't find these things to throw them out is there anything else I can do short of clean installing Mac OS? Is there "System Restore" functionality maybe?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #2
    You can do an Archive and Install from the Install Disc, or you can back up from a Time Machine backup.
     
  3. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #3
    Unfortunately OS X doesn't have anything similar to System Restore in Windows (which I have found invaluable many times). However, what I have found to be the best and easiest solution is to use SuperDuper! (or Carbon Copy Cloner - CCC) to keep a clone (backup) of the system disk on an external disk. Then if anything does go wrong you can always get back to the latest clone (backup) by booting from the external disk and cloning back to the system disk; this is something that Windows and Linux can't do that I find of tremendous benefit. SuperDuper! also has a sandbox method where you do any chancy updates to the sandbox instead of to the system disk, so the effect is somewhat similar to System Restore. The free version os SuperDuper! will work (or CCC or even the built-in Disk Utility), but the paid version has what they call Smart Update that copies only the files that have changed and greatly speeds up cloning.
     
  4. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

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    #4
    In over 10 years using Mac's, I have never had to reinstall the Mac OS.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #5
    Wow, that's an amazing record.

    I've had to reinstall OSX, OS9, OS8 on various occasions.
     
  6. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #6
    In less than 2 years of using a Mac I've had to reinstall Mac OS X 6 times.

    I have a Windows XP computer from November 2001 (i.e. virtually when Windows XP launched) that hasn't had to be reinstalled.
     
  7. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Surely restoring from time machine is easier? OP if you just want to get rid of the apps, then just drag them to the trash then there gone!
     
  8. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #8
    I've never tried restoring from Time Machine but I expect it is much slower, and it is not bootable either (which gives SuperDuper! the advantage for me). Time Machine has its uses, but a full restore is not one of them IMHO. And the OP said that he couldn't find the apps that he wanted or he would drag them to the trash; even so, this often leaves things hidden away, esp. if the app came with an installer.

    OP: You might check if the drivers that you want to get rid of had an uninstaller somewhere.
     
  9. richard13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Thanks for the responses so far.

    Yes, I have my Mac backed up to Time Machine and I do include in my backup all files, including my system files. The problem is that I haven't gotten the foggiest idea of how to restore my system from Time Machine. Is this possible?

    No, there doesn't seem to be an uninstaller and as I've said before I can't even find the driver or the IJ Network Utility that were supposedly installed. That's why I wanted to "go back" to before I installed that stuff.
     
  10. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #10
    I had to reinstall osx only once, and that was with an iBook 1.33 after a flaky software update.

    I prefer a double backup, where I have one external HD dedicated to time machine and another that I use with SuperDuper so that if I have a bad update I can easily roll back from the SuperDuper clone.
     
  11. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #11
    Exactly what I do. Time Machine is great for single files that you have accidentally deleted, and SuperDuper! is great for a full clone. Each has their purpose.
     
  12. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #12
    Boot up from your install disc and then go to the Utilities menu and choose restore from Time Machine. It will give you a series of dates and you select the one you want... presto!!!
     
  13. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    #13
    That's right and it's so easy to do and it restores the whole system. I was trying to find out my Frontrow no longer updates play counts and last date played for anything so I did a fresh install. Problem remained so I used Time Machine to restore once again to what it was early this morning and not one file was missed.

    Time Machine is one of the most amazing things that you hope you never or rarely have to use.
     
  14. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    System Restore is MS's way of putting a band-aid over the inherent flaws of Windows. All those system files and registry settings just waiting to run amuck. I'm not bashing windows but I am genuinely surprised that anything runs on that OS for very long without problems. Oh wait... it doesn't. :D

    The very fact that OSX doesn't have this "feature" should tell you something. Not that OSX doesn't have its faults - it's just less dependent on things that will bring Windows to its knees.
     
  15. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #15
    While all of that may be true, I still think it would be a very handy tool to have on OS X. I can get around it with SuperDuper! or Time Machine, but a System Restore feature would be so much easier and quicker.
     
  16. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #16
    System Restore is not necessary with Mac OS X. System Restore exists because of how Windows requires programs to be installed. In other words, it exists because of the Windows Registry.

    S-
     
  17. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #17
    However, System Restore lets you go back to a previous time easily, and this would be appreciated. Mac programs install in different ways depending on the program; most can be rid easily by dragging to the trash, but this doesn't work for all apps. System Restore would be an easy way to get back to where you were before. In addition, System Restore allows multiple restore point, so that you can choose how far back you want to go.
     
  18. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #18
    That sucks, it sounds like you have bad luck.

    I've never had to reinstall Mac OS X on any of my Macs in the 5 years I've used them. I have, however, done fresh installs of new OS's.
     
  19. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    If you google: Apptrap it finds all the files programs leave behinds. To the OP could you not search the apps in spotlight and remove them from their?
     
  20. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Well, maybe I'm stating the obvious but doesn't System Restore only get you to a previous "system" state by just recopying critical files to make the Windows OS healthy again? IIRC, It does nothing for that lost document or anything else not contained in system folders.

    My point being...for Windows you still need 2 backup systems for any kind of redundancy. With a mac, I like knowing I have this peace of mind with one app (Time Machine) and will worry about needing it to fix something on the "system" level should ever this one-in-a-million chance ever require it. (i.e. I'd rather just use my mac and forget about all the other crap I used to worry about with Windows.)
     
  21. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #21
    Windows Vista and 7 allow users to access previous versions of files/folders (like your Documents) as well as using the regular System Restore to recover the system itself.

    There are quite a few things that System Restore does well (like backing up the user's profile - often problems in Mac OS X are caused by a dodgy preference file that stops something working correctly).
     
  22. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #22
    It's called Time Machine.
     
  23. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    #23
    You're doing it wrong.
     
  24. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    #24
    I beg to differ.

    Apple's repair centre had the same issue when they tried doing it, so it wasn't me.
     
  25. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

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    #25
    Agreed, over 20 years for me.
     

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