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Clean-Install Assistant

©1999 Marc Moini, all rights reserved
version 1.2 1999-10-23

Upgrading a System Folder to a new version of Mac OS often takes a lot of time, because you need to figure out which files to move to the new system and which ones to leave behind (extensions, control panels, printer drivers, application-specific items, special folders, etc ).

Clean-Install Assistant makes this process easier and faster because it does this sorting and moving automatically, using its list of factory-issue Mac OS files. It'll carefully collect your additions and move them to a separate folder so you can update the System Folder, then it'll move them back to the right places in the new System Folder with a single click!

System 7.x or Mac OS 8.x required.

1 Collect your additions
To move third-party items and your personal additions out of the selected System Folder, click the Collect button.

(Before you start, remember experienced users always backup the System Folder before installing a new one: better spend a few minutes now than waste hours later if anything goes wrong! )

A folder named System Folder Additions appears alongside the System Folder, holding all your additions. This should take about 10 seconds (maybe longer on removable media) as no copying takes place, just moving items to a new folder on the same disk.

You may want to go through your System Folder at this point to make sure all your additions have been moved. To undo any changes, just click the Add Back button and your System Folder will be restored to its previous state.

note: Items in the System suitcase itself are not moved, please move them manually (extra keyboard layouts, sounds)

note: While working on the System Folder on the startup disk, it is recommended you startup with Extensions Off (or just the core set) to avoid false alarms from anti-virus or security programs (hold down the shift key until you see the 'Welcome to Macintosh' screen at startup). Also, you may want to quit other applications so their preference files are not in use.

2 Clean-Install a new System Folder
Use the Mac OS Installer to install a new System Folder.

3 Adding all your items to the new System Folder
To move your additions to another System Folder, drag the System Folder Additions folder next to the new System Folder, then select that System Folder in the program and click Add Back. The System Folder Additions folder must be in the same folder as the System Folder you want to Add to: use the Finder to copy the 'System Folder Additions' folder where you want it.

When the Add Back button is clicked, any items (file or folders) that already exists in the System Folder are left behind in the System Folder Additions folder. If all the items are moved, the System Folder Additions folder disappears. So if it's still there after Add Back, you know that some items need your attention.

note: Duplicate files and other errors will be listed in a log file named CI-A Errors which will appear next to the System Folder. This file only appears when something needs to be reported.

Some other possible uses:
- Save space and backup your valuable additions and preference files only, instead of the whole System Folder!
- Install the same set of additions on multiple Macs: just copy the 'System Folder Additions' folder to each Mac and click 'Add Back'.
- Remove extra files and folders from your System Folder to restore it to a previous state: you can take a 'snapshot' of the System Folder and have Clean-Install Assistant extract any items added since (see below).

About the 'List of Mac OS Files' folder
Clean-Install Assistant treats files and folders as belonging to either of two categories: Items installed by Apple's Mac OS Installer, and everything else. The List of Mac OS Files folder holds the list of files and folders which Clean-Install Assistant recognizes as 'Apple' items.

For those interested, the files in the List of Mac OS Files folder are standard TEXT files which can be read with any text editor or word processor, and they can be edited if needed. These files can be in any nested folder inside the List of Mac OS Files folder. Here is the format of a single file:
- each line starts with a number of spaces matching the subfolder level at which it is found in the System Folder.
- lines describing a file have a t: (for type) followed by a four letter file type , a four letter creator code and the file name.
- lines describing a folder have either fldr:, Afldr: or Sfldr: in front of the folder name. The A flags 'Apple' folders: this decides whether Clean-Install Assistant will move the complete folder or look inside and just move some items, those it doesn't recognize as 'Apple'. Here are two examples: the 'Control Panels' folder is listed as Afldr, so the program scans it and only moves those control panels which have been added to the standard Mac OS set. By contrast, the 'KeyQuencer Extensions' folder (installed by Alessandro Levi Montalcini's KeyQuencer) would be listed as fldr and the whole folder would be moved. In this example the same results could be achieved just by not including an entry for that folder, but it seems this scheme improves readability in the file/folder list for files generated by users. Sfldr entries describe folders which will be skipped altogether, i.e. never moved. This is used for folders with temporary information, such as the 'Recent Documents' folder. When installing the same set of items on multiple Macs, you might not want these items to be copied for confidentiality reasons.

To make Clean-Install Assistant generate one of these files for the contents of a System Folder, hold down the option key and the Collect button will change to a List button. This can be useful for generating file lists for localized System Folders. Once your file is saved, you'll want to edit it (see next paragraph) then move it to the 'List of Mac OS Files' folder so Clean-Install Assistant can see it. Don't worry about duplicate entries in your files, they're automatically eliminated at runtime.

To edit a new file
Once you've clicked List to generate a new file, use a text editor to remove the entries for items you want migrated (files/folders not part of Mac OS), and add an A in front of fldr for folders that you do not want to be moved.
Important: When editing files you've created, be sure to remove all entries for preference files that hold important data, such as the Modem Preferences, TCP/IP Preferences and Remote Access Connections files which contain your ISP/Online Service information. Otherwise these will be left in the System Folder when you click Collect, and you'll have to re-enter your preferences from scratch in the new System.

Free for personal use!
Clean-Install Assistant is free for personal and educational use. Pricing for business users is as follows (for more details please see the 'for business users' folder):
* Businesses with 3 Macs or less: Free
* Consultants and businesses with 4 to 10 Macs: $50
* Site License (all Macs within a 100 miles radius of your site): $500
* World-Wide License (all locations for your organization): $1000

Please distribute Clean-Install Assistant as a complete package, with this document, the Startup Doubler and Smart Scroll movies, the List of Mac OS Files folder and the 'for business users' folder. It is OK to upload the unmodified package to BBSs, the Internet and online services, and to put it on a CD-ROM.

If you like this program, take a look at the other programs by the same author! (see below)

Many thanks to Alessandro Levi Montalcini, FlM, Vils Legrand, Marc Menschenfreund, Mark Nagata and Charles Wiltgen!

Julien Erny ( created the sound tracks for the QuickTime movies.

The author makes no warranties, either express or implied, regarding the fitness of Clean-Install Assistant for any particular purpose. Use Clean-Install Assistant at your own risk. The author claims no liability for data loss or any other problems caused directly or indirectly by Clean-Install Assistant.

Other programs by the author
Startup Doubler makes for quicker startups! Its software acceleration compensates for sub-optimal disk performance to make extensions and control panels load faster.

Smart Scroll resizes the indicator thumb in regular scroll bars to show how much of a document is displayed in a window: If a window is displaying half of a document, the thumb will be half the scrollbar size. This gives you an idea of how large the document is, without having to scroll the window to find out!
Smart Scroll also adds Live Scrolling, which updates the display as you drag the scrollbar thumb. Just release the thumb when you see the part of the document you want: no more guessing where you'll end up!
Until these features are added to all applications (as Apple has done for the Finder in Mac OS 8.5 and later), Smart Scroll remains the only way to benefit from them now in popular apps such as Netscape, Emailer, etc.

Custom Menus lets you Tear-off menus from the Menu Bar and move them around, for faster access to often-used items. Build your own menus from items in any menu. Put all your favorite items in a single menu and tear it off for quick access! Rename any item. Choose your own Font, Size and colors for the menus and the menu bar. Pop-up the Menu Bar under the mouse: no more reaching for the top of the screen!

Get these and more (as well as the latest version of Clean-Install Assistant) from

Version History

1.2 23oct99
* Supports Mac OS 9.0.
* Supports Mac OS 8.6.
* Misc. changes and fixes.

1.1 23oct98
* Supports Mac OS 8.5.
* Collects items from previous System Folders as well as current (active) ones
* New folder label in file lists: 'Sfldr' entries are not moved (thanks, Wayne W. Smerdon!)
* Now saves 'CD Remote Programs' settings (thanks, James R. Cain!)
* Misc. changes and fixes.

1.0 18may98
* First public release

Original file name: C-I Assistant Docs - converted on Sunday, 24 October 1999, 21:37

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