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tmarengo May 1, 2001 10:20 AM
Mac Experts Only! I need your help!
After several years of using the mac, I think I finally managed to screw up my iMac DVSE beyond my ability to repair it. I was running 9.1, and decided to do a clean install – I wanted to erase all the contents of my HD and “start from scratch”.

The iMac wouldn’t start off my os9 system disk, and said the “drivers needed to be updated”. I have attempted to make a startup disk using toast 5.0.1 and 9.1, always unsuccessful.

I then copied just the system folder off the system disk, and chose that as my startup disk thru control panels. Now, every time I start my mac, it gives me the message

“The system software on the startup disk only functions on the original media,not if copied to another drve.” Restart

I cant get this message to go away. I have tried to hold down the option key whilst rebooting, to no avail.

Please somebody help me! I have never read about this problem anywhere!
not a lawyer May 1, 2001 10:37 AM
is your "Mac OS 9" CD actually labeled "mac os 9" or did it come from another computer? If it came from another computer then it won't work with yours.

disconnect any third party hardware you have connected.

you should check to see if there are any imac firmware updates you haven't installed.

If nothing still works, back up your data and re-initialize your hard drive. You may want to reset the open firmware but I doubt you'll need to go that far.
bottles May 1, 2001 12:47 PM
Hi tmarengo,

First of all, copying the System Folder from an OS CD to your hard disk never works. That's true even if that CD came with your computer! You'll always get the message about the system software only functioning on the original media. It's the System (suitcase) file that's different. You can successfully copy the Finder or Mac OS ROM file, but not the System file or the whole System Folder. I'm not sure why it's that way, perhaps the installer needs to know exactly what computer it's installing to in order to make certain adjustments to the System file, I don't know.

Anyway, the System Folder you now have on the hard disk is useless. You need to reinstall the entire System (using the installer) either from the OS CD that came with that computer or a retail OS CD, purchased at a computer store for example.

If your computer won't boot from the CD that came with it, you either have a hardware problem or you're not booting correctly. Read Apple's TIL #43038 for the proper way to boot from a CD.

Hope this helps,

zigzag May 1, 2001 08:46 PM
A "clean install" doesn't erase the contents of a hard drive. It just installs a new system folder on your hard drive and labels the old one "Previous System Folder". It doesn't normally affect any other files. Just insert the "Software Install" CD that came with your Mac, hold down the "C" key when booting up, and select "Clean Install" from the "options" menu. All of your data will remain intact.

If you've already erased your drive, use the "Software Restore" CD and when you start up again it will be just like when you first bought the machine, with set-up questions, tutorials, and everything. Good luck.
Cipher13 May 2, 2001 07:37 AM
tmarengo, please DO NOT post your queries in more than one forum.

It becomes a real pain in the ass to follow.


AIM: Cipher1387
ICQ: 48111606
tmarengo May 2, 2001 09:13 AM
Sorry, Cipher. I'm new to the whole forum ettiquite thing. I'll confine my posts to MacOS Forum.

Everytime I use the Apple provided system restore disk os9, I'm told that the drivers are out of date and should be updated. I'm assuming thats because the current os I am running is 9.1

I have to believe there is something that i can do about this...
zigzag May 2, 2001 11:39 AM
I don't know the answer to the driver update message. It sounds like you're still able to operate in 9.1. If so, have you tried using Software Update to see what shows up re: drivers? Also, you might try the boards at Good luck.

[This message has been edited by zigzag (edited 05-02-2001).]
Gregory May 2, 2001 01:52 PM
If you don't have 9.1, get it. If you want to start from scratch and erase the disk drive etc, then boot from CD, use Drive Setup, and Initialize the full drive.

If you want to partition for the system, do custom initialize.

When installing it should update the Apple driver automatically.

Sounds like you have (had) just the 9.1 updater. So you do have to downgrade before upgrading. I saw too many users with problems with the 9.1 Updater that didn't have same trouble with the full install CD (OS X is a good buy, two OS's for $99 if you look).

Now, go buy a firewire drive for backups.

yoyo52 May 2, 2001 05:24 PM
If you have a software restore CD that's a couple of years old, then it can't have OS 9.1 on it--those CDs came out this year. However, you should be able to use the original OS CD to reformat your drive and then install the version of 9 that's on the CD and upgrade to 9.1.

To do that, you need to start up from the CD and use the DriveSetup to reformat the HD. You might as well zero out all the data if you're going to do that. However, keep in mind that if you reformat the drive, you will lose everything that's on it--all your documents, applications, files, folders--everything. So, obviously, back up a copy of what you want to keep.

Once you've reformatted the drive, then you can use the same CD to reinstall the version of the OS that came with your computer, and upgrade to 9.1 if that's what you want to do.

Of course, you could buy a 9.1 CD and avoid the update step.

Es ist der Geist, der sich den Körper baut.--Goethe
tmarengo May 4, 2001 08:34 AM
Thank you all for your help! I took a "personal health day" off from work yesterday, and was able to get the iMac in primo shape. For whatever reason, I was able to successfully boot off the techtools/applecare diagnostic CD, and after that is was a beautiful thing.

I ended up initializing the hard drive, installing 9.0, then 9.1, then firmware update. Now everything works! iTunes works with DiscBurner and they both work with Toast! It's a miracle!

Thanks again, all!
weinc2001 May 11, 2001 02:45 AM
I had this problem. You must Boot from the CD, then use Drive Setup to update the disk driver. Now you can install the OS.

Peace Out,

weinc2001 May 11, 2001 02:47 AM
Restart after you update the HD driver from Drive Setup.
Reboot from the CD and then you are ready for OS installation.
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