My old iMac (2009) won't boot and can't be repaired in single user mode. I want to back up a few files before rebooting, but can't remember the exact name of the files. Is there a command that copies all files, or is there a way of seeing what is on the harddrive?


First open a terminal. There you can do all things you would do with Finder.

The Terminal offers a range of commands you can use:

  • To see, what is in the current directory, run ls.
  • To copy a file, use cp <from> <to> (and replace and with the correct filenames or paths)
  • To see where disks are mounted, you can use df, mount or ls /Volumes
  • To change folders use cd <foldername>

You don't need to fully type out all filenames. You can use autocomplete using the Tab key.

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