I have a PowerBook G4 Titanium that I need to wipe to clear the previous user's personal data. It has a password that I don't know but I can still login automatically to OS X upon boot. Not having the administrative password is preventing me from wiping the computer through the options provided by the OS.

I have learned that these older macs come with specific roms and extensions for the older OSs and I would like to back these up. But I understand that this isn't entirely straightforward due to aliasing and resource forks. The OS 9 part of the laptop was never used so it is pristine and a good candidate for being backed up.

How do I do go about backing up all of the necessary files in a way that I can restore them?

I selected the following files on the root partition and dropped then all at once into DropStuff:

  • Applications (Mac OS 9)/
  • Desktop (Mac OS 9)/ -> Desktop Folder/
  • Desktop Folder/
  • Desktop DB
  • Desktop DF
  • System Folder/
  • Trash/

Is this sufficient to preserve aliases and resources or do I need to do this differently?

I know very little about vintage Mac software and filesystems but I am very experienced with both Windows and Linux. Please feel free to be as technical as you like.


Those are rebuilt automatically if they are missing:

  • Desktop DB
  • Desktop DF
  • Trash

To test it, just use an external disk, copy those files on a HFS partitioned volume, press option on reboot to select the start volume.

  • One important note. the file system can't be any of the new filesystems HFS+ Journaled included. Mac OS 9 does not understand that filesystem, it won't open it and it won't boot from it. Sep 28 '20 at 14:31

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