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Steps to a new machine: Macintosh os X

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Steps to a new machine: Macintosh OS X
The process of getting a brand new Macintosh up and running in the context of a “public” lab machine has a number of complex steps, some of which may be unfamiliar to you. Read carefully!
Note: these instructions assume that you are working from a machine that has already been setup, either using a master image or by going through the entire setup process from scratch.
Step 1. Open firmware Protection
All new Macintoshes have something called open firmware. This is roughly equivalent to the Windows/DOS ROM-BIOS: it holds settings and information that the machine requires in order to boot properly, among other things.
However, for the Macintosh, the open firmware access presents a potentially HUGE security hole, so it is vital that you take this first step.
It is also essential that you note the password you use to secure the open firmware, because if you forget it you will have to remove and replace hardware to unlock it, and you will not be able to boot from a CD until your have reset a particular environment variable in open firmware.
Follow these steps to secure open firmware if it has not been secured before1:

  1. At power on, hold down the Command-Option-O-F keys simultaneously. You will see something similar to the following screen:

  2. Next, you want to set the environment variable that determines the security mode of the machine. Do this by typing the following:

    setenv security-mode command

  3. This environment variable may be changed at any time later on. The three possible states are none, command and full. None means that: you are wide open. Command means that issuing commands in the open firmware environment is restricted (by password, unless you do not set this). Full means you cannot boot the machine without entering the password.

  4. Set the password by issuing the following command:


    The system responds with:

    Enter a new password:

    You enter the password (which is hidden while you type by asterisks - *****), and the system asks you to confirm it:

    Enter password again:

    And finally you see:

    Password will be in place after the next boot!

    You have set the password. Note that if you have a pre-supplied password, be sure to use it!

  5. Now, reset the machine and reboot it by typing the following:


    And the machine will reboot. Open firmware is now secured. DO NOT FORGET THE PASSWORD!

    Do not forget that you will not be able to boot from a CD until you have set security-mode to none!

Step 2: Set the startup disk to imaging unit.

The next step requires that you know what you are going to use to rebuild the machine from. This may be either a bootable FireWire drive (such as the LaCie PocketDrive) or another Macintosh (using FireWire Target Boot). These steps assume the use of a FireWire Drive.
Follow either set of the steps below to set the startup disk to use for (re)imaging.
Steps to imaging: selecting the startup disk at boot time

  1. With the power off, connect the external portable FireWire drive to the Macintosh.

  2. Boot the Macintosh and hold down the option key immediately.

  3. If the Open firmware password is set, you will need to enter it in the little text area. Press enter,

  4. You should see the partition(s) of your portable drive on the desktop and the local drive. Click on the partition to boot from – RESTORE BOOT. Click the right arrow.

  5. When the machine boots, you will be starting using the external drive. Boot times are longer. You must login as the admin for this machine (password will be supplied).

Steps to imaging: resetting the startup disk

  1. With the power off, connect the external portable FireWire drive to the Macintosh.

  2. Boot the Macintosh and login as needed. Note that you may need to have administrative privileges to change the startup disk.

  3. You should see the partition(s) of your portable drive on the desktop.

  4. Open the System Preferences, and select Startup Disk.

  5. Locate the bootable partition on the external FireWire drive. Select this and then restart the machine.

  6. When the machine reboots, you should be starting using the external drive. Boot times are longer. You must login as the admin for this machine (password will be supplied).

Step 3: Re-image the machine.

This set of steps will place a new image on the target Macintosh. Note that the existing hard drive is completely overwritten.

Follow these steps to completely re-image the machine:

  1. On the dock of the booted partition, locate and run the application called NetRestore.

  2. There should be a default configuration already selected. If there is, use this, and skip to step 8. If there is no default configuration, go to step 3.

  3. Once the application has started, locate the source image on the external drive. Note that the naming of the source images will vary according to which location you are working in.

  4. Drag this source image to the source box of NetRestore.

  5. Click on the target pop-up menu in NetRestore, and select the local drive.

  6. The defaults in NetRestore should be checked as follows:

    Erase Target Disk is checked on.
    Verify restored Disk is checked on.
    Restart when finished is checked off. (You can, optionally, check this on if it is useful)
    Set target as boot disk is checked on.

  7. Make sure that the Preferencess are set correctly. Under the File menu, select Preferences…and you will see this dialog:

    The Run my post-action shell script should be checked and a name for a script should be in the dialog entry area. (The script name will have been supplied, and usually has the form where LABLOCATION is the name of the lab you are re-imaging in).

  8. You may want to work with the Post-restore actions feature. This allows you to set the Open Firmware password, something that might be useful if you are cloning brand new machines. A cautionary note: be absolutely sure you enter this correctly, as it is not echoed back as you type!

  9. Re-image the target machine by first authenticating as the machine administrator (click the lock and enter the administrator password) and the click the ‘Restore’ button. Typical restores might take between 10 and 15 minutes from an image on the FireWire drive, and as much as 30 minutes from the network. Note: if the restore process happens in an instant – i.e. in .188666 minutes – then there is a serious problem and the target drive is NOT restored!

  10. You are all done. Power off the machine, and when it is powered off, unplug the FireWire drive and the target should boot properly into OS X. If it does not, follow the troubleshooting guide for problem determination.

1 Note that if the machine already has Open firmware secured, you will need to obtain the open firmware password (if there is one!) and make sure that the security mode is set appropriately.

Steps to a new machine: Macintosh OSX August 2003. Page

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