Mini-Tutorial: Re-installing Apple applications from a Mac OS X disc/update package using Pacifist

Mini-Tutorial: Re-installing Apple applications from a Mac OS X disc/update package using Pacifist

For various reasons, applications originally installed by the Mac OS X Installer disc (DVD or CD) -- Mail.app, Activity Viewer, etc. -- can become unusable. This can occur due to user deletion, corruption of drive sectors, and other problems. Unfortunately, some of these applications are not available as standalone downloads.

However, virtually all of these applications can be restored with the use of a shareware utility called Pacifist, which will extract the application file(s) in question from the various .pkg containers on the Mac OS X installer disc and put them back in the proper location on your current Mac OS X startup volume.

The process is as follows:

  1. Download and install Pacifist, a US $20 shareware utility
  2. Insert your Mac OS X Installation CD or DVD
  3. Launch Pacifist
  4. Click the button "Open Mac OS X Install packages" (this option will be grayed out and inaccessible if no Mac OS X disc is present)
  5. Simply select the desired, currently missing or unusable application and click "Install"

In some cases, a newer version of the desired application than the one your Mac OS X installation disc may be available in a Mac OS X incremental updater package.

In this situation, use the following process

  1. Download the desired Mac OS X incremental installer .pkg from Apple's Software Download page (usually the latest release for your version of Mac OS X -- 10.3.9 for Mac OS X 10.3.x, 10.4.1 for Mac OS X 10.4.x, etc.) and mount its disk image (.dmg) by double-clicking
  2. Launch Pacifist
  3. Click the "Open Package" button and select the incremental updater package (e.g. MacOSXUpdate10.4.1.pkg)
  4. You will be shown a list of the package's (.pkg) contents. Select the desired application and click the "Install" button. Note that some of the listed applications may not complete -- they only include updates to specific components or plug-ins, not the entire application itself. In these cases you will have to use an older incremental update package from the Apple software download page, or the full Mac OS X install CD as mentioned above.

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Resources
  • Pacifist
  • Apple's Software Download page
  • subscribing to MacFixIt Pr...
  • More from Tutorials
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