A friend of mine deleted some system files while he was logged into his Mac OS X box as root. He didn’t have backup copies, and he did not want to reinstall the whole system. Off we went to Apple Support and did a quick search. I did not hold my breath for an easy solution, but we were lucky this time. Fortunately for my friend, the files he removed were a part of the April 2002 Security Update and they have not been changed by other Security Updates since then. Within seconds the April 2002 Security Update package was on the Desktop. Here’s what we did next:
- Double-click on the
.dmg.binfile and we had it unpacked on the Desktop.
- Another double-click and the
.imgfile was mounted on the Desktop.
- Next, we opened a new Terminal window and did:
cd /Volumes/Security Update April 2002/SecurityUpdateApr2002.pkg/Contents/Resources/
- Next, we had to unpack the archive with:
sudo pax -rvzf SecurityUpdateApr2002.pax.gz
- Now it was only a matter of copying missing files from the newly created directories to the directory where my friend had some fun with
I’m sure that Apple would not encourage you to play with Security Updates in that way, but it was an emergency. Do not count on such hacks to save you every time, but if you’re stuck, some Unix trickery can help. Now, go and do those backups you’ve been planning to do since last summer!
Have you ever used Security Updates in non-standard ways? Share you experience with others…