This page is a wiki. Please login or create an account to begin editing.

System Picker

Game screenshot
Your rating: None Average: 4 (8 votes)
Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
system_picker.sit (24.88 KB)
MD5: e611da3fc5f6ceb46a889959f5fcefed
For System 6.x - Mac OS 8 - 8.1
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
System-Picker-11a3.sit (16.99 KB)
MD5: bc892fced392cf4d952a7e5f15b70604
For System 6.x - Mac OS 8 - 8.1

System Picker allows you to choose which System Folder to boot from, if you have 2 or more System Folders on the Macintosh startup disk.

    System Picker is a freeware utility that lets you pick which one of two or more System Folders on your hard drive will be active at the next startup. Kevin Aitken's little utility does this by "blessing" the system you select. (Blessing is Apple's name for selecting one System Folder as the active one.)

    The trick you must master before using System Picker is installing two or more copies of the Mac OS on your hard drive. The first and most important thing to realize is that your System Folder doesn't have to be named "System Folder" - you could call one "System 6" and the other "Mac OS 7."

    The second important thing to realize is that the Mac prefers to update an existing System Folder, so it will overwrite your other System if you're not careful. One way to work around this is to instruct the installer to perform a clean install, which renames the old folder Previous System Folder. This option is not readily accessible on older versions of the System, but if I recall correctly, you can access this option by holding down the option key while launching the installer.

    Other ways to protect your old OS from the new installer are (1) to copy it to another drive or even a floppy disk, (2) rename the System Folder and compress it using StuffIt, and (3) rename the old System Folder and disable it by moving the System or Finder out of the old System Folder.

    I have used System Picker successfully to choose among System 6.0.8, 7.5.5, and 7.0.x or 7.1 on my Mac II a few years back. Although it having multiple systems on a single hard drive is not recommended by Apple and can sometimes confuse the computer, I have never had any problems when using System Picker.

    - excerpt taken from Dan Knight's Low End Mac article, The Old Grey Mac

Architecture: 68k


MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2018, May 10 - 1:12am

Phooey... Doesn't work on my Quadra 605 w/System 7.1 & System 8.1.

I've added a newer version I found (2nd DL). It's from 1997, so it may (or may not) be useable on your system's 7.1 to 8.1

GuyWithGuitars's picture
by GuyWithGuitars - 2018, May 9 - 3:18am

Phooey... Doesn't work on my Quadra 605 w/System 7.1 & System 8.1. It searches for system folders, finds them, lets me choose a system folder but the Restart button is unresponsive. Using Finder to restart starts w/the wrong OS.

BadGoldEagle's picture
by BadGoldEagle - 2016, August 21 - 10:41am

This thing even works all the way down to System 4.1.
Great ! Thanks Dave for uploading it!

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2015, March 8 - 11:40pm

@T-1000: A very late response sorry. The System Picker is only useful in this situation as you have surmised - the System Folders should be located on the same volume.

With SSW 7.1.1 you would use the "Startup Disk" Control Panel instead, for blessing volume partitions. The "Startup Disk" CP is installed by default with both of the OS's you mention.

T-1000's picture
by T-1000 - 2011, November 19 - 2:32pm

Doesn't work for me unfortunately. Just re-installed my Centris 650 and wanted to have one partition with Mac OS 7.1.1 and one with Mac OS 8.1. However, in Mac OS 7.1.1 I'm not able to change what partition it boots from. Thought this would help me.

Perhaps the System folders have to be on the same volume for this application to work.
It doesn't really matter as I will mostly be using Mac OS 8.1. If I want to change boot volume I just have to boot from a Mac OS 8.1 install CD and choose the Mac OS 8.1-partition from there.

Edit: Changed 'xxx 7' to 'Mac OS 7' - IIGS User

IIGS_User's picture
by IIGS_User - 2011, March 14 - 7:45pm

As for supported Mac OS versions, I'm using System Picker to switch between 7.1 and 8.1 without any trouble.

In fact, this are great news. So we now know this runs fine up to 8.1 (at least).

Protocol 7's picture
by Protocol 7 - 2011, March 14 - 2:45am

As for supported Mac OS versions, I'm using System Picker to switch between 7.1 and 8.1 without any trouble.

IIGS_User's picture
by IIGS_User - 2010, September 29 - 5:24pm

Please check the architecture of this application with the help of NativeChecker, NativeChecker reported, this application includes 68k code only.

Also, as the readme tells about System 6 and 7, I would recommend only to use System Picker with the Mac OS System versions mentioned.


Dave_89's picture
by Dave_89 - 2010, March 17 - 11:06am

Sorry about the broken download link, I'm not exactly sure how to fix it, but I have the file hosted on my Dropbox account @