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System Software

The term system software most commonly refers to the basic set of files included with each Macintosh. These files come pre-installed on your hard drive. They are also included on the CD-ROM disc that comes with your Macintosh. Finally, you can purchase system software packages independent of any hardware purchase.

A few system software files are essential for the use of your Macintosh. Without access to them, your Macintosh typically will not even start up. Others are nearly essential, needed for routine operations such as printing. In most cases, these and related files are contained in a special folder called the System Folder. A disk that contains such a folder is called a startup disk (a topic discussed more in Chapter 5).


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