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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
What's mine is mine - Using Lion on multiple computers

I have a 2010 iMac running 10.6.8, and an 18 month old Macbook Air that came with 10.7 Lion.

I was ready to try Lion on my iMac (despite problems it may create with my pro software) but I was unable to access it in the app store, only 10.8 Mountain Lion (which I'm sure will prevent all working due to program incompatibilities). My local Apple store told me there should be a USB in the Air box with the OS on it; apparently my Air was just before the very narrow window when Apple was including USB drives, before they decided that only a computer bought with an OS could be used with that OS. They went on to create the recovery assistant, which just further limits the use of an OS someone owns. (I tried to install 10.7 on my iMac using the recovery assistant, but it refused.) There is a strong chance Lion won't be compatible with many programs I use, and if I were to buy a second license from the app store, I'm absolutely certain I wouldn't be allowed to return it.

Buy once and use on all your computers? Biggest scam ever, because no matter what, you must specifically pay for an update once - buying a computer with the new OS doesn't count.

So how can I pull Lion off of my Air to test it with my iMac, without buying what I already own and potentially adding the additional aggravation of trying to return software due to massive program incompatibilities?

Last edited by dswallace; Dec 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:31 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Before Apple moved to supplying the OS through the app store, you got a disk with each computer. That disk had an installer of the OS, but the contents of that disk were specific to the model of the Mac. Only the drivers that worked with the hardware in that particular Mac were supplied. So it would only work on that model of Mac.

The "Retail" OS X disk contained ALL the drivers and software required for the OS to run on ANY Mac.

The situation basically remains the same. You have a licence to install OS X 10.7 on the Air. You have a licence to install 10.6 on the iMac. If you want to upgrade your iMac, then you have to buy an upgrade licence.
Those are the rules that Apple sets out, whether we like it or not, or feel that we should be able to do differently. It's hardly a scam -- particularly at $20 or whatever it is.

If you are worried about compatibility with your apps, you can install the new OS on an external drive and test your system. Most apps' website will also describe whether the software works on 10.7 or 10.8, or whether an upgrade is required. To be honest, most software that runs on 10.7 should work fine on 10.8. (and indeed from 10.6, except for anything that used Rosetta.)

As you say, Apple has removed Lion from the App Store. So your options are:
1. Stay as you are for stability and compatibility;
2. Upgrade to Mountain Lion for $10 per Mac.

Last edited by benwiggy; Dec 17, 2012 at 05:42 AM.
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