Difference between retail and OEM OS X discs?

Discussion in 'OS X' started by AGSHender, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. macrumors regular

    AGSHender

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    #1
    I'm going to wipe my old MacBook and install 10.5 fresh on it to give to my girlfriend (since I just replaced it with a MacBook Pro), and I was wondering if there's a difference between the OEM disc of OS X that came with my MacBook Pro and the retail copy I could buy at the Apple Store. Can the disc be used on another Mac or is it somehow tied to my original system? I know I've had trouble using OEM copies of Windows on other systems in the past.

    Keep in mind that I'm not committing piracy here--I've already ordered a Mac Box Set family pack, but I'd just like to do the work this weekend and my copy won't arrive until next week.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    Double Parked out front of the Courthouse
    #2
    The retail will work on any recent mac, the OEM is tied to the computer model it came with.
     
  3. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    There is no such thing as an OEM MacOS X disc. What you are talking about is the System Restore disc. It is designed to returned a specific model Macintosh to its as-shipped state. It will restore one specific model Mac and no other. These discs are colored gray.

    A retail MacOS X disc can be used to install the OS on most Macs that shipped with an earlier version of the OS. These discs are dominated by black.

    The takeaway message has two points:
    • If you buy the System Restore disc for a 2009 MacPro with the intent of installing its OS on a 2008 iMac, then you are SOL. You have a new coaster.
    • If you want to use a 2008 version of MacOS 10.5 to reinstall the OS on your 2009 MacBook Pro, then again you are SOL.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    Double Parked out front of the Courthouse
    #4
    Really!?! So my retail version of leopard DVD won't work on any of the newer 09 models? I had no idea, I thought the retail would work on any recent mac. :confused:
     
  5. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    This is surprising. It is well known and has been so stated on this forum many times: You cannot install a version of MacOS X on a computer that shipped with a newer version.
     
  6. macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    Maybe the newer '09 models need something in firmware that's not yet on the retail disk? Code for the newer mobo?
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #7
    Newer OS drivers, not firmware.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #8
    It is not firmware (since that is by definition included in the new hardware) but rather the old OS disks do not have the drivers to drive the newer hardware since they were produced before the disks were produced.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    AGSHender

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    #9
    Thanks for the answers, everyone. Looks like I'll just have to wait until next week when the discs arrive to get my old MacBook up and running with Leopard.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    Double Parked out front of the Courthouse
    #10
    Sorry. :eek:
    :p
     

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