Can I reinstall OS X from a stolen computer?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RedTomato, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Recently, some low-life tealeaf broke into our office (through the fire escape door) and stole a new iBook.

    My girlfriend who was alone in the office had just stepped out for 5 minutes to go to the toilet when it happened.

    I don't know whether to feel sorry for the thief who apparently was too cowardly to face a 4'10'' woman or be relieved that she was safe.

    Overall, I'm glad she was unhurt, and security and backup procedures have been tightened up.

    Anyway, to the point - we now have a new replacement ibook, and a spare set of OS X 10.4 DVDs lying around (from the stolen laptop)

    Is it legal to install this OS X 10.4 onto an old Powermac (formerly running 10.3)?

    I feel it is, as we paid in full (with charity /edu discount) for both laptops, and the theft has been reported to the police etc.

    My interpretion is that as well as paying for the hardware, we paid for a licence to use the software on a single Apple machine, irrespective of whether it was the original laptop or a different Apple computer.

    This is in the UK so UK law applies.

    Would be nice to have your opinions thanks.
  2. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    If you are talking about the version of OS X that came with the original iBook, I think you will find that it will only install on iBooks.
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The OSX install DVDs that come with a new Mac only have the drivers etc for the machine it came with, they won't work on any other Mac. You'll either need another iBook or a retail copy of 10.4
  4. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    When you bought the iBook, you effectively bought an OEM license of OSX to go with it., meaning the license is tied to that machine If the PowerMac originally came with the same version of OSX as the iBook, it too has a license of that version, and you can legally install it. Otherwise, the PowerMac is not licensed and you need to buy a copy of OSX to put on it.

    As the previous posters have already mentioned, the OSX disks supplied with Apple computers are tied to the type of hardware they are supplied with. This has been the case since Panther, so (for other people reading this) unless the OSX disk you have is for Jaguar or lower, it won't install anyway.
  5. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I tried it, and it worked fine.

    I think cos the Powermac was being upgraded from 10.3 to 10.4. I seem to recall trying it on a blank HD and it complained about not finding an OS.

    Jumping the gun a bit :D but didn't want to waste your time if it didn't work.
  6. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Hmm difficult law and ethical question.

    In one way, the machine no longer 'exists' in the legal universe anymore therefore that OS X DVD can be used on on another machine.

    In another, the insurance company would have repudiated you to the original price, rendering in my eyes that copy of OS X also non-existant.

    In all, you can install it, that's up to you - no one is going to say anything. Really though, you should buy another copy. But, meh. Buy something else from Apple instead :p
  7. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    SpaceMagic, no it wasn't insured (!)

    We sent off the cheque to the office insurance company a few days before ( or something) so the insurance period had not yet formally started.

    Thats why we bit the bullet and brought a new iBook out of our reserves. IIRC the new iBook didnt even have the charity discount as we were in a hurry to get it from the Apple shop. (our diminutive boss needed it pretty quickly for an ongoing project.)
  8. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Just curious, is there such a thing as insurance cover for a single laptop computer?

    Anyway RedTomato, couldn't resist since it feels somewhat like a reading comprehension test back in the day, but is your boss also your girl friend? :rolleyes:
  9. joecool85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 9, 2005
    Since when? I used the 10.4 discs from my powermac to put 10.4 on my older G4 powerbook and its fine.
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Let's take it a step farther.

    You also have the install discs/DVDs for a variety of software packages such as MSFT Office, Final Cut Studio, Studio 8, etc. All software was installed on the stolen computer.

    Can you use them on another computer?
  11. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    Yep, since the licenses for those products are yours and are non-transferable if you read the installation license agreement. You can install them on any one computer that you own. In contrast, the OSX license isn't yours, it's the Mac's.

    So the thief is now using unlicensed copies of Office etc., although something tells me he/she won't be bothered too much about it. :rolleyes: You are free to re-install your software onto another computer.
  12. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I think it does exist, but this insurance was for the whole company as we also have 4 other Apple laptops in the office, and needed cover for field projects too.

    And we have a lovely daughter together too :)

    I first met her when she was setting up the company (a deaf theatre group) 4 years ago, then it converted to a charity last year.

    She banned me from working for her for 3 years - "piss off and make a name for yourself first, then we'll see", which I duly did, finally being hired on contract a few months ago after independent approval by the board of trustees.

    Mmm nothing beats discussing IT matters at 1am while in bed with your boss :D
  13. TangoCharlie macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Horsham, West Sussex

    If your Mac was replaced by a claim to an Insurance company (more toe-rags if you ask me!), then in theory the copy of MacOS X which came with your stolen Mac actually belongs to the insurance company.

    My opinion is that you're safe to use it. However, as someone else has entioned, becuase it's not a retail version, it may not actually install onto an older Mac anyway.

    Anyway, I'm glad your girlfriend was OK, that's the important thing.
  14. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Well, in my example, I'm not planning to install MSFT Office or Studio on the old PowerMac, just OS 10.4.

    Our office copy of Office is a 6 licence job so we just reinstalled the licence from the stolen computer onto the new laptop.

    With reference to your example, I think so yes, as the stolen computer can be 'presumed destroyed', and you still own the license to install a single copy on to a single computer that belongs to you. (tho many licenses also allow installation onto both a laptop and desktop at the same time)

    It is worth noting that in the UK, to claim on insurance, there is a general requirement for a formal police report, which means the cops coming, investigating, taking fingerprints , giving you a crime reference number etc.

    It's a big hassle, and often people dont bother to report if it's not absolutely needed - also helps to cut down on people pretending things have been stolen.

    If you are able to provide this police report / crime reference number then I think many software companies would allow reinstallation onto the replacement machine. (But don't quote me.)
  15. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    Of course there is! (or at least in South Africa) My MB is insured against accidental breakage, theft and acts of God, for about $20 a month:)
  16. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC

    Huh? Is the EULA different for the system software that comes preinstalled from the system software one buys at retail?

    Now, I understand why Apple makes computer-specific install disks to package with the computer. But does that change the terms of the EULA?

    And, the owner of the stolen powerbook is illegally using the software without a license, presumably, since it wasn't lawfully transferred to him.

    Here's the EULA:
    seems to group pre-installed and disk-based versions together.
  17. Planner Dude macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006

    In the US, State Farm Insurance will insure a laptop for $1000 for $30 / year against theft, and non-intenional damage. No deductable
  18. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004

    actually, I looked and the EULA does not say that....if you can find where it does, please post it....definitely you're limited to installing it on one computer at a time, but nowhere does it say that has to be the computer that it shipped the section that covers "transfer", there are some statements that might be taken to mean that you would have to include the original computer in the transfer, but nothing in the section under "Permitted License Uses and Restrictions" seems to imply that you are not permitted to install the software on a different machine as loong as you follow the license requirements....not that I could find anyway

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