How will Lion USB Thumb Drive work with newer hardware?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Avenger, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Avenger macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I guess this question even applies to the older Snow Leopard install disks with 10.6 as well as the Lion USB Thumb Drive which will have version 10.7 software on them. When Apple releases newer hardware, and I think this applies to the newer Macbook Airs that just came out, the OS is usually updated with certain drivers, etc. If I use the original install USB with basically 10.7.0 software on it, when the OS is installed will it work on hardware that came out after the initial OS was shipped? In the past when you buy a new Mac, it came with a restore disk updated with the correct drivers and then those changes would go into the next point release of the OS. Is the Lion USB Thumb drive basically only good for older hardware? I'm thinking that if you buy Mac App Store version, the latest point release will be installed when you install in recovery mode as new versions are introduced.
     
  2. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

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    #2
    You'll install the latest OS X minor update ("x" in 10.7.x) and become one happy camper.
     
  3. Avenger thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    But will the 10.7 version of Lion allow the computer to boot so that you can then apply the software updates? I was under the impression that in the past, if you had the original install disk for the OS Like Snow Leopard (10.6) but your new Mac needed an updated version like say 10.6.3, that you couldn't use that install disk on that computer. The computer wouldn't boot with it. That's why there would be restore disks included with 10.6.3 burned on them when you bought the Mac.
     
  4. saulinpa macrumors 6502

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    #4
    You've got a point. The App Store version of Lion won't boot on my 2011 mini. Maybe Apple will allow you to patch the USB stick?
     
  5. njaremka macrumors 6502

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    #5
    typically, the retail versions dont have the limitations that you are worried about. the problem comes when you are trying to use the grey 'oem' discs.
     
  6. fs454 macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I'm pretty sure the installer, if the computer can be/is connected to the internet, detects the hardware you have and will install updated kexts/a whole point upgrade if available based upon what's needed.

    If you watch the logs as the current MAS installer works, it contacts an Apple server and downloads extra packages deemed necessary before it reboots.
     
  7. rossip macrumors regular

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    #7
    You should not use the USB stick on systems that come with lion preinstalled. To wrap apples OS install philosophy up in a nut shell, always use the media that came with your system when reinstalling the OS version that came preinstalled on your system.

    In the case of new macs preinstalled with lion, this means using "Lion Internet Recovery" since they come with no disc media. The retail build of Lion (USB Stick, Mac App Store version) should only be used on systems that came with snow leopard or older preinstalled from the factory.

    Apple does not intend for, design or test the retail releases of their OS's to work on systems that came with that given OS preinstalled. The version of lion that ships on the new mac mini and macbook air's is different from the retail build due to hardware differences. Installing the lion's retail version might "work" (the system might boot) but it's never intended to work and most certainly will have issues (kernel panics, poor performance, freezing).

    One caveat are the macs that have been updated mid release cycle, that originally came with Snow Leopard (the Macbook, Macbook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro available for sale today). These systems don't come with install media and do not feature Lion Internet Recovery. If I bought one of these systems today, I'd buy a 2GB thumb drive for like $6 along with it and after finishing the initial setup, the first thing i'd do before anything else is run the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant (http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1433) on the thumb drive, so I have something when I want to reinstall the OS in the future or upgrade the hard drive. Without it, your SOL if you want to upgrade your hard drive on one of these mac models.
     
  8. hwojtek, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011

    hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

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    #8
    Apples' selling physical copies of the OS X install discs (or USB sticks) says the contrary. Also, this system has been known for long years for it's ability to be portable between computers and millions of users have successfully used CCC or SuperDuper in order to move the existing installations between disks or machines. I've personally moved (both by removing the disk physically and putting into a new machine or by cloning) my main system from Jaguar all the way to Lion, using the migration assistant app only once - when I switched from PPC to Intel. That's because this system is not Windows, tied up to a single hardware configuration, but it works out of the box on all computers capable of running it - if not in regular, then in safe mode. Edit: just in case, a couple of minutes ago I've duped my Lion running on a Mac Pro 1,1 and had no problems whatsoever with booting it on a MBP 7,1.
    I am pretty sure a 2011 Mini does boot safely with a vanilla Lion. OS X is smart enough to load only the basic .kexts in such case. I am quite often moving an external HDD with OS X 7 between a number of computers and haven't yet found one that doesn't boot to my emergency system.
     
  9. farmermac macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    My original snow leopard disc (10.6) works on newer hardware but lots of functions don't work right until you update to the latest point release. Sleep, keyboard buttons for brightness, etc
     
  10. rossip macrumors regular

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    #10
    I disagree completely. The reason apple sells retail copies of there OS is to allow users with a previous version to upgrade, plain and simple. They don't sell retail versions so users can install them on systems that already came with the OS, and they don't intend for users to do that. A great example of this is when Intel macs first came out. The OS then was Tiger 10.4.4. It was impossible to install a retail version of tiger on these machines because apple only made the retail version PPC for upgrading macs running previous OSs. The retail build was actually updated to 10.4.6 later in production and following your logic should have been compatible with intel macs if thats apples' reasoning for releasing retail versions of the OS. But it wasn't because the retail version is only meant for that fixed set of models that met the minimum requirements but don't come with the OS preinstalled.

    And the thing you said about Windows makes no sense whatsoever. In windows, drivers are independent from OS updates (service packs). Because of this, windows can easily be migrated from different hardware configurations. Since drivers are handled by third parties, Windows is designed to look for driver conflicts and has a whole system in place for updating drivers. This is why windows isn't tied to a single hardware configuration at all.


    And the reason OS X lion retail boots a new mac mini isn't because the os is smart; it just happens that the drivers can still boot the hardware. The retail OS releases are not designed to run on future hardware, and the fact that they might is and has always been luck. Just because you have been doing this since Jaguar doesn't mean it's a best practice.

    Everything I said in my original post still holds true.
     
  11. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

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    #11
    To put it plain and simple, you say installing a vanilla OS X SL on a machine that came with SL preloaded and updating this installation to OS X 6.8 does not create a machine functionally equal to factory fresh OS X 6.whatever-came-preinstalled. I beg to differ.

    You're right, but since Tiger was a release bridging PPC and Intel hardware in an advent of Leopard supporting both platforms, I don't think the regular rules apply.

    No and no. First example which comes to my mind is Win2k SP5 with its own ATI video drivers - that didn't warn users of need to totally remove dedicated ATI Catalyst drivers before applying the SP. This led to total lockup of the system on boot.
    The other thing - no, existing installations of Windows are not easily migrated between various hardware configurations. You cannot remove the physical HDD from a machine running Intel chipset and Nvidia graphics and put it into a PC with Nvidia chipset and AMD/ATI graphics and expect it to start up the system with all hardware acceleration active, all network interfaces up and running etc. In some cases it won't even boot since the storage drivers fail to load. More often you start up with stuttering 1024x768 video. This is by far inferior to existing installations of OS X.

    Apart from backwards compatibility which is very well implemented in various unix-like systems, I've been mentioning the "Safe boot" - which indeed loads a basic set of drivers that are guaranteed to boot a system and allow it to connect to network (in order to get the latest minor upgrade, install it and enjoy a fully working computer).
     
  12. Lokheed, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011

    Lokheed macrumors regular

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    #12
    Retail copies are different than the one's that come with your Mac. It would make absolutely no sense restricting retail copies (business or generally speaking) unless you want to destroy the Apple experience and upset your userbase.

    The Lion USB drive should work on any Mac capable of running Lion. It is not another recovery volume, but actually contains the OS in its entirety. The recovery volume (that can be made with the recovery utility) only contains core software and still requires that the Lion OS be downloaded from Apple. If the only way to re-install Lion on new machines that come with it pre-installed requires an internet connection (and even shelling out $69.99 won't help you), I'd say Apple has seriously made an error.

    Yes, the game has changed with MAS and Lion being released online, but they've still got to allow for installs (or re-installs) without the net.
     
  13. rossip macrumors regular

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    #13
    Look hwojtek, I was pretty clear in both my posts. You can pull quotes out of them all you want, the point I’m trying to make is no less true.

    Saulinpa has confirmed my point:

    Like I’ve said for like the third time, retail versions are not meant to be used with Macs that come preinstalled with the OS. With lion, nothing has changed. The fact that it doesn’t boot is evidence in and of itself that apple doesn’t intend for you to do that.


    I can all but guarantee you can’t patch the USB stick, at least not officially; I’d imagine it’s write protected. And the stick contains 10.7.0, so I have little reason to believe it would act any differently then the app store version.

    I hope this helps Avenger
     
  14. Darien Red Sox macrumors regular

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    #14
    If when new Macs come out though and they required part of the operating system to run on those Macs is in 10.7.X the USB drive will no longer work. The walk around of course is to build a image on another Mac and keep it up to date. In the worst case they will release a new Mac before the software update with the modifications on the OEM disk, in this case another copy or image will not work until Apple releases the 10.7.X update.

    Apples system makes it a lot more easy to deploy a new image then the windows system which requires an image for each type of system or a universal one which takes forever to boot up.
     
  15. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

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    #15
    Please, for God's sake, do not believe that if you keep repeating something it will be true. Buying a retail copy of OS has been even a long time answer of Apple Support regarding what to do with hardware that didn't come wit install discs (like 2nd hand, pre-owned etc). They always said: go to Apple Store, buy your OS.
    Well, checked it today in an Apple Store. It boots.
     
  16. itickings macrumors 6502a

    itickings

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    #16
    That doesn't sound familiar at all. But hey, if you keep repeating it it might become true ;)

    Already pointed out several times (the repetition you noted): A retail copy is only guaranteed to work for machines released prior to the version of the retail copy. There are no special measures taken to prevent a retail copy from working with newer hardware, but in practice it won't most times due to missing drivers and other new stuff. Face it, the retail copy is not intended for machines delivered with that OS, it is intended for machines delivered with earlier versions. The repetition doesn't make that less true.

    As for pre-owned systems and such, it is likely that a new version of the OS had been released in the meantime, making the current retail version usable and recommended. And replacement original restore discs can be ordered for a nominal fee.
     

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