Installing Mac OS X on an OS-less computer?

Status
Not open for further replies.

onlythecat

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2006
19
0
Hi! I have known for a while now that I want to switch to a mac. (Can't stand my current PC :)) One of the downsides is that you have about 7 options to get a mac as apposed to hundreds if you want to get a PC. I was wondering if it is possible to install Mac OS X on a computer purchased with no OS pre-installed? If so, are there any requierments the computer must meet? (I mean what are the reqs.)
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,280
3,368
Los Angeles
Although you can reinstall, upgrade, downgrade, or erase Mac OS X on a given computer, Mac OS X is sold only for use on Apple computers and every Apple computer comes with Mac OS X, so there is no way under the Mac OS X license to install it on a computer that didn't come with Mac OS X and a license to use it. Mac OS X is part of the hardware purchase price and they aren't sold separately as new products. Mac OS X is sold only bundled with a Macintosh computer or as an upgrade to an earlier version of Mac OS X.
 

Benjamindaines

macrumors 68030
Mar 24, 2005
2,837
1
A religiously oppressed state
Seeing how the previous posters are just accusing you of trying to do illegal things I will actually help. To install Mac OS X on a computer without an OS installed you just put the disc in the drive and boot up holding down the C key. Then you will see the install screen and it's easy and straight forward from there.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/techspecs/ said:
Requirements

* Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G3, G4 or G5 processor
* Built-in FireWire
* DVD drive for installation
* 256MB of RAM
* 3GB of available hard disk space (4GB if you install the developer tools)
That's what Apple lists on their website so as long as the computer you are buying as a firewire port you are good to go.


To the posters before me: The OP could be buying a Mac off eBay for a good deal that doesn't have OS X installed.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,228
106
It is possible though.

I was reading something about some IBM Thinkpad users installing OSX on their computers.

I can't remember where and when I saw it though.

Either way I don't think it would be a good idea.

Edit: url removed - That was bugging me.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,015
119
Phoenix, AZ
It's possible...

It's POSSIBLE to install the Intel build of Mac OS X on non-Apple computers, but it's a pain the ass. Every update breaks it, it's unstable and half the drivers don't work.

It's great for a hobby type thing, but a waste of your time to install OS X on your non-apple, primary machine.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,228
106
Just to add to appleretailguy posts - reading some of the posting on the ThinkPad forum it sounded like some of them were having one hell of a job to get it work!
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,961
364
onlythecat said:
Hi! I have known for a while now that I want to switch to a mac. (Can't stand my current PC :)) One of the downsides is that you have about 7 options to get a mac as apposed to hundreds if you want to get a PC. I was wondering if it is possible to install Mac OS X on a computer purchased with no OS pre-installed? If so, are there any requierments the computer must meet? (I mean what are the reqs.)
For you to install Mac OSX your computer must:

1. Be a Mac, OSX can only be legally installed on Apple-branded hardware.
2. Have built-in Firewire, any Mac prior to this will not run Tiger without some hacking about.
3. Be a PowerPC Mac - all boxed retail copies of OSX (client, not server) are PPC-only because Intel Macs already come with Tiger restore discs. Leopard will be Apple's first fully-Universal Operating System, currently 10.4 uses different builds for PPC and Intel machines, Leopard will be totally Universal.

So there's no possible way to legally install and run OSX on a generic computer. If you have purchased a recent enough PPC Mac then you can toddle on down to the store and buy a retail copy of OSX, boot from the disc, use disc utility to format the disc and install. If you have purchased an Intel Mac from eBay or wherever that did not come with an OS you need to contact the seller and demand the restore discs.
 

onlythecat

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2006
19
0
Well, that answers my question. I guess the answer is "no". Oh well. Configuring every bit of your computer is pretty appealing. At least to me.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,280
3,368
Los Angeles
If you do get a Mac on which you want to install or upgrade Mac OS X, start a new thread here with the specifics (which type of Mac and which Mac OS X version) and we can provide details on the procedure, if you need it.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.