Preserve my MacBook System for use on a PC

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by prostaff, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. prostaff macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011

    I bought a used 17 inch MacBook loaded with several thousands of dollars worth of software and running OS X 10.5.8. For reasons footnoted, it is already showing its age* and according to Murphy's Law, it will soon die on me. . . So, to cheat fate, I am hoping to put the entire system onto an external hard drive so that I can run the software from a PC running OS X. (I have to buy a PC for other reasons, and I don't want to duplicate the expense for another Mac.)

    I understand that VMWare has the software program that allows OS X to run on a PC. But I am unsure of exactly how to best "mirror" (is that the right term?) the system to a hard drive so that the software will best work on the PC indefinitely.

    (If possible, I would like to be able to upgrade the OS over time without losing access to these great Mac software programs).

    Thanks in advance for all thoughts on best approaching this. I have never mirrors a drive before and am a little unclear on how the duplicate copy can be used on another system.



    *The battery swelled, I replaced, but it stopped working off the battery. Now I have to keep it plugged in. These are issues I see on the boards that happen to old systems. I suppose the drive will eventually fail.
  2. ahdickter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    When you mean "PC" do you mean a system that would normally run windows, or a Mac Pro/iMac? I don't know if its possible to run OS X on a normal PC (except Hackintosh) because there are hardware requirements. Otherwise a whole lot more people would be testing out Lion ;)

    If I were in your position, I would purchase a Mac mini or a MacBook Pro, as those will last you quite awhile.

    In terms of the software you have installed. The answer is: maybe. Depending on what software has been updated to run on more recent versions of OS X. What specific programs were you looking at keeping?
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    You can't run your Mac system from a non-Mac system without serious tweaking.

    I would advise just reinstalling via the hackintosh method that's what you're considering doing... and that is reinstalling everything. And finally I'll assume all that software is licensed... you can reinstall those too.
  4. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    To mirror your HDD:
    1) Go to Disk Utility
    2) Click on your HDD
    3) Click on the "Restore" tab
    4) It should already have filled the "Destination" box with your HDD. Select an external disk and click "Restore." This will make a mirror image of your current HDD onto the external drive.

    To boot off of OS X from a Windows PC:
    In short: It can't be done. Technically it can, but for all intents and purposes it's impossible. Google "Hackintosh." You'd be better off buying a cheap Mac Mini or something - OS X doesn't need identical hardware to boot, just the same architecture (Intel Core 2 Duo HDDs will boot to Core i7 hardware, but G5 HDDs will not boot to Core 2 Duo).
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Unless your hard drive or other components are exhibiting symptoms that indicate failure, why would you expect your MBP to fail now? I have a G4 cube that is still going strong and thats from 2010

    That's called a hackintosh and in order to do that, you PC must have certain compatible components. Then you need to install a "hacked" version of OSX. By hacked you need some specific kexts and a bootloader. PCs use Bios and Macs use EFI so you need a bootloader to allow this to work. You cannot clone your Mac drive and get it working on a pc. You'll need to install OSX and your apps.

    VMware is in a similar predicament, but its also the added complication that the software will not allow you to run OSX as its against apple's EULA to use the OS in a virtualized environment. Its possible to do, but again you'll need to hack VMware to allow it.

    I'm reading between the lines, but it sounds like when you purchased your used MBP, you did not get the install disks for your software, i.e., using pirated versions of the applications and you're looking to preserve this in the event of needing a new computer
  6. prostaff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Supplemental info

    Folks - Thanks for all the prompt replies. Yes its a MacBookPro - the feloow was getting rid of it for the new model and gave me a good deal by leaving all software installed. He must have been a prof. webdesigner b/c it includes Dreamweaver, ALL of Adobe's various programs and all Office programs. Of course he kept the CDs. So I've used the iWeb program to create a website and am learning flash and etc. - its fun and the website has grown further than i thought it would.

    So I need to make a "mirror" on the external and eventually get a new Mac. Ok, I can live with that.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Just do a time machine backup, you'll be able to import all your apps and preferences using migration assistant when you do buy a new mac.

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