Use OSX MBP install dvd on a MB ?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by quincymc, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. quincymc macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2007
    Hello all,

    My girlfriends laptop died with an invalid node structure that Disk Warrior couldn't fix reporting the HD had died. Ho hum. However I was lucky enough to get all the data off through a few terminal commands.

    However we no longer have the install discs for her MB but I do have my DVDs for my MBP..

    So my question is - is there any way I can use my install DVDs for MBP on her MB?

    Thanks in advance..

  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    The grey OS X installer DVDs are machine specific. Don't ever lose them.
  3. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Should work, give it a shot. Worst that can happen is the installer will tell you they're incompatible. :)
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    In most cases it'll install but it'll kernel panic.
  5. MacHipster macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2007
    Call Apple and get replacement discs. About $30 or so.:)
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    There's always drive cloning and imaging from the MacBook Pro.

    Mileage may vary, etc.
  7. quincymc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2007
    I assume that when OS X install DVD runs the kernel is compiled against the specific machine, ie an cloned image from a MBP would immediately kernel panic if run on a MB ?

    I looked into it further and found this:

    Mount the image, make it r/w.
    Delete /System/Installation/Packages/BaseSystem.pkg/Contents/Resources/InstallationCheck

    Open OSInstall.dist with Texteditor.
    It is in /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.pkg/Contents/OSInstall.dist


    And im trying it out now, Ill let you know how I get on..
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    It only matters when using different installer discs or when using a version of OS X that is earlier then what originally shipped with the Mac.

    I used a Mac mini to make my Intel OS X image. I works on any machine that didn't ship with 10.4.10.

    Sadly the iMac Aluminum and MacBook Pro Santa Rosa use special drivers so it works on any Intel Mac except those two models.
  9. John Sawyer macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2005
    Berkeley, CA
    Some ideas

    You could buy the OS 10.5 installer and use that. The 10.5 installer is a universal OS X installer, which installs on all PPC and Intel Macs that were released prior to the OS 10.5 release (though only on G4s and later, running at 867 MHz and faster, if that can be considered "universal").

    I've had success creating a universally bootable OS 10.4.11 Intel utility Firewire drive, by installing OS 10.4.6 onto said Firewire drive while it was connected to a MacBook Pro (to make sure it installed MacBook and MacBook Pro-specific items, which I wasn't sure a desktop version of the 10.4.x installer would install), using that MacBook Pro's original installation discs, and then updating it to OS 10.4.11, using Apple's Combo updater. It now boots any Intel Mac. You can do the same with your MacBook Pro and its install discs--connect your girlfriend's MacBook to your MacBook Pro in target mode, boot from your MacBook Pro's installer disc, and have it install OS X onto the MacBook's drive. The installed system is downward compatible--no kernel panics--even though the install discs aren't (in other words, they won't install when they're booted on an earlier model--the Installer will present you with the message "This software cannot be installed on this computer" when you try it).
  10. John Sawyer macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2005
    Berkeley, CA
    What really works

    I just tried quincymc's suggestion of deleting the file at:


    …and removing:


    …from the file OSInstall.dist, and it doesn't work--the installer still reports "This software cannot be installed on this computer". I wish he'd reported back here that it didn't work for him either, before I wasted several dual-layer DVDs trying that and variations on the idea, including changing "true" to "false" instead of deleting the entire "eraseOptionAvailable" section, but that didn't work either.

    I was hoping that just removing the InstallationCheck file would do the trick, so I also burned a DVD with just that file deleted, and without making the change to the "eraseOptionAvailable" variable, but it didn't work--I had a feeling it wouldn't, since that wouldn't do anything to the model-checking code inside OSInstall.dist file (I don’t know why there are two files involved in model checking).

    I did some Googling to try to find the inspiration for quincymc's suggestion, but found nothing except links pointing to this forum thread, and a few pages in languages other than English, which Google translation didn't translate in a way anybody could understand.

    What does work, is posted at:

    Here, the author describes how to add a Mac's machineID to the list of supported Macs--no removing InstallationCheck, and no removing "eraseOptionAvailable='true'". Adding a Mac's machineID to the OS X installer's list of supported Macs is the right way to do it (in fact, the only way for later versions of the OS X installer for later Macs like Intel Macs--earlier OS installers just require you to REMOVE the target Mac's machineID from OSInstall.dist's list of "bad" machines), since then you can make an install disc that will work only on Macs that were released at or before that install disc was released; or you can add all the machineIDs that exist, and install onto anything. However, though installing an earlier OS on later Macs that require a later version might work, as long as the Combo updater that you can run after installation fills in the blanks, we can't be certain that will always work, so whenever possible, if you don't have the proper version of the OS X installer discs for a Mac, then modify a version for a later Mac model (maybe preferably a MacBook or MacBook Pro installer so it installs any MacBook-specific code, which a desktop installer version might not--someone correct me if I'm wrong), and then, after installation, run the latest Combo updater to make sure anything that didn't get installed, does. Though that's worked fine for me to make a boot drive that works on any Mac model that can boot whatever system version I'm installing, that's no guarantee.

    I just tried Fraser's suggestion, using the install discs for the original MacBook Pro (machineID 'MacbookPro1,1'), on an original MacBook (machineID 'MacBook1.1'), and it worked fine.

    Here's what Fraser says, with my additions and corrections:

    1. On the machine you want to install onto, find the machineID by entering this into Terminal:

    sysctl hw.model

    You can also use the utility "MacTracker", which lists the machineID for most Macs. The original Macbook, which quincymc was trying to install onto, has a machineID of MacBook1,1.

    2. Use Disk Utility to make a read/write image of the first DVD in the software install/restore set.

    3. Mount this image--use Disk Utility's "Open" command.

    4. Edit the file at /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg/Contents/OSInstall.dist (TextEdit will work fine):

    Do a search for the line that starts with:

    var hwbeSupportedMachines

    5. Add the desired machineIDs to the hwbeSupportedMachines array, after the machineID that's already listed--add a comma, then the new machineID enclosed in single quotes--for example:


    6. Save the file.

    7. Unmount the disk image.

    8. Burn the image onto bootable media. You can use Disk Utility to restore the image to a partition on an external hard drive, or you can use Toast to burn it to a DVD--it's a dual layer, so that's what you'll need to use.

    8. Boot the 'unsupported' machine from your hacked installer.

    If you're dealing with an Intel Mac, remember to erase the drive as GUID format, or the installer, even if hacked properly, will report at the volume selection window, "You cannot install Mac OS X on this volume. Mac OS X cannot start up from this volume."

    You might also want to try the suggestions by Guy Merritt at:

    …where he describes other mods to make to OSInstall.dist, to turn the installer into an even more universal installer. Jon Sharp's original post at that link, describes how to modify the OS 10.4.x installer to make it work on much earlier Mac models like the Powerbook G3 Lombard (remove the Lombard's "bad" machineID from OSInstall.dist), but Merritt describes well the process for more recent Macs.
  11. dgoby macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2008
    Need Help

    I am a complete newb on this. I have been trying Fraser's suggestion but I am running into a snag on the 4th step. That or I did something wrong in the 2nd.

    I made the read/write image of the first DVD. I did the full DVD. Is this correct?

    After I mount the image and it opens, I try to find the specific folder so I can edit and it tries to run the installer.

    I try using text edit but I get an error and It can not open.

    Does anyone know what I am doing wrong? Or is there more info you need?

    This is starting to get very :mad:

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