Using a Pre-installed OS X on one computer for another computer

Discussion in 'macOS' started by muffinman, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. muffinman macrumors 6502

    muffinman

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #1
    I've just purchased a new MacBook Air that has Mountain Lion preinstalled on it. My MacBook Pro (Late 2008 model)'s hard drive died and I bought a new hard drive to replace it. I do not have a back up or anything, unfortunately, and the optical drive on the Pro is broken (I do not have my Snow Leopard installation DVD either).

    I'm assuming that since I bought Mountain Lion OSX as part of my MacBook Air, I should be able to use that same copy for my MacBook Pro. Is there any way to do this (I know I will have to make a bootable flash drive but the primary question is if I can somehow copy Mountain Lion from my Air onto my Pro).
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #2
    Unfortunately the OS X that is on your MacBook Air is customized for the system and will not work on other types of Macs. Nor will it work on older Airs.
     
  3. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #3
    It's not so much that the copy of ML is specific to that model (it may very well be), but the license for OS X is for that one computer. Only when you buy it from the MAS can you install it on up to 5 Macs in your home.
     
  4. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    When you go to the App Store, does Mountain Lion have a "download" button? It does for me, but I bought my copy through the app store - I'm not sure what the case is when you buy a mac preloaded with ML.

    Anyway, if it does, download it. Then search on this site to find instructions on how to make a bootable USB from that downloaded image. Then you can boot your other computer off that USB drive.
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #5
    When you buy a Mac, the license for the OS on that Mac is hidden. The is a special procedure to download the installer using Recovery. However, at last check it will still be the version of OS X customized for that computer.
     
  6. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    So, in that case, when you go to the MAS on the computer which was preloaded with ML, is there an option to purchase ML? That way he could at least buy and download it on that computer so he can build the bootable USB to be used on his other computer.
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #7
    That should work.
     
  8. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #8
    It won't work if the App Store version of OS X isn't compatible with that computer, and in this case, with the new Macbook Air, it won't be.
     
  9. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #9
    You can use the MAS version of ML on ANY Mac. I built a bootable USB install drive on my mid-2012 MBP (acquired using up-to-date last year so it was technically purchased) and used it to install on a 2010 MBP.
     
  10. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #10
    No, you can't, currently. The version of 10.8.4 currently available on the App Store will not work with the new Air, and you will not even be able to buy it from a 2013 Air. Presumably once 10.8.5 is available through the App Store, all the existing Macs will be unified and at that point you'll be again able to install to any Mac. The other issue is that if you have a Mac that came with 10.8.x, and you haven't purchased a copy, it will not show in your purchases list to redownload.
     

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