What kind of OS disks do I need?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by *old-guy*, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. *old-guy* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #1
    Hi guys,
    This one should be fairly easy to answer.
    I am looking to buy a set of system disks on eBay. I want to be able to start from a formatted hard drive and instal OSX (10.3 or 10.4) on to a single Mac machine.
    Only snag is that after looking on eBay, I find lots of different styles of disk.
    Grey ones, white ones with fur crosses, black ones with silver crosses and maybe more. I note that some of the grey ones are Mac type specific ie MacBook or eMac G4 so I guess that unless the disks are the match for my machine, which I also have not yet decided on, they won't be suitable.
    Any clues would be good.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    It'd help to know which Mac you're trying to install on so we can give you the minimum OS X version required to run that machine.

    After that you can just buy a newer retail copy of that version of the operating system.
     
  3. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #3
    Eidorian... Ah, that's a problem then.
    I can't give you the model type because I haven't yet decided what model to buy. It's going to be either a G4 iMac, G4 eMac or a Mini Mac. It all depends on price for the full package including needing to buy a screen to go with the Mini Mac.
    If I can buy a Mac complete with disks, all well and good but if not, I was hoping to be prepared if a set of the proper disks came along in the meantime.

    BTW, reading your post, does your use of the word "Retail" mean that any disk quoted as being a Retail version will load up on any flavour of Mac providing it meets the specs?
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    Gray discs are machine specific while the retail ones sport those nice Xs.

    For example lets say your Mac requires 10.3.3 to run with it gray installer discs. The 10.3.4 retail DVD will have all the drivers to run that Mac just fine with no nonsense looking for the exact model disc.
     
  5. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #5
    To add one thing- while it is usually just easiest to purchase a retail OS installation disk, if a used Mac does not come with its appropriate System Restore disks replacements copies of them are indeed available from Apple.

    They refer to them as "fulfillment disks" normally, and they can be obtained by calling Apple and providing them with the serial number of the machine they are for. They will then determine which disks (and how many) shipped with your particular machine which they will then provide for you at a moderate cost. A pair of them I got for a G5 DP 2.7 PowerMac recently (because I want to put it up for sale complete and of course could not find the disks! :() was $32 shipped first class.

    It is great that they are available, but if you have in mind to update to a later version of the OS than what shipped with the specific computer you inquire about (for instance mine had shipped with Tiger, so Tiger is what was on the disks Apple sent) you will need to purchase a retail disk.
     
  6. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #6
    FYI....even though most of the grey disks before 10.4 say they are machine specific, they generally are not......

    I know this because I had 4 sets of various grey 10.3.3 disks that I used to revive a G3 powerbook, 2 Sawtooths & 1 DA nottaproblemo, and once installed, I updated them all to 10.3.9 also nottaproblemo.....

    old guy....I still have the disks I used on the powerbook, which was later salvaged for parts. PM me if you're interested in makin a deal :p

    And yes, Retail disks will load on any machine that can run that version, but usually will cost you more $$ than the grey ones.....
     

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