Can I use the OSX CDs that came with my iBook to upgrade a desktop G4 from OS9?
October 12, 2004 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Can I use the OSX CDs that came with my iBook to upgrade a desktop G4 from OS9?

Sorry if this is a dumb question for askMe. I tried searching Google and various Mac forums ... I must be having a problem hitting on the right search terms.
posted by kmel to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Let's put it this way: with a number of Linux distros and other free-as-in-beer operating systems, it'd be no problem. Installing software on more than one machine with most stuff from Apple, Novell, Oracle, Microsoft or even Sun would require you to have a "multi-client" license. Simply using the disks that came with your retail boxed rig on an additional deck, and then going to the main site to download updates for both machines would count as piracy.

Save some dollars and grab another OS X install pack from eBay.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:26 PM on October 12, 2004

I'm not absolutely 100% sure it will work, but I'm pretty sure it will.

Apple occasionally releases a specially patched version of the OS when they release a new model, but as long as your install discs are newer than your box, you shouldn't have a problem. I'd run the software update immediately, regardless.
posted by adamrice at 12:27 PM on October 12, 2004

If it boots from the install disk after you double-click the "Install MacOS X" Icon on the CD and reboots, it will install on the machine.

It's not legal because of the one-machine restriction, but Apple doesn't enforce it with piracy controls.
posted by tomierna at 12:43 PM on October 12, 2004

adamrice's statement seconded. It should work fine, but yea, as with anything else, run Software Update after the install.

Granted, that's really only important on a PC, which can be compromised literally seconds after an install when put online, but it's still good to be up to date.

On preview: Yea, it's technically not legal, but unlike certain software companies, Apple is not a jerk about it.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 12:48 PM on October 12, 2004

Apple does recommend you have the latest OS 9 (9.2.2) previously installed; I think it helps Mac Classic (running OS 9 inside OS X) run smoother.
posted by carter at 2:15 PM on October 12, 2004

I've actually experienced some troubles with using machine-specific installs on other machines in the past. Beware.
posted by weston at 5:10 PM on October 12, 2004

I'm going against all of this.

I don't think so.

I think the OSX and 9 installers are set up specific to the machine they are sold with;

Additionally, they may be set up to "reimage" the machine; not upgrade the system.

Of course....I could be wrong.
posted by filmgeek at 5:37 PM on October 12, 2004

This should work. If it doesn't, it'll tell you so, not mess up your HD. If it says it's working it's working. Your machine will not be 'reimaged'.

Definitely upgrade to 9.2.2 first; then you'll be able to boot into 9 or X as you please, which is handy for the first couple weeks of getting oriented on the new software. 2 years later I still use a peripheral (smartcard reader) that only has OS 9 drivers :p
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:39 PM on October 12, 2004

filmgeek/weston--I'm pretty sure you're wrong about present-day technology. If you've been messing with Macs for a long time, then you might remember a time when this was true. But I don't think Apple has released hardware-specific installers (except for the aforementioned special patch editions) since the days of floppy-based system installs. Back then, I think you really did need the right discs (so many of them!) for your hardware.
posted by adamrice at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2004

I'm voting against this. I know I couldn't use the discs that came with my powerbook to upgrade an older G4.

File one vote here for 'probably have to buy a copy of os x'
posted by mosch at 9:52 PM on October 12, 2004

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