When did I install this copy of Mac OS X?
March 27, 2012 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Is there a reliable way to determine exactly on what date I first installed a copy of Mac OS X?

My current installed version of OS X is 10.6.8, and I would like to find out exactly what date I installed the initial base install of 10.6 on this system.

I'm trying to backtrack various issues on my Mac Pro, and it would be helpful for my sieve-like brain to troubleshoot my problems if I knew when I first installed the OS on the machine.

Is this even possible?
posted by melorama to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you load up Applications -> Utilities -> Console, click on "Show Log List", then expand /private/var/log, you can show the installation logs, which you'll find in the column on the left side. They'll look like:


You can click on each to scroll through them, and there will be dates and entries detailing what was installed when.

Now, there are a few catches. First, these logs are written in technospeak. Second, these logs will tell you not only about the base OS install, but about everything that was installed - Applications, system updates, all sorts of things - so you'll have to sort of hunt through to see where the base OS install occurred. Third, it's possible the logs may no longer exist if you installed Snow Leopard years ago. But with some hunting, you'll probably find the info you're looking for there.
posted by eschatfische at 2:59 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes. Go to your bookshelf and look for the diary you kept around the time when you first installed Mac OS 10.6. Look for an entry like, "Whoo! I got Mac OS 10.6!!!"

More seriously, this blog post suggests taking a look at this:

Disclaimer: I don' t own a Mac and have not tested this advice.
posted by retypepassword at 3:27 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

In the terminal, I always do ls -la /var/vm The line that ends with .. is the date I installed the OS. I see that the date jibes with the info gleaned from ls -la /private/var/db/.AppleSetupDone.
posted by kimota at 8:19 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

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