Installing Mountain Lion
January 1, 2013 2:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm selling my mid-2010 iMac on eBay. In the ad, I want to say that I'll include a copy of Mountain Lion on a USB stick so the buyer can install the OS once they take possession of the computer. What I don't know is what will happen if the buyer doesn't yet own a copy of Mountain Lion and they try to install the copy I give them which was downloaded using my Apple ID.

Is the Mountain Lion installer I downloaded from the Mac App Store tied to my Apple ID? The internet is giving me differing answers on that subject. Most pages I read suggest DRM isn't applied to software downloaded from the Mac App store, but a few sources I've read suggest you'll run into problems trying to install a copy of Mountain Lion you didn't purchase yourself (which seems logical).

So let's say the installer is not tied to my Apple ID, and the potential buyer doesn't yet own a copy of Mountain Lion themselves. Will they even be able to use the OS or will the installer prompt them to purchase it once its installed/while its installing?

Would it be easier/safer just to tell the buyer in the ad that they'll need to buy a copy of Mountain Lion themselves? Is this even possible if the buyer don't already own a Mac?

Basically, I want to make sure I'm not committing piracy here (especially as eBay, Apple and the good men and women working in law enforcement would frown on such things), protect myself, my Apple ID and help the buyer.

Thanks in advance.
posted by Effigy2000 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know the answer to your question but what I did when I sold my 2009 macbook pro recently is to install Mountain Lion on it before sending it out. That way when the buyer boots it up it will start a new user setup as if you had purchased it from Apple.

I did not include a copy of the OS with the laptop but I did include all original OS and application discs that came with it new.
posted by eatcake at 2:52 PM on January 1, 2013

Response by poster: "Just word your ad to say "Ready for Mountain Lion" and let the buyer deal with getting their own copy of the OS."
posted by jamaro at 8:51 AM on January 2

I had considered that, but I don't want to be answering a tonne of e-mails over the course of the 10 day auction asking if a copy of Mountain Lion is included or not. I'd rather just be clear in the ad and let the buyer make up their mind from that.

"I did include all original OS and application discs that came with it new."
posted by eatcake at 8:52 AM on January 2

Snow Leopard discs came with my iMac. Problem is, the discs don't want to be read anymore. If only they worked, my problems would be solved! I could say "Comes with original Snow Leopard installation disc, upgradeable to Mountain Lion" or something like that.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:03 PM on January 1, 2013

When I gave my dad my old laptop so he could play around with it, the old OS X Leopard disk wasn't working. I'm pretty sure he was able to contact Apple and get them to send him a new disk. So that's an option, although it might take a while to get sorted out.
posted by quaking fajita at 3:52 PM on January 1, 2013

Mountain Lion, unlike an App, is not tied to the ID, and will update w/o an App Store login.
posted by Area Control at 7:04 PM on January 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I compared copies of the 10.8.0 installer downloaded with 2 different Apple IDs and they were bit-for-bit identical. I can't speak for current versions, but I'd be surprised if they changed the signing/protection status during a release series.
posted by russm at 12:11 AM on January 2, 2013

When updating my MBP from Leopard to Mountain Lion (for which I needed to get hold of a copy of Snow Leopard) I was told by an Apple Store person that their OS's are not licenced software; what you pay for is the delivery method - DVD, online download or USB stick loaded with ML. So rather than hunt down a copy of Snow Leopard I got it by Bit Torrenting it. I then went ahead and got Mountain Lion through app store but only because at this stage I wanted a 100% reliable copy. But I guess I could have done the same thing legally(?). Anyhow, as far as I can see, the USB stick I now have loaded with ML could be installed on any hard drive - I've never had to type in a registration code at any point. Neither did I with my bit torrented Snow Leopard.
posted by Brian Lux at 2:10 AM on January 2, 2013

Apple will replace worn Snow Leopard disks for free. Call and ask, no AppleCare needed.
posted by skypieces at 10:19 PM on January 2, 2013

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