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Ask Max: Does OS X have an installation Code for Restore discs?

Asked on 05/09/2007:

I have heard some people talk about a "code" associated with the two software Install and Restore disks that come with Power Mac G5 systems. I've have never heard of a "code" and have never had a system ask me for a code when using install / restore disks.

Is there such a thing as a "code" that is required when using install / restore disks on the Power Mac G5 or are these people mistaken?

Could it be that some are confusing the Administrator password that an install / restore requires with the term "code"?


Unlike the Windows OS, none of the Mac OS versions require installation codes. That is, except for Mac OS X Server. Apple server software will require an activation code on first startup. The Install/Restore DVDs that come with new Mac computers are different than discs sold in retail packaging. One big difference is that those Install/Restore DVDs have more software than just the OS. They will include all the trial software and additional iLife applications that come with the new Mac. The other significant difference in Install/Restore DVDs is that they will only install on certain computers. You can't use a G5 tower's Install/Restore DVD on an iMac. Other cross-model install attempts will also not work. However, as long as you have the original DVDs that came with your computer you should be fine, and no code necessary.

If the system's user password is what is stopping the installation, just restart the computer with the first DVD in the optical drive. Hold down the "C" key when you hear the Mac's boot chime. That will let you boot from the DVD and then you will not be asked for a password when you try and install.

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