How to Modify an OS X install disc to work on other computers.

One of the problems people have with older
macs is finding operating system discs. Its common for somebody to buy these gray versions
from places like eBay thinking they will work on their Mac only to try them out and get
a message like this. But I wanted to show you a way to bypass this
problem. You may need to use a different mac. Put in the disc you have and then open the
disc utility like this. Then select the DVD drive and click NEW IMAGE. Go ahead and save
it to your desktop. Also be sure to pick READ/WRITE for the image formt. This will copy the disk
to your desktop, and expect it to take a while. When it is finished, go ahead and eject the
real DVD from the drive. OK, now we need to find out your MACHINE ID.
The easiest way to do this is to go to the utilities folder and open a terminal. Type
in SYSCTL HW.MODEL. In my case the model is Macmini1,1. You may want to write this down
if yours is different. OK so go ahead and open the image and look
through the files. Scroll down and find the SYSTEM folder, then go into INSTALLATION,
then PACKAGES, then scroll down and find OSINSTALL. What you’ll need to do is RIGHT-CLICK or you
can also do a CONTROL-CLICK where you hold down control and click your mouse. Then select
SHOW PACKAGE CONTENTS. Next go into the CONTENTS folder and find OSINSTALL. You’ll need to
right-click this and select OPEN-WITH, OTHER, then locate TEXTEDIT. Now, what you are looking at here where it
says BAD MACHINES are computers which are specifically NOT allowed. Make sure your model
is not listed here. If it is, delete yours from the list. Next scroll all the way to
the bottom and find Supported Machines. You’ll need to add your machine in there. In this
case I’ll put Macmini1,1. You may need to unlock the file if it asks. You may want to
look through the file and see any other lists of machines and make sure to add yours to
the list. When you are all done, save the file. Next, dump the mounted image in the
trash, don’t worry this won’t delete anything. OK next find a suitable dual-layer blank DVD
and insert it. Now find the image on the desktop and right click and select open with disk
utility. Once it opens, select the image here, then click burn. Once it is done burning,
you have successfully created a replacement installer disc that should work with your
system. Now you can insert it into the machine you want to use it on, and it should work
just fine. OK, So I think I should point out one important
aspect of this little trick I’ve shown you. And that is, this is not going to help you
run an operating system on your computer that is flat out incompatible. It’s only really
going to help you in two scenarios. The first scenario is where you’ve bought a disc that’s
simply been coded for a different machine. For example you have a Mac Mini but you got
a restore disc for an iMac. And Apple for some reason or another made those discs so
that you couldn’t put them on one or the other even though there is really no technical reason
why they won’t work. The second scenario where this trick would be useful is there are some
computers where the operating system is actually known to be compatible but for some reason
Apple didn’t want to support it, and so they locked out certain older computers. But, you
know, if you see on the internet people saying, “well this operating system, even though it
isn’t officially supported, can be made to work,” Well then that is another scenario
where this little trick will help you. And so the reason I had to do this little
trick was because I wanted to answer a common question I get asked, which is about OS 10.4
Tiger. People want to know is it truly obsolete or is it still useful today? Well, I decided
I would try to make a video about that. First I had to find a copy of Tiger that would work
on an Intel machine because I wanted to run it on this Intel Mac Mini. And I couldn’t
find one. And so that’s why I had to do the trick. So yeah I’ll be showing you that video
probably here in just a few days. And in the meantime, leave me some comments and tell
me what you think about this trick!

100 thoughts on “How to Modify an OS X install disc to work on other computers.

  1. when I open the disc image, there is no "system" folder. There is Just the "Install Mac OS X and bundled software" icon. How do I access the system folder ? The show package contents option does not show the system folder.

  2. Does this trick work on the new MacOS Sierra iso? I have old white Macbook (a1181) upgraded RAM and SSD disk, but I cant update it further than Snow Leopard, so it will be awesome if I can install Sierra on it 🙂

  3. I have a PowerMac G3 B&W and I couldn't install any OS on it till now.. But maybe I stand a chance with this knowledge 😀

  4. I dont have the show package contents option on mine when I right click the os install pkg. on el capitan trying to adjust a snow leopard for another computer but its not working

  5. Another way is to insert the install disk into a supported mac (if you have one) and tell it to install to an external hard drive. This external hard drive is actually the "unsupported" mac started in target disk mode and plugged into the supported mac through firewire or thunderbolt. This could also be done by removing the harddrive from the unsupported mac and putting it into a usb drive enclosure but that may be more work than what he demonstrated above.
    I have used target disk mode to install Leopard on an unsupported 800MHz iMac G4 using a PowerMac G4 MDD as the host for installing.

    Thanks for the thorough video explaining how to do this if you only have one mac.

  6. Just another example of how much apple sucks:
    Apple blacklists machines that are perfectly capbile of running the OS??

  7. Awesome, thanks a lot! I had my PowerMac Dual G5 OS X 10.4 Install Disks at hand and wanted to install it on a Mac mini G4 I was given. Didn't work at first for the well-known reasons. Found your video, created the image from the DVD on my iMac running Sierra. When modifying the OSInstall.dist file I just didn't bother about Mac machine type but instead added the simple line "return true;" as the very first line of the function checkSupportedMachine(machineType). That way this function always returns that the machine type is an allowed one. Burned the image, tried it and it worked! 😀

  8. No he said if it's not compatible even if you try getting an ISO you'll get the same problem he's trying to explain how to do it to make it so you're older systems can go to new operating systems

  9. Excellent hack! The basic issue that I see is that new hardware has new features and IIRC Apple has publicly stated that they purposely block old machines from new versions of the OS because the new features won't work, run too slowly or create instability so the user experience is not up to Apple standards. I do wish they would include a button that would allow you to install the OS anyway but then again, I would be the one getting all those support calls from my clients when the features fail to work, or their machine is slow as molasses, and I really don't want to be he one to say, "I Told You So"! LOL

    This is an excellent tutorial for power users or those that simply like to experiment with their machines and can take responsibility for any crashes or instability that they introduced to their system.

  10. have a early 2008 i mac erased it to sell and now i can't install lion on it i have a OS X 10 original cd but it won't install it either can you help me with this thanks

  11. system/installation/packages isn't a directory on the disc in Snow Leopard, so I think this only works on OS X Tiger.

  12. ive got a snow leapord disc.. i dont see the folders like what are on this video..

    please help

    i want to install new os on macbook 2,1
    an ancient macbook though… i love to use it

  13. This is great information. I've got a licensed copy of 10.6 that came with my Mac mini. The mini has gone to the grave, but, the install discs were important to upgrade a 10.5 iMac, which is still able to run the current sierra macOS. It's a crazy convoluted trip to upgrade a compatible system to 10.6.8 then 10.11.6 and then 10.12.5, so, Apple's locking the install DVDs just adds a layer of frustration that is not necessary.

  14. I have a problem with mac os 10.4 it will not boot it shows the apple logo and lodes and shows an x in side a circle

  15. Hi I Have a Mid-2007 Mac Mini, And I Accidentally Deleted the OS From The Machine And it's been a long time since a used it

    And now the new OS Sierra is the one you can download

    Is it compatible with my System



  18. The 8-Bit Guy – I followed this tutorial to get Mac OS 10.6 installed on my imac5,2 using a macbook dmg, thanks! Now I just need an old version of XCode or something, do you know what version worked on 10.6.8? iOS 6 SDK? 7? Also, do you think upgrading to 10.7.5 is worth it? I mainly will use it for web browsing, occasional lightweight gaming (Windows XP dualboot or something), and lightweight devt ( Thanks!

  19. Like my macbook is a dual core macbook from early 2008 but a macbook pro with a dual core runs can run a later os.

  20. Something strange, I followed the video exactly but when I right clicked on OSinstall “show package contents” wasn’t there!!!

  21. Hey David i just got a imac that has Mac Os x 10.6.8 and wanting to run something newer like macOS High Sierra or something a little newer than what i have is there anything i can do!?!?!?

  22. I HAVE:

    A 2004 iBook G4 14" 1.33Ghz. 1.25GB 60GB machine

    With Tiger

    I HAVE:

    A 2008 iMac 10.5 Leopard DVD install set.

    I MADE a. DMG of it…

    CAN I hack the .DMG to install 10.5 to the G4 iBook?

    Thank you


  23. MacBook3,1 256 SSD snow 10.6.6 gray discs. Only 1 Mac. How can I manage dog mpkg pkg? Windows Raspberry pi?

  24. For those posting in this thread wanting to know what version(s) of MacOS X their particular Mac supports, you can go to and look up your Mac to find out.

    David's trick is to allow you to use a DVD set you might have from another Mac of the same CPU Architecture (either PPC or Intel. You can't use a PPC version of MacOS X on an Intel and vice versa) or that you might have bought on eBay. Try to buy copies of Retail editions of MacOS X if you can to avoid needing to use this trick.

    If you don't have a dual layer burner available, you can search on Google how to make a bootable USB stick from your DVD disks (great idea for a video David!).

    You can also call 1-800-SOS-APPL and order a DVD of the OS your Mac came with for a fee.

    I was a former Apple Service Tech.

  25. This doesent work for meeee :/

    When i put the CD in my other mac to rip the CD it just spits it back out!!! Fuck sakes. Apple is getting on my nerves now lol

  26. Appreciated. Another option is just to change the function in there to return true in all cases instead of false 😉 Then you don't need to know what model your dealing with.

  27. Hey man, thanks so much for this tut. I bought an install disk for a MacBook Pro 17 for my used MacBook Pro 15 inch… and got the "cannot install on this computer" message. The Macbook was running Linux on it so I figured that was the prob and formatted the drive to Mac extended (Journaled) but no love…. what the hell Apple?!! it's JUST a different screen size!! I don't have another mac here but will try to us the mini in my office to do this. I'm hoping I can run terminal on the Pro while using the install disk since it won't boot as it is. Thanks again, great vid!

  28. Thank you very much for the hints, worked very well on a 10.6.4 install disc, made with High Sierra. Two quick remarks (disregarding the age of this video):
    – One newer OS(X) versions, one must expand the .pkg files using pkgutil (the context menu was removed).
    – Instead of adding your Mac model to the list, you could also reverse the return statement (ie. return true instead of false) without touching the list (might save a DVD in case there are typos!).

    Huge thanks for the video!!!

  29. I want Apple to stop weighting problems just for there benefit. I want to bring back all the old white MacBooks and change the CPU to a 64 bit the old MacBooks are strong and dependable also adorable. I want to stop Apple from weighting new programs so the average consumer has to buy a new pc every 3 years. I want to itergrate Microsoft into all the older MacBooks and let windows 10 work on all the Apple pc's. I need to know can I change my core duo 2 to a i3 64 bit and I would be changing 2 MB memory to 8 I would like to go 16 but for now 8 MB and 500 set ram with a i3 cpu then a complete program can you Wright this program for me and itergrate it with Microsoft.

  30. My auto correct does what it wants I have to fix it because you know I didn't put that question into a 3 year old language.

  31. I'm interested in doing this because there are thousands of good pc's out there the schools could be using but by the time the schools get these pc's there no good also 3rd world countries could be using the pc's the schools donate back for better pc's. I see schools that are on a budget get passed over .

  32. People are tricked into buying high price pc's when the world is still using Windows 7 dependable and you don't have to shut down a power grid to reboot a update stable you think NCAA has windows 10 and the 10.13.4 OS

  33. Tiger don't have Appstore ( mean U need other mac with snow leopard or superior OS for App ),but all the rest work well

  34. Hey on your macmini 1.1 what is the highest os you can run trouble free? I have snow leopard running both my macmini 1.83 and macmini 2.?

  35. Just brilliant. Thank you.
    I had a similar problem. I needed an old version of mac OS X to install an old version of pro tools. I could not find an old version of the suitable mac OS X to download. But luckily I found the DVD operating system that I need but my iMac rejected it. So I made a startup disc out of it by using disc utilities.

  36. THis is excellent. Reminds me of the hammer into the BIgBrother screen from the original Mac ads. Apple, sheesh. Talk about becoming authoritarian in your old age. I didn't even know you did comp stuff but i've watched loads of your keyboard vids. should've subscribed earlier but i just did

  37. cant do anything your telling us. os 10.4.11 cant do anything. no contents viewer no nothing. What should I do? go back to os 9 or osx. Apple computers are crooks. Im a pc user and Ive upgraded my pc to windows 10 from windows 7. and its still the same machine working well. Ass wipe Apple.

  38. so i cud buy any dell restore disk say for windows 7 and be able to use it with my older xp wow thanks no i have a geart reason to finnla buy that disk

  39. Your video is great I really liked it.Can you please explain how to do it with the grey Mac OS Snowleopard disk?I have a MacBook 2010 pro that came with the snowleopard disk that I want to put on an Intel MacBook 2,1 that I erased it's hard drive because I thought that I could just use the Snowleopard disk because it's up to specs but it's apparently locked out.I didn't know that apple was so bogus or I wouldn't have erased the hard drive.It had mac os Tige 4.11 on it but now it's gone.I wished that I didn't erase it because now I feel like a dumbass because I can't download tiger for it.I followed your instructions and I did everything on my MacBook Pro 2010 model that's running El Capitan to set up the Snowleopard disk to be used on the Mackbook 2,1 but I can't figure out how to do the opening installation package set up that you were doing with that older operating system tiger or whatever you were using.It's different on my computer.If you could make a video I would be so grateful.I'm hitting the like.button and subscribing to your interesting channel.Thanks for your good work you're awesome.I bought the Macbook 2,1 for $5 it has lines on the screen but I can connect it to my tv with and adapter that I bought for $1 at the thrift store.I want to.use it for my Akai Z8 rackmount sampler to use Akai Aksys program to control it.The Aksys program is from Akai Professional before they went bankrupt in 2002 and got bought out by Numark a really lousy company that doesn't support the Aksys software.It's a long story but the thing is that the Aksys program will work on Mac os Snowleopard or earlier and when I upgraded my MacBook pro from snowleopard to newer OS I couldn't use Aksys or other older programs so having a computer that could run older software would really help out my situation.I would even be cool with being able to run Snowleopard somehow on my Macbook pro El Capitan Os if possible.I feel dumb about erasing the Macbook 2,1's hard drive but mistakes are part of learning.Thank you.

  40. Out of curiosity would I be able to do this with a unsupported version of Mac OS on an older machine? e.g. Macbook 4,1 running Mac OS 10.8?

  41. You really need to use another mac? I'm a daily driver Windows user willing to update my beautiful eMac to Tiger or Leopard. Any help on that? Anybody?

  42. Actually, more than trying to modify an install disc, i came here to see how to extract a dmg from a real cd for VirtualBox. Thanks bro

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