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Q. Can I use the grey coloured System Restore discs that shipped with Mac A to install OS X onto Mac B?
A. In most cases, due to technical and licensing reasons, the answer is no. The answer is definitely no if any of the following apply:
Any part of the software on the system restore disc is currently installed or in use on Mac A, or on any other computer1
The OS on the disc is any version of Leopard (10.5.x), or is any version of Tiger later than 10.4.42
Either of the two Macs has an Intel processor3
The system restore discs from Mac A contain an older version of Mac OS X than the version of Mac OS X that was on the install discs that would have shipped with Mac B4
However, an installation attempt may be successful, and compliant with all OS X licensing terms, if all of the following conditions are met:
No part of the software on the system restore disc is currently installed or in use on Mac A, or on any other computer1
The OS on the disc is Tiger 10.4.3 or earlier, or is an earlier version of OS X (10.3.x, 10.2.x, etc)2
Both Mac A and Mac B have PowerPC processors (G3, G4, or G5)3
The system restore discs from Mac A contain a newer version of Mac OS X than the version of Mac OS X that was on the install discs that would have shipped with Mac B4
All terms of the Mac OS X Software License Agreement are followed, particularly sections 2 and 3 regarding permitted usage and transfer.
Even if all the above conditions are met, software restore discs contain computer-specific releases of Mac OS X, and may not install or work properly on a Mac that has a hardware configuration that is significantly different than the original.
The license agreement for single user copies of all versions of OS X, including all versions that ship on system restore discs, do not permit any part of the software to be installed or used on more than one computer at the same time.
All Macs with Intel processors shipped with a Mac OS X EULA restricting usage of the software restore discs to that Mac only. The license that shipped with G3, G4, or G5 Macs that shipped with 10.4.3 or earlier permit the transfer of OS X to another Mac, provided that all terms of the license agreement are followed. Furthermore, the architecture of PowerPC and Intel systems are incompatible enough that neither platform's system restore discs will install on the other.
Mac OS X system software will not properly run on, and may not even install on, any Mac that is newer than it, because the software lacks the hardware drivers to run properly on the newer hardware. Details are in this document: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2186
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eMac (PowerPC G4, 1.25GHz, 1.5GB RAM, USB 2.0), Mac OS X (10.5.6)
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