Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2013 12:03 PM by babowa
mismith223 Level 1 (0 points)

From my understanding if you need to gain access to the Mountain Lion installer app you have to just re-download it from the app store. My question is, if ML came preinstalled on your machine when you bought it, then how do you get access to the installer? If I go to the app store, even holding down option when clicking purchases, it is not there because I never purchased it.

OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Imp68 Level 4 (2,590 points)

    If you need to reinstall, you can do it from the recovery partition.  You can access that by booting and holding CMD + R before the apple/gear show up.


    If you want access to the installer for other reasons... that's a good question.  Not sure.

  • mismith223 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well I need it for our office. I just took over the support role here and their way of "imaging" the machines is not best practice. They never purchased ML it seems, just comes on the machines purchased. I need the installer to create the netboot / netrestore images. It's only $20 to purchase, not a big deal. Just curious if anyone else new another way to get it.

  • babowa Level 7 (29,965 points)

    You need to check with Apple on the licensing requirements; if ML was preinstalled, the license is only for that particular machine (and the recovery mode only works with that machine). Excerpt if ML is preinstalled:


    A. Preinstalled and Single-Copy Apple Software License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, unless you obtained the Apple Software from the Mac App Store or under a volume license, maintenance or other written agreement from Apple, you are granted a limited, non- exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple- branded computer at any one time. For example, these single-copy license terms apply to you if you obtained the Apple Software preinstalled on Apple-branded hardware.


    If you purchase ML:


    B. Mac App Store License. If you obtained a license for the Apple Software from the Mac App Store, then subject to the terms and conditions of this License and as permitted by the Mac App Store Usage Rules set forth in the App Store Terms and Conditions ( itunes/ww/) (“Usage Rules”), you are granted a limited, non-transferable, non-exclusive license:

    to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running OS X Lion or OS X Snow Leopard (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control;

    (ii) If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, to download, install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software for use either: (a) by a single individual on each of the Mac Computer(s) that you own or control, or (b) by multiple individuals on a single shared Mac Computer that you own or control. For example, a single employee may use the Apple Software on both the employee’s desktop Mac Computer and laptop Mac Computer, or multiple students may serially use the Apple Software on a single Mac Computer located at a resource center or library; and

    (iii) to install, use and run up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software, for purposes of: (a) software development; (b) testing during software development; (c) using OS X Server; or (d) personal, non-commercial use.




    C. Volume or Maintenance License. If you obtained the Apple Software under a volume or maintenance license program with Apple, the terms of your volume or maintenance license will determine the number of copies of the Apple Software you are permitted to download, install, use and run on Apple-branded computers you own or control. Except as agreed to in writing by Apple, all other terms and conditions of this License shall apply to your use of the Apple Software obtained under a volume or maintenance license.



  • mismith223 Level 1 (0 points)

    I understand the SLA for the software and I'm not trying to upgrade other machines to ML. What I want to do is new machines we purchase that already have ML installed need to have our standard image. I have a standard image already created that I need to push to the new machine purchased. The OS stays the same. Just saves a lot of time to push out an image already created rather than manually installing everything and setting preferences on each machine.

  • babowa Level 7 (29,965 points)

    I know what you're trying to do - but I don't know that I or anyone here (as a fellow user) is qualified to answer the question because of the convoluted SLA (and no install disks). That is why I suggested that you call Apple. I don't know what their criteria is for a situation such as yours.

  • mikeack Level 1 (0 points)

    I found this today and thought this may be of some help to others...


  • babowa Level 7 (29,965 points)

    Although a good article, not relevant here because of the different licensing requirements for commercial/multi-user environments.

  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 (2,805 points)

    You may run into problems trying to put a "standard image" onto new mchines purchased.  A new Mac purchased today will come with a version of MacOS X 10.8.2 loaded on it, but it may not be the same as the 10.8.2 that's available to you from downloading all the current updates out there.  When Apple releases new hardware, they don't always release an updated OS to the public at large, and sometimes the only way to get that OS (with the required drivers) is to use the pre-loaded image, or to use the recovery options.


    Your attempt to use a "standard image" may cause you problems when you are trying to load onto newer hardware that is not supported by the OS in your image...

  • mikeack Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry...I probably should have specified that I found that page while using this tutorial to create a USB boot disk:

  • keg55 Level 5 (7,738 points)

    Below are the steps I followed to get the InstallESD.dmg for preinstalled ML on my 2012 Mac Mini.


    • Connect an external drive to Mac Mini (USB)
    • Reboot system and perform Internet Recovery (Command+Option+R)
    • From the OS X Utilities Menu, select Reinstall OS X (should have a Mountain Lion logo)
    • Folllow the prompts to verify the system and when you get to the spot to point to where you want to install it, point to your external drive
    • You will need to keep watching the download (IMPORTANT) and after it finishes and restarts... at the black screen and before the grey screen with Apple logo, unplug the external drive. Your system will boot from your internal drive.
    • Plug the external drive back in and navigate within the folder on the drive. Should be labeled something like "Install OS Data Files" or something like that. Look for the InstallESD.dmg file and copy it to your Desktop
    • Open Disk Utilities, insert an 8GB USB thumb drive format it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with the GUID parititon table and restore the .dmg file to the thumb drive


    NOTE: When you test the ML installer thumb drive and find that it won't install ML on your system do a PRAM reset and try again. It should work. Also, each Mac model may be different and the preinstalled version is specific to the model so be careful when trying to use the specific version of ML on other systems. It may not work.

  • babowa Level 7 (29,965 points)

    Not sure that that method would comply with the SLA applicable to commercial/multi-user environments. The license granted only allows for one Apple ID and mentions that one should inquire about commercial licensing rules.

  • keg55 Level 5 (7,738 points)

    Good point.

    I'm simply providing how to get the installer off a Mac that came preinstalled with Mountain Lion which was the OP's original question (1st post).

  • babowa Level 7 (29,965 points)

    I know; however, that first question was amended and clarified later to include the fact that they are talking about an office environment.

  • mikeack Level 1 (0 points)

    Ah, I didn't see that it was for an office environment. I used my method for my personal MacBook Pro. Now I have the USB drive as an emergancy backup.

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