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I have bought a new MacBook Pro and now I want to sell the old one. Before I sell the old machine, I want to wipe it and reinstall OS X.

I don't have disks from the old machine - but I do have the disks that came with the new one.

Can I use these new disks to reinstall OS X on the old machine, or is that going to cause problems in some way?

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5 Answers

If they're the same version, you should be just fine using any disk - they're all the same.

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The disks aren't all the same. The Grey ones That came with the system are keyed to a specific model –  Canadian Luke Sep 7 '11 at 20:23
    
Really? I've not run in to this before. Guess I've never used one of the stock CDs. –  jcrawfordor Sep 7 '11 at 20:36
    
I have tried (see comment under @daviesgeek's answer). That's the only reason I know, otherwise I would have assumed this to be correct –  Canadian Luke Sep 7 '11 at 21:33
    
They aren't always keyed to a specific model. It depends on the label on the disk. If it says "Mac OS X Installer" then it's universal. If it says "MacBook Installer" then it's keyed to MacBooks. There are other requirements as well, e.g., the model must be later than foo but earlier than bar. Only a retail installer is free from these restrictions. –  bahamat Sep 8 '11 at 15:40
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My understanding is that the grey discs that came with your MBP may or may not install on another system. Try installing and see. The installer should tell you if it's incompatible.

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+1. I tried to use a SL disk from my dad's MBP, same model but didn't work. YMMV –  Canadian Luke Sep 7 '11 at 20:22
    
@Luke That's what I was thinkin' –  daviesgeek Sep 7 '11 at 20:26
    
IIRC.. This is due to the gray disk having only a partial set of drivers that are specific to the machine model it was packaged with. If you bought an OS upgrade disk however, it should work on any machine. –  Chris Nava Sep 7 '11 at 20:35
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I have not had any luck getting install disks to work on computers other than the same exact model.

The good news is that install will either work or tell you that it will not. In other words, you will not have a situation where you install the OS but are unable to tell if it will work properly. The install does a quick check and will bounce back an error if it doesn't work.

If you want a fresh OS X Lion install, you will have to buy it the Thumb Drive and do the install. The other option of course is to pick up a OSX Snow Leopard or other previous OS X disk, and use the disk utility to do a secure wipe of the HD and install a clean though not current OS before you sell it.

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You can relatively easily remove the hardware check that prevents installing with model-locked DVDs. You must make a copy of the install DVD (remove the X Code tools to burn on DL DVD) and edit OSInstall.dist inside the OSInstall.mpkg.

Look for the line <installation-check script="hwbeInstallCheck()"/> and remove it.

Provided your DVD copy boots OK, you can install on any machine.

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As long as the MacBook's are the same model and have the same hardware then that's fine. This is because the "Grey Install Disk" has the drivers for that specific model's hardware.

However, I may be wrong as I haven't personally tried this on another MacBook, but I know it definitely doesn't work on a different machine such as iMac or a G5...

Hope this helps.

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