Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have gone through many sites to look for the exact answer. However I failed.

What I want: To completely format my Powerbook G4 to factory or brand new without any DVD/CD or Disk/Disc

I am not worried about ethical or un-ethical way. I just need to format the entire Powerbook G4 to factory setting WITHOUT ANY DVD/CD/DISC/DISK so that It’s a brand new one. I am ready to do anything, but please don’t advice me on buying or download the MAC OS 10.5 Leopard from torrent or blah blah.

share|improve this question
I don't understand your question. You want to burn and reload the machine. I get that. You don't have the Leopard disc. I get that too. But you don't want any answers that tell you how to GET that disc? That part I don't get. You NEED source media of some kind. How else do you expect to reload it? – Wes Sayeed Sep 24 '14 at 22:53

If you want to merely format it without using a DVD, CD, disc or disk, take the hard drive out, plug it into an enclosure or another computer, and format it from there.

If you want to "format" it in the sense of resetting it to factory, i.e. with Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5 on it, then you have no other choice than to get hold of an installation medium on an optical disc or a drive connected through FireWire.

Why is that? For a factory reset, you need to:

  • Format the startup disk
  • Copy the default system onto the disk

With the following constraints:

  • You cannot reset a Mac running OS X to the factory default without having an original installation disc because in order to even format the startup disk, it cannot be booted from. So whatever formats the disk—typically the OS X installer's Disk Utility—needs to run from an optical disc or FireWire (the PowerBook G4 cannot boot from USB either).
  • Copying the default system files onto the startup disk would require you to have them in the first place, and they're not on the system you're currently running, because they've certainly been modified.

Bottom line, you need the Mac OS X 10.5 installer. Or a complete system image you took when the Mac was still "fresh", so to say.

share|improve this answer
I don't have Mac OS X 10.5 which came with the Powerbook G4. Can I used "Only Retails Mac OS X 10.5" or I can use any Mac OS X 10.5? – Sam Dec 18 '12 at 11:30
To my knowledge there is no difference in the installation between any version of OS X, whether it's OEM or Retail. So the installation should work. The only difference lies in the license. – slhck Dec 18 '12 at 11:32
What is the use of licence in Mac OS X? Please don't talk about ethics and company policies. I want to know what effect it will have on my system if I activate the free downloaded version over internet? – Sam Dec 21 '12 at 11:10
There's nothing to activate. You install it and use it. Chances are it's phoning home, but it'll basically just work. Of course, remind you that this is not an ethical issue, but depending on the software laws in your country, a legal issue. – slhck Dec 21 '12 at 17:47
Ha ha....India rocks! – Sam Dec 24 '12 at 13:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.