So a while ago I made the step of going completely over to Ubuntu on my laptop and I completely removed Mac OS X and just had Ubuntu going.

Now I want to re-install Mac OS X - I remember having snow leopard on my machine previously, but do not hold the install disks any longer. My CD drive has also broken, so I cannot use a disk anymore.

I have seen on eBay and other websites that you can buy a USB stick with OS X Lion 10.7 booted on and then boot this from the USB.

Is this possible, without the need of the first ever install disks?

  • This really depends on the hardware model of your Mac. Also, what's the end game for the computer. Are you going to run a newer OS or really want the exact OS version it shipped with to sell it?
    – bmike
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


You can do it, but you will need a friend's Macbook.

First download the OSX app, you download it from app store. Then download Disk Maker X, by this app you can create Bootable USB. After creating bootable usb, plug it to your macbook and restart and hold alt, then you can see your usb and install the OSX.

  • You can buy it from ebay: ebay.co.uk/itm/… - Will this be okay?
    – Phorce
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:07
  • Sorry I haven't bought any of these...
    – NULL
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:10
  • Can you do mountain lion without the need of the original disks?
    – Phorce
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:11
  • @user1326876 10.7-10.10 can do that yes
    – klanomath
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:13
  • yes did, i installed Mavericks on my macbook, with out upgrading it from OS X Mountain Lion.
    – NULL
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:16

The original Apple "OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive" is a full upgrade, so you don't need your old DVD installer disks.

Depending on your Mac and your update history you may even start to Internet recovery mode (hold altcmdR while booting until you see a spinning globe in the center of the screen) and install Lion then. You had to install a special Firmware update before installing Ubuntu to do that though.

  • Hi, I have the same problem, although now restarting with alt, cmd-R or alt-cmd-R will not work, recovery will just boot ubuntu and starting with alt won't show bootable drives. What Can I do?
    – Petruza
    Sep 19, 2017 at 3:07

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