I just bought a new hard drive for my Macbook and want to install a fresh OS X 10.6. I looked through all the CDs that I have and I could only find the Mac OS X Install DVD that came with a new Mac Mini I bought a couple of months ago.

Can I use that disc to install Mac OS X 10.6 for my Macbook?

Normally I would think it'd be no problem, but the install disk prominently says "Mac mini" on it. I'm wondering if the OS is specially tailored for Mac Mini's and won't have the drivers necessary for Macbooks.

The rest of the disc says:

Mac Mini Mac OS X Install DVD Mac OS version 10.6.4 Disc version 1.0

Any thoughts?

4 Answers 4


The installation disk coming with a computer is for that computer model only, and I would not expect this to work.

If your MacBook runs 10.5 you are eligible for the 10.6 upgrade for $29. I can highly recommend it, if nothing else, for the fixes in Time Machine.

  • Thanks everyone for the answers. This was actually the case, I tried the install and before the installer would even start I got a "Mac OS X can't be installed on this computer." Supposedly there are work arounds but they didn't seem worth it; I did more searching and found my Snow Leopard install DVD. forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=590753
    – macca1
    Feb 26, 2011 at 22:46
  • @macca1, glad you got it sorted out. I believe Apple do it like this to reduce piracy. Feb 26, 2011 at 23:11

If your model of Mac mini came out AFTER your model of MacBook, then it will probably work, although your Mac mini's specific flavor of 10.6.4 was probably never tested/qualified by Apple for that model of MacBook. YMMV. Use at your own risk.

  • Yes, the Mac Mini is a few months old and the Macbook is a black 2,1.
    – macca1
    Feb 26, 2011 at 19:04
  • @macca1: There shouldn´t be any problem, as all the additions that are "custom" for the "specific flavor" on the Mac Mini DVD have been incorporated into the following 10.6.5 update anyway. More to the point, a hardware specific build will only contain more drivers, not less than the previous minor release, and thus will work on all previous hardware. @Spiff: +1 anyway for pointing in the right direction.
    – Asmus
    Feb 26, 2011 at 20:21

Apple would tell you that install disks are linked to the computer you bought it with, but it wouldn't hurt to try.

Alternate solution: Copy everything over from the old drive with something like Super Duper.


There is only one version of Mac OS X (as opposed to Windows which is riddled with countless variations). Even if the ignite disc that you have doesn't work, buying a copy of 10.6 is cheaper than a week's worth of Starbucks: MacSales.com/SnowLeopard - $27.99 + tax & ship.

  • The installation disk coming with a computer is for that model only. Feb 26, 2011 at 20:47

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