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Transfer original installer discs whenever selling old Macs

This note goes to all sellers of used and refurbished Macs. And this note goes as a precaution to all buyers of used and refurbished Macs. If the seller does not include the original installation discs in the sale, they can't sell the machine with any of the software on those discs. Furthermore, those discs are important because they include the oldest operating system that shipped with the Mac, and often include the first version of iLife that shipped with the Mac, as well as a hardware test. Not to mention those discs are designed to work with those Macs. Buying a new operating system newer than that Mac will not give you iLife. And discs that came with another Mac won't necessarily work with your Mac. If you lost those discs and are about to sell the machine, call AppleCare for replacements. If you obtained a machine without them, ask the seller to locate them. If you can't locate the seller anymore, call AppleCare, and hope you are lucky. If the seller can't agree to give you the original discs, return the machine to them and tell them you won't buy it. You might as well buy a car with a missing axel.
If this is to be a general article, I observe that often the software included with the bundle varies from system to system. What is stated by the OP applies to just about any OS since Apple started charging for them back in System 7.6 days, but iLife wasn't even supplied with all versions of OSX so I suggest removing specific mention of iLife.

I agree that while it is useful to receive the original discs, and they often will not do the previous owner any good, this article should really be tailored more to the reality and practicality of the market for used computers. Many used computers are at least one if not several generations behind the current OS, so I suspect many people purchase a used computer not intending at all to use the original OS. As I mentioned above, not all original discs actually contain much in the way of special software, or those versions too are very old.

There are a few occasions when you might need the original discs:

- You really do want to run the original OS, in which case why have to hunt for a duplicate copy when one should come with the machine for free since it won't do the original owner any good. Along these lines is convenience in installing Classic for those wishing to do so retroactively.

- The hardware test feature may be one of the unique features on the original discs which merit getting hold of those discs, but even then I believe a few versions are available for download from Apple.

- A few models may, in special circumstances, require booting to versions of operating systems only found on the original discs.

If the seller can't agree to give you the original discs, return the machine to them and tell them you won't buy it.

"If the seller will not or can not provide the original discs, realize in purchasing the machine you will have to find the necessary discs for any licensed software on the machine. Factoring in time and cost, this may cause you to reconsider purchasing that particular unit."

Having original discs that came with a machine is primarily a convenience, and should be no burden to the original owner since they do that person no good. There are a very few times when original discs are essential (e.g., needing to boot a MDD to OS9.2.2). Considering that many people use upgrades of operating systems on older computers it then only becomes necessary that they have licensed discs of the upgrade OS, or +any software installed on the computer at the time of purchase+ for that matter.

I do know of places that sell empty drive computers (e.g., institutions with OS site licenses who are now getting rid of old machines and can't provide discs). If you can get one very cheaply and simply have to purchase and upgrade you probably want to purchase anyway then it just largely becomes a matter of economics in buying that computer "without an axel". Not to stretch it too far, but I did once buy a car without functioning wipers at $700 under the functioning market value, put in $30 of parts and now drive that car. If somebody offers me a G5 with no discs, bare drive, for $50, sure I'll buy it, then buy a copy of Leopard and be ahead on the deal.

Message was edited by: Limnos
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