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  1. #1
    OS X Serial Numbers

    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2008
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    OS X Serial Numbers
    I'm not trying to crack systemes or anything illegal here but I was curious as to how the serial number works on OS X disks.

    In Windows you have to enter a CD key that is on the sticker sent along with your disk.

    My question is that with Mac you don't have to enter a CD key and with these CD's being mass produced how does each one get a unique serial number?

  2. #2
    OS X Serial Numbers
    schweb's Avatar
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    Oct 27, 2002
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    You are correct, you don't have a CD key. Each Mac has a unique serial number, not the OS.
    schweb | community leader
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  3. #3
    OS X Serial Numbers

    Member Since
    Jan 27, 2007
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    *Brisvegas*
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    17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
    And why did apple chose to do down this route with no serial for the OS?

  4. #4
    OS X Serial Numbers
    rogerinlondon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 02, 2006
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    London, England
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    iMac Retina 5K 4GHz i7 24GB RAM MacBook Air 11-inch 1.6GHz 4GB RAM
    Presumably since it does not cost that much in the first place and (at least in the past) Apple's low market share would have made it less interesting for the professional software pirates, I guess.

    It would also be more expensive to administer a system with individual serial numbers.

  5. #5
    OS X Serial Numbers

    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2006
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    2,542
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    iMac Core Duo 20", iBook G4, iPhone 8GB :)
    End result is we don't have to bother with serial numbers, activation and all that hassle!

  6. #6
    OS X Serial Numbers
    Chilbear's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location
    Toronto
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    2xiMac24 w Parallels 6 (1x White, 1x Aluminum), iPhone 3GS with iOS5
    Do you actually think they are not tracking machines and their serial numbers?

    Every update we do gives them the chance to update their records. Hopefully they will stay the course but who knows? Nothing in life is free...

  7. #7
    OS X Serial Numbers
    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
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    9,073
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    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    Quote Originally Posted by Chilbear View Post
    Do you actually think they are not tracking machines and their serial numbers?

    Every update we do gives them the chance to update their records. Hopefully they will stay the course but who knows? Nothing in life is free...
    Rubbish. If Apple was doing something of the sort, people would know about it.

    Besides, iWork requires a serial number, as do all of the Pro apps. OS X Server also requires a serial number and even scans your local network for duplicate serial number usage. So it's not as though Apple doesn't care about piracy - but they choose not to both regular consumers with serial numbers and activation.

    Everyone who buys a Mac has already paid for at least one copy of OS X and the fact that Apple trusts its users to buy future upgrades says a lot about the company.

  8. #8
    OS X Serial Numbers

    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2004
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    USA
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    4,744
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilbear View Post
    Every update we do gives them the chance to update their records. Hopefully they will stay the course but who knows? Nothing in life is free...
    If you're worried, I strongly suggest a network monitor like Little Snitch
    http://www.obdev.at/products/littlesnitch/index.html

  9. #9
    OS X Serial Numbers
    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    20,041
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    iMac i5 2.7GHz, 16GB memory, OS 10.10.5
    The basics are Apple are selling computers and then designing operating systems whereas Microsoft are just doing the system thing and need to much, much more closely regard illegal sales and installations.

    Look at how every time one goes to check on updates for XP it is necessary to go through the process of checking the operating system. Remember Microsoft asking for all that info on what the install disc looked like, whether it was supplied with the computer etc?

    Please this is not criticism of MS as I have a Dell Latitude running XP Pro!

  10. #10
    OS X Serial Numbers
    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location
    London
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    8,968
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    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    Harry is right, Apple get their money because you have to buy a mac to get the OS

    Then the upgrades to the next OS are reasonable, so people are far less inclined to get a pirate copy (it does happen but not as much)

  11. #11
    OS X Serial Numbers
    MegaRoss's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 03, 2008
    Posts
    114
    because you need a mac to install the OS in the first place, and seeing as all macs will come with and OS in the first place (from new anyway) it doesn't matter all that much
    Man of much music.

  12. #12
    OS X Serial Numbers
    KamileonX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 12, 2007
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    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
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    Specs:
    MBP 15" Gloss, 2.4 GHz C2D, 4GB DDR2, 160 GB @ 7200 HDD, 256 MB 8600M GT
    $129 for an OS....

    That is reasonable enough for me to just buy it and forget the hassle of trying to evade the piracy police/protection.

    Microsoft decides to charge up to $500 for an OS (i.e Vista Ultimate), no wonder people pirate it. Not to mention Vista is less than amazing.

    When I decided to upgrade to Leopard, I had no second thoughts in paying the $129 for the disc. To get the most advanced OS in the world for a fraction of what the "competition" offers theirs is great!

    The price of the OS is reasonable. Hence the number of legitimate copies of the OS running on computers will be much higher. I think Apple is showing a great trust in their consumer-base for not needing keys.
    KamileonX (Lawrence)
    MacBook Pro 15" (Glossy) Custom
    2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB OCZ DDR2 667 MHz RAM, 160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive, 256 MB GeForce 8600M GT Graphics, Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.2

  13. #13
    OS X Serial Numbers
    Mathiau's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 25, 2006
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    Costa Rica
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    354
    Specs:
    MacBook Black 2ghz / 2g / 160g72k | Ipod nano black 4G
    ^^ key word "up to" $500, you can get home premium OEM for $140. and other versions for $100.

    cost isn't a reason to pirate, it is a lame excuse cause you don't "need" Ultimate edition, or "need" vista, OS X most "advance" OS, give me a break, most of what OS X is it got from past OS's already in the *nix and windows world. (yes i know ms has gotten it's idea's from the *nix world as well, they are all guilty of stealing others ideas)


    OS leopard is pirated period, just open your eyes a little, but since their market share is a fraction, the damage done isnt near as bad as MS nor is it heard of as often,, in fact pirating software for MAC is almost easier as you can simply copy an entire directory from one system to another, no copy protection, or very little to get around, did you not hear of the various kids walking into stores with ipod and usb drives copying software from MAC's... cant do that in windows, you need the disks. (the registry sucks, but it makes this type of piracy harder)

    If apple wasn't a "hardware" company first, they would make it more complex if you could install the OS on any hardware, which you now don't need a MAC to do so since now they are using hardware pc's have for years, you can buy specific hardware off the shelf and build your own mac more or less now, and if that trend continues, dont think for a second Apple wont make it more complex for you, cause when people pirate, things are never hard for them, it just makes it worse for the legit people.

  14. #14
    OS X Serial Numbers
    KamileonX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location
    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
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    107
    Specs:
    MBP 15" Gloss, 2.4 GHz C2D, 4GB DDR2, 160 GB @ 7200 HDD, 256 MB 8600M GT
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathiau View Post
    ^^ key word "up to" $500, you can get home premium OEM for $140. and other versions for $100.
    I'm not disagreeing with you, but just a note that OEM is not the same license as Retail Box.

    So since Apple doesn't have different licenses per OS X disc that goes out, you have to consider it a retail box product. An OEM OS X disc would be the recovery disc that comes with the purchase of a Mac.

    You cannot compare Microsoft OEM licenses to Apple Retail Boxes. The purpose of the two licenses and discs are different.

    The most direct comparison would be a Retail Box of Vista Home Premium to the OS X Leopard box that you can buy in the Apple Store $399 vs $129 (CDN $'s) is quite the difference and would be enough of a difference to have me buy the disc instead of download it.

    Not to mention that the Leopard disc has everything on it instead of having 4 (3 consumer level) versions that may have "limited" functionality compared to Ultimate. But that is a different debate altogether.
    KamileonX (Lawrence)
    MacBook Pro 15" (Glossy) Custom
    2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB OCZ DDR2 667 MHz RAM, 160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive, 256 MB GeForce 8600M GT Graphics, Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.2

  15. #15
    OS X Serial Numbers

    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2006
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    iMac Core Duo 20", iBook G4, iPhone 8GB :)
    Yeah. Multiply that into two for 32bit/64bit versions

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