Using Restore Discs with Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.3.3

Learn how to restore bundled applications—or Mac OS 9—on computers that shipped with 10.2 to 10.3.3.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Tip: If your computer shipped with Mac OS X 10.2, and you've since upgraded to Mac OS X 10.4, see this article instead.

The Restore discs included with some computers that ship with Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.3.3 are significantly different from those used with earlier model Macintosh computers. This includes the Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors). The restore process of each model varies slightly, so the description in this document is intended as a general overview and not a model-specific set of instructions.

The differences include:

  • The restore is customizable. You can choose to restore all items, or select just Mac OS 9.2.2 or specific applications such as iDVD.
  • The Restore discs are not startup discs. Using the Restore program requires that you start up the computer from a hard disk that has Mac OS X 10.2 or later installed on it.
  • Because the Restore discs are not startup discs, an erase and restore requires an additional step.
  • Some computers share the same restore process but ship with a combined Software Install and Restore disc contained on a single DVD-ROM or multiple DVDs instead of two or more CD-ROM discs. The Install and Restore disc is a startup discs. (In the case of multiple restore DVDs, the first disc is the startup disc.) Use it in the steps below in place of the separate discs provided with other computers. See the Read Me First file on the disc for additional information.


  • Using Software Restore is the only way to install or reinstall Mac OS 9, or iDVD on these computers, however, an erase and restore is not required. The steps below are for a complete erase and restore, to restore only applications or Mac OS 9 without erasing, begin with step 2.
  • See How to restore your Apple software for an overview of how to restore software on many different kinds of Macs.

How to Perform an Erase and Restore

  1. Start up from the OS X 10.2 CD-ROM disc and perform an erase and install.
    Warning: Choosing Erase and Install will completely erase the contents of the chosen volume before installing Mac OS X 10.2. Be sure to back up your files before continuing.
  2. Start up normally from the hard disk. It should start up using Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
  3. Insert the first Restore disc and double-click the Restore.pkg file. This installs "Software Restore" in the Utilities folder and opens it automatically.

  4. The Software Restore application guides you through the process. You will need to know your Admin password.

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