Using Apple Software Restore to install or reinstall parts without erasing (Mac OS X 10.1.5 or earlier)

Learn how to use the Apple Software Restore for Mac OS X 10.1.5 or earlier to install or reinstall OS X software.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

This document applies to Mac OS X 10.0 through 10.1.5. For Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.3.3 information, see this document.

Important: The Apple Software Restore discs included with some computers do not offer an option to reinstall individual applications like iTunes or iMovie. When you use Apple Software Restore it first erases the hard disk, and then restores all the software.

Note: There is no custom installation option when using the Apple Software Restore multiple disc restoration set included with some computers.

You can use these steps to reinstall parts without erasing the hard disk.

Helpful tips

  • Be sure to distinguish the discs labeled Install and Restore from one another. They are significantly different.
  • Do not reinstall software from a restore set in this manner if the software on the restore set is an older version than what is currently installed on the hard disk.
  • Visit Apple Downloads before performing this procedure and check to see if the same version or a newer version of the software is available. Downloading the software can be the easiest route to reinstalling it without erasing the hard disk.
  • If the deleted items are part of the Mac OS 9 System Install CD, note that, unlike the Restore disc set, the Mac OS 9 Install CD offers the ability to install many items individually through the custom installation menu.
  • For Mac OS X system software, use the appropriate System Software Install CD to reinstall the missing software. Unlike the Restore discs, the Install discs do offer custom installation.
  • If you are using Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.3.1, you may use the custom options of the Restore application to install applications (rather than the procedure described below). For more information see "Software Restore: How to Use Restore Discs With Mac OS X 10.2".


If you need an item that is only available from the Restore CD set, you may install it without erasing the hard disk by following these steps:

  1. Make sure you have at least 2 GB of free hard disk space on your computer.
  2. Make a new folder.
  3. Insert the Software Restore discs one by one and copy the disk image (.dmg) files in the Configurations folder from each disc to the folder you created on the hard disk. There may be up to five images depending on the restore set.
  4. Open the Disk Copy application.
  5. Drag the first .dmg file from the folder you created to the Disk Copy window. The disk image appears as a hard disk on the desktop. This disk image volume contains all the software that your computer did when it was first purchased.
  6. Open the disk image volume and locate the software you want to reinstall.
  7. Copy the software from the disk image volume to the hard disk.
  8. If you are using Mac OS X 10.1.5, use the Repair Privileges Utility 1.1.

"Software Restore: How to Use Restore Discs With Mac OS X 10.2"
"Mac OS X 10.2: How to Install the BSD Subsystem After Mac OS X 10.2"
"Mac OS X 10.2: How to Install Additional Printer Drivers from Restore CDs"
"Mac OS X 10.2: Applications Are Missing After Upgrade Installation"
"Using Restore Discs with Mac OS X 10.2 through 10.3.3"
"Macintosh: Restore DVD - How to Install iMovie, iPhoto, or iTunes Using Mac OS X Software Install"

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