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Mac OS X installation disc images?

Macintoshian Achaia - Ars Technica OpenForum - arstechnica.com
I managed to get my hands on a Mac Pro 3.1, and I'm wanting to play around with it. One of the drives is dying if not already dead. The system doesn't boot, instead it's flashing the folder + question mark, which according to support docs means it cannot find the OS. I suspect it's the RAID card that's faulty or the first of the spanned disks is dead. Currently the drives are in spanned RAID mode, from what I can gather from the Command+R > Disk Utility read out. It says that it's got a 1.5TB hard disk, when there are 3x 500GB drives physically installed.

What I'd like to do is remove all but 1 functioning disks and re-install Mac OS X so that I have a functioning Mac. I've been a Windows user my entire life, so I'm unfamiliar with how Mac OS X OS images and licensing works. From some research, I've determined that there's no such thing as a "key" or "license" in the same way that Windows works - good. The next part is that I see El Capitan does not support this machine, so purchasing through the App Store won't work either - dammit. However, it doesn't look like Apple has any "Recovery DVDs" in the same way that say Dell or Lenovo provides for their machines. So how does one go about acquiring a DVD/ISO image of Mac OS? It doesn't need to be the latest and greatest, but hopefully the last version that is supported on this Mac Pro 3.1 hardware? I think Yosemite was the last one?

For what it's worth, I'm told that the OS version installed is either Lion or Mountain Lion. I wouldn't be against getting an ISO for either version, but I just figured I'd try to upgrade to the latest possible version. However, everybody seems to say that Apple doesn't provide disk images, instead they went the recovery partition route.

Little bit of help, please? What are my options?
Date: Jul 17, 2017   


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