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View Full Version : Need Help On Booting 10.7.4 From Flash Drive




MtnSkier
Jul 5, 2012, 11:57 AM
I would like help on copying an EXISTING Lion partition, with a couple of key apps on it, to a thumb drive that is bootable. The size of this partition is about 7 Gigs. Thus, I want a thumb drive back-up of my Lion OSX that I can boot in case of an emergency. Am using a Mac pro 2,1.

Here is what I have tried so far:

1) Have succeeded in creating bootable copies of my current Lion OSX partition, and my old Sno Leo partition on an INTERNAL third hard drive just fine.

2) Have booted into an old Sno Leo partition, and used disk utility to "restore" my current Lion 10.7.4 installation to a partition on my PNY 32 Gig USB thumb drive using GUID. Disk Utility Info shows that this thumb drive as bootable

3) However, when I hold down option at boot, with thumb drive in front USB port, the thumb drive is never displayed; at boot, OSX will not recognize thumb drive as a bootable option! Five other bootable options are recognized, and all are bootable: Main Lion, Lion BKUP, Main Sno Leo, Sno Leo BKUP, and Recovery Disk. Why isn't my thumb drive displayed as a bootable choice?

4) I took out all my drives, and just tried to boot with the thumb drive alone in place; it still did not display as a bootable choice.

5) I "blessed" the thumb drive in terminal with the following command:

sudo bless -folder "/Volumes/USB Flash Lion 10.7.4/System/Library/CoreServices"

It asked for password, seemed to work, but no cigar: no listing of thumb drive as a bootable volume when holding down option key.

Solution Paths

Please suggest a solution path, if it is possible. It could be that Lion, or Apple, FORBIDS making a bootable copy of an existing, bootable Lion partition on an EXTERNAL USB drive. If so, please point this out to me.

Here are some ideas:

1) I could buy from Amazon an external terabyte drive with firewire for $190. Then, I think I could copy my existing Lion partition to this external firewire drive, and have it bootable. If a Colorado wildfire takes down my home, I could quickly grab this drive and put it in my car. But this is an expensive option; a 32 gig PNY thumb drive is only $20 at Best Buy.

2) Do I need to "bless" my thumb drive in Mac Unix to make it bootable? Did I make an error in my sudo bless command described above?

3) I have already clicked "repair disk" in disk utility from my Sno Leo partion, and it reports that it placed a boot on the thumb drive, and that the Lion thumb drive copy is clean, and bootable. But I cannot figure out why it is not recognized as a bootable OSX at startup.


Thank you for your patience and any ideas I could try.



branthe
Jul 6, 2012, 08:59 AM
Have you tired Carbon Clone Copier (http://www.bombich.com/)?

That's how I make bootable drives.

PeterHolbrook
Jul 6, 2012, 10:04 AM
I'd like to be mistaken, but it seems to me that Apple designed OS X in such a way that booting from USB is disabled.

branthe
Jul 6, 2012, 10:21 AM
I'd like to be mistaken, but it seems to me that Apple designed OS X in such a way that booting from USB is disabled.

OSX can boot from USB...Firewire...Thunderbolt...etc

PeterHolbrook
Jul 6, 2012, 11:07 AM
OSX can boot from USB...Firewire...Thunderbolt...etc

Can you provide an actual link that OS X can boot from USB? I haven't found ANY

EDIT: I know that an USB CD-ROM can boot OS X using a system OS X CD or DVD. I was referring to USB pen drives. By the way, what kind of user will downgrade a question? A genius? Or perhaps someone with an alarmingly diminishing number of neurons?

MtnSkier
Jul 6, 2012, 12:27 PM
Thanks to both Peter and Branthe,

Peter, you may turn out to be right; it just may not be allowed by the Lion OSX (and other versions as well). In which case will order an SSD external backup drive from Other World Computing right away.

Branthe, did try copying with SuperDuper a couple of days ago, and that copy would also not boot, though disk utility info reported it "bootable."

Branthe, have just downloaded Carbon Copy Clone, so I will next try making a copy into my PNY thumb drive, and see if it is detectable while holding down option key, and if it will boot.

Should have done this last night, 'cause its going to take 4 or 5 hours!

Will report back here soon on the CCC results.

robgendreau
Jul 6, 2012, 01:55 PM
Hmm. Not sure but I think when you format some externals the "ignore ownership" info item gets tagged. So do a get info... and see if that's the problem.

Mal
Jul 6, 2012, 04:45 PM
I've booted Lion off a USB Flash Drive many times. Make sure it's not set to ignore ownership, but other than that, the only thing I can suggest is installing directly onto the flash drive instead of copying everything over. The drive has to be big enough to allow that, but perhaps there's another issue here with the original source.

jW

PeterHolbrook
Jul 7, 2012, 02:31 AM
I've booted Lion off a USB Flash Drive many times.

OK, I admit I was wrong, because, quite certainly, Apple sell a USB flash Lion installer that I guess must be capable of booting Macs. However, there must be something involved in the process that makes it hard for a common user to create such flash media. From what I've read, even third-party booting environments such as Chameleon or Chimera work off USB pen drives only for PCs, not for Macs. People who turn their old Intel Core 2 Duo Macs into Hackintoshes in order to install ML have to resort to installing the EFI64-compatible boot onto an internal MBR-partitioned hard drive; USB flash is not an option.

Is there something special regarding the partitioning table of the USB pen drives you use to boot OS X? Is it GUID? MBR? CDROM? Which file system do(es) the partition(s) use? HFSJ? HFS+? HFS? FAT?

Mal
Jul 7, 2012, 10:39 AM
Is there something special regarding the partitioning table of the USB pen drives you use to boot OS X? Is it GUID? MBR? CDROM? Which file system do(es) the partition(s) use? HFSJ? HFS+? HFS? FAT?

To boot any Intel Mac from any source (besides a DVD, which have special requirements), you must be using an HFS+ (journaled is best) partition on a GUID-partitioned drive. It will not boot any other way. The installer won't work if it's not partitioned properly, but cloning tools don't check that, so in doing a clone, you have to check all of that yourself first. I had a 16GB flash drive set up with Lion and copies of DiskWarrior and Data Rescue as a really nice troubleshooting tool, but the drive was crap and died after a few months, and I haven't bothered doing it again. Because of that, however, I know it's possible to do exactly what the OP wanted to do, but I suspect the partition scheme is at fault here.

jW

MtnSkier
Jul 7, 2012, 12:12 PM
After 7 hours cloning my Lion OS 10.7.4 to a PNY 32 Gig flash drive, with Carbon Copy Cloner, It still will not show at boot when I hold down the option key. No cigar.

I would like suggestions of specific steps I could try to get a bootable USB flash drive, if possible. Is there some kind of a change in "permission" I could make to make it recognizable as a bootable drive?

Here is information about the USB Flash drive that may help:

1) CCC stated that the drive would be bootable at the beginning of the clone.

2) Disk utility info has a box that is checked that says "ignore ownership info" It is checked, so apparently ownership is ignored at this time. I can unlock it, and have made sure that the box is checked. I also changed every permission to grant "read and write" status. Still, no cigar.

3) There is a single GUID partition on this drive, taking up about 13.98 Gigs. There is plenty of extra space on this 32 gig PNY Flash drive. It is in Mac OS extended (journaled).

4) Would someone suggest a sudo bless command in terminal that might help make the flash drive bootable?

5) Verify Disk in disk Utility states that this flash drive is OK.

6) Repair Disk in Disk Utility states that "Updating boot support partitions for the volume as required."

7) Neither SuperDuper, Disk Utility, nor Carbon Copy Cloner has worked. Copying with Disk Utility is much faster than the other two.

Thanks to all.

MtnSkier
Jul 7, 2012, 12:33 PM
Additional Note:

Tried both checking and unchecking the "Ignore ownership" box, and neither option resulted in thumb drive being recognized with the option key.

MtnSkier
Jul 7, 2012, 08:19 PM
Another Experiment:

Just made a Carbon Copy Clone of the Lion OS 10.7.4 clone, that yesterday had been placed on the PNY Flash drive.

Directed it via CCC to be placed on a partition on my third INTERNAL drive, the Optaric mechanical drive that came with the computer in 2007.

Would this partition be detected holding down the option key, as bootable, and would it boot? Don't read further, make a guess.

Well, it was detected just fine, and booted just fine and is clean. Therefore, there was nothing wrong with the clone made on the thumb drive; it just will not boot. Now think that Apple made a decision in Lion not to allow a USB drive to be bootable, as Peter above suggests.

What this means is that you can clone a copy of your Lion OS plus apps onto a thumb drive, but to make it bootable, you would have to use disk utility in HD Recovery to direct ("restore") it to a partition on an internal drive, if you had an emergency and your main OS drive went down. It took about an hour for some 17 Gigs. You can see the advantages of Firewire and an external mechanical drive, or SSD, for clones of partitions you want to keep them safe apart from the computer.

drambuie
Jul 7, 2012, 09:23 PM
Here's how to make a bootable Lion flash drive, but it's from the original .dmg Lion image. I don't know of you can make a bootable copy of an existing installation image.

http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/08/make-a-bootable-mac-os-x-10-7-lion-installer-from-a-usb-flash-drive/

MtnSkier
Jul 8, 2012, 12:00 PM
Thanks for the link Drambuie,

However, this not the solution I'm seeking. Want a bootable USB clone from an existing Lion partition, along will all apps and data.

So far, does not appear to be possible.

Mal
Jul 8, 2012, 12:48 PM
Well, it was detected just fine, and booted just fine and is clean. Therefore, there was nothing wrong with the clone made on the thumb drive; it just will not boot. Now think that Apple made a decision in Lion not to allow a USB drive to be bootable, as Peter above suggests.

You've already been told this isn't true, and I've verified it with my personal experience. USB flash drives absolutely are bootable. You simply need to check your flash drive's setup and verify that you did everything correctly there, which you've never verified that you did.

jW

drambuie
Jul 8, 2012, 04:13 PM
However, this not the solution I'm seeking. Want a bootable USB clone from an existing Lion partition, along will all apps and data.

So far, does not appear to be possible.

Maybe you could backup your Lion installation to to an external USB harddrive, then follow the article to mount your external backup, and restore it directly to the USB flashdrive which has been made bootable.

MtnSkier
Jul 13, 2012, 12:48 PM
"You've already been told this isn't true, and I've verified it with my personal experience. USB flash drives absolutely are bootable. You simply need to check your flash drive's setup and verify that you did everything correctly there, which you've never verified that you did."

Just because I've been "told" something, does not mean that I can do it! Or, that it works. So far, it does not work, despite the fact that I've tried every suggestion that you and others on this thread have made. Please see posts 11 and 12 above.

What am I missing here? Please specify the "everything correctly."

Fellows, I'm not enough of an expert to distill the SPECIFIC steps to do this, apparently. There is no question that I'm an OSX imbecile. What I really am is a med school professor and statistical modeler of breast and cervical cancer risk factors, who wants to get on with his work.

Please, if it really works, describe the specific steps in sequence that will allow me to copy an existing Lion partition to a USB drive, giving it the correct permissions, and have it show when the option key is held down, and in turn, successfully boot. Then we can close this thread, and others can succeed too.