Air OS install usb drive on other systems

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ifjake, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #1
    I'm having an odd problem with my DVD drive on my MacBook Pro where it has problems physically spinning some discs. Importing audio CDs still works, but I can't get it to recognize my system restore disc that came with the computer. I need to reformat my hard drive and reinstall the OS and do some backups etc. but I can't get it to boot from the disc. Is it possible to use the thumb drive that came with the MacBook Air on other systems?
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #2
    ...

    I don't think so. I just returned my air but before I did I duplicated the apple USB drive onto my own thumb drive. I did this because I bought a used macbook pro and wanted to reinstall the OS and thought it would be quicker. I booted from the USB stick from but when I went to install the OS it said that OSX could not be installed on this hardware or something like that. I rebooted and installed from the CD just fine and assumed that the stick just won't let you use it unless its on an air. However, you may be able to reinstall the OS if you have access to another mac either through target disk mode if it has firewire (sorry the air can't do it) or if it has a working optical drive (using the remote install mac osx application in the utilities folder) again a no go for the air.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    BeyondtheTech

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #3
    Discs or USB flash drives that came with your Mac will only work for that model.

    Dscs and USB flash drives purchased at retail (assuming future OS X releases will be provided that way) will work for all compatible Macs.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #4
    ...

    wow good to know. I don't know why they go to all that trouble though you would think it would just be easier to make one copy that works with everything
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    BeyondtheTech

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #5
    That would make it too easy for anyone who has a Mac to give a copy of the latest OS to other older Mac owners. And, from what I can tell, hackers can't use non-retail install discs to create their own Hackintosh setups.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Beanoir

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    51 degrees North
    #6
    It certainly is possible, I have used it on my Mini and it certainly does work. You can also use it to upgrade iLife packages to the latest too if your other computers are running the old versions.

    I can't obviously tell you on this forum how to do it, but a bit of "googling" will provide the answer.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #7
    Yeah I found something that tells me how to copy the Mac system install disc to a thumb drive, and it says to ignore the warning and option-boot and it works. Unfortunately I can't get my DVD drive to work long enough to get the OS install disc on the thumb drive. I thought I had it (it'll spin up if I angle the laptop a certain way) but at halfway it starts to scrape and wig out. It's annoying as hell. I think there's something about the disc. Toward the hole on the read side there's a little plastic ridge after the readable portion of the disk. On the Mac OS system restore disc it's raised slightly more than others and I think is actually closer to the hole than other discs, causing to the drive to lose balance or something. I'm not sure what to do.
     

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