Are USB sticks bootable on current MBAs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by hkim1983, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    This might seem like a silly question, but I'm contemplating replacing my current MBP with a MBA, and one of the things that's preventing me from doing that is something I read awhile ago, were you couldn't boot up from USB sticks on MBAs. I don't know if this was actually true or not, but if so, it would be kind of annoying, as I would use that to install Windows and as a re-install disk incase I ever have to do a clean-install of OS X.

    I appreciate the help and time.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2010
    Calgary AB
    you can most definitely boot a windows OS installer from an ISO file on a USB stick. Its designed that way for use with the boot camp assistant. As for reinstalling OS X, you likely wouldn't need to because the built in recovery partition that includes everything you need to reinstall os x
  3. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    The built-in recovery partition doesn't have a complete OS image and will download it from the web, assuming a working Internet. It's nicer to already have it on a stick, or external usb drive.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    I just got a macbook air and I reinstalled the OS using a usb flash drive so I can confirm that it works (with no problems and much faster than waiting to download the file which took forever!).
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
    Macintoshes have booted from USB for years but only recently have booted Windows. New MacBook Airs and Pros and minis will indeed boot Windows.
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    Thank you for the quick responses. Now when I do make the transition over to a MBA, I can do so without worries.

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