new MBA cannot boot from USB

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by hehe299792458, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2008
    I want to boot from my USB drive to install a fresh copy of Mountain Lion 10.8.4 on my new Macbook Air.

    I downloaded the latest version from the MAS, restored the "Install ESD" image to a USB3 thumb drive, and tried to boot from the USB drive by holding down the option key on my MBA.

    The first strange thing is that it lists the USB drive as "EFI". I seem to recall that the volume is labeled "Max OS X Install ESD". Anyways, I choose that option, and then the circular symbol with the diagonal line appears.

    I tried booting from the USB drive on my 2011 MBP, and it worked fine. It's just the MBA that's having trouble. Why is this?
  2. macrumors 68040


    Nov 23, 2011
    I dunno, I had no issues with the ML usb I'd created several months ago. This was on my new 2013 11"
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2008
    Here's a picture of my 2011 MBA trying to boot from USB

    Here are two pictures of my 2013 MBA trying to do the same thing from the same USB drive.


  4. macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    How did you download 10.8.4? From the App Store app? Or via Recovery on the Air? It's entirely possible that the stock 10.8.4 is missing drivers that the new Air needs. Stock 10.8.4 is build 12E55 do you know what build your Air came with?
  5. macrumors 68000

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    You cant use the version of 10.8.4 from the MAS, you need to use the recovery partition on the MBA to download the specific version of OSX for that model. (12E55) will not work on the MBA.
  6. macrumors P6


    Jan 23, 2005

    The 2013 MBA uses 10.8.4 build 12E3067.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 15, 2009
    There's a way to do a workaround, though.

    I'll describe it here:

    1. prepare an empty usb drive with at least 8 GB. format it with Disk Untiliy as Mac OS X Extended (HFS+)
    2. shut down your MBA, connect the usb drive to your MBA, press the power button
    3. hold cmd+r to enter recovery mode
    4. choose your just created pratition on the usb drive as installation destination
    5. wait until the recovery mode has downloaded everything, the MBA will reboot, now disconnect the usb drive quickly
    6. put the usb drive in another Mac, on the partition you'll find a file called InstallESD.dmg.partial. rename it to InstallESD.dmg and create a bootable usb drive from it
    7. if the file (or a file that has a similar name) isn't there, repeat the above instructions and wait until Mountain Lion is installed, after the installation dialogue has finished, quickle remove the usb drive
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2012
    You don't need to bother with USB sticks. Here're the steps I took to do clean install of 10.8.4:

    - boot your MBA from recovery partition - hold down Cmd-R during boot
    - start Disk Utility from recovery partition
    - delete existing partition on SSD, so you have a clean drive
    - select reinstall MacOS option - it will download 10.8.4 from MAS and install it
    - you now have a clean install

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