Boot iMac from an OS X Live DVD or USB thumb drive?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by GameGuru38, May 13, 2016.

  1. GameGuru38 macrumors regular

    GameGuru38

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    With Linux I love that I can boot from disc or USB so I can do some tests on the internal HDD and wondering if there is a way to do this with OS X so I can run a diagnostic on the HDD before attempting to install to it?
     
  2. redheeler, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016

    redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1433

    You can use the Apple tool at this link to make a recovery USB key. This is not a full OS installer, but just a small recovery utility that you can use to access things like Disk Utility and Terminal for troubleshooting.
     
  4. abhibeckert macrumors regular

    abhibeckert

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    #4
    USB drives are damaged whenever you write to them, so it's not recommended to run a full OS X install on one.

    It will work, but only for a while then you'll have to buy a new thumb drive. According to Wikipedia, how long it will last varies from "a few days" to "several hundred years" depending on your usage pattern.

    Booting a normal OS X is probably closer to "a few days", which is why you should only really use the recovery feature - that is designed for thumb drives and won't wear it out too badly.

    If you're frequently doing diagnostics/etc you should use a proper HDD or SSD in a USB enclosure. Or even better, thunderbolt.
     

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