Bootable Snow Leopard external drive


macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 25, 2004
Hey guys. Is there a way to make a bootable external hard drive that will install Snow Leopard, using the contents of my iMac's original restore DVD? I know it works with the retail DVDs, but I'm a little stuck here.


macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
Sure. Just use the same procedure with your iMac's restore disc as with a retail disc. Use Disk Utility or Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the restore disc on to the external media.
Nov 28, 2010
Not gonna happen. You need a retail disk to do that.

Are you sure?
I could boot the Mac OS X 10.3 version made for my G4 iBook on a G5 Power Mac to take advantage of its power and may applications. All it needed was a Software Update.
But maybe Apple has changed that behaviour since all the crazy has spun into higher gear.

Mr. Retrofire

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2010
Not gonna happen. You need a retail disk to do that.
The functions inside the "Distribution" file, look like JavaScript functions. So, if you know a little bit about this script language, you can edit the "Distribution" file, so that the Installer "thinks", you can install the specific version of Snow Leopard on a certain machine.

The Leopard (also valid for Snow Leopard (tested)) thread here on MR contains useful info, but it is a "dirty" solution, because the recompression step in this thread includes all files in the desktop directory, which is probably not what you want. And btw, the xar installation is not necessary, if you have installed Apples Xcode developer tools. They already come with xar and other utilities.

Here is a "cleaner" method:
(tested with my own Leopard and Snow Leopard disks)
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