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Can I reuse the Snow Leopard USB drive?


macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 1, 2011
SF Bay Area
I'e got one of the white USB sticks that Apple supplied in order to do a reinstall of 10.6 but I want to erase it and reuse it as a bootable installer of either 10.7 or 10.9.
Problem is that it doesn't show up in Disk Utility.
The system obviously recognizes the drive because as soon as I plug it in it starts the Snow Leopard installer.
How can I reuse the disk if Disk Utility won't let me partition and format it?


macrumors 6502
Aug 5, 2013
It's Possible

It is possible to see the disk if you allow "hidden disks" to be viewed in Disk Utility. To do this you must have the "Debug" menu in Disk Utility. I forgot how to do this, but you could try a search on google. Hope this helps


macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2013
The SL installer USB is most likely hidden. Once unhidden, it's very likely it'll be able to be erased and used as a regular USB (hence being the root installer USB for 10.7/10.9). To show it in Disk Utility and to attempt an erase of it, do the following:

a) Open Terminal. Use Spotlight to locate it, or open it in Applications/Utilities.

b) Type/copy&paste the following text in Terminal:

defaults write DUDebugMenuEnabled 1

c) Now, open Disk Utility. Click on the Debug menu item, click List All Disks, as well as Show Every Partition. The SL installer USB should now show up.

d) Erase the SL Installer USB (perhaps try to move the contents of the USB to your desktop temporarily, just in case and/or as a backup), then attempt to put the 10.7 or 10.9 installer on the USB. Test it and ensure it works.

Hope this helps?
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