Create Bootable USB w/Custom Utilities?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by super_kev, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. super_kev macrumors 6502

    super_kev

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    #1
    Is there a way to create a bootable usb stick for 10.11, 10.12, etc. with data utilities such as iDefrag, Data Rescue, and Disk Warrior? In a way that I can select them from the Utilities popup menu when the USB stick pops up? I know that years ago (I'm thinking early OS 10, OS 9 days) it used to be fairly easy to drag and drop licensed/unlocked apps onto a CD and boot from that, but I'm not sure how it's done these days. I can make a bootable USB stick with Disk Warrior, but I want to know if I can also add my iDefrag and Data Rescue to the whole shebang as well.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #2
    Adding to the Utilities menu, definitely not. But Terminal apps could theoretically and somewhat easily be included and accessed via the Terminal in the Recovery/install environment. Larger apps than that, - well, I doubt they'd work since the OS environment isn't loaded, and a lot of essenital functions thus are missing for the apps
     
  3. super_kev thread starter macrumors 6502

    super_kev

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    #3
    So I guess the answer is have three USB sticks for each utility I want to use as all three come with bootable creation options. Pickles.
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #4

    You can have one disk with several bootable partitions. It want be a single bootable environment, but you can have all three bootable from one drive. Similar to how you can have Windows and macOS on one drive
     
  5. super_kev thread starter macrumors 6502

    super_kev

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    #5
    Right, that's a good idea didn't think of that.
     
  6. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Exactly. If you strip down the OS a bit after install, you can fit several full OSes on a single drive. If you need to support various versions of machines.

    A couple other tricks: Activate root account, and set up auto log in. Then you can run/do nearly anything without having to authenticate. Keep in mind this also creates security and user error risk...but it can be fairly automated if need it to be.

    There used to be a great free tool to make a stripped down OS that ou could easily add third-party tools to called DasBoot, back in ye olden days...not any similar options that I am aware of now.
     
  7. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #7
    You could just get something like this SSD and and cable like this.
     
  8. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #8

    I feel the need to add that this is universally advised against by security professionals. Anybody with access to that machine, be it remotely or physically, would be able to do anything
     
  9. hobowankenobi, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018

    hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Sure.

    But we are talking about a utility drive, and sitting in front of it while booted to run installed local tools, not to surf the web or make remote connections. Also running infrequently for short periods. Pretty low risk, assuming one is on a modern NAT'd and firewalled network. One could also be sure the firewall is running on the utility drive, and specifically block all inbound traffic too. Better still, unplug ethernet. Done.

    Obviously one should not leave a machine when logged in as root. But not really worse than booting to Recovery, at least for physical access.

    Kinda like telling a cop not to put bullets in his gun, or a fireman not to go into burning buildings. One must understand the risk.
     
  10. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #10

    Sure, sure - I just wanted to clarify that people shouldn't just do it willy nilly on their system.
     
  11. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    #11

    Totally agree.

    Good to point it out...too easy for folks to jump the shark and try this for everyday work.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    What the OP wants to do is not difficult.

    Get a USB flash drive (USB3 preferred) of sufficient capacity.

    Install a clean copy of the OS of your choice onto it.

    Set up an account to get it running to the finder.

    Once it's bootable to the finder, install whatever utilities you wish.

    Done.
     

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11 March 7, 2018