Creating a boot USB drive from 10.6.8

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by ls1dreams, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. ls1dreams macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    Hi all,

    I saw in another thread that people were having difficulty creating a USB boot drive for Mavericks from 10.6.8 because of some kind of problem with the media install tool.

    Anyone know more about this?

    The Lion Disk Maker guys also ran into the issue and are currently "working on it".

    I'd really prefer not to do a Mavericks upgrade before a fresh install on an SSD if possible.
  2. ls1dreams thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    As a followup, I found this guide and was able to make a bootable USB drive.

    I haven't validated that the install works yet, but it seems to boot fine:

    You are going to need to see some hidden files for this. So start by opening and pasting in the following (don’t worry, we’ll undo this change when we are done)… defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
    killall Finder

    Download the installer as normal from the app store. (At time of writing this is only possible for those with access to the developer previews).

    After download you will have the ‘Install OS X 10.9′ app in your /Applications folder. Right-click it and select ‘Show Package Contents’.

    Navigate to the Contents/SharedSupport. There you will see the InstallESD.dmg file. Unfortunately, you can’t just grab it and restore it. Instead double-click it to mount it.

    You should now see the normally hidden BaseSystem.dmg file in the mounted volume. Open Disk Utility and restore the source BaseSystem.dmg to the destination of your USB drive. (drag the BaseSystem.dmg from the window you just mounted into the Disk Utility "Source" field, and then drag your USB drive on the left of Disk Utility down to the "Target" field).

    Now open up the restored USB volume (default name is OS X Base System) and navigate to System/Installation. In there you will see an alias for Packages. Delete this alias.

    Copy the full Packages folder from the root of the mounted InstallESD volume (the same place you got the BaseSystem.dmg file) to the USB volumes System/Installation folder. Basically, replace the Packages alias you just deleted with the real Packages folder from the original InstallESD volume.

    The USB drive should now be bootable. So simply restart, hold down the Option key (Alt) when booting with the USB drive in your machine, and you should get the option to boot from the USB drive.

    Remember, to rehide the normall hidden files just repeat step 1 but change YES to NO.

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