Creating an External Bootable Drive

Mr. Monsieur

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 21, 2004
307
1
Hey folks!

I need to install OSX Mavericks on an iMac (2010) whose hard drive is currently dead, and I was hoping to do this using a bootable thumb drive (that is to say: I'm planning on installing OSX Mavericks on the thumb drive, and using *that* as the iMac's hard drive from here on out - way cheaper than replacing the internal drive!) Here's the issue: the computer I have to set this stuff up on is a MBP running Snow Leopard.
Soooo...here are the questions:

1) Is this even possible? I know that the OSX iMac install is different than the OSX MBP install.

2) Would it be easier/better at this point to install Snow Leopard on the iMac and then upgrade to Mavericks, or should I go straight to Mavericks?

Any thoughts/direction would be *much* appreciated!
 

blueroom

macrumors 603
Feb 15, 2009
6,381
25
Toronto, Canada
Your iMac may have the recovery partition in Flash, try Command-R and see if it loads the recovery utility. Else yes you can boot from a USB installer if it's bootable.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,892
2,520
Delaware
The Recovery partition on the iMac is not in "flash"
It's a normally-hidden partition on the hard drive. If the hard drive is dead, then the recovery partitiona also likely is _not_ recoverable

If you boot to your Snow Leopard Mac, you can run the App Store. If you have purchased Mavericks, then it will show in the list of Purchases. (Yes, I know it's free, but it will show as another purchase in the list, because you need an AppleID account to get it.)
Download the installer for MavX. It will run when the download completes. Quit it, then follow the available instructions to create a MavX USB installer on a flash drive. Once you have that installer, you can get it installed however you like… One option would be to run the installer app, still on the MacBook Pro, and use the flash drive that you want to use for MavX, as the destination for the install.
One problem with all of this, is if your MacBook Pro is too old to run MavX - which will prevent even downloading the MavX installer (because your MBPro can't run MavX)
But, you haven't told us which MBPro you have… :D
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,949
290
Canada
Forget the USB stick do yourself a favour and get an external 2.5" enclosure and ssd to put in it. The stick will drive you crazy with its slow access speed and next to no extra room. Oh if you can get the installer onto your MBP then just starting it up and choosing the connected drive as the install destination will put Mavericks on it which you can then boot on your other machine. And yes that will work OS X does not care what machine it boots on as long as it is supported, answered just to side step that inevitable question.
 

tywebb13

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2012
2,459
849
I think that youtube video is pretty good for making a bootable USB installer of Mavericks if you have Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks. But I don't think it will work in Snow Leopard. Nevertheless you could still make a bootable USB of Mavericks in Snow Leopard using this method instead:

http://9to5mac.com/2013/06/13/how-t...-flash-drive-from-original-app-store-package/

But it won't install a recovery partition. To do that, you could use this:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13872235/Musings/Recovery Partition Creator 3.7.zip
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,974
9,599
California
Your iMac may have the recovery partition in Flash, try Command-R and see if it loads the recovery utility. Else yes you can boot from a USB installer if it's bootable.
The Recovery partition on the iMac is not in "flash"
It's a normally-hidden partition on the hard drive. If the hard drive is dead, then the recovery partitiona also likely is _not_ recoverable.
It sort of is. If you have a Mac on this list it supports a firmware based Internet recovery. You can put in a new, blank drive and command-option-r boot to Internet recovery and the firmware will pull down a 650MB recovery utility from Apple's servers and it can be used to format the drive and install the OS. This is the same recovery utility you see when you command-r boot to the hidden recovery partition on a local drive.

----------

Forget the USB stick do yourself a favour and get an external 2.5" enclosure and ssd to put in it. The stick will drive you crazy with its slow access speed and next to no extra room. Oh if you can get the installer onto your MBP then just starting it up and choosing the connected drive as the install destination will put Mavericks on it which you can then boot on your other machine. And yes that will work OS X does not care what machine it boots on as long as it is supported, answered just to side step that inevitable question.
OP >> I agree with MacUser2525. Even a cheap hard drive in a USB 3 enclosure is going to be better than trying to actually run the machine from a USB key. Unless you spend really big money (I mean more money than the same size SSD) on a USB that is fast, this will be painful for you.
 

Erkram3

macrumors newbie
Jan 16, 2014
2
0
try Carbon Copy Cloner. It's not free anymore, but it will clone your hard drive to an external USB and make it bootable.
 

41Mac

macrumors newbie
May 15, 2013
2
0
When you make the ext drive or pen drive, is that load of Mavericks associated to your apple ID? If I update my parent's to Mavericks with my drive, will they keep getting prompted for my apple ID to do updates?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,974
9,599
California
Of course you can that was not the question asked namely does the Apple ID carry over from usb stick installer.
I was responding to your post that implied the fact that screen came up meant an AppleID is attached to the USB key installer. Why the attitude?

To be clear and answer 41Mac's question, no... the AppleID used to DL the installer is not in the downloaded DMG file and therefor not on the USB installer.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,974
9,599
California
Hi Weaselboy,

are you sure about this ?

I strongly believed that the Apple ID carry over from usb stick installer.
The only reason I am sure it does not is when Mavs first came out people were comparing the MD5 hash or SHA1 hash on the DMG from the App Store and everyone's was the same hash. So this proves the files are digitally identical and can't have AppleID or any other ID information in the DMG.

I recall the same thing back when Mountain Lion came out. There were forum posts with folks comparing the hash and they were the same.

Edit: This is the MD5 hash for the Mavs installer DMG. If you Google that hash you will get a ton of hits from folks verifying they all have the same hash.

Code:
f222952400db8535c03697c3293e168e
 
Last edited:

Bruno09

macrumors 68020
Aug 24, 2013
2,202
149
Far from here
Ok thank you.

So there is something I don't understand.

Here is why (sorry I have poor English) :

1. I bought Mountain 10.8.2 from the App Store using my Apple ID
2. I made a bootable USB stick using DU (dmg --> Restore…)
3. I installed 10.8.2 over 10.6.8 with the USB stick to be sure it was workable.
3. When 10.8.3 was released, I when to the App Store and asked my GF to enter her Apple ID, for test…

I got the following message : "this Apple ID did not buy your copy of Mountain Lion, if you want to upgrade your OS, use the Apple ID you used to buy Mountain Lion" (or something like that…)
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,974
9,599
California
Ok thank you.

So there is something I don't understand.

Here is why (sorry I have poor English) :

1. I bought Mountain 10.8.2 from the App Store using my Apple ID
2. I made a bootable USB stick using DU (dmg --> Restore…)
3. I installed 10.8.2 over 10.6.8 with the USB stick to be sure it was workable.
3. When 10.8.3 was released, I when to the App Store and asked my GF to enter her Apple ID, for test…

I got the following message : "this Apple ID did not buy your copy of Mountain Lion, if you want to upgrade your OS, use the Apple ID you used to buy Mountain Lion" (or something like that…)
It sounds like she never purchased Mountain Lion under her AppleID.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,949
290
Canada
I was responding to your post that implied the fact that screen came up meant an AppleID is attached to the USB key installer. Why the attitude?
My post implied no such thing I clearly stated that I was prompted for my Apple ID after installing. Why your implications of something that was never said??
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,974
9,599
California
My post implied no such thing I clearly stated that I was prompted for my Apple ID after installing. Why your implications of something that was never said??

Jesus. Who cares. I am just trying to help out a forum member here. Not interesting in a pissing context with you.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,949
290
Canada
Jesus. Who cares. I am just trying to help out a forum member here. Not interesting in a pissing context with you.
Really then why did you bother to try to put words in my mouth that were never said. You could have not replied to my post if you were simply trying to help someone else that is the way you do that.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,974
9,599
California
Really then why did you bother to try to put words in my mouth that were never said. You could have not replied to my post if you were simply trying to help someone else that is the way you do that.
I was attempting to help by addressing what I believed was implied in your post. I honestly don't understand where the hostility is coming from.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,949
290
Canada
I was attempting to help by addressing what I believed was implied in your post. I honestly don't understand where the hostility is coming from.
Again really somehow there is some hidden implication is this post.

Not what it did for me I was prompted for my Apple ID during setup after the install was completed.
Perhaps English is not your native language but I see no other way to read that post other than what is stated in it. Anyways enough of you whatever your up to.
 
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