Creating bootable USB drive w/ diskwarrior using Windows

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by analogarsonist, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. analogarsonist macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2010

    The DVD drive on my Macbook Pro is not working, and I need to boot from a DVD to run Disk Warrior.

    I have:
    - An Intel-based Macbook Pro
    - A Windows laptop with a DVD-R
    - A USB 2.0 external HD
    - A bootable Disk Warrior DVD

    Is there any way to use my Windows Laptop to copy the bootable Disk Warrior DVD onto my external HD and make it bootable on my Macbook Pro? (ideally without having to buy software?)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. paintballswimgu macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2010
    If the external harddrive is connected via firewire it should work, most likely.

    Macs are are kinda fishy when it comes to booting from usb. so you should probably try it once, and if you fail, read up on other options. lol
  3. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    I don't think using Windows will work. You need to install an OS on the external USB 2.0 HD (I have tried this with 3 different USB HDs and they all work) using your MBP install disk, then update that system to the latest version to ensure it will boot the latest MBP (assuming your BMP is one of these) and then copy the Disk Warrior application to the external HD.
    If you know someone with a Mac, ask them to let you do that using their computer.
  4. analogarsonist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2010
    Thanks for the quick responses!

    davidlv - I know one other person with a Mac, and they're out of town; guess I'll have to wait until they get back.

    A couple follow-up questions:

    - Can the bootable USB drive be formatted FAT?
    - Can I copy multiple DVD's to a single bootable drive? (i.e. Mac OS X install, DiskWarrior); how do I choose what to run on startup?
    - Can I use my Windows machine to copy the files to the USB drive (after using a Mac machine to create a bootable USB drive)

  5. davidlv, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

    davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    1. The bootable external HD (or partition) must be formated as GUID or the Intel Mac won't boot. As the issue is running Disk Warrior, you need a bootable disk, let's call it the emergency HD, so format a partition big enough for the installed OS and some extra space for utilities like DW and for the OS to use, 20 GB should be more than enough.
    2. The is no point in copying multiple DVDs to the emergency HD (unless it is just for storage) as an actual copy of that bootable DVD (The OS install on the Disk Warrior DVD is not the latest system so it will not boot the latest MBPs). You can make a bootable copy (using the restore function of Disk Utility) of an OS X Install DVD to an external HD partition, separate from the emergency HD partition, and also copy the downloaded 10.6.5 dmg to your emergency HD partition, the combo updater available on the Apple web site. I have one of these partitions on my external USB HD and it works fine, albeit a little slow. 10-15 GB is OK for that partition (again must be formatted as GUID).
    Hold down the option key on boot up, you will see a screen to pick a drive/partition to boot from (I found that my computer does not display the partition name, so I added a special icn for each partition to distinguish them.
    3. I am not well informed about the format you should use to copy files from and to the Windows machine to/from the external HD, FAT should work but it has limitations on file size, 4GB? Maybe try making another partition for this?

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