Resolved El Capitan install USB not bootable

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Glud, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Glud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    #1
    Hi all!

    I have decided to go with a fresh and clean install of OS X 10.11 El Capitan this time. As I've done a thousand times before I created an install-USB by downloading El Capitan from the App Store and compiled it on to the USB-drive by using Apples own terminal command. However, the install-USB is not bootable and does not show up i the "Startup disk preference panel". Is does mount as it should on my desktop, though, and I'm able to run the installer from the USB. But it's not bootable. Can't really see how I can do this procedure wrong.

    Heres what I've tried so far:
    - Redownloading El Capitan from the App Store (if something was wrong with the first image)
    - Tried creating the USB on three different Macs (with Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan)
    - Tried creating the USB by using Diskmaker X 5.0.1 instead of the terminal command (on three Macs)
    - Formatting the USB a thousand times (GUID / OS X - journaled)
    - Testing the USB on four different Macs - none of them recognizes the USB as bootable

    So what do you wise people say? Why can't I create a bootable OSX-install-USB like before?
    Thanks! :)
     
  2. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #2
    Better solution...boot to your recovery partition, erase drive, install El Capitan.
     
  3. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #3
    When you restart your Mac, are you holding down the Option key to select your boot device?

    BL.
     
  4. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #4
    Instead of CLI then, just use this.

    http://diskmakerx.com
     
  5. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #5
    He did. The USB stick was created successfully, but didn't specify it to be used as the boot device. That has to be done by selecting it when you start the Mac and hold down the option key.

    BL.
     
  6. iceman42 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
  7. Glud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    #7
    Thanks for all your replies. As said, I already tried Diskmaker X (on three different Macs).

    Yep. But only my system HDD is shown in the boot menu + the option for connection to WiFi. It's not showing up in the "Startup disk preference panel" either.

    Yeah, that would probably be the easiest solution. But my Macs recovery partition is gone and a install-USB as actually pretty handy to upgrade multiple Macs since I don't have to download it all each time.
     
  8. Sko macrumors regular

    Sko

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    Get another USB stick, preferably different brand. Some sticks just don't work.
     
  9. Glud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    #9
    Tried two different ones: one 16 GB SanDisk USB and a 32 GB SanDisk SDHC memory card. The 16 GB one had the Yosemite installer files on it before and was bootable (it showed up in the Startup disk preference panel). Once it got the El Capitan files on it, it disappeared from the boot menu.
     
  10. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #10
    Go with the terminal commands. That actually is the only officially supported method of creating USB boot sticks. I've used that method from Mountain Lion up to El Capitan, and haven't had it fail once.

    BL.
     
  11. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #11
    same issue for me.
    Tried 3 different USB stick and 3 different Macs. Still not working.
     
  12. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #12
    tried three different stick. Same result...
    Tried. Same result. :confused:
     
  13. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #13
    Are you getting an error when creating the disk or just with trying to boot from it? And what model of Mac are you using to create the stick?

    BL.
     
  14. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #14
    no error. The USB stick just doesn't appear in the list of the bootable disk even if correctly mounted.
    I tried with 3 Macs: a late 11 MBP, a 2009 Mini and today my new 2015 MBP. Same result. I don't know whats wrong.
    I made an USB bootable install disk one year ago for Maverick with no problem, so it isn't something new for me.
     
  15. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #15
    Something doesn't sound right, as you shouldn't have to mount the drive at all. If anything, after the USB stick is created, you could power down the Mac you want to perform the installation on, plug in the USB stick, hold down the option key as you power on (obviously, you could wait until the chime, but it's okay to be earlier than that), and keep it held down until you get the list of startup disks.

    Are you waiting until the Mac is powered up before putting in the USB stick? If so, that's the problem. It would need to be in before you power on the Mac.

    BL.
     
  16. Glud, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015

    Glud thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    #16
    Okay, I kinda solved the problem. Actually, it's more like a workaround, but here's the deal: When I turn on my Mac while holding down the option-key, it'll only show my system drive and not my El Capitan install USB. But if I unplug my install USB while at the boot screen and then reinsert it in one of the other ports, it suddenly shows up as a bootable device.

    I was then able to install El Capitan, but at the first reboot during the install process it showed a folder with a question mark on it at boot. Apparently my USB was the issue again so I did the same port-switch-trick and boom: the installation continued.

    I've now got El Capitan up and running, but I really don't know what is causing this weird USB-boot-issue. I've installed OS X this way on all my Macs since Lion (10.7) and it has never been an issue.
    Thanks for all your contributions! :)
     
  17. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #17
    seems to be USB stick related, but I used the same USB stick that worked for Mavericks and it doesn't work for El Cap. I bought another one with same results. not going to buy another
     
  18. cool11 macrumors 65816

    cool11

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    #18
    Can you please help me?
    I use diskmakerx to make a bootable disk, I select the el capitan .app, but it seems to stuck and I do not know what is the problem.
    Here is the error:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. jctechie77, May 7, 2016
    Last edited: May 7, 2016

    jctechie77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    #19
    --- Post Merged, May 7, 2016 ---
    I had the same problem with my MBPro model A1278 not seeing the usb stick when I booted with the alt key option, but switching to a different usb port didn't work for me either. I believe the issue stems from the type of hardware you are utilizing to create the bootable usb stick.

    I created the usb stick using diskmaker X on a older 2013 and tried 4 different methods of creating the bootable usb installer and Zilch! it wouldn't work! BUT....

    I decided to stick the same usb in a mac air model A1466 and WALA! It recognized the usb drive and I was able to boot into it. I will be testing it on three different model macs and post my results in the coming days. I wouldn't be surprised if it has to deal with UEFI support. I believe UEFI support on the 2013 was probably not fully supported then.

    If folks are creating EL Capitan OS X bootable usb installers on older hardware, they may have to update their Mac firmware to get it to work. Just speculating, but if anyone tries it please post your results here.

    Again! I haven't tried this and who ever tries this will do so at their own risk!
     
  20. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #20
    Re: sudo error: that's usually from a corrupt /etc/sudoers file (eg. syntax error in the file, or just totally messed up). Or, only admin account is in sudoers and you are running this from non-admin account? If editing the sudoers file, need to use the visudo command-line command. I would suggest to be VERY careful (read: know what you are doing) when messing with that file: might make a bad situation worse.

    Re: old vs newer Macs to create USB sticks: I have my doubts. For example, I have an early-2008 MBP and have created USB bootable drive that I was able to use on a 2014 iMac. Stick created with the createinstallmedia command/method.
    Code:
    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/name_of_your_usb --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app --nointeraction
    
    (substitute Mav with El Cap)
     
  21. cristeav49 macrumors newbie

    cristeav49

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    #21
    The problem lies within Hard Drive , not USB
    The Hard Drive on which you are installing the OS should have Format compatible with Mac OS (Extended Journaled),

    Steps:

    1. Connect your Hard Drive to another Mac/iMac.
    2. Format (Erase) through Disk Utility " Extended Journaled "
    3. Create a bootable USB http://www.macworld.com/article/298...le-os-x-10-11-el-capitan-installer-drive.html
    4. Insert the Hard back to your Mac
    5. Enjoy

    Note: Avoid using the same name as HDD for USB while performing creating bootable usb.
     

Share This Page