[GUIDE] Creating a **good** Mountain Lion USB

ScottishDuck

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
559
187
Argyll, Scotland
This method allows you to create a USB that allows for quick installation and clean installs.

This method will provide you with the "classic" OSX installer, with disk utility and whatnot available before starting the install. The installation will be a LOT faster.

*Download the installer from the app store.

*Right-click installer -> "Show Package Contents"



*Contents -> Shared Support -> InstallESD.dmg (open it/mount it)



*Open the terminal and copy this command:

open /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/BaseSystem.dmg


*Now open Diskutility and "restore" BaseSystem.dmg to your USB drive.

***PLEASE NOTE THIS REQUIRES YOUR USB HAS A GUID PARTITION TABLE***

[Changing partition table to GUID]




[Restoring the DMG]


*Now open your newly restored USB drive



*System -> Installation



*Delete the link called "Packages" and then create a new folder with the same name





*Open the terminal again and copy this to it:

open /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/Packages


*Copy everything in this folder to the "Packages" folder you created on your USB.





**Note this stage might take a while**



Hurray you now have a working installer!

[I'd appreciate a sticky if possible ;)]
 
Last edited:

aleni

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2006
2,190
320
i found this guide is too many works while the casual guide is just simply restore the installESD to a flash disk.

care to explain?
 
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212rikanmofo

macrumors 68000
Jan 31, 2003
1,681
640
i found this guide is too many works while the casual guide is just simply restore the installESD to a flash disk.

care to explain?
The guide I posted worked fine for me, and less steps. Not sure why there's so many steps in the OP's post.
 
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otech

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2012
38
107
Australia
I think the emphasis might be on the **good**.

I found that if I were to only restore the InstallESD.dmg to a USB, it would actually seem to download most of the OS during install after the initial part - a few other people said the same.

I am hoping that this method actually ensures the packages are copied from the USB drive - which of course would make for a faster install.

Am trying it out now to confirm this - will post back if I don't notice a difference.
 
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otech

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2012
38
107
Australia
Well, its a little un-scientific as this method is the only one I tried on the GM - but it installed much quicker than the half dozen other installs I have done with DP's and the USB drive did not stop flashing the whole time.

Total time to install would have been 20 minutes (on an MBP 8,1 with non-apple SSD).

Previously installs would take anywhere up to an hour for me. Though I did repartition/align my SSD this time too..
 
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ScottishDuck

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
559
187
Argyll, Scotland
I think the emphasis might be on the **good**.

I found that if I were to only restore the InstallESD.dmg to a USB, it would actually seem to download most of the OS during install after the initial part - a few other people said the same.

I am hoping that this method actually ensures the packages are copied from the USB drive - which of course would make for a faster install.

Am trying it out now to confirm this - will post back if I don't notice a difference.
I'll try and explain how InstallESD.dmg does its thing:

*It will boot and ask for a drive to install on
*It will copy BaseSystem.dmg (what I use) to your drive and have your mac boot into that after the restart.
*It will then launch the installer my USB uses and install to your drive with that
*Finally it removes the BaseSystem.dmg from your drive and reboots

Also, as you state, if you look at the installer log it needlessly accesses the network (which I assume may allow it to patch in security updates?) and wastes time looking for packages which either don't exist or are already on the USB.

By doing things my way it removes a chunk of time from the install (copying Basesystem.dmg to your HDD and rebooting).

This is a much cleaner way of doing things.
 
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Morien

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2010
60
3
I'm waiting on my first Mac to ship, and if it ships with Lion (likely), I will want to perform a clean install to ML. I haven't used OSX since 2001, so it will take me some playing around to get the hang of terminal and the os as a whole.
So, this guide, while I'm sure I can do it with a bit of patience, looks a bit advanced for me.

Will there be a utility released when ML reaches the app store that will do all of this for me? (with it as 'clean' as this guide would make it)
 
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torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,506
2,514
Sydney, Australia
I'll try and explain how InstallESD.dmg does its thing:

*It will boot and ask for a drive to install on
*It will copy BaseSystem.dmg (what I use) to your drive and have your mac boot into that after the restart.
*It will then launch the installer my USB uses and install to your drive with that
*Finally it removes the BaseSystem.dmg from your drive and reboots

Also, as you state, if you look at the installer log it needlessly accesses the network (which I assume may allow it to patch in security updates?) and wastes time looking for packages which either don't exist or are already on the USB.

By doing things my way it removes a chunk of time from the install (copying Basesystem.dmg to your HDD and rebooting).

This is a much cleaner way of doing things.
Exactly, this is how i made my Bootable usb stick for Lion aswell, much faster when it come to actually installing off it as ALL the data is on the USB not just a chunk of it.
 
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DerMario

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2012
100
9
Can someone explain how to make a bootable DVD? Would be great! Because I have just 4GB sticks :(
 
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dilgit

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2010
244
0
can't find...?

I downloaded GM, opened the dmg file, go to app>"view package contents", see some folders and files but can't find "Shared suport" folder or installESD.dmg file.
 
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xemino

Guest
Aug 28, 2009
26
0
hey, i tried using lion diskmaker, but it failed w/ "can't get real path for source"

this guide here does it the same way, only via the terminal, but copies some additional files:
https://sites.google.com/site/nozyczek/home/hackintosh/how-to-create-lion-usb-stick-installer

cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/mach_kernel /Volumes/lionUSBinstaller/.
cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/kernelcache /Volumes/lionUSBinstaller/.
cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/boot.efi /Volumes/lionUSBinstaller/.
cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/MacOSX_Media_Background.png /Volumes/lionUSBinstaller/.
cp /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ ESD/.disk_label /Volumes/lionUSBinstaller/.

add
<key>Kernel Cache</key>
<string>\kernelcache</string>
to /Volumes/lionUSBinstaller/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist
what's your take on that?
and you might wanna re-host those images on ompldr.org :)
 
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macmongral

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2011
83
0
I downloaded GM, opened the dmg file, go to app>"view package contents", see some folders and files but can't find "Shared suport" folder or installESD.dmg file.

its not a dmg file from the dev site its an app, so I am not surprised you are having trouble :eek:
 
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Simplicated

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2008
1,423
254
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Or just use the restore feature in disk utility. Two steps and done.
Did you even bother to read...? Here, I'll quote it for you.


I'll try and explain how InstallESD.dmg does its thing:

*It will boot and ask for a drive to install on
*It will copy BaseSystem.dmg (what I use) to your drive and have your mac boot into that after the restart.
*It will then launch the installer my USB uses and install to your drive with that
*Finally it removes the BaseSystem.dmg from your drive and reboots

Also, as you state, if you look at the installer log it needlessly accesses the network (which I assume may allow it to patch in security updates?) and wastes time looking for packages which either don't exist or are already on the USB.

By doing things my way it removes a chunk of time from the install (copying Basesystem.dmg to your HDD and rebooting).

This is a much cleaner way of doing things.
 
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xemino

Guest
Aug 28, 2009
26
0
hmm, just did everything you mentioned, deleted and recreated my 1 (visible) partition on my ssd.
the installer didn't create a recovery partition :( i restored my data w/ the migration assistant, but i don't think that could've triggered it, since that happens at the very end of the installation.
 
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tribaltek

macrumors member
Jul 29, 2011
31
6
Did you even bother to read...? Here, I'll quote it for you.
I did indeed. Using restore took one minute of actual work time. The rest was just time copying. *yawn*

The actual install process took about two minute of actual work time. Walked away, made some breakfast, and it was done when I got back in my office.

To each his own. Restore process is painfully simple and works fine.
 
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Psilocin

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2012
57
0
I'll try and explain how InstallESD.dmg does its thing:

*It will boot and ask for a drive to install on
*It will copy BaseSystem.dmg (what I use) to your drive and have your mac boot into that after the restart.
*It will then launch the installer my USB uses and install to your drive with that
*Finally it removes the BaseSystem.dmg from your drive and reboots

Also, as you state, if you look at the installer log it needlessly accesses the network (which I assume may allow it to patch in security updates?) and wastes time looking for packages which either don't exist or are already on the USB.

By doing things my way it removes a chunk of time from the install (copying Basesystem.dmg to your HDD and rebooting).

This is a much cleaner way of doing things.
Exactly, this is how i made my Bootable usb stick for Lion aswell, much faster when it come to actually installing off it as ALL the data is on the USB not just a chunk of it.
Forgive me for asking, but can either of you break down your "faster" method step by step even further for a mac noob like me? Would really appreciate it. :)
 
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jnl1211

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2011
330
0
NWIndiana
Wow. Way more complicated and useless than just mounting InstallESD.dmg


It's just as **good**

----------

I downloaded GM, opened the dmg file, go to app>"view package contents", see some folders and files but can't find "Shared suport" folder or installESD.dmg file.
its not a dmg file from the dev site its an app, so I am not surprised you are having trouble :eek:
haha, that's because he didn't get it from there. He's running a dmg that was a torrent someone uploaded
 
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ppnkg

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2005
510
6
UK
May I actually thank the OP for taking the time to post a detailed guide here for those looking for such a guide?

So: thank you ScottishDuck, and I hope you'll be able to post a guide for creating a DVD too
 
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torana355

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2009
3,506
2,514
Sydney, Australia
hmm, just did everything you mentioned, deleted and recreated my 1 (visible) partition on my ssd.
the installer didn't create a recovery partition :( i restored my data w/ the migration assistant, but i don't think that could've triggered it, since that happens at the very end of the installation.
That is correct this process does not create that useless recovery partition. You don't need it with your new 10.8 usb bootdisk :)
 
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