How to Create a Bootable Drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by schwine5, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. schwine5 macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2015
    What is the easiest way to create a bootable drive?
    I have a Mac Pro (2009) with Yosemite OSX and four internal hard drives.

    I would like to make each drive bootable.
    The end result would allow me to access each hard drive "natively" by directly booting into it.

    Thanks for any tips on how to make an internal drive bootable.
  2. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
  3. schwine5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2015
    I'm actually using SuperDuper! right now to backup one drive to another.
    But that's not what I mean.

    I want to be able to boot into each internal hard drive separately, if that makes any sense.
    I'm not talking about backing up data, but physically booting into each internal drive on an individual basis.

    The end result would show all four drives listed in System Preferences > Startup Disk.
    In the startup disk window is says, "Select the system you want to use to start up your computer."

    Ultimately, I would like to see all four internal hard drives listed in the Startup Disk window.
    But again, the question is how do you do that?
  4. Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    I… imagine you can do it by installing the operating system on each drive. That is, follow whatever steps you would normally follow to install the system in the first place – possibly by downloading the installer from the App Store, selecting one of your other drives, then repeating.

    (I'm baffled as to why you would want to do that – there's nothing I'm aware of that's in any sense more "native" about using a drive when logged in as a user to a copy of the system installed on that drive than to a copy of the system not installed on it, but… I'm pretty sure it's possible, if that's what you're after.)
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Do you want to have the same OS X system on each drive?

    If you want to use Yosemite, and have each drive bootable to Yosemite, then download the installer from the App Store. Make a bootable USB flash drive with that OS X installer. There's several different methods for doing that. Then, boot to the installer, and choose the drive you want to install OS X. Continue on installing on each drive. The installation on each would naturally include all the Apple apps that are included with OS X, and would mean setting up each drive with a user account. If you want all to boot the same, with same user credentials, then you can certainly do all that, too.
    Just so you don't need to ask the question, installing OS X on each drive makes each drive bootable - assuming that the drive is formatted properly to allow that. The installer will tell you (and won't install on that drive).
  6. schwine5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2015
    Yes, I want to have the same OS X system on each drive, namely, Yosemite.

    But as far as I can tell, the Mac App Store only offers an installer for El Capitan and not Yosemite.
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You will have to get the installer somewhere.
    If you already "purchased" Yosemite through the App Store, then it will be in your Purchased tab, and you can just download it again. As you will use it multiple times, Quit the installer when it launches at the end of the install, then make the bootable installer from that app.
    If you never got Yosemite from the App Store, then you may be able to go through AppleCare, who can give you a redemption code that you can use in the App Store to download Yosemite,
    Or, you should be able to ask for Yosemite at an Apple retail store.
    Or, you may know a Mac user who can get that for you.
    Or, (last, and definitely least, I think) you can get the Yosemite installer as a torrent - somewhere.
  8. schwine5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2015
    Thanks DeltaMac.
    Yes, I've now located the Yosemite OS X from my Mac App Store purchase history.

    I'm in the hard drive located in Bay 1 right now, and so I would like to make the hard disk in Bay 2 bootable with Yosemite.

    Since I'm in Bay 1, hopefully the Yosemite installer will provide the option as to where to install the OS X.
    More specifically, I don't want to re-install Yosemite OS X in Bay 1 but in Bay 2.
  9. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Yes, you will have the choice to install on a different drive.
    Don't forget, if you just run the installer app to install, the installer will delete itself.
    Before you started the Yosemite install, you did save a copy of your Yosemite installer app somewhere (not on your bay 1 hard drive) on an external, right?
    You probably don't want to download the Yosemite installer app each time you install.
    Best method is to create a USB bootable installer, or use a small (about 8GB) partition on an external hard drive to install Yosemite.
  10. schwine5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2015
    I don't have an external copy of the Yosemite installer app, so I'll download it from my Purchase window of the Mac App Store. Thanks to everyone for the tips and information.
  11. Fishrrman, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016

    Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'm probably the foremost advocate in this forum of "always having a bootable backup close-at-hand".

    ... I cannot understand why you'd want all four drives bootable, if one or two are primarily "data drives" intended for storage and nothing else.

    Perhaps two drives, yes.

    But if you absolutely want ALL drives bootable, I would do it this way:
    1. Repartition each drive into at least two partitions. First P will be about 15-30gb in size. This will be the bootable partition.
    2. Use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to put a "customized clone" onto each of the boot partitions.

    By "customized clone" I mean a somewhat "stripped-down" boot volume which has the OS, some or all of your apps, and a home folder that isn't "overly full" with large libraries of pictures, music, etc.

    You want to be able to boot from any volume and have the "core" of your "home" ready and available, along with diagnostic tools, etc.

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