How to install OS X from a USB stick for MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by wankey, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. wankey macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
    I don't have access to a DVD ROM drive right now... is there anyway I can get OS X to install from a usb stick? Or even to put OS X on a usb stick (I have Leopard CD)
  2. Lukeyboy01 macrumors regular


    May 15, 2009
    Birmingham, UK
    torrent it then put it on the the USB stick someone else will tell you what to do next cuz i cant remember. a quick google search wud be betta tho.

    P.S you will need a 8GB usb stick cuz of the size of leopard. are you using snow leopard?
  3. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    Go to disk utility and format the USB stick. Then do a disk restore. The utility has a from and to area, you just drag the DVD to the from area and the USB stick to the TO area and hit OK. It will look just like the DVD.
  4. wankey thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2005
  5. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Single partition GUID HFS+J will do. Disk Utility gives you the option to erase before restoring so will automatically select the best format option, anyway.

    If you have access to another computer with a disk drive, why not use remote disk sharing? It's one of the features of the MBA, after all.
  6. Manix macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    I`ve already prepared the USB Stick with the restore function form disk utility. But which exact steps have to be followed now? I`ve put in the stick and booted while holding "c" mac os is slower than before I think it booted from the stick now. Sorry I`m a new apple customer therefor I`ll need help.

    Ok when I now start the Mac OS X Install DVD the error message appears " the application can`t be used from this volume".

    And when I want to use Disk Utility I can just select the second partition of my hdd but actually I want it to be installed on the whole ssd hdd.

    Thanks for the help..
  7. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    OK, reboot your computer holding down option. The install disc should appear at the boot screen.
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Do you have an Apple Store close by? If you do, they can lend you an optical drive.
  9. melissarae macrumors regular


    May 2, 2008
    tampa, florida
    i wondered about this... cause i had something on a cd i wanted to install but wasn't sure if i could just take it in to an apple store and borrow an optical drive or not.
  10. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    .... it really isn't that difficult to do.

    there are many guides available online. a short one would be

    1. format the USB stick as a GUID, HFS+ (as previously stated)
    2. restore the DMG (whether from torrent [it should be okay if you actually have the license right?] or disk) to the USB drive
    3. either boot from the USB drive, and then use disk utility to format your HARD DRIVE, or just open the installer from there

    not that difficult. if you have problems look up how to install leopard from a usb stick. you can do it. i believe in you.
  11. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    this is not that hard. download carbon copy cloner. google search will bring it up.

    put you CD in. pic the CD as the from, pick the USB as the to.

    the usb stick is going to need to be bigger than 8GB. i tried to do it on a 8GB stick and even though the formatted space was greater that the CD's it would not do it because it was only like 400mb bigger and it did not like that.

    once you do that hit the "copy" button. it will take about an hour and after that you will have a bootable drive on the USB.

    put the usb in, restart the computer, hold down the option button before you hear the bong.

    your hard drive and USB drive should pop up. pick the USB and follow directions from there.
  12. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008

    incorrect, i used an 8GB stick for leopard, and for snow leopard.

    and why use a 3rd party program when disk utility is what you have to use anyways once you boot from the USB.
  13. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    because he is obviously having trouble using disk utility as did i. carbon copy worked for me. why not use third party if it works and is easy to use?

    i dont know why you say i am incorrect. my method will work and is not difficult.

    as for 8gb usb. i said that the one i used did not have enough space after format. i am sure there are some out there that are fine. but i am also sure that are others out there like mine that did not have enough.

    if he gets a 16GB he can not only install the OSX disc. but he can make another partition and put the application disc on there also and have 1 device to fully restore your system.

    as far as using DU when reinstalling, i dont know why, unless you are going to go in and manually partition the drive. i have sucessfully reinstalled OSX multiple times without going into "disk utillity to do so"

    i never said yours was wrong. i just gave him another way to do it that "I" found to be simpler than DU.

Share This Page