Install El Cap on External HD to Ship to Faraway Friend?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by MJWMac1988, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. MJWMac1988 macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #1
    The Plan
    I've been waiting to install the final release of El Capitan on an external HD, which I will then ship to an elderly friend who lives several states away (I already have Mavericks on another partition of the same external HD). He needs to continue using Snow Leopard as his primary OS. He refuses to risk trying to install a newer OS on an external drive by himself, and I don't blame him (I've been helping him for ten years).

    Catch No. 1
    All or most versions of OS X older than Yosemite (I don't know about Yosemite itself) can be installed on an external HD while connected to one Mac, then that external HD can be used to boot other compatible Macs. El Capitan's required firmware update makes me doubt this is possible anymore, at least not without running the firmware update on the other Mac first. Am I wrong about this?

    Catch No. 2
    The El Capitan DPs and PBs came with a separate firmware updater. I did a Google search this morning and got zero hits regarding the existence of a separate firmware updater for the new El Capitan GM installer. Is this just a case of mass oversight on the part of everyone who has posted on the internet so far, or has Apple now integrated the firmware updater into the El Capitan GM installer? Or is such integration even possible? If the firmware updater has been integrated, then that means my friend can no longer download and run it separately (which, for the record, he wouldn't want to do, and I wouldn't want him to do it); therefore, it seems even less likely that he will be able to successfully boot his iMac from the El Capitan OS that I plan to install on his new external HD. What do you think?

    Technical Details
    I would probably use my Late 2009 27" iMac (11,1) or maybe another friend's Mid 2010 or Early 2011 MacBook Pro (7,1 or 8,1) to install El Capitan on the external HD. My faraway friend who would be using it with his Mid 2010 iMac (11,2).

    Thanks.
     
  2. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #2
    I think you're better off just taking the El Capitan GM Candidate Installer app, and making a USB stick installer out of it.

    If you have an 8GB USB stick, and format it MacOS Extended (Journaled) and leave it named Untitled...

    Then you can invoke this in Terminal:

    sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan\ GM\ Candidate.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\ Capitan\ GM\ Candidate.app --nointeraction

    These instructions are adapted from here:

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/1...otable-os-x-10-10-yosemite-usb-install-drive/
     
  3. MJWMac1988, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015

    MJWMac1988 thread starter macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #3
    I really appreciate your suggestion; however, I don't want to send him an installer. If he had only a one-in-five-hundred chance of making a mistake, I can assure you that he would probably make it. I think he is slightly cursed (ha?). He would be completely lost and miserable if he accidentally installed El Capitan over Snow Leopard on his internal hard drive, and the odds that he would do it, no matter how clearly I explained to him how NOT to do it, are too great. He does not like talking on the telephone, so I can't help him that way either. He has several crucial PowerPC apps that he uses every day, all day long, so he needs Snow Leopard. He is much too poor to be able to afford to upgrade them.

    Thank you again for the reply and the instructions on how to make a bootable USB installer. I will probably use them for my own purposes.
     
  4. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4


    You can use TeamViewer to log into his Mac and do the install on the external drive that is connected to his Mac. TeamViewer is free for non commercial use. You would need the newest version. Your friend still on Snow Leopard needs the older version.

    Download TeamViewer http://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/mac.aspx

    Users still running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 can download TeamViewer v9 using this link.

    http://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/dyngate.aspx
     
  5. MJWMac1988, Sep 14, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015

    MJWMac1988 thread starter macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #5
    Thank you. I think this is what I will do. I briefly tried TeamViewer once, years ago, but I didn't get much accomplished, probably because I didn't have a worthwhile "remote" computer to test it with at the time. I've been using Apple's screen-sharing option in iChat ever since, although it doesn't work half the time. I just now tested TeamViewer on two of my computers. One of the things that I was most concerned about for the past several years (being able to talk to one another during screen sharing) is not an issue at all (as it is in iChat's screen sharing). I have already installed it on the Mavericks partition of his hard drive, and I have also included the TeamViewer installer itself too, so he can install it in El Capitan after it is installed on the other partition. I will send the drive to him tomorrow (probably). I just hope the firmware update doesn't do anything negative to his computer, including making Snow Leopard's boot screen black for the first few seconds before switching to gray.

    P.S. It's quite a coincidence that you and he both live in Oregon. :)
     
  6. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #6
    I'm curious why you want to install El Capitan for your friend this soon?

    Since your friend is already using stable Mavericks it might be better to wait until most of El Capitans bugs have been fixed, it will likely mean waiting for version 10.11.3 or 10.11.4.
     
  7. MJWMac1988 thread starter macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #7
    After experimenting with TeamViewer yesterday (as per Dianeoforegon's recommendation), and seeing that it works much better than I expected, I sent the drive to my friend a couple of hours ago, with only Mavericks on it, but also with an empty partition ready and waiting for El Capitan. Either last night or this morning I realized exactly what you are suggesting, that now, thanks to TeamViewer, I have the luxury of waiting until version 10.11.2, .3 or .4 is released.

    Why was I initially in such a hurry? I ordered the hard drive for him in late July. I wasn't even thinking of El Capitan (aka Yosemite 2.0) when I first ordered it. I was only thinking of sending him Mavericks (which is mostly stable and a lot more Snow Leopard-like than Yosemite/El Capitan). When I learned how stable the El Capitan beta seemed to be (seemingly) for most people (compared to Yosemite), I asked him if he might want me to wait for it to be released before I sent him the hard drive. Then he could have both Mavericks (with its familiar look) and El Capitan (for being fully up to date). He agreed. Since both Mavericks and El Capitan are ONLY going to be secondary -- plaything -- OSes for him, and ONLY on an external hard drive, I wasn't too worried about any potential bugs in El Capitan 10.11.0. I also didn't want to wait too much longer before sending it to him, since he had paid for it (it's already been a month); therefore, I was initially willing to settle for 10.11.0. Now I don't have to.
     
  8. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #8
    The external boot feature has been part of Mac OS X since early days of Tiger (10.4.8) might be even earlier but Tiger is when I jumped into the Mac ecosystem .... Someone please confirm my time frame on external boot ... I'm only seeing Tiger OS X as the earliest for the ext. boot option ..
     
  9. MJWMac1988, Sep 15, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015

    MJWMac1988 thread starter macrumors member

    MJWMac1988

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Location:
    Western Nebraska
    #9
    It has been possible to boot Macs from external hard drives since 1986 (two years after the first Mac was introduced). I bought my first Mac (a used first-generation model, M0001) in 1988 (hence the 1988 in my user name). It came with System 3.2, and I was able to boot from an external hard drive from day one. That's because the seller (a Mac dealer) had modified that Mac to work with an external hard drive. I used that external hard drive as my primary drive until 1991, when I bought a Macintosh Classic (the one you can see in my avatar photo), which came with System 6.0.7. After that, I used my old SCSI external drive as an emergency boot drive (and as a backup drive).

    In early 2001, I installed OS X 10.0 Beta on an external SCSI hard drive to test it with my 400MHz Power Mac G4 tower. It worked just as well as the Mac OS had always worked when booted from an external hard drive.
     
  10. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #10
    I misunderstood your friends situation. That arrangement sounds quite reasonable. Hopefully your friend likes Mavericks. :)
     

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