installing snow leopard from an external hard drive.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by john-, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. john- macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2008
    hello everyone,

    i was wondering if it is possible to install snow leopard without a superdrive or the remote disc utility, but from an external hard disk drive which the snow leopard files have been put on.

    i have already googled to the end of the world. no success so far.

  2. gerabbi macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2009
    It is possible if you have another Mac.
    One option would be to clone the drive with Carbon Copy Cloner.
    Another option is to do a restore of the dmg onto an external drive and then install like a dvd.
  3. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Yes. If it's been originally put on the ext HDD, it can work. Just hit ALT/OPTION during the "Bong!" in the beginning and select the external drive to boot off of.

    I'm assuming the files on the external drive is a copy of the disk and not the actual installed OS.
  4. j46g629h macrumors newbie


    Jul 23, 2009
    Brisbane, Au
    Yes, you can, but you can't just copy and paste files from snow leopard dvd, you have to use disk utility app., and you can also do this on usb flash drive, which will be faster than any of external hard disk.

    Attached Files:

  5. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    from me:

    ..apart from that there are several related entries in this forum
  6. john- thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2008
    thank you guys. i did as you described and it worked like a charm. no issues whatsoever. thanks!
  7. ertdredge macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2009
    Somerville, MA
    Definite difficulties upgrading to 10.6 from external optical drive

    I have a similar problem with a flaky internal optical drive but a functioning external drive. Installing from the external drive didn't work -- it would get through the first 10% or so OK, and then announce that it had to restart the machine to continue the installation. After restart, it would just boot normally back into 10.5 and never resume the installation.

    Holding down option during the restart did bring up the boot drive picker, but the Snow Leopard install disc in the external drive was never given as an option no matter how much fiddling I tried, and I would eventually have to resort to booting back from the main hard drive, which would again leave me at 10.5 and having to restart the install from scratch.

    I finally resorted to trying my flaky internal drive, which was finally coaxed to read the Snow Leopard disc with some patience. (Hopefully I don't have a corrupt OS install.) Obviously this solution won't work for most people who find themselves trying to install from an external optical drive.

    If you've got a second mac with a functioning optical drive you might try CD/DVD sharing. If you don't have a MacBook Air you'll need to try this hint, though:
  8. Halcylon macrumors newbie


    Jul 28, 2009
    How long did this take you? I'm sitting at the idle boot screen (grey mac icon and spiny status dealy) for the better part of 20 minutes... :(
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Sounds like you didn't follow the directions and did something wrong.

    From average external HD, it would take a minute to a few minutes to boot.

    The install should take 30 minutes.
  10. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Thanks for showing the USB method. I upgraded to SL using the optical drive of a different windows laptop (ahem). Both machines were connected to the network by ethernet, but it still took forever.

    Since then though, I got the Superdrive and did a fresh install off the SL DVD.
  11. Raul Luna macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2010

    Hello bros.....

    its possible install snow leopard with an usb external drive, not needed the superdrive MBA.......:D my MBA (rev A) install the SL with a external drive (LG) U.U
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Yes, external USB hard drive or 8 gb flash drive.
  13. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Installation on a USB-based HDD should take no more than 15 minutes. Maybe 20 minutes at most including the initial boot up and clicking through all the screens.

    You'll need another computer with an optical drive to do the initial cloning process.

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