Is possible to make the first boot on the system by USB SSD?

Kaikidan

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
32
16
My Mac mini 2014 will come until the end of the week, I reserved a external USB3.0 SSD for it, can i start it by the first time already on the recover menu and install the system on the external SSD? because if not, i will need to boot from the internal HD, setup everything, then restart, reinstall and setup everything again.... If it’s possible to do everything by the first time already, it will save a huge amount of time for me. is it possible?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,200
5,543
There's a better way to do what you want.

1. Download CarbonCopyCloner BEFORE the new Mini comes. CCC is FREE to download, and it's FREE to use for the first 30 days.
2. Put CCC somewhere easily accessible, like a USB flashdrive
3. Have your SSD initialized and ready to connect.
4. When you take the new Mini out of the box, connect the SSD and the flashdrive.
5. Now, boot the Mini for the first time. Are you going to be migrating an existing account from another drive? If so, connect that, too.
6. Run the initial setup while booted from the internal drive. If you're going to migrate accounts, apps, and data, get that done as well.
7. You might also run software update and get all the Apple software up-to-date before the next step. I also run Monolingual to "strip out" all languages except English (this can free nearly a gigabyte of space)
8. When you are satisfied that the internal drive is set up as you like, launch CCC.
9. Select the internal drive as the source (on the left) and select the SSD as the target (to the right of the source).
10. Set up CCC so that the recovery partition will be cloned over, as well.
11. Now, let CCC clone the "finished setup" from the internal drive to the SSD. It won't take that long.

This is the easiest and BEST way to do it, because the drive is all set up and "as you like it" BEFORE you copy it to the SSD for the first time.

Afterwards, you can either re-initialize the internal drive (for whatever you wish to use it), or keep it as a close-at-hand backup.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,169
8,822
California
My Mac mini 2014 will come until the end of the week, I reserved a external USB3.0 SSD for it, can i start it by the first time already on the recover menu and install the system on the external SSD? because if not, i will need to boot from the internal HD, setup everything, then restart, reinstall and setup everything again.... If it’s possible to do everything by the first time already, it will save a huge amount of time for me. is it possible?
Yes it is possible. Attach the SSD before you start it up, then make sure you have a USB keyboard attached, and hold command-r at boot. That will get you to the recovery screen. From there use Disk Utility to erase the SSD to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The go to the Restore tab of Disk Utility and restore the internal Macintosh HD volume to the external drive. That will clone the internal to the external. Then restart while holding the option key and at the boot selector screen pick the SSD.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hfg

JustSoWicked1

macrumors newbie
Jun 20, 2013
10
0
Colorado
Or simply download the macOS installer from the App Store and follow the prompts once it asks which disk you want to install select your external SSD. If you don't see it make sure you format the SSD via Disk Utility.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,169
8,822
California
Or simply download the macOS installer from the App Store and follow the prompts once it asks which disk you want to install select your external SSD. If you don't see it make sure you format the SSD via Disk Utility.
I don't think that will accomplish what OP is after though. It sounds like he wants the whole system apps and all on the SSD just like the Mac comes out of the box. What you are describing will only put the OS on the SSD and nothing else.