Looking to create a couple of USB backup bootable drives for Mavericks/Yosemite

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Alkaid, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Alkaid macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2013
    I'd like to create a couple of bootable USB drives for Mavericks and Yosemite, as I'll soon have a new laptop (and I'm not 100% sure what OS it has on it, it's an older Macbook Pro unit) and I want to have backups if needed.

    However, my current computer only goes up to Lion and it will not let me download Mavericks or Yosemite from the App Store (even though I'm pretty sure it at least let me try before) I was told that I don't even need to do this and can just do Internet Recovery but I'd like to have these available if needed.

    My questions are two-fold: I have 2 8gb 3.0 USB drives and I'd like to use both if I can. If I cannot download from the App Store, is there another way to get both Mavericks and Yosemite? (Also, 8gb is enough, correct?)

    If I can answer any other questions or supply additional information, please do let me know. I'd love to get these worked out so that I can eventually start to work with my new laptop.
  2. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    What type of Mac do you have? If it has Lion on it, you should be able to at least download Yosemite or Mavericks from the Mac App store. Once from there, follow the instructions in this thread and you will have your USB boot drives.

    8GB sticks should be enough; I used 16GB for my Mavericks and Yosemite boot drives, but 8 should be enough.

  3. Alkaid thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2013
    Hi bradl, thanks for the quick reply.

    Yeah, my older laptop has Lion on it but it won't let me download Mavericks or Yosemite on it, saying it isn't compatible with my current laptop. I've also checked to see if any links to the Mavericks download on the App Store exist and they say that this isn't currently available in the US store when I try to look for it.

    Which is odd, especially just since I know these links have existed in the past.
  4. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    Which Mac do you have? model and year, if you know.

  5. Alkaid thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2013
    My old Mac is a 2007 Mid-year Macbook, if it helps. (When they still made Macbooks in flavors other than aluminum)
  6. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    Maximum os x for that computer is 10.7.5.

    This explains why you could not put mavericks or yosemite onto it.
  7. Alkaid thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2013
    Yep, I'm just wondering if there's a way to still get the files to make the disks or if I'm gonna have to find an alternate route to get these USB disks made, I guess.
  8. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    That definitely does explain it. But I would think that the App store should allow it to be downloaded. It would be odd if the App store checked the hardware to see if it meets the requirements for running the application that is about to be downloaded. Normally, that check should be done when the installer is started, or at least during the install process. But it shouldn't *prevent* the download from occurring.

    The App should download, try to initialize (read: start), and should fail or give you some sort of dialog stating that your hardware doesn't meet minimum requirements. If it doesn't do that, I wonder if it may be a non-Intel Macbook.. Actually, it would have to be an Intel-based Mac for it to run Lion, as Rosetta was ended with Snow Leopard.

    Either way, with your MBP coming, what I'd suggest doing is:

    1. Time Machine backup your 2007 Macbook,
    2. downloading Yosemite onto the MBP,
    3. create your bootsticks from the MBP,
    4. Clean install Yosemite onto your MBP, and
    5. Restore applicable data to your MBP from the Time Machine Backup during the install process (optional).
    That should get you what you are looking for. Unfortunately, you will have to wait until that MBP gets in to create the boot sticks.

    If you have an Apple Store nearby, you could see if they can create it for you. Long shot, but an option.

  9. tywebb13 macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2012
    I don't know why Alkaid doesn't want to wait for the mbp to arive before making the bootable usbs. That is probably what I would do under the circumstances.

    However, if he really must make them on his old computer first, there may be a way to do it, but it is a rather extreme workaround.

    Anyway, here is how it could be done.

    Make a virtual machine of lion in parallels or vmware fusion or virtualbox and then purchase and download yosemite from within the virtual machine. Then either make the usb of yosemite from within the virtual machine or copy the yosemite app out of the virtual machine into the applications folder and then make the bootable usb.

    Obtaining the mavericks app will be more difficult since it is no longer available in the mac app store. But if you have access to the mac dev center, it is still available there. So repeat the process again for mavericks, assuming you have access. I am also assuming he never bought mavericks before. If this assumption is wrong, you can still redownload it from the purchases tab in the mac app store inside the lion virtual machine.

    As I said before, this is a rather extreme workaround, and I would be more inclined to wait for the mbp.
  10. Alkaid thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2013
    Apologies for the late replies back, bradl, tywebb13.

    Mainly, the reasons that I wanted to have these sticks available was to have a needed way to downgrade/upgrade depending on if I needed to do so. I don't actually know what OS is coming on the machine (I'd assume it's Mavericks as this is one of the last models with the upgradable RAM, CD-Drive, etc) and I wanted to have options to change the OS if I can't do so via the App Store.

    You're correct that my old Lion can't run anything higher (it can't even run Mountain Lion) but I wanted to see if I could get these made before the unit arrived, if possible.

    The other option is that I do have an Apple Store within a decent driving distance and I could check there as well. But yeah, outside of a virtual machine, I'm not 100% sure I'll be able to do this without access to another more recent Mac.

    I do really appreciate all the information though, it's been quite helpful and I'll keep you up to date on what I can figure out.
  11. Alkaid, Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    Alkaid thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2013
    Edit: It seems that Mavericks is no longer on the App Store, so I will have to find out an alternative to making an USB boot disk for it sadly.

    Just a quick update for everyone.

    I managed to get over to an Apple Store and they made a USB backup drive for Yosemite since they could grab that from the App Store without much trouble. And, due to a nice trick they informed me of, I can take my new computer (which, I managed to find out has Mavericks on it) over there again and since it has Mavericks, I can download it from the App Store and make a USB backup from that as well. (They even said I could come back and use their shop's fiber to download it as I don't have the best connection at home, so it's a win-win there.)

    So, I think I'm in good shape overall and I'm finally excited to check out the new computer as well. It also looks like I can upgrade to Yosemite without much trouble but I'd like to explore the new features in Mavericks for a bit before I decide if I'd like to upgrade.

    I really appreciate everyone's help on this and thanks again for all the helpful advice as well.

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