Replace Install DVDs with USB?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by PeterM11, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. PeterM11 macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2009
    I'm trying to find a way to get rid of my installation DVDs. I have one for Mac Snow Leopard, Ubuntu, and Windows 7 that I carry around and also for Vista and XP at home. Also, I plan on having one of Lion if theres an easy way to do that once it's out.

    My question is how can I get rid of these and use a large flash drive instead?

    I don't really want a bootable OS exactly, I just want to be able to plug in a flash drive to a windows computer or a mac and then install an OS on a partition.

    Is there any way I can easily do this?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    As you need different file systems (formats) and partition map schemes for each OS, you need several USB flash memory thumb drives to accomplish this, as you can only use ONE partition map scheme with one device (HDD or USB flash memory thumb drive or DVD).
    As I am a Mac OS X only household, I only use GUID as partition map scheme, thus I have a Mac OS X installer on one of my external HDDs and have used it without problems.
    There are also guides on how to burn Lion to DVD or make a bootable USB flash memory thumb drive out of the downloaded file, use "burn lion mac to dvd" as search terms to find several guides.

    Windows can't be easily installed from an external device, it can't even be installed onto an external device that easy.

    As for Ubuntu, I guess the same rules as in Mac OS X apply.

    For Mac OS X, just make a DVD image via Disk Utility from the Mac OS X installation DVD, then use CarbonCopyCloner to make a clone onto a properly formatted USB flash memory thumb drive.

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