Universal boot disk

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by macmesser, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. macmesser macrumors 6502a

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    Long Island, NY USA
    #1
    Is it possible to create an external boot disk which can be used to boot any Mac, in my case Mac Mini '12, Mac Pro 5,1, Macbook Pro '15, MacBook '09.
     
  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    #2
    I believe so. All of your Macs will support the latest OS (10.11), but the lowest OS you can use is Yosemite (10.10) because of the 2015 MBP.
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #3
    You would need an OS X version that will boot any of those Macs, so that will be decided with the newest MBPro '15 which needs Yosemite or higher.
    All your other Macs will boot with Yosemite as well.

    So, yes, boot to your Yosemite installer, and choose your external drive as the destination for the install of OS X.
    That will give you a bootable drive that will boot any of your present Macs, all from that Yosemite system.

    Interesting note (to me, anyway :D ) : I have an external drive with 18 partitions, including partitions with each installer from Tiger to El Capitan. Installed systems on several partitions, including Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Yosemite. A couple of partitions with a variety of archived installers for many apps that I have acquired over the years, Full sets of all system and combined updaters for all the installer versions that I have - and other stuff/music backups/email archives, etc. That one drive will boot or install on every Mac that has a firewire port, and any Intel Mac (so far)
     
  4. Analog Kid macrumors 68040

    Analog Kid

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    #4
    One of the nice things about OS X is that the install isn't tied to the hardware-- all drivers are included (unless you've used one of those silly "clean your mac" applications) and there's no licensing constraints.
     
  5. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Are you sure? Lion cannot be installed on a 2015 MacBook pro
     
  6. Analog Kid macrumors 68040

    Analog Kid

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    #6
    Lion also can't be installed on a 512k Mac. I don't mean that all versions of the OS will run on any hardware you connect it to, I mean that you can take one boot disk and use it to boot multiple machines without issue if the hardware is supported. The last time I tried to do that with Windows, which was some years ago, it was not very forgiving.
     
  7. macmesser, Mar 20, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016

    macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Thanks for reply. This simplifies things.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2016 ---
    That is indeed interesting. I think I'll do something like this from this point forward. I am not the most organized person and have paid the price in the past. I was planning on purchasing a usb 3-eSATA enclosure and an 256 GB SSD but now I realize I should be looking at a larger drive for this purpose. Maybe a 1TB SSHD would be about right.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2016 ---
    Thanks for reply. More good news. Makes what I'm thinking of fairly simple.
     
  8. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 31, 2015
    #8
    OP:

    External boot disk should work as long as the Macs are compatible with the OS installed in the disk.

    Only potential problem is different OS X versions, if the disk contains newer OS than what is installed into Mac which its booted from there might be some problems because the Mac has older Firmware than the OS requires (latest Firmware is installed during OS X update in the latest versions, if I remember correctly Apple started this practice in Yosemite).

    I haven't tested it enough to say its certainly a problem but its better to be safe than sorry and not mix several different OS X versions into the mix...
     
  9. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Thanks for reply. That's a new rub. I wonder if firmware is back compatible with respect to OS.
     
  10. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    It should be backwards compatible. I haven't seen any indication in my testing that it wouldn't be. Firmware isn't my speciality so I could be wrong.
     
  11. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

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