Whats needed to make a thumbdrive bootable in OS X?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BORIStheBLADE, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. BORIStheBLADE macrumors regular

    BORIStheBLADE

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #1
    I need to make a bootable thumbdrive for one of my other computers (which isn't a apple) and don't know how to do it in a apple environment. Is they're an app I need or does OS X come with something I can use?

    thanks
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    So are you trying to have an OSX installation on a thumbdrive for a hackintosh?
     
  3. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    Location:
    Ohio
    #3
    You will not be able to boot OSX off a thumb drive on the windows machine if that is what you are trying to do. You can't just install OSX from the restore disk onto the drive and boot from it. I have never tried to configure my windows pc as a hackintosh, but as I understand, it isn't the easiest thing to do. And probably even harder on a thumb drive. I'm not even sure if its possible to make a bootable thumb drive. How big is your thumb drive?
     
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #4
    You can use a thumbdrive that is at least 8GB in size as a bootable drive so long as you are using an Intel Mac.

    Windows machines can also be booted off a USB device, but only if the BIOS supports USB booting and the OS is Vista or newer (XP can be hacked to work though)
     
  5. BORIStheBLADE thread starter macrumors regular

    BORIStheBLADE

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #5
    I'm trying to install linux on my acer aspire 1 which doesnt have a dvd/cd drive
     
  6. Steve-M macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #6
    Your best bet will be to go to the web site of the distribution your trying to install. Search the wiki, and forums there. If you have a live CD, it may have a utility to create a live thumb drive. It shouldn't matter if you build the live thumb drive on your Mac or a pc, as you will be using linux to do the job.
     
  7. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #7
    Ok well, you will have to check if your BIOS supports usb booting. And probably change some settings in the BIOS to have usb first in the boot order. You can google how to do this. Also, what size is your usb drive? If you have verified that you can boot from usb devices then on the mac if you have the .iso image file of the linux install then you can use disk utility to restore that image to the thumb drive. Then you can plug this in and boot into on the windows machine. This will allow you to install linux on your machine from the thumb drive. I would suggest using windows to make an empty partition before you do this and just allow the installer to use that partition. Instead of handling the partitioning through the installer. This just lessens the chances that you will screw up the windows install.

    Also, an alternate route is if you are trying to install ubuntu, you can install wubi. This installs ubuntu like an application on the windows machine but gives you an option to boot from it at startup. There is no partitioning needed and you will have a full ubuntu OS installed so you can dual boot as you please.
     
  8. BORIStheBLADE thread starter macrumors regular

    BORIStheBLADE

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #9
    I have made a bootable thumb drive on a Win pc when I HAD a win pc.All I have now is the Apple and my Acer. So right now all I have that works is my apple.

    My laptop does boot from usb I have done it before.
     
  9. Steve-M macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2009
    #10
    That is very interesting.
     
  10. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
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    #11
    do what is said in my post above with disk utility. Get the .iso image file for your linux install, then select your thumb drive from the left and go to the restore panel. Select the .iso file and then drag your thumb drives icon into the second box. Then click "restore." This should make your thumb drive a bootable linux installer.
     
  11. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #12
    Yes it is, the concept is a good one for people that don't want to mess with their disks, and it is a great way to try out ubuntu. Since I know what I am doing, I installed ubuntu to a partition on my windows desktop, but I was tempted to try wubi out and see how it worked.
     
  12. Steve-M macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #13
    I have been dual booting for years, but I like the idea of wubi for someone that wants to try linux with out risk. Didn't BeOS use to do something similar?
     
  13. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
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    #14
    I'm not familiar with BeOS, but the wubi idea is a great idea. The ability to just download and install an "application" and run ubuntu natively is pretty cool. Wubi is actually included in all the ubuntu install disks now. So you can either run wubi from windows or boot into the cd and install to a partition that way. Its a very good option to have, IMO, for the less tech inclined users who are curious about linux.
     
  14. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #15
    I'm looking to do this too, and though I think it could be a simple as running a straight install on a thumb large enough, I'd appreciate the reassurance.

    What I have going right now is I have an OWC Firewire external drive, powered through the bus. On the drive (120GB), is a full on install of OSX and Techtool. This is the replacement for my Protege.

    Why?

    Well, one of my machines is headless, pure server - (Oh all are Intel machines) - and even with the protege, I had to pull it, connect to keyboard, mouse and monitor to run. With the external's full-on install, I can boot to it and manage using Screen Sharing, all without ripping it out of the rack. This is very nice.

    While I can live with this situation, I wouldn't mind something a little less bulky.

    Here's the question: Would it be as simple as cloning this drive to a Thumb of large enough capacity?
     

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