Yosemite on USB 3.0 Drive

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by JKarnsy, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. JKarnsy macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Hello Everyone, I'm in the public beta for Yosemite (which sounds like will be out tomorrow) and I would like to try/see the the new OS. I only have one computer so I wouldn't want to upgrade Mavericks on it as well as delete everything to partition the disk. I wanted to get an opinion on whether or not I could put it on a USB 3.0 Flash Drive and test it out that way. I don't want to do much, just experience some of the new features. What do you all think about that? Will it work? How do I do it?
    Thank you very much
  2. RaNdOm macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2003
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    It will work, I've done it with a USB powered USB 3 drive. Actually works really well and is snappy. The install was pretty easy to do. Just get the drive you want to use, partition it if you need to and format as Journaled. Then start the installer and select the drive, USB 3.0, (not Macintosh HD) that you want to install it on and let it do it's thing. Then after it's installed you want to select your OS you want to use, using the Startup Disk preference in System Preferences.
  3. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    This is my plan as well. I asked this somewhere else but I didn't get an answer.

    I have a usb3 drive right now that is already partitioned and I was hoping to install Yosemite on the smallest partition. The other partitions have some important archived files (I will try to back them up anyway but I'd still like to minimize risk). Will installing yosemite on a partition of an external hard drive also install a recovery partition anywhere on the external? Or do I not have to worry about that.

    I was also just reading about others having issues removing the yosemite partition later. RaNdom have you run into any issues like this?

  4. smartalic34, Jul 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014

    smartalic34 macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    I have Yosemite on a partitioned external. The troubles that people were running into removing it are easily fixable, such as running some Terminal commands that other users have posted or just using Disk Utility from your main drive's Recovery partition and erasing the partition that way. I would go right ahead and install on the external drive! Safer, anyway, than doing it on the internal...
  5. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
  6. csixty4 macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2010
    Somerville, MA
    Sounds like you found the answer you were looking for. I just wanted to point out I ran the Mavericks GM off a USB 2.0 drive and was using it for web development. It took a little extra time to boot up, but everything ran at a decent speed off the external drive.

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