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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Questions on making a bootable OS X on a USB memory stick


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Barbara Jay

 
Member Since: Jan 23, 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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Mac Specs: iMac with OS X 10.6.6 -4GB memory

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I have an iMac with Snow Leopard. I plan to upgrade to Mountain Lion
Several people here have recommended making a bootable copy of ML since Apple no longer sells a restore disk .

I have never used a USB memory stick

I found a couple of YouTube videos showing how to use one. Here is one that is using a Mac.
How To use a USB Flash Drive - YouTube

Then I found this tutorial on how to make a bootable copy of ML using a USB memory stick
How to Make a Bootable OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion USB Install Drive

I found where to get Lion Diskmaker
C'est un peu court, Gète. » Lion DiskMaker (US)

I still have a couple of questions.

1. I can't find a DiskMaker for Mountain Lion are people using the one for Lion?

2. It says in the DiskMaker directions it will erase the drive . After I plug in the USB memory stick it should show up in the Disk Utility window with my Macintosh HD and my G-Technology back up. As long as I am careful to click on the USB drive that is on the only one that will erase and format , Correct? It will be a new memory stick

3 I am a bit confused as to how to get the ML download to the memory stick.
In the Youtube video the guy had what he wanted to save to the USB memory stick on his desktop and just dragged it to the open memory stick window and the folder he wanted to save it to.

I had to get the free upgrade for my son and daughter-in-laws new iMac so I know after the download it was in applications. Will I be just dragging the ML icon from Applications to my desk top; plugging in the USB memory stick and doing the erase/ format. And then dragging the ML icon to the box where is say "Source"?

4. On the written tutorial 2nd screen shot for "How to create a bootable copy of ML" how did the titles
OSXdaily MT Lion and the "Mac OS X install ESD" get into the Disk Utility window? What is the "Restore" button doing?

5. On the written tutorial item #7 says drag the Formatted Partition to the Destination section. What is a Formated Partition?

I plan to do this in two go's . One to install it on my computer and then download it again to make the bootable memory stick.

Sorry for so many questions but I have never done this

Thanks in advance
Barbara
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harryb2448

 
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1. Yes that is the current version.

2. Erase and format the USB thumb drive.

3. Download Lion Discmaker and it sets it out in easy to follow steps making the copy. You do this prior to running the installer.

4. When yo open the Mountasin lion folder in Applications after downloading from the App Store, you will see the Mac OS X Install ESD file. Simply follow the instructions.

Mountain Lion is a big download. Easiest way is the Lion Disckmaker way.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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harryb2448

 
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1. Yes that is the current version.

2. Erase and format the USB thumb drive.

3. Download Lion Discmaker and it sets it out in easy to follow steps making the copy. You do this prior to running the installer.

4. When yo open the Mountain Lion folder in Applications after downloading from the App Store, you will see the Mac OS X Install ESD file. Simply follow the instructions.

Mountain Lion is a big download. Easiest way is the Lion Disckmaker way.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Doug b

 
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First and foremost. Back up all of your files to an external drive.

Do not install it on your computer before moving the install file over to the external thumb drive, or it will be deleted after the install. So, here's what you need to do:

Download ML. It will wind up in your Applications folder. Drag it over to your thumb drive (copy or move, doesn't matter). Start Lion Diskmaker, as it will also work with ML. It will find Mountain Lion on your thumb drive and format it to be bootable, so make sure there's nothing on there you don't want to lose.

Restart the computer while holding down the alt/opt key. You'll now be in Disk Utility mode. If you'd like, you can now reformat your HDD before installing ML. I always do this in order to do a totally "clean" install. I usually have Disk Utility write over the drive with a "3 pass" wipe. This way nothing is left over from before.

After that, I just install like usual and done.

Doug
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Barbara Jay

 
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Thank you very much!!


I have an external HD that backs up with Time Machine .

Doug b You said I will be restarting the computer holding down the alt/option key. Is that how I will install MT. Lion on my Macintosh HD too.?

I thought I had to two this is two operations. Download Mt. Lion and install it on my Macintosh HD. Then go back to the App Store and re-download Mt. Lion to make the bootable copy.

Now I need to buy a USB thumb drive. The article recommends an 8GB flash/thumb drive so it is large enough.

Which brand of USB thumb drive do you recommend or all of them nearly alike?


Thanks to both of you for taking the time to review all the things I found and answer my questions !!

Barbara
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harryb2448

 
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My ML was placed on an 8GB San Disk thumb drive no problems.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Doug b

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara Jay View Post
Thank you very much!!


I have an external HD that backs up with Time Machine .
While that's all well and good, Time Machine is meant to serve as a backup in case something goes wrong with your HD, and will replace the content of a new HD with that information. That drive, unless it is partitioned, should not be used for anything else. An 8 gig thumb drive would be optimal. Though technically, you can restore specific data to the new OS, I prefer not to since a clean install will be less quirky in my experience.

Quote:
Doug b
Quote:
You said I will be restarting the computer holding down the alt/option key. Is that how I will install MT. Lion on my Macintosh HD too.?
Technically, you do not have to do this step, but it is the method I prefer since it enables me to start clean. I do not like to install an operating system on top of another one. That is why I like to erase everything by reformatting the HD.

I use a program called Carbon Copy Cloner. It backs up specific folders that I set it to back up, when I want it to on a schedule. It can also clone a HD for a backup if need be. But don't worry about that now.

Quote:
I thought I had to two this is two operations. Download Mt. Lion and install it on my Macintosh HD. Then go back to the App Store and re-download Mt. Lion to make the bootable copy.
No need for the extra step of re-downloading. Download once, copy the file from your applications folder to the thumb drive and that's it. If you back up all of your stuff before hand, you can do a clean install like I suggested (holding down opt while rebooting then going into disk utility to erase your HDD)

Quote:
Now I need to buy a USB thumb drive. The article recommends an 8GB flash/thumb drive so it is large enough.

Which brand of USB thumb drive do you recommend or all of them nearly alike?
I've never gone wrong with Sandisk.

Doug
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Barbara Jay

 
Member Since: Jan 23, 2011
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Thanks so much for all of this informations!! It it a bit overwhelming the first time I try this.
It would be helpful if Apple sold a restore disk or flash drive, but wishing gets us no where.

I am going to recap this so I don't make a mess . Let me know if I am misunderstanding any of these procedures

1. After I buy the SandDisk flash drive , put it into a USB port and it should show up as an icon on my Desktop, correct?
2. Download Lion DiskMaker . That should end up in Applications, correct?

3. Download Mt. Lion from the App Store . It will be in Applications. Do not click install. Instead Drag and drop that into the icon on my desktop for the USB Flash drive.

4. Will Lion DiskMaker open automatically or do I need to double click on it in Applications to open and to start the copy process?

5. Follow the prompts from Lion DiskMaker.

6. Here is where I am a bit confused. Will Lion Diskmaker prompt me to save the freshly made copy of Mt. Lion to my Macintosh HD? Or how does it get from the copy just made to be installed my Macintosh HD? I don't think I am brave enough this time to do a clean install LOL

7. After this is complete I will need to go to Apple for the updates to Mt. Lion. Will I drag and drop those into the Flash drive before I install them to my Macintosh HD Icon? Or how will updates get to the copy of Mt. Lion on the flash drive?

After all of the procedures are complete go to Finder------> File and eject the USB flash drive and remove from the USB port.

It must be a struggle for all of you experienced people to deal with an inexperienced person like me.
I am keeping notes of this process so I can use them in the future when I need to copy an OS X.
Thanks for all of your, time help and patience!!

Barbara
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harryb2448

 
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Well Lion Discmaker will end up in Applications if you put it there. The file will originally go to Downloads, if that is how you have set it up, and you can double click and install from there.

It will copy from the ML file you download and then you find it in Applications and run the Installer. Updates will load directly to the operating system and no to the thumb drive.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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