Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Create a hard-drive based OS X installer Install
A recent post reminded me of a trick I've been using for the past year or so with great success, so I figured I'd share. Being a Mac specialist, I find myself having to do OS installs on a pretty regular basis. I carry around a couple of 2.5" FireWire hard drives loaded with installers, diagnostics, and other goodies.

I wanted to be able to install the OS from one of my hard drives, like in the old days of OS 9, instead of having to boot the the machine from a CD or DVD. So here's what I did:

I used Mike Bombich's NetRestore Helper application (part of the NetRestore package) to create an Apple Software Restore (ASR) disk image of the Mac OS X install DVD. Then I applied that disk image to a partition on one of my hard drives, and voila! I had a clone of the install disc on my hard drive, which boots in seconds, and takes mere minutes to perform a system install (depending, obviously, on the speed of the machine you're working on, and which options you're installing).

Read on for a step-by-step walkthrough and some additional notes and thoughts.

First, pop your OS install disc into your machine. Once it's mounted, fire up NetRestore Helper. I generally leave all of the default settings in place, but if you're in a rush, you can swtich from a compressed image to a read-only (non-compressed) one. From the Select Master Disk pop-up menu, choose your OS installer. Click the padlock button in the lower-left-hand corner to authenticate, and then hit the Create Master Image button. Pick out a name and destination for your image file, and then hit Save. This process takes a few minutes (usually about 10-15, in my experience), depending on the speed of your drive/machine.

Now, you're ready to apply your disk image to a hard drive. There are a couple of ways to do this, the easiest of which is to use Apple's Disk Utility (found in your Utilities folder). Once open, click on the partition that you want to use in the column on the left. Then click the Restore tab on the right. Drag the partition (from the left) onto the Destination field, and then drag (or use the Image button) your newly made disk image file onto the Source field. Check the Erase Destination checkbox, and, if you're in a hurry, check the Skip Checksum checkbox, and then hit the Restore button. This part only take a minute or so. Once it's done, you're good to go.

Test it out by plugging your drive into a machine and booting into the Startup Manager (hold down the Option key after you hear the startup chime). You should see (eventually; some machines seem to take forever to poll for valid boot disks) a button with your volume (which should be named MacOS Install DVD or the like) appear. Select it, and the machine should boot right into the installer.

A couple of notes/things to consider:
  1. I suggest using a small partition on your drive -- I use 4GB -- for each installer disc you decide to image.
  2. Resist the urge to rename the volume from MacOS Install... to something more useful (like Tiger Install) -- I've never done it, and haven't had a single problem. I've got a feeling that changing the name would break something. Call me superstitous.
  3. Ideally, you'd want the volume you're using for this to be read-only; I've tried using the 'Locked for Editing' feature in Disk Utilities' partitioning section, but it doesn't seem to do anything. If anyone out there knows of a way to lock a volume down permanently, please let me know.
Here's how I've got my 100GB drive Toolbox drive set up ("Serving Suggestion"):
  1. 4GB partition -- Tiger DVD image/install (10.4.3)
  2. 4GB partition -- Tiger Server image/install (10.4.3)
  3. 4GB partition -- Panther DVD image/install (10.3.5 ... I know what you're thinking -- "Hey, there was never a Panther install DVD! What are you talking about?" Well, if you dig into this hint, you can make one.)
  4. 10GB partition -- bootable diagnostics volume (10.4.3, with all of my diagnostics and utilities installed and ready to go)
  5. Remaining space -- storage partition, with application installers, updaters, etc.
And there you have it. Hope it saves you as much time as it does me.
    •    
  • Currently 3.13 / 5
  You rated: 5 / 5 (15 votes cast)
 
[185,388 views]  

Create a hard-drive based OS X installer | 27 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Create a hard-drive based OS X installer' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: droll on Jan 04, '06 08:14:54AM

Great hint. You can also just use apple disk utility to restore directly from your install disk to your install partition. Under the restore tab just drag the install disk to the source and the install partition to the destination hit restore and go.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: giskard22 on Jan 04, '06 08:20:56AM

Took the words right out of my mouth, except the "great hint" part. :-)

Seriously, this is a ridiculous hint and should be deleted. You don't need any of these extra steps involving NetRestore. All of Apple's installers (including the bootable OS disks) can be copied using plain old read-only disk images. Simply use Disk Utility/asr to "restore" it to a hard drive partition, and you're done. You could also, as the parent comment said, copy directly without any intermediate disk image.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: sixthring on Jan 04, '06 10:50:54AM

Actually this is not true. Using disk Utility alone does not always work for creating an bootable install HD that works on every machine. His method works on everything all the way back to G3 blue and whites.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: zpjet on Jan 04, '06 11:13:21AM

yes, you're right, i've just did the same. the only small downside is that i can't connect the fw disk and run the installer to be rebooted and start installing, like from the dvd. instead, i have to boot from the disk first. not a big deal tho'...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: lukasha on Jan 04, '06 09:33:33AM

Not to hijack this, but the last poster is correct about using Disk Utility. That's how I setup my disk. I did rename mine to Tiger and haven't had a problem yet. What I'm really curious about is whether someone has come up with a definitive guide to slipstreaming installs into the disc. I've found various hints, but so far I haven't had much luck with Tiger and it's still way too tedious and I just don't know enough to dig into all the .plists. If someone had a step by step guide, please point it out.

Jeff



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: heavyboots on Jan 04, '06 10:11:48AM

Well, this isn't exactly slipstreaming, but if you collect up all the installers, you can always use PackageMaker to make an metapackage out of them.

/Developer/Applications/Utilities/PackageMaker

This at least relieves the tedium of having to install 8 security updates, 3 DVD updates, a new iTunes, iPod software, etc etc etc as separate installs. One package to bind them, one click to install them all to paraphrase LOTR... :)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: timrob on Jan 04, '06 08:54:53PM

I don't know what slipstreaming is, but if you check out the manpage for asr.

man asr

It explains in detail how to create an install image based on your current installation.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Adding software update packages to a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: macworks on Jan 06, '06 11:26:01PM
Jeff:

I've been working this most of the day and found a working solution for some of the software updates that follow an installation. My solution involves setting up the hard drive based OS X (Tiger) installer (described in this thread) with a few minor modifications.

Here are the steps I used:
  1. Turn off the "Ignore ownership on this volume" option in the get info window for the hard drive based installer partition that you're working with. This prevents your additions/edits from getting different ownership/group permissions than the default installer uses on the installation volume (root:wheel).

  2. Remove any of the spaces in the package names that you wish to add to the installer process. I don't know if it's necessary, but I noticed that none of Apple's entries had spaces, so I felt it was safest to remove them.

  3. Place the software update packages that you wish to add to the Mac OS X installation process into /System/Installation/Packages/

  4. Navigate to /System/Installation/Packages/ and right-click (or control-click) on OSInstall.mpkg and choose "Show Package Contents" and open the "Contents" folder.

  5. Using a text editor that will allow you to over-ride ownership permissions (I used BBEdit) open the following items (within the Contents folder):
    • OSInstall.dist (drag onto the text editor to open, it's plain text file)
    • Info.plist
    • Resources/English.lproj/Localizable.strings


  6. Within Info.plist, add entries for each of the packages that you've added to the Packages folder. Note that if you removed spaces in the package names (see above) make sure you do NOT include spaces in your Info.plist entries. The entries must match the package names exactly! My new entries were placed just above the X11 entry and look like this:
    
    	<dict>
    		<key>IFPkgFlagPackageLocation</key>
    		<string>AirPortUpdate2005-001.pkg</string>
    	</dict>
    	<dict>
    		<key>IFPkgFlagPackageLocation</key>
    		<string>iPod2005-11-17.pkg</string>
    	</dict>
    	<dict>
    		<key>IFPkgFlagPackageLocation</key>
    		<string>iTunesPhoneDriver.pkg</string>
    	</dict>
    	<dict>
    		<key>IFPkgFlagPackageLocation</key>
    		<string>SecurityUpdate2005-009.pkg</string>
    	</dict>
    


  7. Within the OSInstall.dist file, locate the part the reads ...
    <line choice="X11"/>
    ... and add a group similar the the "Language Translations" section directly above X11. Modify the entries to match the packages that you've added. My entries look like this:
    
    <line choice="SoftwareUpdates">
      <line choice="AirPortUpdate2005-001"/>
      <line choice="iPod2005-11-17"/>
      <line choice="iTunesPhoneDriver"/>
      <line choice="SecurityUpdate2005-009"/>
    </line> 
    
    NOTE: I chose "SoftwareUpdates" as the name for my "Package Group" but you could choose anything you want. Again, don't use spaces. You'll see why in the next step.

  8. Within OSInstall.dist (further down), locate
    
    <choice 
    	id="X11"
    	title="X11_title"
    	description="X11_description"
    	start_enabled="upgrade_allowed()"
    	start_selected="false"
    >
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.X11User"/>	
    </choice>
    
    Add entries for each of the packages you've added directly above the X11 entry. My entries look like this:
    
    <choice 
    	id="SoftwareUpdates"
    	title="SoftwareUpdates_title"
    	description="SoftwareUpdates_description"
    >
    </choice>
    
    <choice 
    	id="AirPortUpdate2005-001"
    	title="AirPortUpdate2005-001_title"
    	description="AirPortUpdate2005-001_description"
    	start_enabled="upgrade_allowed()"
    	start_selected="my.choice.enabled"
    >
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.AirPortUpdate2005-001"/>	
    </choice>
    
    <choice 
    	id="iPod2005-11-17"
    	title="iPod2005-11-17_title"
    	description="iPod2005-11-17_description"
    	start_enabled="upgrade_allowed()"
    	start_selected="my.choice.enabled"
    >
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.iPod2005-11-17"/>	
    </choice>
    
    <choice 
    	id="iTunesPhoneDriver"
    	title="iTunesPhoneDriver_title"
    	description="iTunesPhoneDriver_description"
    	start_enabled="upgrade_allowed()"
    	start_selected="my.choice.enabled"
    >
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.iTunesPhoneDriver"/>	
    </choice>
    
    <choice 
    	id="SecurityUpdate2005-009"
    	title="SecurityUpdate2005-009_title"
    	description="SecurityUpdate2005-009_description"
    	start_enabled="upgrade_allowed()"
    	start_selected="my.choice.enabled"
    >
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.SecurityUpdate2005-009"/>	
    </choice>
    
    Note the first entry, SoftwareUpdates, marks the "Package Group" that you're adding.

  9. Next, locate ...
    
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.X11User" auth='root'>file:../X11User.pkg</pkg-ref>
    
    ... and add entries for the packages you've added directly above the X11 entry. My entries look like this:
    
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.AirPortUpdate2005-001" auth='root'>file:../AirPortUpdate2005-001.pkg</pkg-ref>
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.iPod2005-11-17" auth='root'>file:../iPod2005-11-17.pkg</pkg-ref>
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.iTunesPhoneDriver" auth='root'>file:../iTunesPhoneDriver.pkg</pkg-ref>
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.SecurityUpdate2005-009" auth='root'>file:../SecurityUpdate2005-009.pkg</pkg-ref>
    
    Make certain that your package names match exactly and that you DO NOT add the .pkg in the 'id' attribute of your tags, but DO include them in the 'file path' part of the tags.

  10. Locate the following entry (again further down in the OSInstall.dist file):
    
    <pkg-ref id='com.apple.pkg.X11User' installKBytes='91388' version='10.4.0.1780000.1733'/>
    
    Add entries for the packages you've added directly above the X11 entry. My entries look like this:
    
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.AirPortUpdate2005-001" installKBytes='1297' />
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.iPod2005-11-17" installKBytes='85064' />
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.iTunesPhoneDriver" installKBytes='65' />
    <pkg-ref id="com.apple.pkg.SecurityUpdate2005-009" installKBytes='13283' />
    
    The installKBytes figures DO NOT have to be accurate but should be close. I think they just give the installer/user an idea how much space the package is going to take up. Furthermore, it helps the installer to determine whether or not the destination has enough space to install everything.

    To get my figures, I made copies of each of my packages to a temp folder on my desktop then pried them open, unarchived the Archive.pax.gz within them and then using the Finder's get info, I measured the size of the resulting files and divided the bytes by 1024 to convert to KB and rounded to the nearest integer. I know my numbers are not accurrate, but my installation works just fine anyway.

  11. Within Localizable.strings, add entries for the "user friendly" package names and descriptions that the installer shows to the user. I don't believe it matters where you place them within the file. My entries look like this:
    
    "SoftwareUpdates_title" = "Post-Install Software Updates";
    "SoftwareUpdates_description" = "Installs applicable software updates.";
    
    "AirPortUpdate2005-001_title" = "Airport Update 2005-001";
    "AirPortUpdate2005-001_description" = "Installs the Airport Update 001 for 2005.";
    
    "iPod2005-11-17_title" = "iPod Updater 2005-11-17";
    "iPod2005-11-17_description" = "Insalls the updated iPod software.";
    
    "iTunesPhoneDriver_title" = "iTunes Phone Driver";
    "iTunesPhoneDriver_description" = "Installs the iTunes phone driver.";
    
    "SecurityUpdate2005-009_title" = "Security Update 2005-009";
    "SecurityUpdate2005-009_description" = "Installs the security update 009 for 2005.";
    
    NOTE: You need the "SofwareUpdates" entry in order for the package section to have a name and description within the the "Customize" section of the installer.

  12. Save and close your files. If you're using BBEdit, it will want authorization in order to make changes to the files, but it WILL NOT change ownership on the files (which is exactly what you want).

CHECKING & CHANGING PERMISSIONS: If you failed to turn off the "Ignore ownership on this volume" (step 1), like I did, you'll need to change the file permissions on your hard drive based installer partition. If you DID do step one before any other steps, you might want to check the permissions anyway.

To check the permissions:

  • Open the terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities)
  • cd to the root level of your hard drive based installer partition (located inside /Volumes)
  • Type "ls -lan" (without the quotes) and press enter
  • Examine the file permissions. All owner and groups should be set to 0 (zero).
To change the permissions:
  • Open the terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities)
  • cd to the root level of your hard drive based installer partition (located inside /Volumes)
  • Type "sudo chown -R 0:0 *" (without quotes) and press enter. You will likely be required to type your admin password.
NOTE: Some groups may not want to change. I learned this because I failed to perform Step 1 before digging into the files. Despite all of my attempts, I could not get the group to go back to 0 on a few of my items like mach & etc. My installer works despite the invalid groups because everything is owned by root.

ABOUT MY STARTING POINT: I started with a Mac OS X 10.4.3 Installer DVD image, so I don't have a lot of additional software updates to apply and that's why my examples only show four added packages to my installation. Your mileage my vary.

I highly suggest that you use a partition that you can test install onto to make sure your modifications are working. I had to erase and install serveral times before I got it all figured out.

A NOTE ABOUT JAVA UPDATES: I tried to include the Java131and142Release2.pkg & J2SE50Release3.pkg packages in my installation, but the installation would fail, so I removed them.

---
Christopher Raymond, MacWorks owner/operator


[ Reply to This | # ]

Adding software update packages to a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: Clownsun on Feb 17, '06 07:01:21PM

When I add Packages to the Installer then try to open the osinstall.mpkg
the installer says it can't open it Could someone tell me what I am doing wrong?

Thanks

Jeffrey Wilson



[ Reply to This | # ]
Adding software update packages to a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: WhiteDog on Mar 20, '06 05:43:53AM

While this is an elegant solution, besides the awesome complexity of it, I see one serious problem. Apple releases OS related updates of one kind or another every week or so; an install disk image with the update packages included would quickly be out of date and you would have to make a new one regularly to maintain the utility of the process. Unless you do OS installs all day long, it's hard to see the advantage of going to so much trouble to expedite the process.

Having a Tiger install image on a FireWire drive would certainly be useful if you have to do Tiger upgrades frequently. Beyond that, the Combo updates usually make the various incremental updates obsolete. For instance, I recently upgraded an old iMac from X 10.4.2 to 10.4.5. At first Software Update had a slew of recommendations; after applying only the 10.4.5 Combo update, this list shrank to two: iTunes 6.0.4 and the latest security update, both of which, like the Combo update, I had on hand; each ran quickly, even on that sluggish old iMac.

For some time now I've used CDs to archive all the updates I need for Panther and Tiger. I have to update the files on them often; however, because new updates usually replace old ones, I've been able to keep the size down around 700 MBs for each one. I recently got one of those mini external FireWire/USB2 drives to use in place of CDs and, though it offers more capacity, I find I still need the CD versions of the updates from time to time so I continue to keep the update folders small enough to fit on a CD. In my experience doing tech support, flexibility is more important than efficiency.

---
WhiteDog

Don't anthropomorphize computers.
They hate that.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: mjp4 on Jan 04, '06 12:22:38PM

This is also a great way to install Mac OS X onto any machine with a broken cd/dvd drive, such as my Rev. A PowerBookG4 :-(

Is also a much faster install than via the CD/DVD disks!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: dancingbrook on Jan 04, '06 09:43:36PM

Wouldn't Carboncopyclone or chronosync not be useful here?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use your iPod
Authored by: wmertens on Jan 05, '06 06:02:25AM
I use my (3G, firewire and therefore bootable) iPod. Any firewire drive works though. You don't need any special tools either, you can just copy the install disk on top of your iPod and keep using it as an iPod. You only need to make sure that permissions are enabled, you copy resource forks, and you "bless" the system folder after copying. Step by step (off the top of my head, caution):
  1. enable disk mode on your iPod (using iTunes)
  2. insert install DVD
  3. open a terminal
  4. become root: $ sudo -s
  5. enable permissions on your iPod: # vsdbutil -a /Volumes/Your_iPod
  6. make sure you can keep using it for music: # chown -R $USER /Volumes/Your_iPod; chown root /Volumes/Your_iPod
  7. copy disk contents on top of your iPod: # ditto --rsrc /Volumes/Install_DVD /Volumes/Your_iPod
  8. allow the bootrom to find the system folder: # bless -folder /Volumes/Your_iPod/System/Library/CoreServices
Done. You can now turn off disk mode if you want. You will be able to boot from your iPod now. It will still have your music and work as any iPod. Wout. PS: Maybe this should be a separate hint?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Use your iPod
Authored by: derekB on Jan 06, '06 06:10:41AM

I use my iPod as well, but simply used Disk Utility to "restore" from the install DVD to the iPod.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Blue&White G3 hard-drive OS X install???
Authored by: macwebmac on Jan 11, '06 05:45:38AM

How do you boot this way the Blue&White G3 Mac?

I have rev.1, and it can not boot from FW drive, and also option boot doesn't work on it either.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Blue&White G3 hard-drive OS X install???
Authored by: bdog on Jan 12, '06 09:26:09AM

B&W G3 towers don't support FW booting.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: DaMacGuy on Jan 11, '06 02:10:31PM

So, on your computer you have five partitions on your desktop? And only one of them is for day-to-day use? Ugh. I don't know if this solution is worth the 'hassle'.

Now, if the partitions could be hidden, or unmounted until needed - that'd be doable. Something like TechTools hidden partition.

---
-DaMacGuy



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Mar 28, '07 09:00:08PM

Nope, the drive that has all the partitions is his "Toolbox" drive, that he uses to install OS X, do diagnostics, backups, etc. on client's hard drives--not the drive that boots his main Mac (if he has a "main" Mac). And I'd guess he uses each of these partitions on a fairly equal basis, given all the different Mac models he probably works with.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: klondike x on Mar 19, '06 12:52:05PM

Tried to go through this method with my G3 iBook. I'd get as far as being able to see the bootable volume when I hold down 'option' at restart, but upon selecting it, I can hear the firewire drive start to spin, but then my iBook proceeds to just shut down. Was I also supposed to install an OS onto the firewire drive before going through the above procedure? If so, would it have to be onto every partition I'm applying an installer disk image to? I had just assumed that it wouldn't need an OS because I was essentially cloning the disc, but maybe I misunderstood. Anyone else run into this?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Mar 28, '07 09:02:53PM

I don't know what would have caused the shutdown problem, but no, you don't have to preinstall OS X onto any of the partitions that you're going to be installing the disc image onto--installing the disc image is what will install the OS onto those partitions, and in fact will wipe whatever's already there.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: Amadeux on Jan 03, '07 07:49:25AM

Great Forum guys its helped me several times. Keep up the good work.

I Know this post is old, but I was wondering if this type of installation was
don with a MacBook. I have tried and have done everything stated but I keep getting an error saying: 'Mac OS X cannot be installed on this volume' any idea why this is so, I have tried both GPT & APM partition maps and still no luck.

Can anyone assist me with this issue.
Thanks



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Mar 28, '07 10:18:54PM

The Intel OS X installer won't install onto a drive formatted as APM (Apple Partition Map)--that will definitely produce the general error message you're getting. But if you're trying to install an Intel OS X version, using a MacBook, onto a drive formatted as GUID/GPT (doublecheck that it is), and it's giving you the general message that it can't install onto the drive, then there's some other problem the Installer isn't happy about. Reset the MacBook's SMU and try again. I've also seen this happen on drives with bad blocks, so check the hard drive for this, using something like Data Rescue II, Drive Genius, TechTool Pro, etc.

Since you mention APM, here's some general info on making a dual-boot (OS X Intel and OS X PPC) drive:

To BOOT on an Intel Mac, a drive CAN be formatted as APM (Apple Partition Map)--it does NOT need to be formatted as GUID/GPT (GUID Partition Table) to boot on an Intel Mac. A little while after the Intel Macs had been released, someone noticed that Apple's installer CDs and DVDs for the Intel Macs are in APS/APM format. The only condition under which a drive needs to be formatted as GUID, is when you run the Intel version of the OS X installer onto it. Once Intel X is installed, you can copy it to anything you like, including drives formatted as APM, and that copy will boot an Intel Mac. Naturally, it won't boot a non-Intel Mac. So, to have a single drive that can boot both an Intel Mac and a non-Intel Mac, format the drive as APM, then partition it into two volumes, one for the PPC version of OS X, and the other for the Intel version of OS X. If all you have is an Intel Mac, you'll need to use an OS X copy program, or Disk Utility, to copy an already-installed bootable copy of OS X PPC from a PPC Mac, to the PPC boot volume, since the Intel Mac won't boot from an OS X PPC installer disc; if all you have is a PPC Mac, the reverse is the case.

You'll notice I didn't say anything about formatting a VOLUME as APM or GUID--just formatting a DRIVE as either format--since you can't have one drive with a volume formatted as APM, and another volume on that drive formatted as GUID, since APM and GUID don't actually describe a volume's format, but rather a drive's partition table, of which there's only one per drive. As a Macfixit article from last year states: "…there is only one partition table on a hard drive. There is no way to hybridize the table so that it is legal in both GUID and APM, so you have to pick one or the other."



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Dec 20, '07 10:29:04AM

I should have pointed out above, that the hard drive inside all Intel Macs should probably always be formatted as GUID (or nearly always, depending on your needs), even though an Intel Mac can boot from an APM-formatted drive, since there are some Apple installers and updaters that won't work properly if you run them on an Intel Mac, with an APM-formatted drive as the target. You also don't want to confuse anyone who may work with the Mac in the future, who might not know if the Mac's drive is formatted as APM. Also, I've recently read at least one report that a GUID-formatted drive performs read/writes faster than an APM-formatted drive, when run on an Intel Mac, though I'd like to see some confirmation of this.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: math0ne on Mar 28, '07 08:09:53PM
Like many people I'm sure i stumbled upon this when i couldn't get a mac to install OS X due to a funky connection somewhere between the cd-rom drive and the hard drive.

The install would always just fail somewhere thorough, and I tried with many drives. Here's what i did to get it to install.

  • 1. Boot off install disk
  • 2. Use Disk Utility to create two partitions: 1 main partition and 1 install partition (5gb)
  • 2. From the disk utility select the install cd
  • 3. Click "Create Image"
  • 4. Save the image on the main partition
  • 5. Then restore that image to the install partition you created.
  • 6. Select the install partition as the boot partiton take out the cd and re-install


Worked great for me, hope it helps someone.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Mar 28, '07 09:05:59PM

That process is essentially the same as everyone describes above, with the interesting variation of being booted from the install CD itself when you image and restore that very CD. Maybe in some cases this makes the resulting volume happier.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Mar 30, '07 01:18:27AM

I mathOne's technique tonight, using an OS 10.4.3 installer DVD in a Quicksilver, but I couldn't get Disk Utility to copy the disk image to the destination drive--it reported "no such directory". So I just told Disk Utility to directly restore the booted OS 10.4.3 installer DVD to the destination drive, and that worked--after the restore/copy, the destination drive booted successfully. I disconnected it from the Quicksilver, put it into a Firewire enclosure, connected that to a dual G5, and installed OS 10.4.3 onto the G5 in about fifteen minutes. No more worries about scratched DVDs! Prior to this, I'd had limited success with using Disk Utility to restore/copy my OS 10.4 installer DVDs to this drive before--usually it would boot after the copy, but then fail to be a bootable drive later--so I don't know if the same problem will happen with it this time.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Create a hard-drive based OS X installer
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Dec 20, '07 05:55:31PM

I've recently read that another way to get a hard drive-based OS X installer, doesn't require creating separate bootable OS X installer partitions--just copy a disk image of an OS X installer DVD to a normal bootable drive whose boot system is the same or a later version of OS X as the installer DVD (since the Installer app that will run to do the OS X install, needs to be the proper version for the version of OS X that's being installed), then boot from that drive's normal system, mount the OS X installer disk image, then run, from the mounted disk image, System/Installation/Packages/OSinstall.mpkg.

I tried this, using one of my Firewire utility drives to hold the OS X 10.4.6 installer DVD disk image, installing onto a Mac mini G4 1.33 GHz, but it didn't work for me, though I've tried it only once. The installation process went OK, but the resulting installation wouldn't boot past the Apple logo on a white screen--not even a spinning activity indicator showed.

So, I went back to the "old" method described in this hint, installing from a hard drive that contains a bootable copy of the same OS 10.4.6 installer DVD as failed using the mounted installer disk image method I describe above, and that worked.

I suppose the mounted disk image method may work for some people some of the time, but I'd rather use a method that works for most people most of the time.



[ Reply to This | # ]