Create a Mavericks USB Key

Something that has been around for  while, but I’ve just stumbled across it, is Diskmaker X

This nifty app will do all the donkey work in creating a bootable Mac OS X USB Key, you just need to following

1. Mavericks Installation app from the Mac App Store

2. Diskmaker X app from their website

3. an empty 8GB USB Key

 

Once you have downloaded the Mavericks app from the App Store and Diskmaker X from their website, then insert your USB Key into your Mac

Run Diskmaker X

When prompted, choose 10.9

It will then look for your Mavericks app, when it finds it, choose ‘Use this copy’

Then if you are using an 8GB USB key, then choose  ‘An 8GB USB Thumb Drive’

If you are using a partition on a larger drive, then choose ‘Another kind of disk’

Confirm the choice of disk by clicking on ‘Choose this disk’

When it warns you about erasing the drive, confirm that you wish to continue by clicking on ‘Erase and create the disk’

You will then be warned that you will need to input your admin password, so click ‘Continue’ and then enter your admin username and password when prompted

The process is fully automated, so from now until completion it will take around an hour, maybe longer on slower machines, you will get a dialog box when it has completed, confirming this and asking you for a donation, it’s not compulsory, but as it is quite a useful app, its always good to encourage future development, so please consider it.

 

You can then boot into the USB from the Startup Disk option in System Preferences, or by holding down ALT when the machine boots up

 

Enjoy

System Preferences – Security & Privacy – 10.8

 

So, the major change in 10.8 is the default restrictions on which applications can be installed, which can prevent installation of apps such as Microsoft Office and some other popular software.

To enable software from all developers, make sure that under ‘Allow applications downloaded from:’ the button next to ‘Anywhere’ is selected

I’d also recommend ticking the box next to ‘Require password after sleep or screen saver begins’ to prevent unauthorised use of your machine

In the FileVault tab you have the option of encrypting your whole system drive, this is great on a laptop as it will prevent access before even booting & will disable Target Disk Mode, make sure you have a note of the Recovery Key that is displayed when enabling this, as this will be the only way you could access the machine if you forgot your password.

The Privacy tab now has info on which apps have requested access to your contacts, location service info, access to Facebook, and the option to send diagnostic data to Apple

USB Key Labelled EFI Boot

If you have created a Mac OS X bootable USB Key and it shows up as EFI Boot when you are at the boot selection menu then you can rectify this via the following Terminal command

sudo bless --folder /Volumes/VOLUMENAME/System/Library/CoreServices --bootefi

replace VOLUMENAME with the name of your USB Volume, so I named my 10.8 Key ‘Mountain’, so my command would be

sudo bless --folder /Volumes/Mountain/System/Library/CoreServices --bootefi

then enter your admin password and reboot

Hold down ALT to get back to the boot selection menu and you should now have the VOLUMENAME displayed under the USB Device, rather than EFI Boot

Mountain Lion on a USB

Ok, so to get Mountain Lion onto a USB use the same method as on Lion

First of all, you will need the following

1. Install OS X Mountain Lion.app (4.37GB download from the Mac App Store)

2. 8GB USB Key

Once you have these you will need to get the Mountain Lion Disk Image, which is obtained by clicking on Finder and pressing SHIFT CMD G at the same time and entering

/Applications/Install OS X Mountain Lion/Contents/SharedSupport/

and then clicking the Go button

Once the folder opens then you need to click on the InstallESD.dmg and press CMD C to copy it, then click on your Desktop and press CMD V to paste it

Once it’s copied to your dekstop rename it 10.8.dmg

Double click on the 10.8.dmg to mount it

Next, insert your USB Key and erase it using Disk Utility as follows

1. click on the device in Disk Utility

2. click on the Erase tab in the middle of the main window

3. choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the format dropdown menu

4. name it Mountain

5. then click the Erase button

6. now click on the Restore tab

7. drag the Mac OS X Install ESD volume onto the Source field

8. drag the Mountain volume onto the Destination field and click on the Restore button

you may be prompted for your admin username and password, so enter this, then the task will start and should take around 15-20 minutes (depending on the speed of your USB2 key)

For a video taking you through the installation process once you have created your USB then click on the link below

Mountain Lion – Reformat & Clean Installation

Create a bootable Lion USB key

To make a bootable Lion USB key, you will need the following

1. A USB Key, minimum 8GB, I use these
2. The Install Mac OS X Lion App

Ok, so first, you need to start up your Mac

Now plug the USB key into your Mac

Next you will need to open Disk Utility, this is located in /Applications/Utilities

Format the USB Key so that it is Mac OS X Journaled and make sure you choose the ‘GUID Partition Table’ option, otherwise you will not be able to boot a Mac from it.

Then you need to locate ‘Install Mac OS X Lion.app’ which should be in /Applications

If you have deleted it since installing then you can redownload it by opening the App Store, then hold down ALT and click on Purchases, this will enable you to redownload it by clicking Install

Click on the ‘Install Mac OS X Lion.app’ to run it, click on ‘Continue’ then Agree to the license and you will be shown your main hard disk, under that there is an option to ‘Show All Disks’ click on that and choose your USB key, click on ‘Install’ and the process will begin, you will then have to restart the machine so the installation can complete, this usually takes around 40 minutes

After this has finished you will be able to boot from your USB key into a full Mac OS Environment, and providing you keep this OS fully updated then you should be able to use it to boot up any Mac.

Once it is fully patched, you can install any additional tools that you use for troubleshooting machines.