Installing Mac OS X from a USB Disk

I have a Macbook Pro which is a couple of years old and signs of age are starting to show. I wanted to upgrade to Snow Leopard recently, but the SuperDrive just isn’t working very well anymore. Whenever I tried to boot from the installation DVD, it just made a couple of disgruntled noises and then spat out the disc.

I’ve had this issue before with some mediums it couldn’t read. Sometimes it helps just reinserting it a couple of times and eventually it will start reading the disc. Not this time around though. After trying about 6-7 times, my patience had the better of me.

Luckily I’ve found a workaround and it is dead simple.

  • Grab one of those spare USB drives you have lying about anyway.
  • Create a new partition of say 8GB with Disk Utility.
  • Clone  the Mac OS X install DVD onto that partition.
  • Reboot with the drive attached to your Mac.
  • Install Mac OS X.

The details of how to do it can be found in this blogpost.

Leave a Comment