Mac Backup - Part 1: Bootable Custom Rescue & Install Drive (Intel Mac)

Posted by Administrator (kibmcz) on Feb 10 2011
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This was written for Intel Mac... it may not work on PPC Mac.

This guide will help you make a bootable USB / FireWire drive with recovery tools and the ability to install your bundled Mac OS X from the external drive.

1. Get the required items:

  • Mac OS X Restore DVDs
  • Drivers (Mighty Mouse,Cordless Keyboard, etc.)
  • Any additional software

2. Download the tools:

3. Install the tools:

  • Drag PortableOSX from the mounted DMG to the Applications on your bootable drive
  • Install TechTools Deluxe to the Applications on your bootable drive

4. Make the USB/Firewire drive bootable:

Note: This involves formatting... make sure you have backup of all files on another drive.

  1. Plug in the external drive and turn it on
  2. Open Disk Utility
  3. Select the drive you have inserted in the list on the left side
    (Select the actual device not the mounted volume)
  4. Select the Partition tab
  5. Click the Options... button
  6. Select GUID Partition Table and click OK
  7. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click Partition
  8. Once it is all done the external volume should now be partitioned correctly for booting

5. Install PortableOSX:

  1. Run PortableOSX from where you extracted it.
  2. Insert your Mac OS X Install DVD
    (Disc 1 if you got a 2 disc set)
  3. Drag the mounted volume you want to install to the PortableOSXwindow
  4. press the return key
  5. Drag the mounted Mac OS X Install DVD to the PortableOSX window
  6. press the return key
  7. Let the file copy finish
    (its gonna take a while)
  8. Restart and hold Option to select and boot to your USB/Firewire drive
    (First boot will be slow)

6. Configure your Rescue / Install Drive:

  1. Do updates to make sure the OS X install is safe and stable
  2. Install any drivers you need
    (Mighty Mouse, Cordless Keyboard)
  3. Create DMG files of your Mac OS X Install dvd/dvds
    (Only needed if you want to install from your external drive)
  4. Create Aliases of the DMG file/files on the desktop
  5. Copy any apps from your internal mac drive to the Applications folder on the external drive
    (it is recommended that you copy a browser over.. handy for troubleshooting)
  6. Customize the the install to the way you like it
    (I put the most common utilities and such on my dock)

7. Installing Mac OS X from USB/FireWire drive:

  1. Mount the Mac OS X Install DVD dmg file
    (both if you got the 2 DVD set)
  2. Open the mounted Mac OS X Install DVD
    (Disc 1 if you got 2 DVD set)
  3. Browse to /System/Installation/Packages on the DVD
  4. Open OSInstall.mpkg to start the install when you need it
    (Lets hope you never need it.. but at least it will be faster than the DVD/DVDs)

If I made any mistakes please leave a comment and i will correct them... thanks!

Disclaimer: We provide this as a free service with no guarantee or promise as to how it will work for you. We accept no responsibility for any problem it may cause or it is implied to have caused.

Last changed: Feb 10 2011 at 12:23 AM

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