Booting From Flash Drive Mac

Or maybe you’re trying to boot from a USB flash drive that has a clean install of OS X on it for troubleshooting purposes. Perhaps you’ve got a cloned backup of your entire Mac on an. Nov 10, 2017 easy way how to create installer boot mac os x dvd disk or usb pendrive under windows - 2018 (link) - duration: 13:11. Bootable optical media (CD or DVD) on Macs equipped with Apple’s Super Drive or a USB thumb drive formatted with a GUID partition type and containing a macOS installer or a usable operating system. Apple advises against booting from external storage containing a version of macOS earlier than the one your Mac shipped with. Dec 11, 2021 Mac Os X Boot From Usb Flash Drive Mac By default, Mac starts from its built-in hard disk, but a startup disk can be any storage device that contains bootable contents that compatible with your Mac. For example, if you install macOS or Microsoft Windows on a USB drive, your Mac can recognize that drive as a startup disk. Nov 26, 2021 If your Mac won't boot up normally, you can set it to boot from a different drive, such as a USB stick containing macOS installation files in bootable format. The drive will have to contain a version of the OS that is compatible with the Mac. As long as you have the bootable installation USB, you can start your Mac from the USB by accessing the. Nov 12, 2019 Booting with a thumb drive gives you the flexibility to keep and run different versions of macOS. Tutorial: how to boot a Mac from USB. Booting a Mac from a USB may sound complex, but it only involves three core steps. First things first—start with a fast, clean flash drive with at least 32GB of storage (ideally more). If you’re using a.

To troubleshoot an issue with Windows 10 (especially boot-related issues), it can be handy to boot into Windows 10 not installed on a Boot Camp partition. It is relatively straightforward to create a bootable USB Flash drive to boot to the Windows 10 installer and open up a DOS prompt for troubleshooting.

Set your bootable USB as your startup disk for the next boot in 'Apple Menu - System Preferences - Startup Disk,' then click 'Restart' to reboot your Mac. Your Mac will reboot from the USB instead of your default startup disk. Alternatively, you can also use the Startup Manager to select your boot drive when you start macOS. If you want to use your USB stick with an Apple Mac, you will need to restart or power-on the Mac with the USB stick inserted while the Option/alt (⌥) key is pressed. This will launch Apple's ‘Startup Manager' which shows bootable devices connected to the machine. Insert a USB flash drive to your Mac. Make sure it's at least 8GB, which is usually marked on the USB. With the external drive plugged in, boot/restart the Mac and hold down the Option key. The Startup Manager should appear. Select your external drive.

What is needed

  1. USB Flash drive (8 GB or larger recommended)
  2. Windows 10 Installer ISO for Windows 10


All the preparation is done in macOS on the Mac that is having an issue booting Windows. It is important to use this Mac since it will be used to identify the correct Windows drivers.

USB Flash Drive

The USB Flash drive must be formatted as exFAT.

  1. Insert an 8GB or larger flash drive into a USB port on the Mac
  2. In Disk Utility, format the Flash drive as exFAT. Quit Disk Utility after this operation completes.

Boot Camp Driver

Open Boot Camp Assistant in the Utilities folder and download the current Windows Support Software from the 'Action' dropdown in the menu bar. Save the Windows Support Software to your desktop or other location. Do not save directly to the USB Flash Drive.

Boot From Flash Drive Mac

Windows Install Media

Download the current install media from the Microsoft website. Windows will not be installed, but the install media will give access to the command line tools in Windows. Select the version of Windows that is closest to the version of Windows installed on the Mac (Windows 8, Windows 10). It does not matter what edition of Windows is used, since Windows is not going to be installed.

Create Recovery USB Flash Drive

To create the USB Flash drive, follow these steps:

  1. Mount the Windows ISO downloaded from Microsoft. To mount the ISO, double-click on the ISO in Finder.
  2. Drag all the files and folders from the mounted ISO to the USB flash drive.
  3. Drag the contents of the Windows Support Software to the USB flash drive.
  4. If there is not an AutoUnattend.xml at the top level of the drive (as shown below), download AutoUnattend.xml, unzip it, and add it to the drive. AutoUnattend.xml provides the location of the $WinPEDriver$ folder to load the drivers during boot.
  5. The 2018 MacBook Air (and potentially Macs after that) cannot load the IntelMEI driver and give a 'Windows Setup could not install one or more boot-critical drivers. To install Windows, make sure that the drivers are valid, and restart the installation' message. On the USB flash drive, open the $WinPEDriver$ and remove the IntelMEI folder.

Once the flash drive has been created, it should look like this:

The $WinPEDriver$ folder is important because it contains the drivers for Windows to boot successfully from the USB flash drive and the hardware on that Mac.

Windows 11 offers a plethora of new functions, with an updated design and more focus on consistency and optimization. The best way to get Windows 11 is through a fresh installation, rather than an upgrade. You can do this using a Windows 11 bootable disk.

The process of creating a Windows 11 bootable disk is very simple if you're using a Windows PC, but the process becomes slightly more complicated if you're using a Mac. We'll cover how to create a Windows 11 bootable disk using macOS below.

What You Will Need Before Starting

You'll need the following items to create a bootable Windows 11 installer:

  • An 8GB or larger (16GB is preferred) USB drive that you don't mind formatting.
  • Your MacBook power adaptor should be plugged in, as you don't want your battery to run out during the process.
  • An active internet connection, to download the Windows 11 ISO.

Download the Windows 11 ISO

The first step is to download the Windows 11 ISO, which is available for free from the Microsoft website. Select Windows 11 from the Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO) section and your choose preferred language from Select the product language, then press Confirm and download the installer on your Mac by selecting 64-bit Download. Related: Buy or Upgrade to Windows 11: Save Money When You Download and Install a New License


The installer is around 5.2GB in size, so it may take some time to download, depending on your internet connection.

Xp Booting From Flash Drive

How to Make a Windows 11 Bootable Disk

There are three methods of creating a bootable Windows 11 disk on your Mac, depending on which Mac model you have.

If you have an Intel Mac, you can use the Boot Camp method to create the bootable disk. On the other hand, M1 Macs don't feature Boot Camp, so you can only use Terminal to create the bootable disk. You can also use a third-party app (UUByte ISO Editor) to create the Windows 11 bootable USB.

We'll cover all three methods below.

Option 1. Create Windows 11 Bootable Disk Using Boot Camp (Intel Macs)

The first method involves using Boot Camp on Intel Macs. Boot Camp Assistant can be used to install Windows on a Mac and create a bootable USB installer drive, eliminating the need for any lengthy Terminal commands or third-party apps. This method is not available on M1 Macs.

If you have an Intel-based Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Boot Camp on your Mac; you can do this from Applications > Utilities in Finder or by using Spotlight.
  2. In Boot Camp, click Continue, and check the box to Create a Windows 10 or later install disk.
  3. If the second box (Download the latest Windows support software from Apple) isn't grayed out, check it. Don't check the third box.
  4. Click Continue when you're done.
  5. Browse and select the Windows 11 ISO file you downloaded.
  6. Under Destination Disk, select your USB drive, and click Continue.
  7. Boot Camp will format your USB. Press Continue to proceed. The installation process will now start. Let it run, and you'll see a window saying the Windows support software has been saved. That's it.

Note: Make sure you don't close the MacBook lid while the process is running, otherwise it'll cancel and you'll have to restart the process again.

Boot Usb Thumb Drive Mac

You can now use this bootable disk to boot and install a fresh copy of Windows 11 on your PC.

Option 2. Create Windows 11 Bootable Disk Using Terminal (M1 Macs)

The second method we'll cover today involves using Terminal. The process is relatively simple; however, a limitation of this method is the issue of the installer being 5.2GB. You cannot burn a file bigger than 4GB on a FAT32 formatted drive, which is the only format that works with both Windows and macOS.

A workaround for this is to split the installer into smaller files, which requires the installation of a package manager, wimlib, that is installed through Homebrew. This will split the Windows installer file while creating the bootable disk.

To install Homebrew and create a bootable Windows 11 USB, open Terminal on your Mac from Finder > Applications and enter the following commands. Once you have entered a command, press Enter:

This process will download and install Xcode before installing Homebrew. Xcode is an integrated development environment (IDE) that is comprised of software development tools for macOS. The process may take a few minutes to complete.

You will be required to type in your Mac user password to authenticate yourself. You won't see anything appear on the screen when you type it in, so just type it and press Enter to install Homebrew.

Once the installation is complete, enter the following command and press Enter to install wimlib:

You might get an error message saying command not found:brew, you may also see two commands in Terminal right at the end of the previous Homebrew installation. Enter the commands to activate Homebrew, followed by the command above again to get it working successfully.

Now, make sure your USB is connected to your Mac. Run the following command:

This will bring up a list of drives connected to your Mac. Find and note down the USB drive's disk identifier, which should appear to the left of (external, physical), and should resemble disk2, disk3, and so on.

Booting From Flash Drive Mac Download

Use the following command to format the USB stick in Terminal (replace disk2 with your disk identifier):

Terminal should now format your disk and rename it as WINDOWS11.

Mount the Windows 11 ISO from the Downloads folder on your Mac. You can do this by double-clicking on the ISO file, which should then show up in your Mac's connected devices as CCCOMA_X64FRE_EN-US_DV9 or similar. Remember to match the file name exactly to the one above. If it's different (due to a different language preference), make sure to change it accordingly in the commands below.

Related: How to Make a Bootable CD/DVD/USB to Install Windows

Since the installer file is bigger than 4GB, we'll be using two separate commands to create the bootable disk. The first command will copy all the files apart from the install.wim file (which is 4.2GB) in size. The second command will use wimlib to split and copy the install.wim file to the USB stick.

Bootable Usb Mac

Use the following command to copy the content of the ISO image—excluding the install.wim file—onto the USB drive:

Then run the following command to split and copy the install.wim file:

Booting From Flash Drive Mac

That's it! Terminal should successfully create the bootable disk, which you can now use to boot a fresh Windows installation.

Option 3. Use a Third-Party App to Create a Windows Bootable Disk

The two methods detailed above are free and can be done on Intel or M1 Macs. However, if you want to avoid Terminal and want a UI-based experience instead, you can use UUByte ISO Editor ($29.95, free trial available) to create a bootable disk. The app has broad support for different Mac models and macOS versions, and you can easily create a Windows 11 installer USB using it.

The only downside to this method is that the app isn't free. However, it is a viable alternative if you are on an M1 Mac and are not fond of Terminal.

Get a Fresh Windows Installation

Now that you've successfully created a Windows 11 bootable disk, you can use it to install a fresh copy of Windows on your PC. In all essence, we'd recommend creating the bootable disk on a Windows PC if you have access to one, since the process is much simpler. But in a pinch, you can use this guide to use Boot Camp or Terminal method on your Mac to create one.

How to Install Windows 10 From a Bootable USB Drive

Need to install a fresh copy of Windows? Learn how to make a bootable USB stick with UEFI support.

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