Jun 09, 2014 We’ve covered how to install OS X Yosemite onto a separate partition of an internal hard disk and dual boot with OS X Mavericks, but many Mac users have wondered if it’s possible to install OS X 10.10 onto an external drive instead, thereby avoiding any modifications to the primary Mac hard drive or partition table. The answer is yes, you can install Yosemite onto an external disk, and yes.
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- Install Mac Os X Snow Leopard On External Hard Drive; Mac External Hard Drive On Windows 10; Mac Os On Usb Drive; Install Mac Os 10.6 On External Hard Drive Download; Looking for a way to install and run OS X on an external hard drive? This can be useful for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, it allows you to run another copy of OS X.
- How to install macOS on an external drive Step 1: Prepare the drive for installation. Follow these instructions to prepare your external drive - note that there. Step 2: Get the macOS install files. This step will depend on whether you want to run a macOS beta, a full version of. Step 3: Install.
For these problems there is a nice writeup available at How to install a very small version of OS X on an external drive (2007): STEP 1: Format your drive (HFS+, journaled) STEP 2: Enable owners. Sudo /usr/sbin/vsdbutil -a /Volumes/CRUZER. STEP 3: Install OS X.
If OS X Yosemite came preinstalled on your new Mac, you’ll probably never need this article. In this article, you discover all you need to know to install or reinstall OS X, if you should have to.
If you’re thinking about reinstalling because something has gone wrong with your Mac, know that an OS X reinstallation should be your last resort. If nothing else fixes your Mac, reinstalling OS X could well be your final option before invasive surgery (that is, trundling your Mac to a repair shop).
You don’t want to reinstall OS X if something easier can correct the problem. So if you have to do a reinstallation, realize that this is more or less your last hope (this side of the dreaded screwdriver, anyway).
Reinstalling is a hassle because although you won’t lose the contents of your Home folder, applications you’ve installed, or the stuff in your Documents folder (unless something goes horribly wrong or you have to reformat your hard drive), you might lose the settings for some System Preferences, which means you’ll have to manually reconfigure those panes after you reinstall. And you might have to reinstall drivers for third-party hardware such as mice, keyboards, printers, tablets, and the like. Finally, you might have to reregister or reinstall some of your software.
It’s not the end of the world, but it’s almost always inconvenient. That said, reinstalling OS X almost always corrects all but the most horrifying and malignant of problems. The process in Yosemite is (compared with root-canal work, income taxes, or previous versions of OS X) relatively painless.
How to install (or reinstall) OS X
In theory, you should have to install Yosemite only once, or never if your Mac came with Yosemite preinstalled. And in a perfect world, that would be the case. But you might find occasion to install, reinstall, or use it to upgrade, such as
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If your Mac is currently running any version of OS X except Yosemite
If you have a catastrophic hard-drive crash that requires you to initialize (format) or replace your boot drive
If you buy an external hard drive and want it to be capable of being your Mac’s startup disk (that is, a bootable disk)
If you replace your internal hard drive with a larger, faster, or solid state drive
If any essential OS X files become damaged or corrupted or are deleted or renamed
The following instructions do triple duty: Of course they’re what you do to install OS X for the first time on a Mac or a freshly formatted hard or solid-state disk. But they’re also what you do if something really bad happens to the copy of OS X that you boot your Mac from, or if the version of OS X on your Mac is earlier than 10.10 Yosemite. In other words, these instructions describe the process for installing, reinstalling, or upgrading OS X Yosemite.
If you’ve never had Yosemite on this Mac, the first thing to do is visit the Mac App Store, download Yosemite, and install it. Once you’ve done that, here’s how to install, reinstall, or upgrade Yosemite, step by step:
Boot from your Recovery HD partition by restarting your Mac while holding down the Command+R keys.
The OS X Utilities window appears. Select Reinstall OS X, and click Continue. The OS X Yosemite splash screen appears. Click Continue.
A sheet appears informing you that your computer’s eligibility needs to be verified by Apple. Click Continue to begin the process of installing or reinstalling OS X.
If you’re not connected to the Internet, you’ll be asked to choose a Wi-Fi network from the AirPort menu in the top-right corner.
The Yosemite software license agreement screen appears. Read it and click Agree.
A sheet drops down, asking whether you agree to the terms of the license agreement. Yes, you did just click Agree; this time you’re being asked to confirm that you indeed clicked the Agree button.
If you don’t click Agree, you can’t go any farther.
Choose the disk on which you want to reinstall OS X by clicking its icon once in the pane where you select a disk.
If only one suitable disk is available, you won’t have to choose; it will be selected for you automatically.
Click the Install button.
A sheet asks for your Apple ID and password. Type them in the appropriate fields; click Sign In, and your Yosemite installation (or reinstallation) begins.
The operating system takes 30 to 60 minutes to install, so now might be a good time to take a coffee break. When the install is finished, your Mac restarts itself.
If you were reinstalling Yosemite on the hard disk that it was originally installed on, or upgrading from Mavericks, you’re done now. Your Mac will reboot, and in a few moments you can begin using your new, freshly installed (and ideally trouble-free) copy of OS X Yosemite.
If, on the other hand, you’re installing Yosemite on a hard disk for the first time, you still have one last step to complete. After your Mac reboots, the Setup Assistant window appears. You need to work your way through the Setup Assistant’s screens as described below.
Getting set up with the Setup Assistant
Assuming that your installation process goes well and your Mac restarts itself, the next thing you should see (and hear) is a short, colorful movie that ends by transforming into the first Setup Assistant screen (Apple Assistants such as this are like wizards in Windows, only smarter), fetchingly named Welcome.
To tiptoe through the Setup Assistant, follow these steps:
When the Welcome screen appears, choose your country from the list by clicking it once, and then click the Continue button.
If your country doesn’t appear in the list, select the Show All check box, which causes a bunch of additional countries to appear.
After you click Continue, the Select Your Keyboard screen appears.
Choose a keyboard layout from the list by clicking it once; then click Continue.
If you want to use a U.S. keyboard setup, click the U.S. listing. If you prefer a different country’s keyboard layout, select the Show All check box, and a bunch of additional countries’ keyboards (as well as a pair of Dvorak keyboard layouts) appear in the list. Choose the one you prefer by clicking it — and then click Continue.
The Select Your Wi-Fi Network screen appears.
Click the name of the wireless network you use to connect to the Internet, type in its password, and then click Continue.
If you don’t see the network you want to use, click Rescan. If you don’t use a wireless network, click Other Network Setup, and then choose one of the available options, or choose My Computer Does Not Connect to the Internet. Click Continue.
The Migration Assistant (also known as the Transfer Information to This Mac) screen appears.
Choose to transfer data, then click Continue, or choose not to transfer data, then click Continue.
If this is a brand-new Mac or you’re installing OS X Yosemite on a Mac and have another Mac or Time Machine backup disk nearby, you can transfer all of your important files and settings by following the onscreen instructions and connecting the new and old Macs via FireWire or Ethernet cable.
Transferring data can take hours — that’s the bad news.
The good news is that once the data transfer finishes, you’re finished, too. In other words, you can ignore the steps that follow (which are only for brand new installations with no data to transfer).
Goodbye and good luck.
Assuming you chose not to transfer data, the Sign In With Your Apple ID screen appears.
If you want to use your Apple ID with this Mac, type it (such as [email protected]) and your password in the appropriate fields, and then click Continue. Or, if you don’t have an Apple ID or prefer not to use one with this Mac, click Don’t Sign In, and then click Continue.
To learn more about getting an Apple ID, click the blue “Learn More” link. In a nutshell, it lets you make one-click purchases at the iTunes Store, iPhoto, or the Apple Store, and includes free iCloud membership.
The Allow iCloud to Use the Location of This Mac for Find My Mac sheet appears.
Click Allow or Not Now.
The Terms and Conditions screen appears.
Read the Terms and Conditions and click Agree. A dialog confirms your agreement. Click Agree again.
The Create A Computer Account screen appears.
Fill in the Full Name, Account Name (sometimes called Short Name), Password, Verify Password, and Hint fields, and then click Continue. Or, check the Use my iCloud Account to Log In checkbox. Then fill in the Account Name (sometimes called Short Name), and click Continue.
This first account that you create will automatically have administrator privileges for this Mac. You can’t easily delete or change the name you choose for this account, so think it through before you click Continue.
You can’t click the Continue button until you’ve filled in the first two fields. Because a password is optional, you can choose to leave both password fields blank if you like. If you do, your Mac warns you that without a password, your Mac won’t be secure. If that’s okay, click OK. If you change your mind and want to have a password, click Cancel.
Click on the little picture to the right of your name (it’s labeled “edit”) if you want to choose a different picture or take a picture of yourself with your Mac’s built-in camera.
If you choose to take a picture, click the Take Photo Snapshot button. When the picture appears, you can change its size by using the slider control directly below the image and/or move it around in the frame by clicking your face and dragging. If you’re not happy with this snapshot, click Retake a Video Snapshot. When you’re happy with it, click Continue.
If you choose to select a picture from the Picture library, click the picture you want to represent you — the butterfly, dog, parrot, flower, or whatever — and then click Continue.
The iCloud Keychain screen appears.
Click Set Up iCloud Keychain or Set Up Later.
If you choose Set Up iCloud Keychain, a screen requesting your passcode appears. Type your four digit passcode, and click Continue.
If you’ve forgotten your passcode or don’t have one, click Forgot Code to reset iCloud Keychain.
In either case, a verification code is sent to your iPhone or other Apple device; type it in, and click Continue.
The OS X Finder’s Desktop appears.
And that’s all there is to it. You’re done.
Looking for a way to install and run OS X on an external hard drive? This can be useful for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, it allows you to run another copy of OS X without needing any additional Mac computer.
Also, since you can run a full copy of OS X on the external drive, it can be used for troubleshooting purposes on other Macs or it can be as a kind of virtual OS X. I’ve already written about how you can install OS X in VMware Fusion, but that takes up space on your Mac. Using an external drive, you can save space on your Mac, though it might be a bit slower if you are using USB 2.0.
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In this article, I’ll walk you through the requirements and steps to install OS X onto an external hard drive.
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Format External Hard Disk
The first thing you’re going to need to do is format the external hard drive properly. The file format has to be Mac OS X Journaled and you have to use the GUID partition map. To do this, open Disk Utility and connect the drive to your Mac.
Under External in the left hand menu, click on your external hard drive and then click on the Erase button. Make sure you backup any data before you erase the drive. When you click Erase, a dialog will pop up where you can configure some options.
Give your drive a name, choose OS X Extended (Journaled) for Format and GUID Partition Map for Scheme. It should only take a minute or two for the drive to be erased and reformatted. Now your drive is ready for OS X.
Install OS X
There are two ways you can install OS X on to your external hard disk: by reinstalling OS X from the OS X Utilities repair screen or by downloading OS X from the App Store and running the installer. I’ll show you both methods in case one isn’t working for you.
The easiest way is to download OS X from the App Store. Once you open the App Store, you’ll see a link on the right for the latest version of OS X (El Capitan as of this writing).
Go ahead and click the Download button to start downloading the installer. Note that if you already have that version of OS X installed, you’ll see a popup message appear asking if you still want to continue or not. Just click Continue.
Once it has been downloaded, just double-click the installer, which will be located in the Applications folder.
Keep clicking past the license agreement, etc., until you get to the screen that asks you which disk to install OS X on. By default, it is set to MacBook.
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Click on the Show All Disks button and you’ll see an icon for the different disks and partitions on the Mac. I named my external hard drive OS X and that shows up in the middle.
You can also tell it’s an external hard disk because it uses the icon with the orange hard drive. Click Continue and then follow the instructions to complete the installation. Note that your computer may restart during the install and you don’t have to do anything. OS X will automatically continue installing onto the external hard drive rather than booting up to your internal version of OS X.
At the end of this article, I’ll show you how to boot up to the external hard drive, so skip down if you ended up using the App Store method. Note that by default, the Mac will start booting up directly to the external hard drive until you change it.
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The second method to install OS X is to restart the Mac and press and hold the COMMAND + R keys. This will load up OS X Recovery.
The OS X Utilities screen will appear and here you want to click on Reinstall OS X. Again, you’ll go through some basic screens, but when you get to the hard disk screen, click on Show All Disks again.
Using this method, you’ll have to login using your Apple ID and password so that the entire OS X installer can be downloaded off of Apple’s servers. Whichever method you choose, it will take anywhere from 15 to 30+ minutes to install OS X onto your external hard drive.
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While OS X is installing, your computer will restart a couple of times. Note that when it finally boots into OS X, that is the version running off your external drive. To switch back and forth between the internal and external drive, you have to restart your computer and hold down the OPTION key.
When you do that, you should see at least four icons. In my case, I have five because I have Windows installed using Boot Camp. Anyway, the grey MacBook and Recovery 10.11.2 icons are for my internal OS X and the orange OS X and Recovery 10.11.3 are for the version installed on my external drive.
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Use the arrow keys to select which drive to boot from and then simply press Enter. If you have a newer Mac and a USB drive that supports USB 3.0, everything should run fairly fast. Overall, it’s a fairly straight-forward process and took me less than an hour to get everything working. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!
In this article, I’m going to show you how to run macOS directly from an external hard drive. Not only does this let you switch between operating systems, but it’s also a great way to experience different versions of macOS without permanently changing anything on your Mac. For example, if your favourite app only runs on a certain version of macOS, or you want to test your project across multiple versions, then an external hard drive can come in handy!
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to run any version of macOS, directly from your external hard drive.
Prepare your external hard drive
In order to install macOS, you’ll need an external drive with at least 12GB of free space.
Once you have a suitable hard drive, the first step is preparing this drive as a GUID partition:
- Connect the external drive to your Mac.
- Open a new Finder window and navigate to ‘Applications > Utilities.’
- Launch the Disk Utility app.
- In the upper-left corner of the Disk Utility app, select the ‘View’ button and make sure ‘Show All Devices’ is selected.
- In Disk Utility’s left-hand menu, select your root drive.
- Click the ‘Erase’ button.
- In the subsequent window, open the ‘Format’ dropdown and choose ‘Mac OS Extended (Journaled).’
- Open the ‘Scheme’ dropdown and choose ‘GUID Partition Map.’
- Give your drive a name.
- Select ‘Erase.’
- Disk Utility will now create the partition and setup the drive, which may take a few minutes. Once the process is complete, click ‘Done.’
Download any version of macOS
The next step, is downloading the installer for the version of macOS that you want to run from your external hard drive.
If you want to install a version of macOS that you previously downloaded from the App Store, then you can just re-download the necessary installer:
- Launch the App Store.
- Select the ‘Purchases’ tab.
- Find the version of macOS that you want to install, and then click its accompanying ‘Install’ button. This will download the installer to your Mac’s ‘Applications’ folder.
If you want to run a version of macOS that you haven’t previously downloaded from the App Store, then things are going to get slightly trickier, as you won’t be able to download this version directly from the App Store.
The easiest workaround, is to try and find another Mac user who’s willing to download the installer for you, as macOS installers aren’t user specific.
How To Install Mac Os On External Hard Drives
Install macOS on your external hard drive
Once you have the necessary files, you’re ready to install this version of macOS to your external hard drive:
- Open a new Finder window.
- Navigate to the installer that you want to use.
- Click to launch the installer.
- Click ‘Continue.’
- Read the terms and conditions, and if you’re happy to proceed, then click ‘Agree,’ followed by ‘Continue.’
- Click ‘Show All Disks,’ and then select your external drive.
- Click ‘Install.’
This version of macOS will now be installed on your external hard drive.
Boot into your new operating system
To boot into this version of macOS:
- Make sure the external drive is attached to your Mac.
- Hold down your Mac’s ‘Option’ key during startup.
- When prompted, select your external drive.
Your Mac will now boot into the version of macOS that’s stored on your external drive. To switch back to your original version of macOS, simply repeat the above steps.
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