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How to Make a Bootable OSX USB drive

If you already have the Mac OS X Mountain Lion (or LION) install DMG extracted, skip this first set of steps and jump directly to making the bootable drive below.

Download OS X Mountain Lion and Extract the DMG File

  1. Download OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion from the App Store
  2. Go to the /Applications/ directory and right-click on “Install Mac OS X Mountain Lion.app” selecting “Show Package Contents”
  3. Open the “Contents” directory and then open “SharedSupport”, looking for a file named “InstallESD.dmg”
  4. Double-click on InstallESD.dmg to mount it on the desktop

Make the OS X Mountain Lion Install Drive

    1. Launch Disk utility and connect a USB drive to the Mac
    2. Select the 8GB USB drive from the left menu and click on “Erase” tab, choose “Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)” as the format, then click on the “Erase” button in the corner

Format Drive as Bootable for Mac OS X Mountain Lion

    1. Now select the formatted USB drive from the left side and click on the “Restore” tab
    2. Drag the previously mounted “Mac OS X Install ESD” image into the “Source” section
    3. Drag the formatted partition to the “Destination” section, then click on “Restore”

Create the OS X Mountain Lion Installer

  1. Confirm that the USB drive will lose it’s data and enter the Admin password when asked

Disk Utility will now create a bootable OS X Mountain Lion installer drive out of USB drive using the disk image, this can take a little while depending on how fast the drive and Mac are but 20-30 minutes isn’t unusual.

When finished, reboot the Mac and hold down the Option key to bring up the boot menu:

Mac Boot Screen

Select the orange “Mac OS X” option and you will boot into the OS X Mountain Lion installer, from here installation is the same as normal. Click on Continue, select the destination drive, and install.

Source: OSX Daily

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