Boot from a flash drive on mac

Is there anyway to boot from a flash drive on mac. Can I put a program on a cd to tell the mac to boot from the flash drive.

Example:
Start up mac with cd in the drive and flash drive in the usb port. hold down the "C" key as the mac starts up. the mac then would try to boot from the cd. the program on the cd would then direct the mac to the flash drive. on the flash drive would be an operating system installer, like ubuntu or mac os x 10.5. the mac would then install the operating system like normal, except it would do it from the flash drive.

Is something like this possible?

Thanks,
Ben
10 answers Last reply
More about boot flash drive
  1. Thanks for the reply, but not quite what I am looking for.
  2. I don't think you can but if you find out let me know I broke my windows XP cd and :( windows 7 was waste of money uninstalled today.
  3. The link provide by hawks does provide all the basics of booting on mac, so you might want to read it carefully.

    You don't need a CD to boot from another device. Just hold Option at boot, and all available options will show, including install CDs or OS on external hard drive. Just select the one you wish to boot from.
  4. The reason I suggested somehow using a program on a cd to redirect the mac to boot from the flash drive is because, my particular Mac absolutely refuses to boot from the flash drive (what I mean by this is that when the flash drive is inserted into the mac and I boot the Mac while holding down the option key, it does not even give me the option to boot from the flash drive).

    Any ideas?

    Thanks for the help so far,
    Ben
  5. What exactly is on the drive? An OSX installer or an OSX installed?

    Here's another step-by-step guide to create a bootable flash drive with OSX on it. It should work.

    http://macs.about.com/od/diyguidesprojects/ss/usbflash.htm
  6. Unfortunately, this does not work for me. In the link that you gave me it says this:

    Quote:
    What You Will Need

    An Intel-based Macintosh
    An install DVD of OS X 10.5.x or later
    A 16 GB or larger USB flash drive


    I do not have a Intel-based Macintosh, I have a Dual 2Ghz PowerPc G5 processor.

    Thanks for the help,
    Ben
  7. Hmmm I think PowerPC generation can only boot from firewire external device. A good investment if you ask me.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817347013&cm_re=macally-_-17-347-013-_-Product

    Edit: Read this

    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20060301112336384
  8. This is what I use: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/on-the-go

    I prefer Macsales over Newegg. Newegg does not specify a lot of information needed when you need to order a product and when I called customer support the people there had no idea how to help me because my product was a Mac. I called Macsales and they even walked me through the installation of a harddrive once, they're awesome, their products cost average $10 more, but is SO worth it when you need their help!
  9. As kbits says, PowerPC Macs won't boot from USB disks but will boot from firewire devices. (That's certainly true of my Mac Mini.) So I would certainly assume that they couldn't boot of a USB flash drive.
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